Organization: Focusing as a Life Skill
Patricia Foster. I am a Certified European Person Centred Therapist, a Certified Focusing Oriented Therapist, and Trainer, and a Certifying Coordinator of The International Focusing Institute. My original background was in Finance and Shipping, but I am happily ensconced in teaching and training Focusing, Certified Focusing Professionals and Focusing-Oriented Therapists, between Greece and the U.K. My passions, apart from my two amazing daughters and gardening, is the continuous journeying into Thinking at the Edge, Philosophy of the Implicit, Somatic Trauma Therapy, and Polyvagal Theory, all of which I incorporate into all levels of my training programs. Especially as they are all so relevant to today’s ever-changing times. I am privileged to feel as if I belong simultaneously to two places, I call home, that is, Liverpool and Aegina. I believe that a good sense of humor is imperative to our therapeutic modes and wholeheartedly believe in “The Politics of Giving away Therapy” as stated by Gendlin.
Title: Polyphony , Cacophony and Euphony in a changing world…
I wish to present a Focusing workshop, where we will briefly explore experientially some of Eugene Gendlin’s Focusing steps, in order to find “that Small Still Voice” (Gendlin 1970) that we all hold within… “The Small Still Voice” which ultimately carries us forward in the right direction to change.
Let us begin by examining what we mean when we say” Welcoming polyphony in a changing world”. The dictionary meaning of Polyphony is the style of simultaneously combining a number of parts, each forming an individual melody and harmonizing with each other. However, Polyphony may also be interpreted as “many voices” (“πολλές φωνές”). Something we all experience daily, the many voices within our societies, our cultures, our organizations, our families, others, as well as our inner voices…
Polyphony, which experientially includes listening and saying interactively both internally and externally, more often than not, leads not to a harmonious melody, but to a Cacophony (Κακοφωνη), literally translated as bad voices, the dictionary meaning of Cacophony is a “harsh or jarring sound, dissonance sense, an incongruous or chaotic mixture”.
For me the inevitable question is; How do we find Ευφωνη, meaning “sweet-voiced” which comes from ευ+φωνή, which was formed by combining the prefix eu- (pronounced ef) (“good”) and phōnē (“voice”). The dictionary meaning of “Euphony“ is the effect of sounds being perceived as pleasant, rhythmical, lyrical, or harmonious.” As therapists we are all aware of the importance of this “sweet voice”, which contains within it the qualities of empathy, congruence and unconditional positive regard, all are necessary to tap into “the edge of awareness” enabling each of us to discover “our small still voice” that will guide each of us to find our True North, the safe starting point of our internal compass that will guide and carry us forward in the right direction…