Focusing for Craniosacral Practitioners

What is focusing?

Focusing is a body-oriented process of self-awareness. It is based in an ability that most of us have, or can develop - that of listening to what our subtle inner feelings are telling us. 

It was discovered in the 1960’s by Professor Eugene Gendlin at the University of Chicago. There, he began research into the question ‘Why is psychotherapy helpful for some people, but not for others?’ After studying hundreds of therapy sessions, Gendlin and his research team concluded that they could predict the success of treatment based on the clients that were able to have body awareness; for which he coined the term ‘felt sense’.

 Gendlin went on to formulate a six-step protocol to teach people how to access and use this body awareness as a means of self help. His ground- breaking approach has been incorporated into numerous therapy modalities. In particular in the treatment and resolution of trauma Focusing has been adapted by great innovators such Babette Rothschild and Peter Levine.

Focusing and cranial treatment

In this workshop we will learn or deepen into the Focusing form and apply it in session work. There are three main ways in which Focusing can enrich our biodymanic treatment modality:

 1.    Self care – working as a craniosacral therapist with many different clients can be emotionally taxing. Focusing is a wonderful tool for getting to the bottom of why we feel pressurised or uncomfortable in the presence of some of our clients. In turn this helps us create a safe relational field.

2.    Client’s body awareness – coaching our clients in Focusing as part of cranial treatment helps them orient to how their bodies store past experience and can augment the therapeutic effect

3.    Self-Regulation and Co-Regulation – this relies on the practitioner’s ability to stay in tune with their own inner state throughout the session and down-regulate or simply acknowledge any activation states; these might include physical discomfort, emotions or drifting off. This in turn co-regulates activation or freeze states in the client. Pure magic in cases of dissociation, where the client can’t feel what is happing in their body and in hyperarousal states.

© Katherine Ukleja 2014