Dr Kirsty Pakes, Parenting Consultant and Clinical Psychologist

Focusing is a deep listening approach that allows us to access a deeper level of knowing and experience that lies beneath the conscious mind, using the bodily felt-sense. It’s a simple and natural process.

It was developed by Eugene Gendlin (philosopher and psychotherapist) who was a colleague of Carl Rogers, the founder of Person-Centered Therapy. He carried out research into successful therapy outcome and found that successful outcome in therapy was less to do with what the client or therapist said and more to do with how the client spoke. When clients spoke in a way that suggested they were speaking from a felt sense or an inner experience of something, this was associated with positive outcome in therapy. These clients’ words were more vague as if they were sensing for the right words to match their inner experience. Gendlin then developed the process of focusing so that people could be taught how to do this.

Focusing allows us to access a deeper and more accurate knowing about ourselves and our lives and also helps us to foster empowering and kind relationships with our emotions. Focusing teaches us how to be with our emotions with kindness, acceptance and strength so that we are neither overwhelmed by them nor out of touch with them. In this way, focusing helps to build emotional well-being and emotional resilience in a profound way. It is a life-long way of being and a skill that can guide you to emotional health and vitality, and give you an inner compass with which to navigate life.

It can be practiced alone and it is also a paired practice where two partners exchange focusing and listening time, and once people know focusing, they usually find a focusing partner and exchange focusing and listening time on a regular basis.

I am deeply passionate about focusing. It is probably the best thing I have ever done (along with Hand in Hand parenting)! It has enhanced the quality of my life, my mental health and my well-being immeasurably. It gives me immense pleasure to be able to teach it to other people so that they too can experience it’s riches and treasures!

I teach it individually and in groups. Contact me to find out more or arrange a free 20 minute chat.

Focusing can also be brought into therapeutic work as an overarching orientation. It can be used within any therapeutic framework. I have a specialist training in Focusing-Oriented Therapy and find it to be a gentle, accessible and powerful way of working. Do contact me to find out more.

You can visit the British Focusing Association for more information about focusing.