Creating An Inner Relationship with Self

This paper[1] pointed out that “Clearing a Space” should not be done as a Finding Distant technique but as an Inner Relationship technique. A relationship includes “distance” and “connection”. It is the second part that is usually overlooked by focusing facilitators.

The four disadvantages of Finding Distance Techniques are:

  1. Victimizing the clients and confirming that they are too overwhelmed and too helpless.

  2. Clients may have difficulties or take too long to do so

  3. The felt sense is being abandoned or pushed away

  4. Clients may lose touch with the felt sense

The Inner Relationship Techniques

  1. Acknowledging the presence of any senses

  2. Clearing a space by acknowledging: forming a relationship with the senses

  3. Resonating: in direct contact with the felt sense from a neutral observer perspective

  4. Disidentification: “a part of me feels sad” rather than “I am sad”

  5. Sensing from its point of view: this brings in the possibility of empathy and compassion and heightens the awareness of awareness itself

The Subtle Balance between Close Process and Distant Process

When a client in Distant Process says “Hello” to a vague, elusive felt sense, it tends to become more distinct, more definitely there. When a client in Close Process says “Hello” to an overwhelming, intense felt sense, it tends to relax slightly, while remaining in awareness.

The basic assumptions behind the Inner Relationship Techniques

  1. A deep trust in the body’s process

  2. Convey to the clients that “you are capable of giving nurturing attention to yourself, just as you are”

  3. Help the clients by seeing and connecting with the parts of them that need no help

  4. Help the clients by accessing the part of themselves that is able to be a nurturing inner relationship and by making a space which calls forth the already healed self, the one who is always there, all along

This paper reminds me the essential therapeutic responses to my clients are not those on what they said but how they said, how they treated their experience, what attitudes they held on their experience. Another crucial element in therapy is the ability of the therapist to elicit clients’ strengths and potentials as self-healing parts of them.

[1] Cornell, A.W. (2005), Relationship = Distance + Connection: A Comparison of Inner Relationship Techniques to Finding Distance Techniques in Focusing, A paper presented to the First Conference on Focusing Therapy in Lindau-Bodensee, Germany.

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