“Focusing will enable you to find and change where your life is stuck, cramped, hemmed in, slowed down. And it will enable you to change – to live from a deeper place than just your thoughts and feelings”. Eugene Gendlin
Focusing-oriented psychotherapy developed from the work of Eugene Gendlin, a philosopher and psychotherapist at the University of Chicago and a student of Carl Rogers. Focusing is a way of paying gentle and accepting attention to how our inner body is responding. It can help us get in touch with subtle levels of feeling and experience that often get ignored in our everyday awareness.
A Focusing-Oriented approach:
- Supports you to listen inwardly to your whole, true feeling , your ‘felt sense’, in an open, accepting way.
- Helps you find the little steps of change which come when you listen to your inner feelings, your felt sense, in such a way
- Helps you learn how to identify what you are really feeling and to support your own self-confidence and self-acceptance.
- Helps you to go beyond what you already know, your cognitive understanding, and creates a space to attend, with curiosity, to feelings you may sense vaguely but cannot yet put into words.
- Encourages you to carefully check what the therapist offers, as well as your own words and phrases, to see if they really feel as if they are the best fit for your own felt experience.
- Helps you to untangle what may feel like an overwhelming mass of emotion, separating out many different parts, or feelings, from the whole. Each part can then receive attention in turn, so that new possibilities and ways of feeling can emerge.
If you would like to know more about focusing for yourself, the following books may be a useful starting point:
Gendlin, Eugene T. 1978. Focusing. Bantam Dell. New York.
Cornell, Ann W. 1996. The Power of Focusing: A Practical Guide to Emotional Self-healing. New Harbinger Publications.