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Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy

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Focusing is a therapeutic tool that allows us to find new solutions to problems by paying attention to your body's own inner wisdom, which involves holding an open awareness and attention to your internal “felt sense”.  Through attending to what we feel in our bodies in relation to an issue, we can explore beyond what words are capable of; in fact, we can create a bridge between what is conscious and what is unconscious, and direct this knowledge towards treating whatever issues you are wanting to work on.

Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy can assist to:

  • Clarify feelings, needs and wishes.

  • Process bodily held trauma.

  • Help shift internal obstacles that have not responded to Talking Therapy.

  • Identify “parts” for further experiential processing.

This technique is also called “Inner Relationship Focusing”, which highlights that this way of processing helps us to develop a loving relationship with our whole self. Usually, when we feel something, like jitteriness in our stomach when nervous, we try to push it away and soldier on. 


The Focusing process assists you to listen to the feeling and allow it to communicate to you the meaning behind the symptom, so that you can process underlying issues and find healing.

Image by Gaelle Marcel
Image by Robin Schreiner

What is the Focusing Process Like?

The classical technique of Focusing (defined by Gendlin, 1996) involves six steps:

  1. Clearing a Space: Begin by creating a safe space, calming the mind and body.

  2.  Getting a ‘Felt Sense’: Asking an open-ended question about the situation or problem you are facing and scanning for a bodily feeling in response.

  3. Finding a Handle: Allowing the bodily feeling to emerge in your mind as an image or association and looking for the words that match, e.g. "It's fluttering", "It's heavy;"

  4. Resonating and Checking: Clarifying if the images or descriptions fit.

  5. Asking: Deeply exploring the feelings, images and words to see what associations and meanings emerge.

  6. Receiving: at each step of the processing, remaining receptive to any developments and changes and attending to them.

In therapy, these steps are facilitated by the therapist, guiding you through each stage, helping you make sense of what comes up and identifying ways to make the most of the new knowledge you have acquired.  Please feel free to get in touch if you would like to explore if Focusing might be helpful for you.

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