Glasswing International’s mission is to transform communities with healthcare and education. They hired Focusing El Salvador to give them tools that they could use to work with victims of violence in their program that treats victims of violence and helps connect them with services they need: Sanando Heridas (Healing Wounds). Focusing Trainer Heazel Martinez gave the 15-person staff of Sanando Heridas monthly 12-hour workshops in Empathic Communication, Focusing and Listening from August through October. By the time I got to El Salvador in November, I was amazed at how fluent the staff was in the ideas and attitudes behind Focusing, and how ready they were for partnership practice. We had scheduled two practice sessions every morning in groups of four, so each person would have 6 practice sessions in 12 days.
We started out using written guides to remind the Focuser and Listener of their process, but soon the staff became able to just pause and sense inside what needed their attention.
The listeners became more relaxed and confident, sensing what needed to be reflected back. Naturally, sessions happened where they learned the importance of giving attention to “the feeling about the feeling”. Many staff members experienced change in their self-confidence and self-esteem, in their ability to listen to family members, and in their ability to transform difficult situations into opportunities for learning and action.
It was important to Glasswing that we give pre- and post-questionnaires after each of our 12-hour trainings. The questionnaires showed that the majority of participants understand the skills we were trying to impart, and that they find Focusing and Listening useful and effective in their personal lives and at work.