Focusing Tips by Fiona Parr

I'm often asked questions which I feel are relevant to many people. So I share my responses here which I hope will provide a helpful insight for everyone involved in Focusing and an overview if you are new to Focusing.

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When you are Focusing with a problem or something difficult in your life, I suggest that you only briefly spend time with the ‘story’ of that difficulty.

You already know what that story is, Indeed, you may have spent much time and energy going round and round; trying to find a solution, or to think your way out of the stuckness. It can be very compelling, and your thoughts may wake you up in the night.

When you get a chance to Focus with the stuck feeling, especially if you have a Focusing partner to keep you company and to help you to stay on track, I suggest that you ‘walk past’ all that you know about the difficult situation. You might briefly summarise the situation to yourself, or out loud to your partner. This can bring it more sharply into focus. Then you can notice how your body responds to the situation and what feelings and emotions come up. Again, rather that getting caught up in the feelings, you could acknowledge them, and ‘walk past’ the feelings into what more is there.

You can do this by inviting or getting a sense of the ‘whole thing.’ The whole thing contains the story, the life situation; your thoughts and feelings about it; and the body responses that come in relation to it. And if it is not yet resolved, there is ‘more’ to come. And this is where it gets interesting. The resolution of the situation is not here yet. If it was resolved, there would be nothing to stay with. It would feel easy and released; gone. If it is here, it needs you to stay with it some more. It needs you to be interested, curious, open to what comes next. You will need to be patient, and not predict the outcome or jump to conclusions too quickly.


Here is a lovely poem that a Focusing student sent me last year, that reminds us of the quality of waiting for something new to come.

Waiting By Toko-pa Turner (2013)

There is a good kind of waiting
which trusts the agents of fermentation.
There is a waiting
which knows that in pulling away
one can more wholly return.
There is the waiting
which prepares oneself, which annoints and adorns
and makes oneself plump
with readiness for love’s return.
There is a good kind of waiting
which doesn’t put oneself on hold
but rather adds layers to the grandness
of one’s being worthy.
This sweet waiting
for one’s fruits to ripen
doesn’t stumble over itself
to be the first to give
but waits for the giving
to issue at its own graceful pace.