681. Process Design: Analysis (Part 2)

In the following is a brief analysis of Gendlin's 'Focusing' rundown.

The writeup highlights the main points only, it is not worth to write down an entire, detailed analysis. The reader is encouraged to get Gendlin's booklet and do it for him/herself as an excellent exercise in Process Analysis ('Focusing' by Eugene T. Gendlin, Ph.D. - Bantam New Age Books).

                 PROCESS ANALYSIS
            Process/Rundown: 'Focusing'

 A. Split it up into its discrete components:

This is already done in a rather haphazardly and incomplete manner. Gendlin calls his components 'movements' (perhaps as a translation of the word 'process' into common English). In square brackets [] a better and more complete numbering system is given here than the one provided in the book.

A session preparation is outlined, too, but not given the significance of a 'movement'.

Gendlin's preparation sums up in the following  phrase (pg.52):  "If your foot scratches, take off your shoe and scratch.").

This section is skipped here but, as a reminder, the preparation of a session is, of course, of great importance in all kinds of processing.

 B. Examine its individual components:

   "First Movement: Clearing a space"

This step has little to do with 'clearing a space' in the sense the reader may expect ('clearing space' is described elsewhere in Pnohteftu). What is proposed are the following substeps:

  [1a] Invoke currently present misemotions and
  [1b] Stack them in front of the person and
       have the person step back.
  [1c] Have the person make sure that "except
       for all of these [misemotions and problems],
       I'm fine". (text in brackets added)

This is a great little process to run in itself and will result in 'good indicators' right there and then.

It is making the outside view of the person look safe and without problems and compacts its problems and misemotions right in front of it, ready to be examined.

It is the reversal of the basic 'brainwashing' process of making everything outside the immediate vicinity of a person look dangerous (and then spoonfeeding the 'salvaging' item(s) to the person).

(Note: normally, such a process is called the 'Setup' for a rundown and it is not always listed as part of the rundown itself.)

   "Second Movement: Felt sense of the problem"

The following substeps are recognizable (and rephrased again):

  [2a] Find the item with heaviest charge.
    Quote: "Ask which problem feels the worst right
          now.. hurts the most, heaviest, biggest..."

  [2b] Locate the item in space and contact it.
    Quote: "Stand back from it and sense how it makes
     you feel in your body when you think of it
     as a whole just for a moment."

  [2c] Focus on the item for some time while filtering
     out any noise.

  Third Movement: Finding a Handle

  [3a] determine the qualities and the properties
     of the item and get a concept (or name) of the
     item as a whole (cp. 'submodalities' in NLP).

     Note: back in the early '50s this was known
     as the "Itsa Process", based on the common
     origination "It's a...".

  b. if a concept (or name) brings about a change,
     it's determined to be  a 'handle' and the
     person should stay with it. (this is called
     a 'correct indication' in traditional

  "Fourth Movement: Resonating Handle and Felt Sense"
   (really a continuation of 3b above and not a
    separate process).

     Quote: "Take the word or image you got from
     the third movement and check it against the
     felt sense."

           Fifth Movement: Asking

   [4a]  Quote: "...ask the sense, directly, what it

    Note: some people pay hundreds of thousands of
      dollars for this question in a slightly different
      form but within the same context. In
      light of this, the five bucks for Gendlin's
      book is quite a bargain!!).

   [4b] if the sense didn't resolve by now, ask
      "What's the worst of it?"
      or "What does the felt sense need?"
      or "What would it take for this to feel OK?"

      Note: this list of questions will NOT handle
      any heavy entities or circuits (or 'felt senses') -
      check in the usual manuals how to do it more
      effectively, faster, and safer.

         "Sixth Movement: Receiving"

     This 'movement' is not really a 'step' but
     rather an invitation to "whatever comes in
     focusing, welcome it." (quote).

     This chapter reiterates the necessity of
     keeping a distance to the item. It claims
     that "whatever comes in focusing will never
     overwhelm you if you can have the attitude
     we call receiving." (quote).

[Note: This is double-talk of course.  The reader hopefully spotted the logic fallacy of abovement statement already without this note.]

The chapter _after_ the Sixth Movement, however, contains the final step of the rundown. The title is:

    5. "Do you want another round of Focusing?"
       [meaning: if so continue with step 2a]

In this step it is checked if the previous items are completely handled.

Gendlin doesn't mention the existance of 'copies' or 'clones'. He cycles until 'everything' on the 'felt sense' is handled.

Quote: "A dozen steps may be necessary, perhaps even a hundred, before the problem feels resolved. This process may take many months."

Note: advanced processors are handling any such 'felt senses' in minutes and in some cases in seconds.
In solo-processing even a heavily charged item should never take more than an hour using techniques such as the "Entity Handling Tibetan Style" described in this "Little Purple Notebook".

 C. Put it back together and study the
    interaction between the components:

The outline is pretty obvious since the flow of the process is very simple:

After a setup process, the person cycles on locating, differentiating, and handling a 'felt sense' until it is 'gone'.

There is no closing process after a session and Gendlin suggests to leave any touched but unhandled items open until the next session.
(Ouch. That hurts!!!)

Note: The process is removing 'mass' from the person. This means a 'havingness process' or a 'creative process' is mandatory at the end of any session using this class of processes!

 D. Look at the end phenomena:

The End phenomenon is marked by a 'felt shift in the body' and is very nicely described in the book.

No mention is made of stack releases (blow-outs of entire clusters) nor even the existance of clusters.

Likewise, there is no mentioning of earlier (body) 'felt senses' (sometimes called 'genetic implants'), which is yielding yet another slightly different experience upon resolution.

 E. Examine the possibility of the process being misapplied:

Gendlin's book contains an extensive section on what could be done wrong and offers additional processes for debugging purposes. This is perhaps the best part of the entire book.

 E. Assess the possibility of something going wrong during correct application:

Gendlin mentions the obvious possibility of a "stuckness" but offers only naive advise on how to handle it. Furthermore, he *invites* 'stuckness' of items right in the beginning in [1a] by using the notorious "why?" question.
(Quote: "Now ask yourself...' Why don't I feel wonderful right now?" )

Asking a 'Why' question in processing is setting oneself up for failure, as explained and demonstrated repeatedly in this notebook.

It is one the biggest 'no-nos' for any processor at any level and reveals Gendlin's frightening ignorance of one of the most basic phenomena of processing (which is ranging from 'out-list', 'list-error', 'self-listing, to a 'wrong indication' etc. ad nauseam - very literally!).

 F. Work out repair actions for the things that could get wrong:

Here are some good ideas in the book. However, the most basic remedy of all, the 'havingness process', is never pointed to in any of its many variations.

 G. Summary and Critique for the decision of running the process or not:

Overall, the rundown contains a powerful opening (setup) followed by an incomplete entity/circuit handling with no 'havingness' or 'create processing' part as a closing process (as it is always necessary for any kind of 'negative processing').

Considering that this is the first rundown to ever find a wide acceptance on the academic level, it is still a very big step forward.

The only real major flaw is the 'Why' question in [1a] (which is unexcusable!) and the actual handling of the 'felt sense' which must be expanded to cover the basics in a more systematical way.

In short, as an introduction to processing in general, it can be very useful.


 I. find ways to expand or streamline the
    process or rundown or otherwise taylor
    it to the purpose at hand:

This seems mandatory (see above) and the details and additional points other than what was said already are left to the reader as an advanced exercise (Hint, hint: just browse through this Notebook!)

II. Go from B. through F. to re-examine the
    modified procedure:

The modified procedure comes very close to existing processing except for the opening.

So, why reinvent the wheel?

Again, credits are due for taking a basic process and taking it a broad platform.

Lastly, for the bold, the reader is invited to get the book and try running 'Focusing' exactly the way it is described to test the validity of the analysis above in a practical way.

For an 'undeveloped case' very heavy charge is not likely to come up. If the reader has run already processes, especially advanced ones as some of the 'Notebook' processes, then 'Focusing' should not be run without prior knowledge of complete entity handling, incl. clusters, and without the
knowledge of effective repair actions.

Now, some steps of the Process Analysis are also steps in the Process Synthesis.

In the chapter on Process Synthesis it will be shown that a truly random item can be taken as a core item to develop a complete processing system.

A prerequisite of Process Synthesis is the ability to analyze existing processes. Before reading the chapter on Synthesis, it is recommended to analyze at least a couple of known processes.

They can be obtained, for example from this very Purple Notebook, or from the 'Transformational Processing' pages (http://worldtrans.org/ ), Knowledgism ( http://www.knowledgism.org ), The Pilot (http://fza.org), or any other of the many manuals that are now out in the public domain.

Again, analyzing an existing process is a process in itself. And, in a sense, everything a life can be framed as a 'process'.

As Alan C. Walter once pointed out, the question then becomes "What process is running this other person or group on ME?", and, "What process am I actually running here?"

Thus, analyzing a process is not just a theoretical game or challenge: it is a basic necessity in life at large!

Copyleft © 1999 by Maximilian J. Sandor