Beautiful Landscape

What is Focusing?




“Every bad feeling is potential energy toward a more right way of being if you give it space to move toward its rightness.” Eugene Gendlin



‘Focusing’ began in the 50’s when Gene Gendlin, a student at the University of Chicago was researching what made psychotherapy effective. After thousands of hours of research, he identified a self-reflective behaviour that some clients did naturally from the outset of therapy and others didn’t, and that related strongly with successful therapy outcomes. From this, he then created instructions for teaching this intentional way of being to all clients, and later these instructions became a method called Focusing, for anyone seeking self-help skills. So ‘focusing’ is the natural skill of listening to bodily felt experience, and ‘Focusing’ is the learnt method and practice of inner attention that encourages the natural skill.


Focusing is a body-oriented process of self-awareness and emotional healing. It is the process of listening to your body in a gentle accepting way and hearing the messages that your inner self is sending you. It is a process of honouring the wisdom that you have inside you, becoming aware of the subtle level of knowing that speaks to you through your body. The results of listening to your body are insight, physical release, and positive life change. You understand yourself better, you feel better, and you act in ways that are more likely to create the life you want’

– Ann Weiser Cornell Phd


Focusing as a process usually involves one person spending time exploring their internal landscape and bodily felt senses while in the company of another person who guides and reflects back what the person who is Focusing says.


Examples of Focusing on youtube which shows how this looks in practice.

Anne Weiser Cornell demonstrates Focusing

Dr. Kathy McGuire demonstrates Focusing


To learn more go to focusing.org or perhaps try reading Focusing by Eugene Gendlin.


I would also fully recommend The Radical Acceptance of Everthing by Anne Weiser Cornell.


Anne W. Cornell, who is well known in the Focusing community also offers a free e-course about 'getting bigger than what's bugging you', which I often recommend to clients.