This is a recording of session 1 of a 4-session course: Introduction to Focusing as action-oriented contemplation. In keeping with the topic, the course is using an experiential approach, as opposed to a linear approach. That is, a picture will form little by little as you get to understand what a Focusing attitude is.
This first session provides a general introduction as well as an exploration of what it is to listen with empathy. The session consists of 3 parts:
– a talk (33′)
– a practice (2 exercises, 10′ each)
– Q & A (31′)
The recording starts a few minutes after the beginning of the session. Participants were invited to imagine introducing themselves to the group (name, and where they are from). Then, they were invited to virtually say what it is that drew them to this course. Virtually, that is they all did it at the same time, while muted. The video starts with people describing what that experience was like for them, i.e. finding ways to describe an inner experience.
In the video below, not much happens visually – you just see the same slide. Except, at 26′ 20″, there is a 30-second video about Listening. Note: you can also see the “Listening” video on the “Listening” page.
If you’d like to come back to some specific topics in the above video, here are some markers:
– Action-oriented contemplation: 8′ 40″
– Questions: 11′ 45″
– Experiential learning: 19′ 20″
– Thoughts about Focusing: 21′ 40″
– Listening: 25′
– Video: 26′ 20″
– How to do the practice: 27′
– Demo: 29′ 15″
As you saw at the end of the video above, participants in the live class were invited to practice empathetic listening in pairs. If you are taking this online class with a partner or a friend, please follow the same instructions. That is, for each exercise, take turns: one of you listens to the other and summarizes for 5 minutes; change roles for the next 5 minutes.
If you are doing this on your own, I suggest you do the following:
Take 5 minutes for each exercise.
Instead of speaking, write down what you would say.
Every so often, pause the writing, read aloud what you have written.
As you hear yourself speak, see whether it feels right, or needs changing.
Edit or add text accordingly.
Practice # 1:
What you’re going to talk about is moments when you felt listened to and moments when you didn’t. You will be describing the circumstances, and describing what it felt like inside.
Practice # 2:
Now, you will be talking about yourself as a listener. Moments when you were good at listening to other people, and moments where you were not good at it. Meaning either that other people felt dissatisfied, or you felt that you were kind-of faking it, you were not quite present with them.
There is a reason why we are doing this.By paying attention to these differences, we can get more of a sense of what to do to make it work better.
Q & A (31′):
This video does not have any other visual that the title slide. What is of interest is the audio.
If you’d like to come back to a specific question in the above Q & A video, here are some markers:
– Using the same words vs summarizing: 0′
– Comments on the experience: 1′ 45″
– Using the same language: 10′ 20″
– Hearing what is not said: 12′ 15″
– Person 1 / person 2: 14′ 45″
– End of session: What we have learned: 20′
(includes: Uncertainty, Getting it right, Summarizing, Self-criticism)
The next 3 sessions will take place on February 6, February 27 and March 20. More information.
How did this course work for you?
I will not be able to reply personally, but your comments and suggestions will be very helpful in preparing the other sessions for this course. Please use the feedback form.
If you are a therapist:
You may be interested in the Integrative Focusing Therapy training program.
If you liked this:
Please remember that I am offering this course as a fund-raiser for The International Focusing Institute (TIFI). The course is free. I hope that you will make a donation to TIFI. How much you give is up to you. You don’t have to, but please keep in mind that this means a lot to me (see Why donate).