Psychological Self-Help

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it may take a few minutes a day for several weeks to make progress
an a difficult problem. 
The nature of the problem changes with each shift or feeling of
"that fits," i.e. putting the puzzle together keeps changing the picture
you have of the problem as other facets come into focus. This isn't
troubling because you learn that seeing a new part of the problem is
the next step to solving the problem...and putting in little pieces of the
puzzle feels good. 
A case illustration will help
Gendlin (1987) describes the focusing process done by Peggy, a
mother of a 5-year-old son and a part-time teacher. Her husband,
John, worked at a bank and on this day had come home thrilled about
being promoted. He was so excited; he broke one of her best pieces of
china. She was very mad and ran upstairs crying. 
Trying to calm down, she tried to see the problem as trivial but
that didn't work. She tried to figure it out: she was very tired! That
didn't help either, she was still upset. She decided to relax and try
focusing. Step (b): She started by getting a "felt sense" of her big
scene over the broken china. Step (c): After a minute or so, she asked
the "felt sense" to name itself--to find a word or phrase to describe the
total experience. That didn't seem hard: "mad at John." Step (d): She
compared the "felt sense" (event) with the handle (mad) and there
was a little "felt shift." Step (e): She asked the "felt sense," "What is
making me so mad?" The answer she got was: "The broken china isn't
it so much as John's jubilance--he's so damn cocky." Step (f): Wow, a
big "felt shift" came with that, so she knew the "felt sense" had that
Step (g): She wanted to pursue this feeling more, so she went
back to step (b) and got a whole sense--a "felt sense"--of John's
joyous, prideful reaction. Step (c): It took some time but the "handle"
that came to her was "jealousy!" Step (d): She compared the "felt
sense" (John's jubilation) with the "handle" (jealousy) and got very
little "felt shift." She thought she could find a better "handle" but all
that came to her was "sort-of-jealous." There was a little more "felt
shift." Step (e): She asked the "felt sense:" "What about John's
happiness and cockiness leads to the sort-of-jealous handle?" Step (f):
She waited...the answer came, "It isn't jealousy as much as it is
feeling left behind." "Aha! That's it," she thought and there was a
clear, strong change in her body. 
Step (g): Peggy decided to spend some more time on the "being
left behind" problem so she want back to step (b) and focused on the
"felt sense" of that situation. Again she worked through steps (c), (d),
(e) and (f) for 10 more minutes. Of course, she didn't solve all her
problems of being a full-time mother and a frustrated professional, but
she certainly felt better. Her problem looked different to her now. It
had little to do with broken china. It had more to do with John helping
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