There are at least two reasons I came up with the course, Being a person with another person, one of which is that I always wondered what to do next, after having become proficient at Focusing. There didn’t seem to be that much on offer if you wanted to continue exploring but didn’t want to start directly on the road to becoming a Focusing Practitioner. One of my goals as a Focusing teacher, is to come up with different courses to meet this need, that I hope others also have, of which “Being a person with another person”, is my first attempt.
The other reason for coming up with the course takes a bit more space to explain:
One of the marvellous things about Focusing, is the liberating experience (usually with some struggle at first) of not having to take any responsibility for the outcome of the session with the Focusing partner. As a person who people used to come to with their problems, even when I was quite young, and later becoming a counsellor, this gave me a tremendous relief: to be able to sit back, relax into “just being there”, and letting the Focuser “do the job”, and still being supportive and watch change happening!
This “responsibility free” listening skill, and the skill of supporting the other person in just being with their experience, rather than find “logically deduced answers”, has influenced my work with clients as well as with friends and colleagues. Over time, it has also given me a much more relaxed trust in the process as its “own entity”, that I can lean into, rather than trying to control or steer in any direction (of my own).
A few years of practicing this trusting and allowing way of being there with another person, then freed me up to becoming aware, also, of the relational nature of Focusing, as well as counselling, and in particular, the notion of “being a person with another person” (Carl Rogers, 1961, John Macmurray 1961, Eugene Gendlin, 1996).
As Gendlin writes: “The essence of working with another person is to be present as a living being. And that is lucky, because if we had to be smart, or good, or mature, or wise, then we would probably be in trouble. But, what matters is not that. What matters is to be a human being with another human being, to recognize the other person as another being in there.” (Gendlin 1990, p. 205). This particularly became clearer to me after having attended my third “Focusing and listening skills”-course, hosted this time by the warmly present and constantly curious Kay Hoffmann. She introduced me and the other participants in her course to the idea of the “we-space”, and also to responding from where the other person’s words “land” in your body, instead of trying to remember what was said.
So I developed this course as a way of exploring more, and sharing my experiences with how there seems not to be a process happening “over there” with the client or Focusing Partner (or friend or colleague one listens to), but that the particular process that happens in the encounter, is a particular, unique, “we”, and a “we-here-now” as in being part of the larger environment (Gendlin 2018).
The idea of saying an inner “yes” to what is happening in the other person, as well as in myself, and attending to this unique “thing”, that “we-here-now” is, I find to be an exhilaratingly alive way of being present. Hence, I would also claim that Focusing can render you more mindful and present, both to yourself, to the world, your situations, and to other people in your surroundings, and I would like to invite you to this course, to see what I mean 😊
Vera Rolfine Fryd Lyngmo
Gendlin, E.T. (1990). The small steps of the therapy process: How they come, and how to help make them come. In: Lietaer, G., Rombauts, J. & Van Balen, R. (eds.) Client-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies in the Nineties. Leuven: Leuven University Press.
Gendlin E.T (2018). A Process Model. Evanston, Illinois: University Press.
Macmurray, J. (1961). Persons in Relation. New Jersey: Humanities Press International.
Rogers C.R. (1961). On becoming a person. London: Constable & Robinson Ltd.
Post updated 01.11.2020