Portland Focusing - A way to listen to your inner self
Focusing is a self-help skill for personal transformation. Focusing is a special way of paying attention to or listening to your Self.
In this busy world which is so externally directed, turning within to listen to one's deeper Self is a forgotten and important skill.
When focusing, you turn your attention inwards, and in presence you sense the whole way you are feeling about situations or issues in your life.
Focusing is different from just thinking about your issues. It is quite different from just having emotions or getting in touch with feelings. Focusing is a journey inwards, a very intimate encounter with your Self , and listening to its unfolding. The result is greater calm, wiser choices, a life of greater personal authenticity, and a deeper relationship with your Self, your life, your Being.
How do people use Focusing?
Focusing has a great many uses; wherever your life could benefit from listening more deeply to your self, focusing can benefit. For example, people use focusing to:
• make decisions
• know what you really feel and want
• get in touch with your life purpose
• release your blocks to action
• interpret dreams
• clarify your personal values
• deepen your journaling experience
• release emotional burdens
• transform your inner critic
• nurture your self-esteem
• learn to listen to and deepen your relationship with your self
• become more present to your self and your life
Simply put, the occasions to use focusing are as varied as are the occasions that would benefit from being more closely in touch which your deeper Self.
What is the philosophy or guiding principle behind Focusing?
The Focusing process is based on a radical philosophy of change: that there is no need to do anything to what you are feeling in order to experience transformation. Instead, when we understand that feelings are in process, we realize that acknowledgement and Presence are what is needed for natural change.
Where did Focusing come from: who developed it?
Focusing was discovered by Professor Eugene Gendlin of the University of Chicago who researched the question: "Why is therapy helpful for some people, but not others?" Studying tapes of hundreds of therapy sessions, Gendlin discovered that: successful therapy clients experienced a vague, hard-to-describe inner awareness - a bodily "felt sense" about their problems. Gendlin discovered that attending to this felt sense in specific ways proved to be a key component of successful personal growth. He developed a method for how to teach this skill, which he called Focusing.
Over the decades since Gendlin's discovery, Focusing has been integrated into numerous therapeutic modalities. The practice of Focusing also expanded beyond the therapy community, and now individuals working alone, with Focusing partners, and in Changes groups practice Focusing as a valued self-help method.
How can you experience or learn Focusing with Michael?
I am a Focusing Teacher certified by both the Focusing Institute of New York and the Inner Relationship Focusing program of California. I integrate Focusing into my therapy practice in several ways. When working with clients, almost always I encourage my clients to attend to their experience of the felt sense associated with the issue with which they are working. Occasionally I will more formally guide them explicitly using Focusing as a method.
I also work with persons who are uninterested in therapy, but who simply want to Focus, and explore within. These Focusing appointments can occur in person and by telephone / Skype.
Also, I teach how to Focus through workshops and individual sessions. There are four levels of Focusing workshops which I teach. If you are interested in learning how to Focus, I recommend starting with an individual session, which can be done in person or on the phone. After that, you may take the Level One Focusing workshop, which can get you started immediately using Focusing in your life. I offer the Level One workshop several times a year. I also offer more advanced Focusing workshops which require Level One as a prerequisite. You can find workshops and classes at "Workshops and Classes".
What happens in an individual Focusing session?
When you have an individual Focusing session, I will safely guide you through the Focusing process whereby you get in deeper touch with your inner Self.. The most important purpose of the first session is for you to actually experience what Focusing feels like. You are also welcome to ask questions about how you can apply Focusing after the session.
I’m hesitant to tell someone I’ve never met my deepest secrets.
Of course you are. That's quite understandable. Understand that as a counselor, I offer my clients a supportive, safe, and confidential space within which they can grow.
Moreover, in an individual guided Focusing session, in person or on the phone, you will not be asked to tell anything about your life issues. I concentrate on the process itself, not the details of your life. If you want to tell a little bit, to set the stage so to speak, you are welcome to do so, and anything you say will be held as confidential. But there is no requirement to tell anything.
Do phone sessions really work as well as in person sessions?
Yes, emphatically! The experience of many focusers suggests that there seems to be no difference in the benefits that people receive, whether on the phone or in person.
One Focusing session, or many?
That’s up to you. One session is typically enough to prepare you for a Level One Focusing class, although in a few cases people may need two or three sessions. If you would like to continue to have sessions to support your Focusing process, perhaps to work on some particular areas of life that need extra time and care, this is something that people often do. The number of sessions, the frequency, and when you start and stop are completely up to you.
Consider a free consultation
I believe that it is important that you have the opportunity to explore your interest in Focusing at no cost to you. Therefore I offer prospective clients the opportunity to meet with me for a 50-minute complimentary consultation.
The easiest way to arrange a consultation or Focusing session is to use this "Online Appointment Booking" link. There you can book your appointment at a day and time of your convenience. Of course this can be done by phone (503.226.2771) or email, but given my busy practice, I may not reply to you in a timely manner.
Directions and maps to my near-downtown office may be found using this "Portland office location" link.
Periodically I offer Focusing workshops. If you are interested in subscribing to email notifications of my classes, click here: Subscribe to Michael's Notificatons of Classes and Workshops .