Therapy Toronto Psychotherapy Definitions

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Focusing
Focusing is an approach developed by Eugene Gendlin from the University of Chicago. Through a series of specific steps which can be learned, a person is able to realize how difficulties, problems, confusions, or generally where we are stuck, are all carried in the body in a certain way which Gendlin calls a “felt sense”. Focusing is experiencing “how the body carries a whole problem”.


Focusing is also a skill which can be taught. It is used by people around the world “to find and change where your life is stuck, cramped, hemmed in, slowed down” (p.4).

Gendlin describes the process as an “inner act” of bringing attention to a bodily awareness which we find is related to a situation, person or event. Through developing this internal bodily awareness of “a physical sense of meaning”, a person is able to gain clarity and experience a resolution to conflicts, confusions, doubts.

Focusing is an aspect of experiential therapy since what is of utmost importance is not necessarily how we are thinking about a problem but what our whole experience of the problem is.
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