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Paperback Focusing Book

ISBN: 0553145266

ISBN13: 9780553145267


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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. The classic guide to a powerful technique that can increase your mindfulness and lead to personal transformation Based on groundbreaking research conducted at the University of Chicago, the focusing...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Surprisingly approachable & immediately implementable

I read the book in its entirety in one day. From that peremptory understanding I was able to practice the Focusing technique and experience a 'body shift'. Given the technical prowess and significant expertise of its author, Focusing is a surprisingly approachable book from which even the least seasoned beginner can glean many immediately practicable lessons. In my first reading I found myself underlining on nearly every page concepts that were pertinent to issues with which I am currently dealing and, further, seeing that in subsequent reads--as my life and its issues evolve--there will be little that does not relate. The practice of focusing is really not just for those in search of effective means of therapy/self-help, but a body-thinking technique that can and will help in every aspect of your life: internal dialogue, realtionships, career, etc. as well. Dr. Gendlin and his colleagues bravely contend that with focusing as part of each person's repetoire of ability, this world would be a far more effectively communicative place. After first brush and some practice, I wholeheartedly agree.

Much more than a self-help/therapeutic technique

Want a small taste of what this book teaches? Try this: Think about a place you love to be. There's something about that place... something that makes you feel good in just that exact way you do feel when you are there. Feel how it is for you with this place you love. We are all used to putting things into words right away. But this time, don't try to say what it is you're experiencing right now. Just be with the feeling of how it is to be there in that place, and what makes it feel like that to you, without making any words for it for a while. As you slow down to be with this felt sense, you may be noticing that you feel it in a specific part of your body-often your heart, or your throat, or your stomach. Right now I'm sitting in a place that's like that for me: one of my favorite chairs with my cat curled up next to me. To show you what I mean, I'll go into the felt sense of sitting here with my cat. Right away I notice that I'm feeling it in my heart and throat, a kind of thick warm golden feeling a little like honey. It's got a poignant quality. Now that it's become more vivid and tangible to me, I'm going to pause for a minute (an actual real honest-to-god minute of clock time!) and just be with the feeling. In a minute I will go further into it, but for right now it's good to just give it my friendly attention. After the pause, I notice that I'd like to ask this felt sense, `what makes this poignant quality?' So I ask that, and then I pause, so that the answer comes. I don't go looking for it, I let it come. It may take a minute, before it does. So I'm doing that now. ..... It's something about her trust in me. Her whole body is open. She needs me, and she's at ease needing me. There's something about her open trusting needing, that I need. Her trusting presence keeps me connected to her and to where I am, while I am writing this. I pause again and just feel what's happening in the felt sense (which will constantly make little shifts and openings). ..... Oh, and there's a bigger thing I just saw! This open trusting needing that she is displaying, is exactly a way I could be, myself, in a certain situation I'm in! I'm pausing again, to take that in. That feels much more sound than the other more constricted way I was being in relation to that whole thing. I can feel how what I do in this situation is going to be a little different now. Going into something small and positive like this is a good place to start in learning the process, and it can continue to be a powerful way to Focus no matter how accomplished you get, as it was for me here. But this is kind of like the tip of the iceberg. I've made it look very easy (and it can be really easy like this). But like any profound process it takes a while to learn it deeply, to get an intuitive feel for things like: what to ask the felt sense next; what to do if a felt sense doesn't come; how to handle it when you're in the middle of an overw

Practical. Works better than I expected.

I'm giving it five stars for the system; it really works for things I have applied it to. As a book, it is also well written and has a certain fun sense of discovery, especially when reading about how Dr. Gendlin was trying to discover what 'it' was that people who were successful in therapy 'got.' I am not part of 'the-religion-which-must-not-be-named' but I must agree that too often psychology (granted a broad blast here) simply makes people more self-centered, self-deluded, and generally worse. If you have some things that feel perhaps too painful frightening to even think about approaching, Focusing gives you a way to defuse the bombs from a distance, so to speak. My humble summary of what Focusing is: It is a system to repair specific communication errors between the limbic system and the rational part of the brain. AFTER finding how you have been mislabeling a certain pain, you may THEN find that the origin is very clear. Dredging up potential origins first (as most systems do) to find why you have a current discomfort, is like doing an appendectomy through your ear - once and a while it will work and once and a while the patient will even survive. Forget that and try Focusing.

Easy to read and understand

As a layperson, I was skeptical as to whether I would be able to understand this book. I was expecting lots of clinical explanations. To my surprise, it was just the opposite. Written so that anyone can understand it, "Focusing" gives the guidance to holistically find the source of fears, anxiety, and negativity. It guides the reader to a place where he/she can sit and listen to the body speak of the source of a problem's manifestation. I recommend this to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of why we sometimes feel the way we do.

indispensable for increasing awareness of self and others

This book was first published in 1978, and I wish I had discovered it back then, as it would have spared me years of spinning my wheels. The author is a psychologist, as well as a philosopher specializing in phenomenology. His thinking definitely serves as a solid underpinning to this book. However, the book is completely practical. It teaches you how to get in touch with your body/mind--the part of you that feels and knows without using logic, morality, guilt, or blame. Once you get in touch with whatever your body/mind is experiencing in the present, you focus on that "felt sense." Keeping your conscious awareness tuned to that feeling causes a movement in the energy, and ultimately a shift occurs,which you can physically feel as a release of a blockage or a point of tension. This technique works very well for those problems and issues that you thought you had worked through, but keep returning over and over again. The best part is, you can do this work without a therapist. After a while, you will find that your body (or rather, body/mind) becomes your best teacher on all matters of the heart and soul.
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