Focusing could be described as “a natural and gentle practice of listening to your body and your inner sense of knowing”.
It was created by Eugene Gendlin, a colleague of the prominent psychologist Carl Rogers. In his research with Rogers, Gendlin explored why some psychotherapy clients were successful in therapy and some weren’t. Those that weren’t successful would answer immediately without pause. However, those that were seemed to check in with what he came to describe as a “felt sense” before answering a question. Working with this “felt sense” is key to Focusing.
To give a trivial example – if we ask the question, “What will I have for dinner tonight?” How do we answer this? Do we think through the options and decide it mathematically (e.g. I had pizza yesterday, I can’t have that, but I haven’t had macaroni cheese for four days, so that is what I should have), or do you check what you feel like? Perhaps you think “pizza” then wait for some kind of response. No response, think macaroni – wait. Ahh, yes. I’ll have Macaroni cheese.
The example might be simplistic, but the point is to demonstrate that we may well do this instinctively already. Focusing simply aims to help us use it as a more conscious tool.
I have never heard anyone speak about Focusing as a method for cultivating Fundamental Wellbeing, yet, it is my ‘go-to’ method – something I consider a valuable tool that helps us engage with our experience.
To test this theory out, I met with an old friend, who is a Focusing trainer. He had not, at that point, heard much about the concept of Fundamental Wellbeing (although he had been a practicing Buddhist previously). I asked him about the benefits of his Focusing practice. I was delighted to see the way in which he described the benefits of Fundamental Wellbeing, without mentioning the term!
To find out more about Focusing, consider visiting either of these sites:
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