I incorporate Focusing into my therapy with both adult and child clients, and separately offer guided-Focusing sessions to individuals as a non-therapeutic form of self-care and personal inquiry. Focusing is a mind-body-spirit centered approach to growth and healing. It is a way of being with self and others that connects the logical, emotional, and physical experiences of being in the world through the awareness and cultivation of a profound inner knowing place we are all born with but often lose track of. This innately wise core part the self, referred to as the felt sense, is a feeling place that helps people explore their experience beyond words, allowing the body to share and grow its story deeply and holistically.
This integrated, mindful perspective was pioneered by Eugene Gendlin at the University of Chicago in the mid-twentieth century while doing research in conjunction with psychology professor Carl Rogers. While investigating what makes therapy work they discovered that therapeutic value far transcended the methodology of the individual therapist and rested instead on something many clients were already doing within themselves.
Clients who were readily able to slow down and give attention to ambiguous, more-than-words type places in their experience were the ones who ultimately succeeded in meeting their goals for therapeutic change. Often these places were accompanied by a sense of grasping for words such as: I don’t know…um…it’s sort of like…but not quite, maybe more… These felt places when followed and supported by a therapist become the modality of change in therapy. Focusing-Oriented therapy is also based strongly in humanistic, person-centered theory where the relationship between client and therapist is considered paramount to healing interactions.
Often people ask me, why they haven’t heard of Focusing before. Gendlin, wanting Focusing to be freely available to everyone chose not to patent or trademark his discoveries. Thus, while you may not know it, the Focusing philosophy underlies other common movements and theories such as Somatic Experiencing, Body Psychotherapy, and Hakomi.
I am engaged in a certification program for Focusing-Oriented Therapy and have training in a similar practice called Children Focusing. In addition to my therapeutic work, I have a passion for teaching this Focusing way of being with Children through parent-coaching, workshops, and individual consultations. Please contact me for more information.
Guided Focusing Sessions (not therapy): $100
Here are a number of resources to learn more about Focusing:
The Focusing Institute
Focusing Centre Zeeland
Morrison Therapy & Training – Seattle, WA
Getting Bigger Than What’s Bugging You
Local practitioners who incorporate Focusing with other types of healing work:
Anastasia Brencick, LMP – Whidbey Island, WA
Dawn Flynn, ND, LaC. – Bellevue/Renton, WA
All written material on this site ©Kara Hill