The Focusing and Thinking Series is a series of phone seminars that explore the implications of Gene Gendlin’s Philosophy of the Implicit and the Focusing process to a broad range of topics including relationships, creativity, social change, psychotherapy, dreams, and thinking.
These courses present the wealth of wisdom that Gene has to offer on a variety of fascinating topics. His long-time student, Ann, is along for the ride to offer her own insights and to help shed light on Gene’s more complex thoughts. They began offering these courses in 2010. A number of them are available as MP3 downloads.
What People Are Saying...
“I don’t think I have ever experienced that kind of really deep agendaless listening.”Joan Hitlin
“Hearing Gene for the first time in ten years was a treat – he displayed his usual talent for welcoming everything and then taking it farther. Having him paired with Ann, who brings not only her extensive experience of teaching Focusing, but her gift for a process that’s both personal and effective, seems ideal. Ann’s facilitation was masterful, managing time and the mechanics of participation well, elaborating where she felt it was needed. Gene showed both his almost impish joy in living and his pointed and discerning mind when it comes to Focusing – a wonderful teaching combination.”Dick Ridington
In this course, we read and discussed Gene’s book, A Process Model. A Process Model both demonstrates and creates concepts for a whole different kind of thinking where there is development and emergence of what was not yet formed into conceptual structure, without the sacrifice of the existing conceptual structure. Each week, Gene worked with one of the course participants to better illustrate how the concepts discussed interrelate with what emerges within us.
New Ways to go Forward
with Focusing – November 2012
Our bodies are always implying life moving forward. But sometimes we feel stuck – it’s hard to take action – we can’t decide what to do or we don’t know how to do it. Focusing should help us toward a flowing kind of action. But how? In this course, we explored four interrelated specific new ways in which Focusing can carry life forward, using recently developed practices. These are exciting new twists on the usual ways of approaching decisions, actions, therapy, meditation… and they can get us moving and expanding.
How the New Can Come:
In Philosophy, and in Practices Like Therapy and Art – May 2012
Art doesn’t work unless something new actually comes. Neither does philosophy. Neither does therapy. In this course we explored this question: How does one make a space where something new can come? We visited thinking (philosophy and concept creation), art, and therapy as examples, in addition to many other areas where the new is needed.
Philosophy, Focusing, & Changing the World – March 2012
This course is for anyone who wants to engage with the challenging fact that our mainstream social institutions don’t yet match what we know about what human beings actually are. Eugene Gendlin brings insights from Focusing and the Philosophy of the Implicit to bear on an understanding of societal change, offering a hopeful yet incisive analysis of economics, finance, government, and more.
Philosophy, Focusing, & Dreams – January 2012
A course for anyone who wants to discover the richness in dreams. Even dreams that seem only negative turn out to have gifts of forward life energy waiting to be tapped into, using the methods taught in this seminar. Starting with how to remember dreams if you usually don’t, this seminar takes the listener through a way of approaching dreams that includes getting the “help” first rather that going first to the “charged” part of the dream. Methods for “bias control” help the dreamer not bring habitual life patterns to the dreamwork process.
On Relating – In & Out of Therapy – September 2011
A course for anyone who wants to explore different ways of relating with other people. We discuss each topic first in therapy settings and then in the more complex realm of close personal relationships. So many difficulties in relationship occur when we express feelings with trust and honesty, yet the other person feels hurt or angry, withdraws or attacks. Just as we can’t survive without air and food, we also can’t develop as persons unless we interact and are interacted with, from the very start.
Focusing, Psychotherapy & The Implicit – May 2011
This was a course to support psychotherapists and other healing professionals in being with their clients in a Focusing-oriented way. Among the topics covered: being a peaceful therapist (one who knows how to move the process forward, effective ways to help a client move past being stuck, what to do about clients who seem unwilling to go into body awareness, and how to listen for and support the life-forward energy in the client’s process.
Sitting with Gene at his Leading Edge – March 2011
This course was a close reading of Gendlin’s 2012 paper “Implicit Precision.” The course and the resulting CD set are well suited for anyone interested in seeing our world as having living process at its center, a world we belong in and which we participate in re-making. “Implicit Precision” is a key article in Gendlin’s recent work, that both builds on and goes beyond A Process Model. It’s an exciting and hopeful vision of interconnectedness and wholeness, with fresh creative possibilities arising from who and what we are at every moment.
Eugene T. Gendlin received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Chicago and taught there from 1963 to 1995. He is internationally recognized as a major American philosopher and psychologist. He has been honored four times by the American Psychological Association. He co-founded the Psychotherapy Division of the American Psychological Association and received the APA’s first Distinguished Professional Psychologist award in 1970. His book, Focusing, has sold over 500,000 copies and is in seventeen languages. His other books include Let Your Body Interpret Your Dreams, Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy, A Process Model and Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning. He was also a warm brilliant man who lit up a room with the quality of his listening.
Ann Weiser Cornell:
Ann Weiser Cornell was getting her PhD in Linguistics at the University of Chicago when shemet and studied with Eugene Gendlin, starting in 1972. In 1980, Gene invited Ann to assist with his Focusing workshops. This started her on a path to become a Focusing teacher, and in 1990, Ann became the first person to support herself full-time as a Focusing teacher. Today Ann is internationally recognized as one of the leading innovators and theoreticians of Focusing. She is the author of The Power of Focusing, The Radical Acceptance of Everything and Focusing in Clinical Practice: The Essence of Change.