What is Focusing?
Focusing is a way of observing ourselves through bodily sensations. It connects between experience and meaning, expands the inner consciousness and serves as a conduit for the wide knowledge that surrounds us.
‘Felt sense’ is a central concept in focusing. It is the felt body sensation that contains hidden knowledge. Knowledge, that has great influence on our lives, a guide to our expression and fulfillment in life. Through these sensations we reach deep subconscious layers that have great significance to our lives. Feelings of physical distress such as headache, stomachache, migraine, heart palpitations, back pain, suffocating feeling in the throat, all hide life energy that wants to be expressed. The feeling “knows” the problem and the way for its release. When we stop to give these feelings unique attention, then a movement of healing and a step forward occurs.
In focusing we observe sensations curiously, from a safe and non-judgmental space, with the attitude that only what receives attention can change, and what we fight against will fight back. This special observation brings to awareness what is hidden: feelings, memories, images, barriers, strengths, and insights. The very act of observing while focusing drives the process of change.
We experience the liberating next step as a relief in the body, something new comes to awareness and the feeling is that “something has opened”. This is the ‘felt shift’ that comes at the end of the process.
Change happens effortlessly and we can then realize what we never dared to dream of. With time, a channel that connects us to our potential and to the life energy we were born with, will develop. It allows us to get to know ourselves better, to cope more effectively , to free ourselves from barriers, deadlocks, criticism, and guilt and to move forward.
The focusing approach was developed in the sixties of the twentieth century by Professor Eugene Gendlin, a psychologist and philosopher from the University of Chicago, based on studies he conducted with Professor Carl Rogers, the father of humanistic psychology, with the aim of restoring our natural ability to listen to ourselves. Today this method is used around the world in various fields: treatment and healing, education, the development of creativity and new ideas, as well as business development.
The institute founded by Prof. Gendlin, situated in New York, provides rich updated information. www.focusing.org