Yesterday we came to the end of the first online training in Focusing offered by the Focusing Institute, which builds on the work of Eugene Gendlin, philosopher and psychotherapist.
“Focusing” is a process for helping your mind listen to the wisdom of your body.
“What is true is already so. Owning up to it doesn’t make it worse. Not being open about it doesn’t make it go away. And because it’s true, it is what is there to be interacted with. Anything untrue isn’t there to be lived. People can stand what is true, for they are already enduring it.” Gendlin
Focusing can be useful for people who find talking therapy does not really get to their problems, because it involves the body’s wisdom and works with our unconscious understanding of the whole problem, rather than simply what we already know. It allows the client to remain in control of her process, following her own direction at her own speed but also allows her to go deeper. Focusing can be very useful for making decisions or for finding new possibilities when things seem stuck, so it can be helpful for parents, business, life coaching and for artists or scientists who are in need of new inspiration to begin and complete projects. Somatic meditators, bodyworkers and therapists can use Focusing to reflect on and go deeper with their practice and communicate with their clients.
Our class was compromised of psychotherapists, bodyworkers, a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor, a poet and people who use focusing for personal development. The two-year programme gave an opportunity to work with Focusing Trainers from all over the world as well as meet in small groups to practice and observe each other. We also had ongoing focusing partnerships. Next year I hope to coach some of the new students for the programme and have an opportunity to supervise some of them. I found my Focusing Supervision to be deeper than the standard Person-centred approach in that it involved ‘all of me’, not simply the ‘me with my clients’ or a ‘me with a problem’ but was able to hold the true holistic reality I found myself in.
I have found myself applying a Focusing-oriented way of working with my clients on my placements and took the opportunity to give a very basic introduction to Focusing to some of the students on my Person-centred counselling and Psychotherapy programme, they said,
‘You taught me to listen to myself in a different way.’
‘Things are changing, you were with me in that space and help me clarify.’
‘You make the pain in my chest feel better.’
I will attend and help out at the weeklong for the Focusing community in Santiago, Chile in January 2019 and the International Focusing conference in Meridian, Mexico as part of my upcoming journey around Latin America.