Guide to Focusing partnerships

What is Focusing partnership?
Focusing partnership is a peer relationship where you can exchange Focusing turns. When you learn Focusing you will be encouraged to form a Focusing partnership

What are the benefits of Focusing partnerships?

  • Developing your Focusing abilities
  • Practicing your listening skills
  • Having regular support for your Focusing process
  • They are free
  • What are partnership sessions like?

What do people Focus about?
Most people Focus on whatever is uppermost in their awareness that day. It might be a ‘funny feeling that doesn’t make sense’ or a very specific situation that feels stuck or difficult. Some people have a Focusing “project” and return to it week after week.

How often do people meet?
You and your partner decide how often is right for you. Most partnerships meet once a week, though anywhere from several times a week to once every couple of weeks is common.

How long does a session last?
You and your partner decide how long you want your turns to be. Most turns are about half an hour long for each of you, though anywhere from twenty to sixty minutes is common.

How should we divide our time?
We strongly recommend that you divide your time equally. In very rare circumstances you might decide that one person gets the whole time but that is the exception rather than the rule.

What makes a good Focusing partner?

  • Keeping quiet and paying attention to the other person – even when they aren’t saying anything.
  • Following what the Focuser wants.
  • Not offering your own thoughts, opinions or advice unless asked.
  • Being a human being – just as you are.

How do I keep my Focusing partnership safe?
You take responsibility for your own process. When it is your turn for Focusing, you get to say what kind of responses you would like from your partner, including just keeping you company in silence.

When you are the Listener, you reflect back what the Focuser has said without adding your own thoughts or opinions unless you are asked for them

You agree not to discuss or even mention the content of the other person’s session unless they request it – ever.

Who can become a Focusing partner?
You need to have at least a basic level of Focusing and listening skills. This usually means at least one workshop that teaches you how to be a Focusing partner. Lots of people have learned Focusing informally. You can become a Focusing partner if someone agrees to be your Focusing partner.

Can I have more than one Focusing partner?
Lots of people have several partners.

Do I have to be in the same area to be someone’s partner?
Many people exchange Focusing sessions on the phone or by Skype.

What if it’s not working out and I want to end it?
Not everyone can work well together. It’s probably not anyone’s fault; you may be incompatible in style or you may have grown out of the arrangement. It is really helpful to end a partnership cleanly and amicably if possible. Sometimes this may mean bringing in a third person to help you hear each other if things have gotten difficult. Sometimes it just may mean having a special session to honour and thank each other for what you did have. Not recommended: just letting it drift away to nothing. This tends to make it more difficult if you want to start it again later.