• A Guide to Focusing

  • A Guide to Focusing

    Forest Walk Midlothian November 2017

    Have you ever wondered why some clients benefit from psychotherapy, and others not? It's such a great question, underpinning all the other questions I try to answer.

    Fortunately, there's a robust body of research which can point us to an answer. One of the founding fathers of psychotherapy, Carl Rogers (he of "unconditional positive regard" and "empathic attainment" fame) worked alongside someone lesser known, Eugene Gendlin. It was Gendlin who was curious about why some benefited from psychotherapy and some not, and in general terms, he revealed the extent to which someone has a felt sense of their experience made a significant difference. His body of work is called Focusing. 

    I had the privilege of seeing Gendlin demonstrating his craft many years ago at a conference in California. At the time I was deep in training to become a therapist, and I have to say at the time, I was unimpressed. Fast forward several decades and now I understand so much more about both his methodology and skill. (I'm currently in the final phase of my Focusing Practitioner training).

    Looking for something else entirely, I stumbled on a link provided by the London Focusing Institute. It's to a well written piece called Doorways to the Embodied Self by Marian Sandmaier after attending a focusing conference with Ann Weiser Cornell (in many ways, the "successor" to Gendlin, who died recently). She not only provides some context and history to the development of Focusing, but also a vivd description of her own experience.  

    If you're curious about Focusing or how Focusing Oriented Therapy may be beneficial, please get in touch.