Photo Credit: Diana Scalera
When I attended the Scambi 2019 in Albano Terme, Italy this past summer, I presented my workshop Focusing Around the Dinner Table using mostly Wholebody Focusing as the vehicle to access this theme in our bodies. Since then, some focusers have been asking for help to learn Wholebody Focusing. I have begun working with some of the Italian focusers and have come up with a way for them to get started on their path to incorporating Wholebody Focusing into their Focusing practice. Below is a description of the steps of a session with Cristina Griggio via Skype. It can be a starting point for focusers who would like to add some Wholebody sensibility to their practice.
- Both partners need to be willing let go of the need to have an agenda for their session and actively hold space to what your body prioritizes. Each partner can take a turn being the person who is focusing, and the other person is mostly silently holding energetic space for their partner while noticeing how what happens to your partner impacts your body.
- Establish your energetic connection with your partner. If you are in person, make sure you have a sense of each other’s energy. If you are working via the internet, find your way to connect in this situation.
- The Focuser asks her body a simple question “Where does my body need attention now?” Let your body choose what it needs. Let go of any narrative and your thoughts about what is necessary in this moment. Your body might have a different point of view.
- Wait and hold space for whatever comes.
- Acknowledge the body’s sense of what is there without adding a narrative. Stay with the bodily sensation.
- Let what is there know that it can be just the way it is and has all the time it needs to be present to itself.
- Give your body permission to move, especially your hands, which may be able to support parts that are struggling.
- Stay with whatever comes. Ask for help from other parts of your body, from the earth below you, the sky above, the air you breathe, or the chair in which you sit.
- Let your body indicate when it has found a resting place (or ask your body to find a resting place).
- When the Focuser has come to a resting place, the partner can share how that experience with her partner impacted her body. The Focuser can also share more if they choose with their partner about their experience.
- After the session, both Focuser and Listener should pay attention to whatever comes that relates to what happened in the session. According to Addie van der Kooy, each opportunity we take to spend time with our bodies in grounded presence causes changes (from minor to monumental). Our lived experiences after our sessions let us know what has changed.
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3 thoughts on “How to Start Wholebody Focusing with a Partner”
Thank you Diana. This is beautiful and very clear and I am sure the focusers have been able to bring Wholebody Focusing into their Focusing practices. The challenge to me seems to come in the role of the listener. When you say “the partner can share how that experience with her partner impacted her body.” will the Focuser have shared verbally what is happening for her or will the partner simply have observed the Focuser?
Thank you for this great question. I invite you Kit to answer that question for our readers. Or anyone else who can elaborate how being a listener in Heartfelt Conversation may be a bit different from traditional focusing.