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“Can I do Focusing with a feeling of nausea?”

“Can I do Focusing with a feeling of nausea?”
November 10, 2015 Ann Weiser Cornell

Focusing Tip #485


“I have one Focusing partner who doesn’t like to be with any feeling that is in his gut.”


Mary Anne writes:
Is “sick to the stomach” or “nauseated” the kind of feeling that one can stay with using Focusing? I have one Focusing partner who doesn’t like to be with any feeling that is in his gut. My tendency is to support whatever feeling a partner has, say it back to them so they can stay with it. But is “nausea” different? What if one is actually sick?

Dear Mary Anne:
No, it has not been my experience that feelings described as “nausea” are any different from other feelings.

Even if one is actually sick, it can’t hurt to be with the physical experience of the symptoms—and it could actually help.

I’ve done Focusing for 44 years, and I’ve never had a feeling of nausea result in actual vomiting…if that’s the worry!

It’s interesting that you have a Focusing partner who doesn’t want to be with any feeling that is in his gut. I wonder what that’s about? If I were that person, I would get curious, and invite a sense of something in me that doesn’t want to feel in the gut.

Of course as the Focusing partner, you need to respect that person’s wishes and follow their lead.

But with most Focusers, and with yourself, you’ll likely find it very productive to keep awareness with a feeling described at first as “nausea.” I say “at first” because we don’t know what it will feel like, or what it will be connected to, after you stay with it for a while. We’ll see!

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