Posts tagged: physical symptoms


By , January 11, 2009 2:50 pm
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Instant “Ahah!” # 4, Five-Minute Grieving,  specifically addresses what to do if a patient, friend, or co-worker begins to cry, the excerpt below shows how using Intuitive Focusing to “sit with” the “intuitive feel” of a physical symptom. Intuitive Focusing can allow that symptom to open into an “Ahah!” of deeper meanings, with a sheen of tears in the eye often the body’s signpost of a place to stop and go deeper into “the feel of the whole thing.”
The excerpt is a tiny portion of a Focusing Partnership session. The Focuser is experienced in using Intuitive Focusing. The Listener is experienced in Focused Listening, Dr. McGuire’s  version of Carl Rogers ‘ Empathic or Active Listening.

Early on, as the Focuser talks about waking with the beginnings of a migraine headache and related issues, the Listener notices a faint “shimmer of tears.” She suggests that the Focuser stop and “sense into” the place of tears. By the end of the session, the Focuser has moved through deep sobbing about the heavy burden of depression she has carried “for soooo long” and experiences the liveliness of a “felt shift,” “being lighter, wanting to dance!” She states that the migraine has abated.
The Focusing Partnership session begins with Focuser and Listener in chairs facing each other. The Focuser, because of her comfort with the Intuitive Focusing process from past practice, chose to keep her eyes closed throughout the session, attending to her inner experiencing. The Listener, Dr. McGuire, begins:
Listener: “So, just feel comfortable closing your eyes and going inside, coming in tune with whatever is there—Let me know if you need some help or when you’re ready to begin speaking—
Focuser: (10 second pause)—“—This morning when I awakened, I  had a headache on the left side of my head, and I thought, ‘Oh, it’s  migraine coming on’— so I’m just sensing into what that was  about, um, like, my body was really full of toxins, like I just wanted to kind of shake the toxins out.”
Listener: “So, even on waking, you noticed there was the beginning of a headache on the left side of your head, and you spent some time with it, just sensing into it, and the feeling was of toxins in your body, and you just wanted to shake them out, shake them out.”
Focuser: (30 second pause) ——- “And I notice that my throat is stopped up this morning, and that’s something I’ve been working on, we’ve been working on together—something deep emotional there in my throat, getting kind of choked up.”  
[The Focuser is doing the first step of Intuitive Focusing, “clearing a space,” noticing and naming the various issues she is carrying so she can choose one to work on]
Listener: “Yea, so you’re aware of that now, too, your throat getting choked up, and that’s something we’ve worked on before, and it’s connected to deep emotional things—and it seemed like I even saw a shimmer of tears as you described that—maybe just be with that, sit with that ‘choked up.'”
[The Listener notices the beginnings of tears and gives an Intuitive Focusing Instruction, suggesting that the Focuser stop talking and pay attention to the “felt sense.”] 
Focuser: (tears visible under closed eyelids, face reddening, voice thickening) “What bothers me about it is I keep trying to clear my throat, and it doesn’t clear. I keep trying to clear it, and it prevents me from speaking the way I want to speak, and it’s annoying to people, I think.”
Listener: “Uhhuh.”
Focuser: “It somehow prevents me from projecting my voice—” 
Listener: “Umhm.”
Focuser: “I keep trying to get it out, and it just stays there, it’s uh—”
Listener: “Umhm—so what bothers you is you keep trying to clear it out, and it won’t go, and you also think it makes it difficult for other people. You want to project your voice and get it out, and that’s hard for the other people, too, you can’t really speak.”
Focuser: “That really prevents communication.”
You can read the entire excerpt, with commentary, and see the “felt shift” for yourself in Medical Change Events Through Experiential Focusing. You can view the entire 12-minute session in the DVD Listening/Focusing Demonstrations, also part of The Self-Help Package.
 Download “Being Touched and Being Moved: The Spiritual Value of Tears for many examples of how tears and Focusing interrelate and “Finding The Meaning In Tears” for exercises for using Focusing to find the meaning in your tears. Both articles are packed with real-life examples of how tears “touch us” and “move us” in positive ways.


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Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

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