So, I sent another email today to this new therapist… I’d not received a reply to my msg I sent on Sunday and it was stressing me out. I felt rejected by the guy before he’d even spoken to me. After a friend had a word with me and brought my adult back on board I realised I was overthinking things and making problems where there were none. I looked online and found a different email address for him on another website and forwarded the message on to that. I decided if I didn’t have a reply by next Monday then I’d bite the bullet and phone him (which terrifies me). As it happens he replied within a couple of hours saying he didn’t receive the first message at all. We had some back and forths and we’ve arranged a ‘conversation’ via zoom on Friday afternoon. I went though a rollercoaster of emotions through the hours it took to send messages to each other. From hating his communication style, being very unforgiving of the mistakes in punctuation and grammar, nit picking the errors on his website (and telling him about them all in an email!!!!)… to loving his final email. So… it would appear some sort of attachment wound is activated already!!
Weird thing is… I have a session with Linda on Friday morning and I haven’t told her about any of this yet!! Aaarghhhh.
Anyway… I’ve been researching one of the therapies he talks about on his website… focusing. Here’s what I’ve been pondering.
Reflecting on being ‘in my body’. I’ve been thinking about each of my therapists attempts to ground me in my skin. Mindfulness, quiet contemplation, tuning in to sensations. I’ve been reading about FOCUSING. It’s a skill used in therapy that I’m familiar with but haven’t closely studied before and didn’t know what it was called. I’m curious so I’ve spent some time reading about it and watching Eugene Gendlin give lectures and hold sessions. It’s fascinating.
Some notes I’ve made.
Focusing – the process of going within, tuning in to how we really feel, deep inside the body. We look closer, it’s like standing in front of a grey wall and somebody asking you what you see… you think you see nothing. Look closer, be patient. It’s like going in to a piece of wood. At first it’s impossible and then a few seconds later ‘oh yeah, there’s all this intricacy there!’ That’s focusing.
Another thing that is focusing is to welcome and acknowledge all the feelings. To be next to them. Rumi is the poet who described feelings as being like guests. You can welcome the guests, let them stay, ask them what they offer us and what they need. You are not the guest, you own the house. You are the constant. You welcome the feelings and emotions, you acknowledge them, you touch them. Then when you’ve done that, go to the ‘murky edge’ – the place that is not so easy to focus on – the blur. Which house guest hasn’t made it to the front door yet? The ‘I don’t know’. You sit next to the feelings you do not identify with the feelings. You don’t get swallowed up by them, you allow them to be there.
That is focusing.
On the fear of opening up and voicing how we really feel… discovering and bringing into the light all the awful, painful, shameful feelings and thoughts and the fear that we won’t be able to survive it’s disclosure… ‘What is true is already so. Owning up to it doesn’t make it worse. Not being open about it doesn’t make it go away. And because it’s true, it is what is there to be interacted with. Anything untrue isn’t there to be lived. People can stand what is true, for they are already enduring it.’ Eugene Gendlin