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What is Focusing? Getting in Touch With What is Beyond the Spoken Word Lynn Preston, MA, MS, LP

What is it that makes some therapy sessions alive and compelling and others lifeless and dull? We may say that the enlivening sessions are with patients who are “in touch with their feelings.” But what does this “in-touchiness” entail and how do we facilitate it when it is absent?

Focusing, an approach developed by philosopher Eugene Gendlin, is a way of opening the therapeutic moment to the unformulated, not-quite-conscious undercurrents of felt meaning that are beneath the surface of all our thinking and speaking. He calls this implicit intricacy. Access to this feeling level isthe life force of therapeutic momentum. By becoming sensitized to its presence, we can harness its transformational potential.

In this workshop participants will be introduced to the “how to” of using focusing in psychotherapy. Through didactic exploration and live clinical demonstration we will explore:
• Listening for and bringing awareness to “the more” of what is being talked about
• Sensing into the vast territory of implicit experience that is just beneath
• Getting the deeper point that the patient is trying to get or show
• Enlivening the moment through evocative listening and responding

Lynn Preston, MA, MS, LP, is a focusing-oriented relational psychoanalyst, teacher and supervisor. Lynn is a graduate of the PPSC Advanced Self Psychology program, a faculty member of the Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy (ICP) and the founding Director of the Experiential Psychotherapy Project (EPP). She has written and presented internationally on the integration of focusing and relational psychoanalysis. She has an abiding interest in experiential teaching and integrative processes.