What is Focusing ?
Every situation you encounter in life gives you a distinct body sense. All your experiences, memories, sensations, emotions and feelings are somehow stored in your body. Through Focusing you learn to communicate with the wisdom in your body that your head doesn’t know about yet. “Focusing” is to enter into a special kind of awareness, different from our every day awareness. It is open, turned inward, centered on the present and on your body’s inner sensations.
With Focusing you learn to concentrate on a determined situation and check the way that resonates in your body, that is, how does the whole situation feels in your body. That is what Gendlin has named felt sense. The felt sense of a situation or problem, when it first forms, is typically vague and unclear. You can sense that something is there, but it is hard to get it into words exactly. The felt sense is holistic in nature and contains within it much more than we can easily think or emotionally know about our situation. When you concentrate on your felt sense, it unfolds and new meanings emerge. Every concern you have, if you sit with it, at the unclear edge, has a sense of a next step right. The felt sense, of its own accord, brings the exact word, image, memory, understanding, new idea, or action step that is needed to solve the problem. The physical body, in response, will experience some easing or release of tension as it registers the "rightness" of what comes from the felt sense. This easing of tension is what tells us that we have made contact with this deeper level of awareness and that we are on the right path
Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy comes from the pioneering work of philosopher and psychologist Eugene Gendlin at the University of Chicago, where he collaborated with Carl Rogers. Dr. Gendlin's work has been honored by three awards from The American Psychological Association. He and colleagues studied why some psychotherapy clients improved while many others did not. It was found that successful therapy was not determined by the therapist's technique, orientation or the kind of problem being discussed. What did make a difference was what the client was doing internally. Successful clients were regularly checking inside themselves for a whole bodily felt sense of their situation. These findings led into much further research in the last fifty years and to exact understandings about how this inner checking can be found. On this base Gendlin has created the technique of Focusing.