Focusing- Mindfulness Engagement for Therapy Clients, Practitioners, and the General Public
Focusing is a mindfulness-like process that goes beyond simply becoming aware of your inner experience and allows you to actively engage with, explore, and heal parts of you that may otherwise be neglected or stuck. Anyone can learn how to Focus either alone or with others. Although it was developed by psychologists Gene Gendlin and Carl Rogers and has shown to make psychotherapy more effective when employed, Focusing can be done outside the therapy office without a therapist present. It can be an amazing tool for couples, parents with children, or even between other Focusers who you've just met. Whether you're a therapist or practitioner of some other healing art, a client in therapy, or simply and individual seeking more clarity around and control over your reactions, there is a place for you in the Focusing community. Explore the page below and contact me if you're interested in learning more.
Focusing for Clients of Therapy-
I use a myriad of modalities in my therapy, but Focusing Oriented Psychotherapy is the foundation of the way I approach my work. We are all multifaceted beings, with some parts of our experience being anxious, hurting, traumatized, depressed, and stuck, and some parts being uplifted, hopeful, joyful, and in balance. So much of our suffering has to do with our fear of facing or experiencing those more difficult parts of ourselves. We work so hard to ignore, shove down, or change the discomfort, yet in doing so those parts of us don't go away, they only grow and find subconscious or dysfunctional ways of expressing themselves. Through Focusing, we create an effective distance from the discomfort, increasing our ability to tolerate it so we can finally be present with these difficult aspects of being. This gives room for those parts to be what they are, where we can then engage with them, resulting in new information about the experience itself and on what is needed to allow that part of ourselves to reach that place it is inherently driven to find- peace and balance.
I've found Focusing to be especially helpful with Chronic Depression, Trauma, Generalized Anxiety and Panic Attacks, Chronic Pain, Dysfunctional Reactions in Relationship, and Habitual Behavior.
Research has shown that people who use Focusing in their therapy sessions have more success than those who are not attending to their inner process. I work with clients to use it in our sessions, but also to learn how to do it on their own. My clients who learn how to Focus with others can take advantage of a free, public, monthly Changes group, where people meet and exchange Focusing sessions. This is an additional resource for people who want to connect with others interested in personal growth, practice their Focusing skills, and gain the benefits of an extra Focusing session a month.
If you're interested in Focusing Oriented Psychotherapy, please contact me to discuss the possibility of an appointment or see my Psychotherapy page for more information. If you're already in therapy with another therapist, there are several ways to explore Focusing on your own to increase the effectiveness of your current therapy- Contact either me, Tara Breitenbucher at (206) 303-0653, or my colleague Steven Biesmann, (541) 410-9039, for more information on ongoing resources for instruction.
Focusing for Practitioners-
Focusing Oriented Psychotherapy isn't a modality in itself, but an orientation that can be easily applied to any modality you're already using. It's been the basis of many of the somatic and mindfulness-oriented work that has become so essential today. Using Focusing in your work...
- Gives clients who are otherwise critical of, or overwhelmed by, certain emotional states, a way to accept and tolerate difficult emotions while maintaining perspective and control.
- Teaches clients who intellectualize their experience, or continually repeat stories about their experience without resolution, how to directly connect with the felt meaning of the experience in order to finally allow movement and healing.
- Gives your clients an effective way in-between session to continue increasing awareness and acceptance of the more difficult aspects of their inner awareness.
- Provides you with a way to use your own inner awareness to gain information and to consciously deal with transference and countertransference issues.
- Allows your clients to directly feel the infinitude of intricacies that experience contains, so that your chronically depressed or anxious client can feel, often for the first time, their experience shift and evolve.
Having studied for 10 years under Dr. Kevin Krycka, who studied with Focusing founder, Gene Gendlin, I completed an extensive training and became certified by the International Focusing Institute as a Focusing Oriented Psychotherapist and Focusing Trainer. I co-created and taught a class on using Focusing in therapy for graduate students at Seattle University and have used it in my practice for the last 10 years. I now provide introductory workshops to the public and workshops on Focusing Oriented Psychotherapy to clinicians.
If you have clients that you think may benefit from instruction in Focusing, you're welcome to send them to one of my introductory workshops, and you are also welcome in one of my workshops for clinicians. The ongoing, free, monthly Changes group for people to meet and exchange Focusing sessions, could be open to your clients or yourself once some kind of formal Focusing instruction has been obtained. The group is open to people new to Focusing to observe a Focusing exchange, ask questions, and obtain resources for further instruction. Please feel free to contact me, Tara Breitenbucher, LPC, for more information, (206) 303-0653, or visit my workshops page.
Focusing Outside of Therapy-
Do you often feel you’re your own worst enemy, working against your most valued goals and disconnected from what allows you to thrive? Focusing is a long-studied, well-researched process that will give you the tools to be with yourself in a whole new way, helping you to find and resolve parts of yourself that may be sabotaging your ability to take control of your life. It’s similar to mindfulness, but goes several steps beyond. Once learned, it’s a process you can do on your own or with another, but without a therapist, doctor, teacher, or guru. It gives you back your own power to define exactly what you want in life and the next steps needed to actualize that vision.
Focusing will help you to...
- Get beyond feeling stuck in your life, habits, or creative endeavors
- Begin to heal parts of yourself that you may have neglected
- Access inner awareness, gaining control of your reactions
- Be with yourself and others in an entirely different way
- Become a better decision maker and communicator
Although therapeutic, Focusing does not have to be performed in therapy sessions. The fact that Focusing can always be done without the content of the experience being expressed, allows you to Focus with a friend, family member, partner, or even stranger, without the complicating aspects of therapy. Once you learn how to Focus, you can focus on your own or find a Focusing partner online or through a free, monthly, Changes group that I co-facilitate. There you could exchange Focusing sessions once a month or meet a Focusing partner with which to exchange Focusing sessions ongoing.
If you're interested in an introductory workshop or individual session to see if Focusing is for you, please contact either me, Tara Breitenbucher at (206) 303-0653, or my colleague Steven Biesmann at (541) 410-9039, for more information on ongoing resources for instruction.