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Gendlin, E.T. (1977). Experiential focusing and the problem of getting movement in psychotherapy. In D. Nevill (Ed.), Humanistic psychology: New frontiers, pp. 117-132. New York: Gardner Press. From http://www.focusing.org/gendlin/docs/gol_2065.html

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Experiential Focusing and the Problem of Getting Movement in Psychotherapy

E.T. Gendlin

I want to make my main topic the troubles we have when we work with people who do not all explore themselves and their experience. Do you know what I mean? Therefore, I only briefly summarize some more general work already written, for those who do not know it. I want to tell you that early on I did some research and found that for most any orientation of therapy those patients (or clients or people or whatever you call them) who come out changed and satisfied are the ones who during therapy work inside themselves with something that is more than they understand—something they can feel, but do not yet understand. This makes people use odd verbalization. People talk about [Page 118] "heavy feelings" or "being all tied up this way" or "having that funny feeling that other way." They talk about stuff they can feel that does not make sense yet. That is different from emotions; everyone knows what they are. It is different from saying, "I'm mad at so and so for doing this and so."

What I feel but do not yet understand I call a felt sense or a felt edge. It does not yet make sense. By the time it does next week, I will be to a new felt edge.

The statistics of my research showed that those who often during interviews worked with a felt sense had the successful outcomes. This is what I had predicted. It shows that effective therapy is a process of focusing on predefined felt edges. But, we also found that whether the people in these tape-recorded therapies were successful or not could be predicted from the second interview! This upset us very much. We researchers-therapists thought that we got people to do this wonderful thing and now it turned out that that was not so. Those people who knew how to do this when they first came in became success cases. Those who did not know how to do it eventually became failure cases no matter how many years they went to therapy. The finding showed that we therapists did not over time enable them to do it. This was contrary to my prediction and subjective conviction. It was one of those times when one is most glad to have done research. Much research is done to prove something to colleagues. Once in a while it teaches one something and corrects subjective convictions that were really biases. We had to retool and ask the question: "How can we get people to pay attention their unclear felt experiencing, if they're not already doing it? Is there a kind of teaching, pushing, arguing, pleading, which will get people to turn their attention in this way to the felt edge?"

Now, it is common in our field to talk about getting in touch with feelings, but what I am talking about is different. First of all, it is different because mostly to get in touch with feelings puts one in touch with the feelings that one already knows. Let me stop for a second now and ask you, "If you got in touch with your feelings this minute, what would they be?" I think the ones you just found are already familiar to you. You may be just as well off not getting in touch with those again, because you have done that

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often enough. Instead of that, what is important is to get a sense of where you are stuck, a sense of the frontier. The felt edge is a sense of the whole problem. Getting a felt edge is a different approach than the usual one of going to a familiar bad place and then being stuck there. It is a standing back from that and getting a more holistic sense of what the unresolved whole feels like. That is something which at first feels unclear.

One of the functions of a therapist, in my opinion, is to help the person to stand being at that unclear spot there. Anyone can tell their problem as far as they know it. Then they get to the edge and stop because they canot say anything further. It is not clear there. People think they must be clear. So they run away from the edge. They say something else, they change the subject, they go around in circles, repeating what they do have clear. The therapist must say, "O.K., now we've heard that, now let's stop and stay here, at the edge." There is a slowing down and staying, which is necessary.

You will notice that all the things I have to say are cross-orientational. Helping the person stay there is necessary and possible in Freudian or Rogerian, in Jungian or in any other method. It may be a client or you, working on your own troubles. Slow down and stay with that murky, fuzzy edge of your problem just beyond the point where it is clear.

The second thing is in a friendly way to welcome whatever feeling comes, to receive how it makes a feeling kind of sense. To say, "Oh,yeah, right, yeah, that's the way that feels." If it is someone else you are working with, do that for them. You can say, "Oh yeah, I get that, yeah, oh sure, yeah, right, sure, scared." Partly that helps one to stay with it, but it is also an inward processing. "Yeah, right, scared." There is an inward corroboration, over and over, almost like you might do with a child. I urge you to do that also in yourself, with yourself, when you are working on something. This inward processing is usually missed, because our tendency is to zip right past, "O.K., I see what the trouble is, I am scared. Now, why am I scared?" To go so fast skips the body change, the body processing, which we want. The "scared" just came, "Oh, O.K., that's what it is, yeah, right. Can I still feel that again, oh yeah, that's right, scared. Do I really feel

[Page 120] that? Oh yeah, right, there it is." If you do that for about a minute a body process happens. Then you can go on to the next step and say. "O.K., now, let's see, what's so scary here?"

And by that means, hopefully, the third thing that happens is that it changes, it releases, or it opens. There is a kind of relief, a shift, and you go, " Ahhhh, yeah, right that's what it is, that's the scary thing." It is not the information you get that I am emphasizing, but the body shift. In my opinion the information is not all that important. If someone had given it to you on a slip of paper you would have said "that's wrong" or "that's right." Either way it would not have made a change. It is the body shift that makes a change, and also it feels good.

One characteristic mark of this focusing process is that it feels good as a process. You may hate the content, but the steps feel good. The minute it does not feel good you are not doing it right; stop, back up an inch, and try to sense why it does not feel good. The gentle allowing of what is there and the release of a felt step always feel good.

Now, let me first mention a little bit about the way I use this focusing in ordinary therapy. During therapy I use it by urging the person talking to me to slow down. I often say things like, "Oh, yeah, right," and "Let's stay with that for a minute." I have many phrases that I use, just to make time so we can slow down. "Oh, yeah, right, yeah, sure, oh boy, let's stay here for a minute, let it be, this will change a little later, let's see what it is now for a while. Sometimes it can take a week to change." I say, "Let's stay here a while, this may take a while, let's just stay with this, let's camp here, pitch a tent, get a mattress, build a fire, and just stay here, it may take a while for this to move. We can camp comfortably, not in it but next to it, or a little ways off, we don't want to run away so we just stay here." You see what I'm doing? I haven't said anything. It is always a question of staying here, and after I've done that for a little bit I may say, "O.K., let's ask this feeling what it is more. What is really so scary? Or, what is really so hopeless? Or, what is this really that's making you so angry? Or whatever is here."

Now, I come to the main topic, which is about when it's difficult, when I have a patient, or a friend, a person who isn't introspecting and isn't going to sense feelings or look for them. The [Page 121] first thing I do is a very old-fashioned thing that I have newly specified and sharpened. I call it "listening." It used to be called client-centered therapy, but by the time I came to client-centered therapy it was already stylish to do it quite roundly and not to repeat everything all the time. When I first came to client-centered therapy I also thought that repeating things was silly. But in the last 3 or 4 years I have relearned it. Indeed, you should repeat everything. It's the only way to discover that you don't get it. If you really repeat it—] I don't mean word for word, but the crux of what somebody means—if you say back to them, "So you're telling me that you're really hurt because she let you down," then a person can say, "Well, not exactly, I'm really upset because she let me down," and you say, "Oh, I see, upset." Then the person says, "Yeah, because so and so and another thing is." Then you say back the other thing, too, exactly. And then the person typically exhales and says, "Yeah." Only at that point has the person been heard. There is a quiet that comes now, because what the person had to say got heard. Usually you don't hit it just right the first time. It takes a kind of a rhythm back and forth: they say, you say back, they correct, you get that, they say one more thing, you get that too, then they go, "Yeah," there is a breath and a silence. In this silence the next thing will come to the person inside. Thus one must not talk back and forth forever, but let that little silence be, once the person feels heard. It has to be very exact, let the person very exactly correct you, then stay quiet once they are heard. It is a new thing, it's called listening. Give Rogers (1961) the credit, of course, but it is a newly specific, newly old-fashioned thing. Most of the client-centered therapy I have seen in my many years with it wasn't like that. By that means you can help people come down into their experience who otherwise are not looking into themselves. If you really take what they do say, then they get this little quiet, until the next thing comes.

Now, another thing to know about is that sometimes a person's life has to get better before they are willing really to look at their feelings. I am always very willing to use anything that anybody will teach me, and a lot of people have taught me a lot of things, so I use many different kinds of methods. With one particular client I listened, I also tried to teach him how to focus, which he never would do. Among other things we also worked [Page 122] about five minutes every hour on his situation. I learned from my colleague in operant conditioning that it is quite helpful to make small steps of change in one's situation. If you don't have any friends and you're not going out much, it's helpful one week to make a list of places you might go to. The next week it might be good to go to one place and run away as soon as you get there. Perhaps the third week you actually sit there the entire time, but you don't expect anything to happen. Maybe the fourth week you actually talk to one person and you're very proud because you did that. The fifth week you speak to three people and then after that the last step is to look people in the eyes. That starts the high point in the program.

I find that very useful when I have someone without a good relationship. I did with this client. He went from knowing nobody, to going a few places, to finding somebody, to setting up an organization for people who needed somebody, until finally tons of people came through him looking for people, and his life just went straight up. But as far as focusing, nothing. Listening, I did very well, as I do. One time after about three or four months he said to me, "You know, you work awful hard, the other three guys that I saw just sat there and let me talk." It was clear that I was working hard, but not much else was happening. Every once in a while I would try to show him exactly again how one can pursue a feeling or how one could see what a feeling is. The only thing he knew about feelings was to fall into his bad place and take a Valium. I would say that this falling in is not the only way of relating to feelings, there is this focusing way where you don't get wiped out. You don't fall in, but stand back, and you ask into it. And then one time he came in and he said, "You know my life is getting so good these days that the other morning when I woke up and I realized that I had had a dream and it left me with this funny feeling I actually went to see what the feeling was."

I learned from this that it wasn't exactly that I didn't communicate my message and it wasn't exactly that he didn't understand it, it was a process of accumulating a kind of strength so that he could then turn and be the hunter so to speak and go after the feeling rather than hide from it. And this strength came from first making his life better.

Since that time I feel that I can save myself a little. If I see [Page 123]that it will take a few months, I don't want to wear myself out. I understand now. Let's work from all sides. In working with people's situations as well as feelings we are digging a tunnel from the outside in as well as from the inside out. It goes faster.

Another different thing. You can take anything that somebody says and you can consider it as if they had said it in the spirit of focusing, even though they didn't. Now here is what I mean by that. I may say to you, "I had to get up awful early this morning to get here." And I may just say that as something that came to my mind, just to tell you about it. But supposing that we're trying to get me moving in therapy and I say that. Now, you know that I don't mean anything by that. I am not exploring myself. I am not doing anything. I am not moving. I am perfectly stuck. I am only saying this because I don't know what else to say. How can we respond to that so as to make a process happen? I want you to imagine a very good patient who is exploring, who is pointing inward, and who says, "I had to get up awful early to get here today," as an opener to a self-exploration process. What might such a "good patient" mean? What could this be an opener for? Can you imagine something?

They might be saying, "I am mad at you for making me do that just to get here," or they may be saying, "I am doing that for you." There is a whole interactional family there. Do you sense that family? "I am mad at you, I am obligated to you, you're making me do this, I am doing it for you," all sorts of stuff like that.

Now, there could be another type of thing to which this could be an opener. Let's say it's not interactional. Let's say it's an opener to explore inside, what might it be an opener to? It might be an opener to what getting here means, how getting here is important, how changing or doing something about my problem is important to me. It might be a family like that. Do you know what I mean by a family? I mean a cluster of things we could say in ten different ways. Important to me, it's the thing I have hope invested in, it's my wish to change. All those things are one family about what it means to me to come here.

Well, what else might it be? Suppose it's not those things, suppose it's a beginning of getting into a bad problem of mine. What bad problem of mine might be gotten into by starting that way? It could be it's hard to get out of bed, discouraged, getting [Page 124]up early, a draggy sort of down, depressed, lonely kind of quality. It might have been something like there's this depressed background to my things, it's hard to make myself get up all by myself, alone. From that we might go to what's so heavy anyway for me. Or, we might go into why can't I be sufficient to myself without a relationship. Or, we might go into why do I have to organize the world fresh each morning and then it falls apart again every time I go to sleep.

Now, the typical head trip therapist of any orientation feels that he must pick one of those and say to the patient what it really is, it is this one. Of course that's silly, we know that. Assume instead that we don't know yet whatever it really could be. Of course, if we just let me go on talking, we never will know because I didn't say this thing in the spirit of exploring. But you can get a sense and as the therapist you can deal here with that fuzzy edge I was talking about. You can feel what is not yet defined.

Each type of thing you imagine, keep it open and broad. You can now respond to this vague feeling even though the person doesn't have it yet because they're not looking there, they have no vague feeling at all yet, they're just telling you they got up early, that's all. But you can respond, you can say, "So that's a heavy way that you feel about when you first get up in the morning?" Or, you can respond with saying, "So that was hard for you?" or you can say, "So what does that feel like when you first get up?" or you can say, "That feeling that you're putting a whole lot of effort into this, what is that feeling more?" In all these examples what is really talked about is "that." "That" is the felt edge that he has there, but he's not looking at it. I can respond to it without deciding what it is, fortunately. If I had to decide what it is I would get it wrong. The point is to get him to turn around and look at it. So, typically, he will say, "No, it's not hard for me to get up," but he'll look at it maybe for a second. He'll say, "It's more like such and so." Even in my very vague way of phrasing it I expect to be wrong, and I expect to be corrected. What I want him to do is look at "that." Usually, of course, it won't work. It will work only once every ten times a little bit. But I can respond like that to everything someone says. It's not hard for me to come right back always just to a "that feeling" behind the sentence. "So [Page 125]there's a whole way there, that you feel, about these things not going so well? So that relationship with that person is feeling heavy is it?" I can respond to a felt sense behind any sentence even though the person isn't looking at any felt sense. Then they can correct me or they can ignore me or they can go on, if they want to. And since I can do that at every point with every sentence, it tends to work.

Did you understand this method? It is assuming, even though you know better, that the statement was said in the spirit of self-exploration, then imagining about two or three ways that it could go just to get a general feel, responding to that general feel rather than to the particular things that you thought of and inviting the person to correct you. In an outline it would look like this:

Step I: Take what the person is saying and imagine, even though you know better, that it is being said in the spirit of self- exploring. In other words, let it be the opener of some sort of chain of steps of exploring some personal problems.

Step II: Get yourself one or two or three different ways that that might be.

Step III: Feel that in a general sort of way together.

Step IV: Respond to "that" by somewhat vaguely saying, "So there is this kind of feeling back there behind what you're saying, isn't there, or else tell me how it is," and let him correct you.

Now let me give you a few examples of what a person might say that get you absolutely frustrated because they don't mean a thing by it. Let us start with an easy one. "I don't care." I can imagine right away how a self-exploring person might be saying, "I have this feeling of not caring, isn't that awful? I wonder what that is?" Wouldn't they be a good patient, if they were doing that? "What is this not caring feeling that I have? O.K., it's discouraged or avoidant!" Now your good patient sits there and works to sense what that is. This patient, of course, doesn't. So that's what I would say back, "What is that not caring feeling, is that discouraged?" I am sure the person would say, "No, it's not discouraged, it's uhhh . . . " And I would have him looking at it, which is what I like.

But let us go on to some more examples. "I don't know." I [Page 126]might respond by saying, "So there's kind of a confused feeling there?" Or if the patient said, "You're just seeing me that way because it's your value system." I'd say, "And you're pissed at having people push their value systems on you?" These are easy examples of thinking of good patients who are really working on something.

What if they had said, "You know, yesterday I went out to buy shoes and they didn't have the right size." Imagine how a good patient might mean something self-exploratory by that. Unable to stand limits? Blowing up at people, you know, displacing, they're going to tell how they blew up in the store because of some little thing? Now we're ready. We can say back, "So then, when they didn't have what you wanted, that's a pretty crummy feeling, isn't it?" See, what I did there? Then they would say, "No, no, no, not crummy." Then I would get a little moment of looking at. Now let's look at some more statements.

Client: "I don't give a damn."

"You have this feeling of anger at people, or just dullness, or what is that feeling?"

Client: "No, that's not what I meant at all and I don't see any sense in looking further."

"That's a feeling of unwillingness you have there." I mean it, it is, isn't it? I'm not saying it in a tricky sort of way, you feel that unwillingness? The person would say, "Yes," I think. Then I could say, "What is in that, maybe you don't want to look?" and they would say, "Hell, no." And then I might stop. I am not solving this completely. But it is a feeling again. See how everything is a feeling, if I want it to be? And I might say a number of other things. I might say, "Are you not knowing what to say now?" "Is there a feeling of stuck in there?"

Client: "I lost my wallet."

"So what does that make you feel? Crummy about yourself?" which would surely go somewhere if it were even close to right.

Client: "How many miles to the gallon does your car get?"

"About 24 when it's working just right. Why do you want to know?" I take it as a real question so I give a real answer, but then I say, "Why do you want to know?" Then he might tell me back, "Because mine doesn't get that much." Then I might say, "Are [Page 127]things discouraging?" And then he might say, "No, hell, no, what are you talking about, I'm just talking about my gas mileage." I realize that, but still that's what I would do.

Client: "What time is it?"

I'd tell you. Then I might say, "Is it getting long? Are you having a feeling there of not knowing what to do with the time? Is it getting heavy? Are you getting tense? Are things uncomfortable?" And notice I can do any number of those really. I do about two or three in my head and then I say one.

I really want the person to turn and attend to the felt edge. I point with general words, without guessing so specifically that I will get it all wrong. In these examples I went with the content each time, because that is what I am trying to illustrate right now. But in actual practice it would be a toss up. I might go with, "You're mad at me" or I might go with, "That feeling you have there." If I sense it being rational I'd probably go with the first.

What I am trying to show is that there is a simple way of considering almost any statement in terms of a felt edge that it comes from, even though the person is not looking at any felt edge. But it takes being willing to make your language vague. But referring to it is different than what most therapists do. Most therapists ask probing questions and do not get anything for them from this kind of person. Whereas I can say, "There is that confused feeling there. There is that discouraged feeling there. There is that sense there of the thing not doing well." Then people will turn and look.

If the person wants to stop, I would honestly respond to the resistance. The human reality should always supercede any method, any technique, anything at all. When it humanly feels like someone is saying, "I don't want to and that's it," then I would just simply reflect that back. "You're telling me you don't want to do that anymore and that's it."

The method does not require strong trust between the two people. But I can sense the thing you said about you. I can say to you, "Pay attention to the way 'that' feels in you." And I often say, "Get that for yourself and don't tell me anything. You can decide later what you want to tell me. Get it for yourself first." This is a way I deal directly with there not being enough trust.

Another thing that is important with people who are not get- [Page 128]ting anywhere in the usual therapy way is that we should be attentive to positive directions. I know there has been an awful lot said about value systems and how we do not agree on these. But when a person is wrestling with stuff, it is not really so hard to decide what is a pro-life direction—that needs to and can always be supported. For instance, last week one of the people I supervise had a tape in which a very discouraged woman said that she was stuck in a bad relationship. Then she also said, "Next September I am going to go to L.A. and then I may actually see what I can do about changing everything." And the therapist said back to her, "Well, what can we do right here and now?" And I said to him, "Not so fast. That was a positive direction." First, we want to say, "Oh, so you're thinking of when you get there, taking your life in your hands, and rearranging it all, and taking charge of it, and making it different, doing something, right?" Then she would have said, "Yeah." And then it needs you to say, "That's great!" or, "It feels good to think of changing it all." Only then, when that life-direction has been heard, say, "What can we do now?"

On the tape I heard this positive movement and the therapist sat on it, so to speak. She was trying to push that cart out of the mud and he sat on it and said, "Push me too. Do more, come up with something now." And so I said, "You get behind it and you push too." At first let's say, "Yeah, you're really going to do something, maybe next September." When we've got the good of that momentum, in a minute or two, then we can always say, "Is there anything that could feel like that now?" I was not objecting to his content. That is what I mean by positive push.

Another example: A person was talking about homosexual things for some stretch and discovered a masochistic feeling of "I want someone to be mean to me." This was like achieving an insight. The therapist wanted him to go further with that. The patient said, "Boy, you could get killed with something like that," and launched into a discussion of how he was going to be a little more careful now that he saw that he had this circuit. The therapist thought this was defensive and wanted unrealistically to explore masochism. As the supervisor listening, I sensed it as life-asserting positive stuff. The man said, "I am going to take care of myself now that I see that." Maybe there is something left to be [Page 129]explored here, but right now that is positive, that's life assertive, you go with that.

I have one more—very often when we talk about feelings some people can and do become aware of body feelings in the sense of tension in the chest or here or there or somewhere. I have found it helpful to say to people like that, "What does this feeling feel like here?" Or, "Can you move your neck tension to your stomach?" I mean that literally. Tensions can be moved around in the body. If you feel real terrible in your gut, sometimes you can move it to your knee, by tapping or tensing your knee, it gives your gut a rest. The same is true in reverse.

There is a focusing possible right at that point where mind and body are not yet split, a fuzzy feeling of something wrong is mind-body-not-yet-split. Indigestion is already just body, follow me? It may feel very similar to something dreadfully wrong. But it is just body. The tension here in my neck is just body, but if I can get the meaningful feel quality of it, then I may discover, "Oh, yeah, I'm carrying something on my shoulders."

Focusing is the body sense of some meaning. It is at that point where thinking and body are not yet split. A lady in a symposium in Florida some years ago, when I asked her her feelings, pointed to various body spots and said, "I feel fine here, I feel tense here, and I feel fine here." So what could I do with that? I said, "What does your life feel like?" Then she cried. She said, "Oh the convention is almost over and I haven't met anybody and I am very sad." That meant something more. But at that time I didn't yet know how I could connect those two, now I do. My client has his tension here between his eyes. I tell him to move it to his stomach. Then he immediately feels it as fear and can work with it, ask into it.

FOCUSING INSTRUCTIONS

I would like to show you how I might lead a large group through a focusing experience after talking to them about focusing. It would go something like this.

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"Now I would like you to take just a few minutes with me. This is different, I would like you to relax, put those microphones and all that stuff down.

"What I would like you to do is, first off, to say to yourself, 'How are you?' and then please don't answer the question. Take a whole minute and see what's there and let it tell you, don't tell yourself how you are, let it tell you, just how are you?

(Pause)

"And now if you have found a problem in those things that are there, please don't work on it the way you usually do. Instead call the problem 'that.' Pick one problem, one edge, one something you wish were different. Call it 'all that' and wait for me. It doesn't take long to decide, any one will do. Now decide.

"O.K., now I would like you not to go in there and do what you usually do. Instead stand back, don't go in but don't run away either. Stand back and let yourself feel what it feels like to have that problem, that whole thing. Don't even say anything about it, just call it 'that.' Say, 'What does it feel like to me to have that?'

(Pause)

"The whole feeling of it should give you some specific feeling quality. Something like heavy or urgent or tense or scary or shameful or icky or funnyor something. Can you have a specific feeling quality for the whole feeling there?

(Pause)

"Be with that specific feeling quality, just be with it, and see what it does. If you lose it, come back around and say, 'What does it feel like, oh, yeah, like that.' Just be with it and see what it does and wonder what it is. Don't tell it, just wonder, and be with it.

(Pause)

"If the feeling tells you something right away then say, 'Oh, yeah,' and take it and then ask what 'that' is again. Even if you know, ask what it is, don't answer.

(Pause)

"Don't let it be just words, stop, wait, and let words come from the feeling itself.

(Pause)

"O.K., now very gently find a fresh phrase or picture to capture exactly what the feeling is so that you have the feeling and also a phrase that matches it exactly.

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(Pause)

"Go back and forth, Is that the best phrase? Does that give you the feeling? Is that what it's called? Go back and forth until they match just right.

(Pause)

"If the feeling changes or it goes another step now that's O.K.

(Pause)

"O.K., now this is 'a place' and you might want to come back to this. You might want to come back here. Once you have a feeling and a phrase that match, it's a kind of place. You can dialogue with this place. You can leave it and you can come back to it. Let's come back to it for a moment. Can you still feel the feeling? Does the phrase give it to you ?

(Pause)

"O.K., now I would like for you to do one more thing and then we'll stop. You might have to move your body slightly to do this. When you hear this, you might feel like shifting in your chair, letting your body move a little bit. Ask yourself this question and don't answer the question. As before, let a feeling answer it. Wait a few seconds and see what kind of a feeling comes to answer the question. Ask yourself, 'What would this be like and what would this feel like in my body, if this problem were all completely solved, if it were totally O.K., what would it feel like?'

(Pause)

"Think of this as looking up the answer in the back of the book. Now you have the answer, what the answer feels like. We don't yet know the steps to get there. We don't know quite what's in the way. But hang on to what the answer feels like. That's the way it feels when it's solved.

"Do one more little thing, now. While you keep this feeling of 'solved,' let's work backwards from it. From the answer, let's get to what's just in front of it. Ask yourself, 'Can I stay that way? Can it stay all solved?' Don't decide, ask. And let a feeling come and answer you. You got it already. Or, say, 'I can stay this way, can't I?' A feeling will come.

(Pause)

"Did you get a feeling that came and said, 'No, uh, uh'? Well that's the feeling that's in the way! It knows that's still between you and the 'all solved.' Therefore catch this little feeling that [Page 132] says, 'No, uh, uh.' Turn and say to this feeling, 'Hey, you're the one I want to talk to! You've got my answer! I am so glad you came! Welcome.' See what this, 'No, uh, uh,' feeling is. Just ask, 'Why not?' And wait. It will tell you. If you lose that little feeling, you can get it to come again. Just pretend and say, 'I can feel all O.K., now, can't I?' It will come and say, 'no.' (Or, if it says 'yes', that's fine.)"

Reference

Rogers, C. R., On becoming a person: A therapist's view of psychotherapy. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1961.

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