I’m excitedly preparing to co-facilitate a workshop which will introduce social change activists to Focusing and experiential listening. It’s emerged from an event about psychotherapy and activism that I posted on last October.
The workshop is part of my Focusing Oriented Therapist training, but it’s much more than that; it feels like I’m coming round the spiral of life again, returning to old concerns with fresh resources. I’ve seen activist friends burnout and it’s a tragic loss. When I speak of tragedy in this context, the ideas of tragic drama come to mind: a tragic hero falls because of some fundamental aspect of their character or conflict with some overpowering force. Activists burnout because they care too much. They push on beyond what is humanly sustainable, driven by a drive to do something that can ultimately destroy them.
But what if we can sense into that impossibly demanding drive and be with it rather than becoming consumed by it? Focusing allows us to sense into the whole context of our lives and to understand parts of ourselves from a much wider perspective.