I need to look outside myself for guidance
A Focuser says, ‘I have been an introverted person, and now I am moving towards looking more outside myself for help and guidance. Would Focusing go against that?’
I suggest that Focusing does not go against your need to look outside yourself for help and guidance. The ability to Focus compliments what you do…
Outside help and guidance can be enormously helpful and supportive, for instance by giving another perspective when you are feeling confused, or ‘can’t see the wood for the trees’. There may be times when therapy is what’s needed. Many helping professionals and their clients can attest how helpful and supportive their work is. Life coaches, psychotherapists, career advisors, practitioners of all kinds, including physical therapists, massage therapists and many others all support our process of change. And this includes helpful conversations with supportive friends and colleagues.
This does not counteract or undermine what you do in Focusing. Rather it enhances and supports your Focusing, and your Focusing enhances your work with outside help. It’s a two-way win-win situation.
How to choose?
How do you choose what therapy would be helpful, and which practitioner to go to? How do you evaluate the effectiveness of their work with you? Which of your friend’s helpful advice do you decide to go with? These decisions are supported by Focusing, because it’s only by going inside yourself can you find out what is right for you. My Focusing partners and I often Focus with what comes up in the therapy or healing session that week. That carries it forward, and helps the process to unfold further.
The relationship between inside and outside of you
And it’s about the relationship between inside and outside of you. Introverted people are not isolated or alone. We are all ‘swimming in the sea’ of our environment. Gene Gendlin’s philosophical work called ‘A Process Model’ argues that we are not separate from our environment. We are inter-affecting and interacting with the environment all the time, and so what you are asking for on the outside, getting help from others, is also implied on the inside; or you would not be asking that question.
Interaction helps me to move forward
I have a tendency to ask for help from others. I find I am asking even simple things. And friends can give another perspective; something that I hadn’t thought of. Or they might give a piece of information that I didn’t know. It’s the interaction that helps me to move forward, that I might not have done on my own. And then I also need my own sense of what it is. Then it’s up to me, what I make of what they say; how much to take it on board, or follow through on their suggestion. I need to consider what they say, and then come to my own decision, and this is where Focusing can be so helpful.