Interest group in the International Focusing Conference in The Netherlands, May 2006
The Childrens focusing group

After an introduction from Marta Stapert we did an exercise in which we introduced ourselves. To feel inside how you want to be named, how it sounds, if there is a gesture with it and how it wants to be drawn on paper?
Then we make a list of what every member wants to learn and share in this group. We can make 2 main subjects of this list. 1. How to introduce Focusing with children? 2. What can Focusing do after trauma? We chose to prepare these subjects in subgroups. Not only talk about these subjects but also by experiencing focusing exercises.

Introducing Focusing with children.
When you work with children it is important to make contact with your own inner child, so you can live to be the child. What did you need as a child? Feel the difference to be for the child and to be with the child. Our conclusion was: it is a big difference in attitude and for children it is important the adult can be both: to be with the child and be for the child. Parents and professionals should be as a container for the child.

Focusing and trauma:
Nancy Falls tells about her expereincies with severely traumatized children. The stating point for working children who have experienced trauma is: the child is the expert and has everything to heal itself; a focusing attitude towards the child; awareness of your own emotions (the I-It relationship); to follow  the right distance of the child; donít be naÔf and donít be afraid. Give the child always permission to not participate. For instance to hold hands, close the eyes or be with the attention in the body can be frightening for the child.

Goldie Milgram has shared her experience short after the attacks of 9-11-2001. She saw at the time while working with children de second plain fly into the Twin Towers.
Impressive to hear what people are capable of even after such a disaster and also what focusing can do to help in traumatic situations. Goldie gave volunteers who where willing to listen a short training in Focusing, for instance.

For the future:
We can find each other on the discussion list of childrenís corner and this is open for anyone who wants to join:
Goldie Milgram emphasized the importance of  shadowing while working with children, a way we can learn from each other.
And we can meet at The 5th International Conference on Focusing with Children, 2006. The conference will take place in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, between the 20th-24th of October 2006

Juni í06 HarriŽt Teeuw