Focusing Tip #863 – Focusing Process – “Why does having a Focusing partner help so much?”
What does having a Focusing Companion add to our process? Read on…
Why does it land so differently when my companion reflects my words back to me, as opposed to when I say them myself? (We are pretty much saying the same thing if I used Self-in-Presence language to start with.)
It almost seems like I cannot process or “perceive” my words at the same time as I speak them. But when my companion says the words, I can process them or perceive them. Is it because our brain cannot speak and process at the same time?
It turns out that listening and speaking are handled by different parts of the brain. According to brain researchers, Broca’s area is involved in speaking, whereas understanding and listening are under the domain of Wernicke’s area.
But I don’t think that’s the main reason why hearing our own words from a Companion is so powerfully helpful. Let me explain.
Focusing is a process of new steps emerging from what seemed already known. Paradoxically, new steps emerge because we are staying with exactly how something is.
New steps emerge from interaction, Gendlin says. But it’s a very particular kind of interaction. It’s an interaction that adds nothing.
When you speak in Focusing, describing something you feel right now, that’s true at that moment. But beneath what you can put into words, there is more.
When your Companion says back what you said, and you then carry those words inside and check them there, the next step starts to emerge.
Often it seems that the next step can come because this much has been fully understood and heard.
I was Focusing with my Focusing partner a few days ago. I was feeling something hard to describe, about something that happened last summer.
“It’s feeling stunned,” I said to her. “Like it’s shocked.”
She said back, “Like it’s stunned. Shocked.”
I paused. Hearing the words in her voice helped. It was easier for me to offer them to the feeling, and to feel they were not quite right. “It’s been silenced,” I said. And a deep breath came. That was a step.