What is Focusing?
How can Focusing help with relationships, problems?
Focusing is a unique process that works through the felt sense in the body. By attending to the whole of a complex situation, a vague felt sense opens into specificity, which has a life direction and purpose all its own. The results are direct, immediate and always in the direction of fuller life.
How does Focusing enable changes to happen?
Focusing offers a radical new approach to life. Practising Focusing develops a unique ability that enables you to discover a powerful resource within. Dr Eugene Gendlin discovered how to teach this ability, which he called ‘Focusing’. Once learnt, it is a way to not only face obstacles and resolve problems, it brings a deepening sense of personal possibilities, leading to a broadening and enriching of life and your relationships.
How does it do this?
Focusing helps you to create an optimal inner environment for holistic, natural change in any area of your life that needs attention. Creating relationships with the ‘felt sense’ in specific ways proved to be the key component of successful psychological change. People have often expressed how surprised they are by how gentle and yet very deep and powerful this work is. Gendlin discovered how to teach this ability, which he called ‘Focusing’. The changes that occur spontaneously and naturally come from deep within the person themselves and are always in the direction of greater aliveness. These changes are progressive, unmistakable and permanent.
From The Focusing Institute, New York:
Focusing is a process of paying attention to a bodily sense of a situation, problem, or creative project. Access to an at first unclear ‘bodily-sense-of’ can be taught, but is not yet widely known. It is more physical than feelings, and not merely body sensations, but the juncture where meanings are bodily felt. Creative change arises at this directly sensed edge of awareness, whether in thinking, psychotherapy, self-growth, art, or healing.
How was Focusing discovered?
Focusing was developed when Professor Eugene Gendlin of the University of Chicago worked with Carl Rogers in the 1950’s and ’60’s. He researched the question: ‘Why is psychotherapy helpful for some people, and not others?’ He and his colleagues studied tapes of hundreds of therapy sessions and made an important discovery, that successful therapy clients had a vague, hard to describe inner awareness; a bodily ‘felt sense’ about their problems.
Paying attention to the felt sense in specific ways proved to be the key component of successful psychological change. Gendlin discovered how to teach this ability, which he called ‘Focusing’.
What Dr. Gendlin says about Focusing:
‘Focusing is a mode of inward bodily attention that is not yet known to most people. It differs from the usual attention we pay to feelings because it begins with the body and occurs in the zone between the conscious and unconscious. Most people don’t know that a bodily sense of any topic can be invited to come in that zone, and that we can enter into such a sense.
‘What is split off, not felt, remains the same. When it is felt, it changes. Most people don’t know this! They think that by not permitting the feeling of their negative ways they make themselves good. On the contrary, that keeps these negatives static, the same from year to year. A few moments of feeling it in your body allows it to change. If there is in you something that is bad, sick, or unsound, let it inwardly be and breathe. That’s the only way it can evolve and change into the form it needs.’
What Ann Weiser Cornell, the author of ‘The Power of Focusing’ says:
‘Focusing is a body-oriented process of self-awareness and emotional healing. It is the process of listening to your body in a gentle accepting way and hearing the messages that your inner self is sending you. It is a process of honouring the wisdom that you have inside you, becoming aware of the subtle level of knowing that speaks to you through your body. The results of listening to your body are insight, physical release, and positive life change. You understand yourself better, you feel better, and you act in ways that are more likely to create the life you want.’
- Benefits of Focusing
- Focusing Worldwide
- The Felt Sense
- Frequently Asked Questions
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