What We Mean by "The Body" in Focusing

What We Mean by the “The Body” in Focusing
Seattle Focusing Institute

What We Mean by the “The Body” in Focusing

  • When I use the word “body,” I mean more than the physical machine. Your physically felt body is in fact part of a gigantic system of here and other places, now and other times, you and other people–in fact, the whole universe. This sense of being bodily alive in a vast system is the body as it is felt from inside.

    Eugene T. Gendlin, PhD
    Eugene T. Gendlin, PhDDiscovered and developed the practice of Focusing

The body as it is felt from the inside is still little understood, but, like Gendlin, we do know it’s important.

Somatic therapies point to our physically felt sensations as keys to understanding what our autonomic nervous system is trying to communicate to us. Staying with what is physically felt is very important in helping us remain present. However, more than somatics is at play when it comes to inner sensing.

Our trauma is bodily felt and is more than physical

In Focusing-Oriented Therapy we attend to what is called our Felt Sense of a situation. When we pause and bring awareness to the body as sensed form the inside, we can allow a Felt Sense of a situation to form.
A Felt Sense is more than just physical, it is our organism’s holistic knowing of an experience which contains both what went wrong and what would be a right next step toward growth. Understanding how to facilitate the forming of a Felt Sense in therapy or your own life has a huge advantage. It allows us to turn toward and be with our experience with curiosity and compassion.

Repatterning the story of our lives

When you can be in touch with your body from the inside or guide a client to do so you open up the human capacity for the freedom to make a non-habitual choice. Here we are present, regulated, resourcing, reconnecting and repatterining the story of our lives.




Moving Beyond Talk Therapy | Zoom | 6 CEUS

Moving Beyond Talk Therapy | Zoom | 6 CEUS

Learn and experience the power of working with the Felt Sense – how the body holds living experience about a situation – and why it is the key to moving beyond the typical dead ends of therapy. The two days will be didactic and experiential with demonstrations. This is an easy way to taste the benefits of Focusing.

Focusing-Oriented Therapy and Complex Trauma Training Program. An embodied and relational approach to unwinding stress and trauma for therapists and healing professionals.