Health & Medical Self-Improvement

Can Focusing Shift Stubborn Patterns?

A Focuser writes: It sometimes strikes me, that although I have done so much Focusing already, some of my " stubborn patterns" don't seem to move and I am wondering if it can really do all the work, or if sometimes it needs other things like therapy (and somebody who is not involved in your pattern and has a neutral view on it).
I agree with you that Focusing on its own may not be enough to resolve tough issues and deeply entrenched patterns.
At these times, a therapist can be very helpful.
The therapist provides what you cannot do for yourself - a neutral view in a supportive atmosphere.
The crucial factor is Presence.
Can you be present for yourself, in the way that a therapist can? Can you be your own best listener, compassionate, neutral, accepting, not taking sides and simply being open? There's no judgment if you cannot.
Sometimes we simply can't do that for ourselves.
We may be too close to the issue and not be able to 'step back', and keep company from a neutral place.
I found that when I was grieving after my mother died, I did not Focus for several months.
I was too close to my grieving and could not keep myself company.
I just merged and dissolved into tears.
I needed someone outside to be a supportive presence with me.
A therapist would have been very helpful at that time.
Gradually I regained my equilibrium and sense of presence, and I began to Focus again, with a supportive Companion.
You say, 'in some cases people really need the therapy setting (and maybe also the more close relationship with a therapist combined with some support in dealing with concrete difficult life situations) and in those cases I think it might be dangerous not to take therapeutic help.
' I wonder what you mean by it being dangerous to make people believe they can solve everything with Focusing.
What's the risk, what's the danger? What might happen? Just guessing, if someone were not in Presence, they might identify with a past trauma and re-traumatise themselves, which I agree could be dangerous and make things worse.
Again, the key is Presence.
If the Focuser can be with their feelings in a caring and compassionate way, I see no danger.
If not, the best thing to do is go to a therapist and there's no shame in that.
That is just how it is sometimes.
Eugene Gendlin says it's not enough.
Do Focusing and something else.
I agree and disagree with him.
I agree that it enhances and supports whatever you do, be it a talking therapy, a body therapy, relationships or art.
However, I believe that it can be helpful and effective on its own, in its own right, provided that you have some Presence available to you and you have a good listener in your Companion.
I think the practice has developed in recent years, especially through Barbara McGavin and Ann Weiser Cornell's 'Inner-Relationship'.
I believe that you can work very effectively with any issue that you might take to a therapist.
It's your choice.
You might choose a therapist sometimes and Focusing at other times to shift your stubborn patterns.

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