Reflections after Dynamic Facilitation workshop

by Alison Thorpe, a participant at the workshop

This was written to her colleagues practicing ‘Focusing’ (a counselling/personal development approach) but she has given permission for it to be shared more widely.

Dear Focusers

I attended one of Rosa’s Dynamic Facilitation workshops, here in London UK, last Saturday. There was a small group of 7 of us, including Rosa and Andy Paice (in London) who co-facilitated and arranged the event. I only booked it a few days before the day, purely because I saw it on this list. I am so very glad I went, and that the invitation just came to me. (I didn’t know anything about it until last week).

Focusing, at the moment, can feel very very internal, for me and drawing me ever inwards, and to unresolved past experience, so it was really lovely to be a part of what at times felt like focusing by a group, the external process complementing the internal. Searching for an image maybe….. yes, from the day (Rosa and Andy were trying out ‘Pecha Kucha’ which is giving a presentation with 20 images/slides, 20 seconds each).Conflict was ‘re-viewed’ from two people (or more!) fighting to get their view heard, to those same people with a space in between them, where what they are wanting to say, to contribute, can be held within the space between them (by the facilitator), and what is more, that the inherent creativity – implicit? – within what appears to be conflict, can be released and become something much more life-forward. Yes, I hope you can see the process, the internal and the external. Conflicts within us if we allow them to show us what they need to say, or what they are wanting or not wanting, transform. Dynamic facilitation – and Rosa’s bringing of it to us, as a focuser – felt like the radical acceptance of everything, set in motion in a group.

And for me, it was lovely to share an image that came for me, and having this very much received, whereas I think in a more conventional group, I might have had an inner struggle with sharing it or not, ie maybe feeling a bit weird. I felt very much myself in the group, which was….affirming, validating, uplifting… Yes, now I am thinking that even in a person centred group (I’m training to be a counsellor) there is not this level of okay-ness for me, how I feel expressing myself in a group. Yes, we were a particular group, and with 3 focusers out of 6 (yay!), and engaged in similar work, but I still think there was something special about the level of acceptance between us.

I also find myself thinking more and more about how we are affected by each other way more than we realise, and although I’ve only started on understanding the process model (which is fair enough 😉 being part of the day seemed to encourage connections, which maybe couldn’t be conceptually understood, but just happened. I had a moment of realising how much I want to be involved in mutual support between people – providing that for/with people, but also needing it very much myself, more fully aware of my need there. Actually as I write this, I realise too that although a process can seem very internal, it is never just internal, it involves interpersonal relating too. They are part and parcel of the same thing process.

Very many thanks to you Rosa for such a depth of presence and for your generosity in providing a whole day’s workshop for just 5 of us. But I know that you also want very much to share what really helps people, and can heal our world.