Focusing

Focusing is a simple technique that helps you to become aware of what's called a 'felt sense' - a feeling in the body that has a meaning for us. A felt sense is more than just an emotion, though it certainly has an emotional aspect. It describes those fuzzy feelings that we don't usually pay much attention to. But when we do, we may discover a powerful embodied knowing that can reveal profound insights.

A intuitive understanding of the felt sense is needed to really understand what I'm talking about, so I'll give a few examples. Imagine you're at a party and you spot someone that you have 'a bit of a history' with. How does that feel? Maybe some butterflies. Maybe some vague memories. A mixture of things. That mix of feelings is a felt sense. Or let's say you're taking a walk on a beautiful fresh morning, just after a rain storm. You come over a hill, and there, hanging in the air in front of you is a perfect rainbow. As you stand there and gaze at it, you feel your chest welling up with an expansive, flowing, warm feeling. That feeling is also a felt sense.

I introduce Focusing in this short video; it might help you to get a better sense of it.

Your body is a source of immense wisdom and it can communicate to you via your felt senses. I often draw on that wisdom, especially when I am working with a client. Listening to my own felt sense can give me a deeper understanding of the process of healing that emerges between therapist and client. If appropriate, I might invite my client open his or her awareness to their own felt senses. Once you have the knack of Focusing, it will stay with you and serve you for the rest of your life. It is the single most valuable technique I have ever come across.

Focusing is quite simple but also very subtle. If you're tempted to find out more, I recommend The Power of Focusing: A Practical Guide to Emotional Self-Healing by Ann Weiser Cornell. If you like what you find there, you might want to get in touch.

I am currently in my final months of training as a Focusing Orientated Therapist.