Heazel Martínez on the Wednesday Night Changes Group
Our online Changes Group was an initiative of my fellow Focusing Trainers, Juan Carlos Hernández and Eduardo Esquivel, my brother Ricardo Martínez and myself. We wanted to offer support during the pandemic. It’s an open space where it is not essential for people to know about Focusing. We trusted that the process would take place very naturally.
Structure of our online Changes Group:
The structure is simple:
- At the beginning of each session we clear a space with everyone in the common room.
- Then each of us accompanies a small group in the breakout rooms.
- We model listening with understanding and empathy, without making comments, suggestions or recommendations.
Trusting the wisdom of each person builds community
At first, something in me felt a little apprehensive about doing this online group with newcomers: What if people start to give solutions or make judgments about the other’s situations? Despite this, something deep inside was telling me “everything will be fine.”
Now I can say that trusting the wisdom of each person has enabled us build a small community. We connect every Wednesday to listen to each other. It is a delight to see how each one gets into a very receptive attitude, closing their eyes, exploring, connecting and describing what is inside.
As facilitators, we support them by reflecting what they are saying, giving subtle invitations and carefully following the process of each one. We model how to respect the rhythm that is unique to each person.
Changes Groups teach Focusing without formal classes
People have been learning the movements of Focusing without our presenting them as a formal class, and some participants have become very good listeners. I was lucky enough to attend the Focusing Institute’s 2020 Focusing Oriented Therapy Conference online in October, and learned from many excellent teachers. Ann Weiser Cornell shared her self-guiding form in Spanish. I have had great success with this form in our Changes Group. It enables two people new to Focusing to practice together and build their confidence. I have been using it in my individual sessions and in my women’s group too. A couple of them want to become trainers themselves!
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