"Four months later I still feel stuck with my felt senses and not much wiser."
A Reader writes:
"I have bought your Power of Focusing book and despite it being packed with great tips I am afraid that four months later I still feel stuck with my felt senses and not much wiser (unable to get from felt senses to answers or memories and dealing with huge resistance to the process itself).
"Is it normal to be stuck for months without any real insights? Really curious on how long does it take for an average focuser to go from learning the steps to getting the answers as it is very disheartening to read the inspiring examples in the books and not being close to that after months of trying."
It sounds like you're being beautifully persistent and committed to your own growth and change. I agree, that should pay off!
And I think the trouble is not Focusing itself. I think the trouble is how hard it can be to learn Focusing from a book.
Maybe I shouldn't say this as an author, but I don't think that books are a very good way to learn how to do a subtle and revolutionary skill like Focusing. There are so many chances for misunderstanding between the words on the page and the actual process.
I still shake my head when I remember a man who came to me for a Focusing session after he had taught himself Focusing from Gendlin's book. At a certain point he had a body sense and I was going to invite him to describe it and stay with it. Before I could do that, he said, "Now I'm going to get it unclear." What? The book had said that a felt sense is "unclear," so he was trying to get that to happen! Do you see the problem? Felt senses are unclear, usually... but that doesn't mean that the way to get a felt sense is to take any body sense and then try to make it unclear. That's the kind of misunderstanding that can happen when we learn from books.
There are so many different things that could be going on…
I'd love to listen to what you are actually doing, when you do Focusing. If you are starting with an issue, how you phrase your issue. If you get a body response, whether you stay with it and describe it, or whether you go into customary thoughts about it. I'd want to find out if you're checking your descriptions with the actual present feeling, and not the memory of something you felt in the past. I'd want to know if you can sense what's not in words yet, including the emotion or the point of view of that "something" inside.
These are some of the things I discover when I do a one-to-one session with someone. Just one session can uncover misunderstandings and get the person back on track with a sense of greater confidence.
That's one reason we offer facilitated sessions -- because each person is unique and there are so many variations that couldn't be listed in a book... not to mention how we each understand the language a little differently.
How about trying a one-to-one session? If money is an issue, we have free sessions available with advanced students. I predict that your Focusing will get a tune-up and you'll discover what needed to happen to allow Focusing to bring you the gifts that you read about.