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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Do you have any questions about Focusing? Please send them to me, and I will answer in future Focusing tips.

  • All
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Change
  • Decisions
  • Felt Sense
  • Grief
  • Grounding
  • Inner Child
  • Mind
  • Pain
  • Patience
  • Presence
  • Relationships
  • Self Esteem
  • Stress
  • Although I rarely make it explicit, for me Focusing is inherently a spiritual practice. As well as meditation, Focusing helps me to stay centred and grounded. It encourages compassion for myself and others.

    If I’m experiencing challenging times in spiritual life or daily life, I have the practice of Focusing to support me.

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  • A Focuser says: ‘Sometimes when I find something difficult in my Focusing, I go to a soothing peaceful place with a calm peaceful lake and I feel much better.’

    There is nothing wrong with doing this.
    ...This enables you to give your friendly, non-judgemental attention to whatever is difficult.
    As long as you don’t stop there...

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  • I often hear people saying they have a resistance to something. They try to struggle with it and get past it, so that they can do what they really want to do.

    Perhaps you have experienced something like this. You want to take an action but something in you seems to be resisting it, or preventing you from doing it...

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  • I have returned inspired from a meeting of Focusing professionals in Europe. We met in Aegina, a beautiful island close to Athens, and collaborated in developing our lively European Focusing Association.

    Our dear colleague and friend, distinguished writer Campbell Purton got us started on exploring what do we mean when we talk about the body. He is a philosopher, and helped us to think deeply about what Gene Gendlin was referring to when he talked about the body.

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  • The life situation you are facing is still the same, and you may be getting desperate because you can’t make it change by Focusing on it.

    It can make a big difference if instead of trying to force it to change, you focus on changing your relationship to it. You can start by recognising that it is there; it has been that way for a long time, maybe as long as you can remember, or maybe you remember when it started, as in the case of a serious illness or mental health difficulty. You can start by bringing a sense of kindness and friendliness towards yourself who is struggling or suffering in this particular way.

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  • How can we live with the distress caused by climate change, Brexit and other major world events; with climate change being the biggest challenge to us all?

    ...My experience is that I have lived with the anguish and distress all my life. It’s under the surface much of the time. Periodically I turn towards it, and simply listen....
    What comes is how much sadness and pain is there. Something in me finds it unbearable...
    As well as hopelessness, I also sensed and recognised the enormous hopefulness I feel...

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  • A Focuser says, ‘Sometimes if I Focus on the problem, it just gets worse. Maybe it’s best if I don’t think about it. How does Focusing help?'

    It’s true that when you Focus on a problem, it can seem to get worse. This is what I call intensification. What is happening is that when you bring your attention to something, you become more acutely aware of the pain it is carrying.

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  • A Focuser says, ‘I have been an introverted person, and now I am moving towards looking more outside myself for help and guidance. Would Focusing go against that?’

    Outside help and guidance can be enormously helpful and supportive, for instance by giving another perspective when you are feeling confused, or ‘can’t see the wood for the trees’. There may be times when therapy is what’s needed.

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  • Usually most of us tend to go towards what feels difficult or problematic in our lives, and this is naturally right and proper.

    I also wonder how often we Focus with what feels good in our lives. I suggest that it is helpful to spend at least some time in every session with what feels good. And then to identify and to Focus with exactly how it feels good, and where in your body does it feel good. There are a number of reasons why it is helpful...

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