Focusing around the world
Focusing is presently being used world-wide and in all walks of life with excellent results.
Focusing in the Health Service
Focusing has health benefits. For instance, the practice of Focusing in the Health Service in the USA and Germany helps patients deal with pain. Research by Katonah and Flaxman in 1997 showed that Focusing could help ease depression. Focusing is used to support cancer patients through their healing journey, as part of a package of care. It has been used to help alleviate headaches or even to stop a cold in its tracks, if caught early enough.
Midwifery – Italy
It is used in a training course for midwives in Italy. The midwives are taught how to encourage the mothers to get a ‘felt sense’ of how their bodies need to be during birthing.
Aid workers and trauma victims in Afghanistan
It is offered as a support for aid workers and the general population in Afghanistan. Trauma victims are being introduced to Focusing as a way to manage their stress and to enable them to cope better. Women are learning how to listen to their families and to be more patient. The aid workers in Afghanistan reported that levels of tension and anger decreased after Focusing sessions. A student wrote, ‘thank you for this seminar. It has changed my life.’ This student had been withdrawn and was not socialising with the others. Now he is able to socialise and have friends. More stories and information is available in the May 2006 Focusing Institute newsletter, ‘Staying in Focus.’
Focusing in schools and orphanages
Focusing is practised with children in schools in Holland to help them get in touch with their feelings, resulting in more confidence and the ability to concentrate. In Japan, Focusing has been introduced to a class of primary school children. According to the teacher’s evaluation, the children do not worry so much and they are more self-assertive. They can join small groups and pursue problems on their own. They have improved concentration especially in the class following the Focusing class, and they are more cheerful and energetic. More stories and information is available in the September 2002 Focusing Institute newsletter, ‘Staying in Focus.’
Focusing is being used as a way of caring for distressed babies and young children in an orphanage in Romania. It is also benefiting nursery school children in Iceland. More stories and information is available in the September 2002 Focusing Institute newsletter, ‘Staying in Focus.’
Focusing in prisons
When Focusing was used with violent offenders (Bierman 1997) it led to a decrease in destructive responses to conflict, reduced irritability and reduced readiness for anger. The violent offenders came out of the Focusing programme psychologically safer, less easily offended, less angry and less willing to hurt to get their own way.
Focusing is currently being applied in a programme in a New England prison in the USA, with beneficial results. It helped a man explore his violence towards women. Through taking the ‘Violence against Women’ Focusing programme, he realised he had evolved from a man who didn’t care, to someone who cared very much. More stories and information is available in the May 2006 Focusing Institute newsletter, ‘Staying in Focus.’
Listening space for older people – Japan
Focusing is being used with the elderly in Japan. It provides a listening space where past hurts and current physical difficulties can be fully heard and acknowledged. This helps people to accept their situation, and releases long held burdens. More stories and information is available in the May 2005 Focusing Institute newsletter, ‘Staying in Focus.’