The somatic discipline in which I'm trained is a very gentle and accepting discipline known as Focusing .
'Focusing' is a field of practice, initially developed by Gene Gendlin, a colleague of Carl Rogers. Gendlin noticed, in researching the 'active ingredients' of person-centred therapy (and especially noting what clients were able to do for themselves) identified that a client's ability to tune into their own bodily sense of knowing was a strong postive predictor for the effectiveness of therapy. His elegant and simple proposition then was - why not just teach that? Why not just focus on deepening a client's relationship with their body's own wisdom?
Since then, Focusing has developed into a well-established field of research and practice, and is applied to a whole range of applications - therapy, coaching, trauma work, mediation, creative thinking...
Focusing has close parallels to mindfulness - and is accepted as a valid form of spiritual practice by various Buddhist Orders in the UK. A key differentiator to most mindfulness practices is that Focusing is normally carried out with a Listener - someone who is present, and reciprocal to your process. This sense of being heard and fully accepted by another, as you tune into what is present in the moment is what makes Focusing, I believe, truly unique and powerful.
The values of Focusing are non-judgment, patience, an accepting and curious presence, allowing space for all that is to be fully there. The paradox of change is that when there is full acceptance, parts of ourselves which have been stuck or blocked have the freedom to move into whatever next level of incarnation they need to become.
Surprisingly perhaps, Focusing is effective in a virtual setting. We don't have to be face to face to be present to each other, or for the Focusing to be effective. Most of my Focusing work is carried out by phone or Skype, which allows my clients the freedom to be present to themselves without the inhibition of feeling that they are being observed.