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Late in 1979, Birte Robins of Gudhjem, Denmark, was in business, managing the Scandinavian operation of the U.S.-based Snugli Baby Carrier Company. In the evenings she indulged her true passion, teaching yoga, aerobics and meditation. One day she was browsing in the library when Gendlin's book Focusing, newly translated into Danish, fell to the floor. "I picked it up and read 'Focusing -- how your body tells you all about 'it'-- that's what the Danish translation sounded like -- and thought 'Whoa! That's exactly me.'" She read the book, shared it with friends, and began practicing Focusing in her own life.
By 1986 Birte had decided to leave the business world and embark on a three-year training to become a Gestalt therapist. Her goal was to develop both the expertise and the courage to be the first Scandinavian to train directly with Gene. That goal was realized in 1989 when Birte attended a week-long workshop outside of Chicago. "You're a natural," she remembers Mary McGuire telling her. "Go home and continue your training by teaching groups and establishing Focusing partnerships." Mary McGuire provided feedback and supervision "the old-fashioned way," using regular mail and Birte became a Certified Trainer and the first Scandinavian Focusing Coordinator.
Like other coordinators, Birte has brought her own personal interests, talents and gifts to the Focusing process, creating workshops on "Recovering the Inner Magic Child" and "Vibrational Healing through Music and Focusing."
"When you are born and your soul enters your physical body, it makes an imprint of a whole person," Birte explained. "That is your Inner Magic Child. It stays whole within you until something happens-an accident, death, or trauma. Then, to protect itself, the Inner Magic Child may stay behind with that trauma." In Birte's own case, her Inner Child, "went into the grave with my father, who died suddenly when I was four." "The longing that we always have inside us, the sense that something is missing -- we think it's to find the perfect partner or job," Birte said. "But it has nothing to do with that. It's actually the longing for our missing Inner Magic Child." With Focusing on the felt-sense as a touchstone, Birte developed a process first to find and then to reintegrate the lost Inner Magic Child into the self, restoring the person's wholeness.
"The felt-sense is like a door opening up into the place where the Inner Child stayed behind," said Birte. She then provides specific guiding suggestions, asking, "Can you see the child? Call to the child?" She encourages Focusers to look into the Child's eyes and resonate their felt sense with the Child's energy, creating a dialogue and asking the Child what it wants and needs to be able to return into the person's present body. "Sometimes," she added, "the child says 'I won't come back in until you resolve this or that in your life.'"
Now Birte is exploring the use of Focusing with music to stimulate what she calls "Vibrational Healing." Working with a physician and music therapist whom she trained in Focusing, she uses the felt-sense to generate images and vibrations that tell the personwhat their body needs for it to heal, not only from emotional trauma, but from physical illness, too. "The felt-sense is a megaphone of the higher self." Birte said. "The soul can only tell you in images and metaphor. We can use the felt-sense to contact our inner light."
Today there are seven active trainers in Denmark and Finland, six in Sweden, and a new group of six forming in Sweden, three of whom are doctor's or nurses. Birte and her students have begun the process of translating parts of the Institute website. Birte looks forward to having the resources to bring Focusing to Norway, too. Recently, a psychologist in a Level Three workshop in Sweden said to her, "What I like about your teaching is that you are just being yourself. Most people, when they teach, put on a role."
"This is why it is so great for me to have found Focusing and become a teacher of this," Birte concluded, "because it's so close to me, anyway."
This page was last modified on 07 November 2003