What is Focusing, anyway?
Focusing is an awareness process – something you do internally – that is based on the idea that a certain kind of body sense called a “felt sense” can help us discover and follow the best next steps of our life.
Most of us pay more attention to the shouts all around us than to those little whispers within. Yet the inner whispers have huge importance for getting calm, clear, centered… and moving forward.
What is an awareness process?
Well, right now, as you read this… Are you sitting? Now just pause and just pay attention to the sensation of your body touching what you are sitting on… Got it? You are bringing awareness to a feeling that, a minute ago, was merely going on in the background. Internally, you shifted your awareness.
So far, so good. The next part is a little trickier. Bring awareness into the inner area of your body: throat, chest, stomach, belly… What do you feel in there? We aren’t looking for something strong, necessarily. It might be a very subtle uneasiness. It might be a subtle sense of being OK. There’s no right or wrong here.
If that’s not easy to feel – or to trust… well, that’s what Focusing training is all about!
3 Things That Set Focusing Apart
It’s research based.
Focusing has been linked in over 50 research studies with positive outcomes in therapy. The early studies were done by Eugene Gendlin.
Typical outcomes from Focusing include greater emotional regulation, more satisfying relationships, and increased self acceptance.
Listening is the key.
In this noisy world where everything is constantly vying for attention, people learn to tune out to survive. Focusing helps you tune back into the most important thing – You! Not only do you become more attuned to yourself, but you get to work with someone who is right there with you deeply listening to your every word.
You’re the expert.
As the person doing Focusing, YOU are the expert. We believe that you know YOU the best. That’s why, with Focusing, you don’t need an expert. Many other methods require a practitioner to facilitate, but not Focusing! Focusing empowers YOU to make your own choices and get in touch with your own truth.
Feeling Hopelessly Stuck…
Okay, But Things Could Be Better…
Feeling Good and Want to Help Others…
You belong here.
We offer support for people just like you.
Wondering how we can help?
Hi! I’m Ann Weiser Cornell.
I know what it’s like to be confused and unclear, to have so many voices coming in from the outside that I just can’t find my own. I also know what it’s like to be so out of touch with myself that it was easier to tell how another person was feeling than to know my own feelings.
When I learned Focusing from Eugene Gendlin and finally had a way of knowing, of checking, what was really right for me. I also learned how to work with and release old emotional patterns that held me back from living my life.
Through the practice of Focusing, I discovered that our bodies are always ready to give us guidance. It’s the times in my life when I’ve ignored the whispers from my body that I’ve gotten into trouble. When I’ve stayed in touch with that deep body knowing, I’ve been able to make courageous choices that took my life to new levels. I want that kind of confidence and clarity for you too.”
Where Did Focusing Come From?
Focusing was discovered in the late 1950s when Professor Eugene Gendlin of the University of Chicago researched the question: “Why is psychotherapy helpful for some people, but not others?”
Gendlin and his colleagues studied recordings of hundreds of therapy sessions and made a fascinating and important discovery: successful therapy clients were able to do something more than worry about the future or react to the past. They could pause and pay attention to what was happening in the present moment, in their bodies, in response to the problem at hand. Sometimes in ways that words could not easily convey. Gendlin called this a “felt sense,” and developed the method he called “Focusing” so that anyone could learn this profound way of experiencing breakthroughs in whatever has been holding them back.
Focusing allows you to get past what has been making you stuck, using the body-mind’s inherent ability to heal and live forward into new possibilities. Inner Relationship Focusing is a further development of Focusing created over many years of work by Ann Weiser Cornell and Barbara McGavin.