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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  • All
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Change
  • Decisions
  • Felt Sense
  • Grief
  • Grounding
  • Inner Child
  • Mind
  • Pain
  • Patience
  • Presence
  • Relationships
  • Self Esteem
  • Stress
  • 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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  • Having returned from a wonderful teaching trip to the Just Being Centre in Pune, India, I want to share a key moment, and what it can mean for your Focusing.

    I was demonstrating with a course participant, and after feedback in the group I invited her to share from her perspective. She said, ‘It is not a technique. Only hearts can do this.’ I was deeply touched and moved. I felt that as a new Focuser, she got it. She understood what it means to listen to herself with kindness and compassion

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  • Sometimes big, overwhelming feelings can sweep over you, especially if Focusing is new to you.

    You can always check with your felt sense, by asking, ‘does it feel OK for me to be with this?’ And then wait and see what comes. Two things can happen...

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  • Every Focusing teacher develops their own style of teaching, just as every Focuser develops their own Focusing practice, because each of us is unique...

    Gene Gendlin, who developed Focusing, said Focusing always ‘crosses’ with something else. It isn’t a standalone practice, because you change it by being who you are. Your personality, past history, current interests and understandings all inform your Focusing practice. I cannot separate myself from my past, my nature, or my way of being. Focusing crosses with who we are.

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