In a tremendously gentle way, Focusing opens unexpected and surprising insights regarding issues in which one feels unclear and stuck.
Instead of remaining caught in repetitive mental or emotional loops, oftentimes accompanied with an experience of heaviness, a shift happens into a broader perspective, an openness in which insights reside.
Focusing facilitates a more intimate, friendly, and alive contact with oneself and others.
It is of great benefit when practiced on a regular basis, even without any specific topic in mind, just to be with oneself (and another) in an accepting and attentive way. It offers a way for self-regulation, for regaining emotional & mental clarity & balance.
What Happens in a Focusing Session:
Typically a Focusing Session lasts one hour (many do 1/2 hour). The companion guides the Focuser into the Felt Sense, which includes physical sensations, images, thoughts, emotions, and memories, all of which naturally and spontaneously arise while quietly “listening” into the body.
From time to time the Focuser expresses what comes to his or her attention while listening to the felt sense. Both, the companion and the Focuser allow a lot of time, space, and silence. The clear felt sense slowly grows and emerges out of an initially fuzzy impression. That what is familiar arises quickly, that what is new is subtler and slower to make its way to the Focusers awareness. When a shift happens, something like a deep breath, a relief, a lightness is experienced in the mind, emotion, and body, and a hidden knowing or understanding becomes available to the conscious mind.
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After a Series of Focusing Sessions – Now What:
Focusing can be done with friends as well as alone, but at first, it is very helpful to be guided by a companion who has experience with the process. Books explain Focusing in detail, workshops are offered all over the planet, local as well as online, many big cities have free Focusing groups (Changes Groups), and Focusing.org offers the possibility to find a regular Focusing partner with whom sessions may be exchanged over the phone. And finally, it becomes second nature during all of the varied daily happenings, to attend to oneself and others in a “Focusing way”.
The Roots of Focusing:
Within the framework of client-centered psychotherapy, Focusing has been developed since the 1960s by Eugene T. Gendlin, professor of philosophy and psychology at the University of Chicago.
Under the supervision of Carl Rogers, Gene Gendin initiated an extensive research study, in search of reasons why therapy was life-changing for some but not for others. He discovered that the missing piece for those who remained stuck was the lacking capacity of contacting their inner felt sense. As a consequence he developed Focusing through which contacting the felt sense is learned, to then either be used as a sole technique or to be taken into any other self-exploring practice.
3 Minute-Video about Focusing: