Focusing Specialties

Some Focusing professionals are fully trained in both Focusing and another specialty. They seek to serve audiences that have specific interests or want to enhance the work they bring into the world by integrating Focusing with a creative, healing or spiritual process. Check out the descriptions below to learn how you might benefit.

Focusing and the Arts

Focusing and the Arts harnesses the creative impulse of those seeking to make tangible and outwardly express something that comes to them as an impulse or idea. At times, the artist senses that something important within is seeking expression, but it is vague – “I know what I want to express but I don’t know how to get it down on the music score, paper or canvas.  At other times the artist may feel overwhelmed – “There are just too many ways of expressing it.”  At still other times, the artist may be immersed in a project, but become blocked, not knowing what to do next.  Focusing can bring clear direction and free creativity to one’s work.

Focusing is ideally suited to support the creative life of the artist.  Supported by a companion, the Focuser spends quiet time to identify and seek symbolic representation for a previously unrecognized internal sense. Focusers call these symbolic representations “a felt sense”.  The Felt Sense takes form in words, images, gestures, or sounds for different people and can be a catalyst toward hearing into what is deeply wanting to be expressed as art.  Words might come forth from within the body that get set into poetry or another of the written and spoken arts – story, essay, drama. Images might suggest something for the visual arts, such as painting, drawing and photography.  Gesture might inform movement, such as dance and mime. Sound might lead to a new music composition.

Artists who are feeling stuck or blocked in a project, find special assistance in Focusing.  By spending quiet time to identify their sense of a project, often they become aware of what is in the way of satisfying and productive work and come to new directions to explore or of previously unrecognized connections within a project.

Focusing for the artist can strengthen awareness of internal experiencing, support confidence in embodied wisdom, and open new pathways for self-expression. The result is often an awakening of fresh energy to nurture that most human of characteristics, creativity.

To find the names of professionals in your area who incorporate Focusing to support and nurture the creative life, please go to the  Practitioners on this web site.

Focusing-oriented Spiritual Direction [FOSD]

You call out my name and I answer…as I hear the call. Spiritual Direction, like Focusing, offers you dedicated space and time to sit with a companion who will support your inner explorations in listening to and attending the ‘spirit’ of your life. In many religious traditions Spiritual Directors have provided counsel to individuals in their quest to know God and deepen in understanding of religious readings. Today, Spiritual Directors are highly trained professionals who skillfully assist individuals to deepen into the wisdom that abides within…with or without a specific religious context.

Focusing philosophy speaks profoundly about the manner in which life within you seeks to move from an implicit state to one that is expressed outwardly in the world of your work, relationships and interactions. One key element of the work includes going into a clear, quiet space within the body while relaxing the mind and listening. There, in the wisdom layers of the body, you invite what wants to be known and understood and attend to it. This intimate process threads connection to the ‘spirit of life’ within you in that moment and invites life energy to form around what seeks to be known and be expressed as conscious thought and action in your daily life.

Offering Focusing in a Spiritual Direction context means that expertise of two modalities, both emphasizing deep listening with support of a skilled companion has the potential to: increase self-awareness, cultivate gentle acceptance of all aspects of yourself toward wholeness and live from a centered place. Spiritual Direction and Focusing lead you back to and engage your truest self. These practices enable you to open the mind-body and energetic flow of life toward full self-expression, informed by whole-bodied wisdom and a broader sense of Life or God or Source as you may know it.

To find the names of professionals in both Focusing and Spiritual Direction in your area, please go to the Practitioners listing on this web site.

Focusing and Body-Based Modalities

Focusing is a body-based practice and aligns naturally with other work centered in the body. Among practitioners who choose to combine the two are: Martial Artists, Massage Therapists, Rosen workers, Authentic Movers, Reiki practitioners, Yoga teachers and Whole-Body Focusers. If you are a body-based worker, what might Focusing add to your practice and the experience of the client?

As varied as the work might be in each modality, what is certain is that the participant in the work would be guided to explore within and to take time to connect deeply to his/her body and what arises. As many body workers know, the body has a language all its own and many issues are “in the tissues” and bones. Taking a client into this personal realm through the Focusing process gives you and the client insight and gateways into comfortably reading this language. The work also helps the client to learn to attend and listen into sensations in the body.

As a Focusing guided Body-based professional, you empower your clients and deepen their inner work with you. You also might increase concentration and re-direct energy, invite release, open new insights for action and healing. Sensitive to the living body and its capacities, you might be acutely aware also of ways in which you feel a client is blocked, stuck or unfocused. Via Focusing, the client him/herself collaborates with you to explore blocks and issues at the mind-emotional and body levels. Its unique form and the gifts it offers, supports clients in being more self-aware and capable of being with themselves and all aspects of their lives.

If you are a body-based professional and would like to explore Focusing more for use with yourself or your clients, please refer to names of those working with specialties in the Practitioners listing of this web site.

Focusing and Meditation

Meditation shares many qualities with Focusing. Both practices encourage an attitude of non-judgment and openness to what is in the present moment. The approach is one of “being with” rather than “thinking about” or “trying to change”. A Focusing attitude uses such words as “be friendly to…”, or “be curious about…”. In meditation, one’s attitude is similarly accepting and compassionate.

Both practices pay attention to sensations in our bodies. What is different between Focusing and meditation is what you then do. Meditation encourages us to notice our thoughts, emotions or sensations and either let them go or respond with self-compassion and equanimity. We do not get very involved with our inner process or struggles but rather attend to them as impermanent and passing. Conversely, Focusing engages us with our inner process with interest and curiosity. We pay attention to our body’s sensations, thoughts and emotions and allow our “felt senses” to emerge more fully. The Focuser takes time to explore surfacing images, sensations and emotions and to explore their deeper meaning in our life.

A Focusing connection allows for a deeply personal and particular self-connection, while meditation feels more connected to a universal humanity. Both hold a belief in the inner wisdom within each of us, in our capacity for transformation and growth. Both often result in a more relaxed state, sense of clarity and being more centered. Both can be deeply spiritual.

To explore how these practices enhance one another is a unique journey.

To locate a practitioner who specializes in these practices and the complementary work available in combining them, please visit the Practitioners listing of this web site.

Thinking at the Edge:  Focusing for finding your next step in life

Do you want to move in a new direction but don’t know how?

Thinking at the Edge (TAE) shows you how to combine your felt knowing with your conceptual thinking, so that your new direction is firmly grounded in your life experience, yet open to what wants to move and grow. Thinking at the Edge helps your new direction flow naturally from your authentic self.

The practice of Focusing is essential to Thinking at the Edge.  In Focusing, you invite a bodily felt sense of a situation to form, then you describe it, which helps it unfold. “Gut feelings,” emotions, or intuitions can be part of a felt sense, but not all of it. The felt sense is a feeling for the “whole” of the situation. At first, this feeling might be hard to put into words. But as you learn to stay with it, the unfolding of the felt sense carries meaning for your life. What was stuck, confused or unclear “comes into focus.” You see possibilities where you couldn’t see them before. As you learn to welcome the “edge” between what you already know and what wants to be known, giving it space to breathe and develop, the words come.

Focusing and TAE are not just techniques, conceptual frameworks or belief systems. They tap into your body’s innate ability to grasp life in a more complete, more spontaneous and more complex way than is possible through intellect alone.  As you learn how to listen to the unclear edge, you gain a multi-purpose tool for thinking, creating, problem solving, and being yourself.