focusing: body and mind at the murky edge

please enjoy this guest post by my good friend jael, who is currently studying a fascinating therapeutic technique called focusing.

when i was in my early 20’s i decided to switch from social science to computer science and math at university and live at home with my parents. when the offer of admission arrived, my body’s response (within two minutes of reading the offer) was a bad headache. i ignored the headache, carried out my plan, and went through a painful and difficult academic year that ended badly.

not all bodily knowings get signalled as dramatically as a headache. however, accessing this knowledge can be useful, powerful, exciting. one way of doing this is focusing.

focusing, first promoted by the highly successful therapist and philosopher eugine gendlin, is a way of welcoming subtle body wisdom, and interacting with it to support life-forward movement, whatever that looks like to the individual. each person is different; each person’s bodily process is unique, and each journey unfolds in its own way.

“focusing is direct access to a bodily knowing.” what could that mean? direct access – i sense something in my body that knows more than i can think about with words.

at first, it feels confusing, like there’s something there, and, then, gradually, more comes to me. what do i do with that information from my body? i observe, patiently, respectfully, as the feelings and insights shift and change. being in presence, holding a space for my body to communicate to me; giving space and time for the process to move forward and for a sense of fresh air to be welcomed and received.

are you curious, reading these words? mental health camp 2010 is one place where you can find out more.

there will be a quiet space at this event, where people can rest and renew themselves, and be listened to by focusing volunteers.

katarina halm will be presenting an introduction to inner relationship focusing.

here you can see a video by eugene gendlin about the murky edge of knowing

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