Focusing Tips by Fiona Parr

I'm often asked questions which I feel are relevant to many people. So I share my responses here which I hope will provide a helpful insight for everyone involved in Focusing and an overview if you are new to Focusing.

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A Focuser asks, is it OK to give myself reassurance when I am worried or anxious about something? Or does that mean that I am really trying to fix it and make it better?

It is natural to want reassurance when something isn’t right. It can be a great relief to hear someone, or something inside us say that it’s going to be alright, and there is no need to worry. So I don’t want to say that it is never OK to offer reassurance to yourself during a Focusing session. However I also want to bring in a note of caution.

The most important thing about Focusing is to trust the process of the implicit unfolding of the wisdom of the body. Sometimes it can be all too easy to rush ahead and want to fix things before they have had time to be fully heard, received and acknowledged. If you take the time to be patient and wait, this enables the process to develop and resolve in ways that you could not have predicted or imagined. It makes the space for something new to happen. Reassurance can block or pre-empt that process. You will get a result, but only a partial resolution.

It all depends on where the urge to reassure is coming from. You can be alert and listen to the part of you that is offering, or bringing a quality of reassurance. Notice how your body responds. You might notice if the reassuring part has a tightening or anxious quality itself. Perhaps it is closer to a part of you that doesn’t like the situation, and is trying to change it. If so, it also needs to be listened to from Self-in-Presence.

If the feeling tone is more spacious, expansive and has no particular agenda or expectations, you can assume that it is closer to Presence. In that case, it is helpful to receive the gift it brings, and notice if there are any changes in the body. There may be a relaxation or an easing of tension.

Sometimes you might find a strong, relaxed and spacious place in you that can offer reassurance; and then it is helpful to go back to the worried part of you, and ask it if it now feels reassured. The answer often comes very quickly. It will be a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’, and you can then respond accordingly. If it is a yes, it feels reassured, then take some time to enjoy and experience of relief or relaxation in the body. If no, then you need to stay with it longer, listening more fully to its fears and anxieties.

That does not negate what the reassuring part is feeling. They can both be there. I have had sessions when I have an anxiety about something, and something else in me does not have that anxiety, and it feels it is all OK. We can be contradictory people at times, and the paradox becomes apparent when you spend time with it in this way. You can be and not be anxious at the same time.

A final word. I would not recommend that you try to offer reassurance to your Focusing partner. As I have been saying, what is important here is to stay with what is there, and to wait for the process to unfold naturally.