Thirty years before Mindfulness,

There was Focusing

There’s been a body-mind revolution in psychotherapy.

A new generation of psychotherapies, backed by the latest developments in neuroscience, are based on the premise that in order to help clients achieve deep lasting change in therapy, therapists must get below clients’ mere words and thoughts and reach the powerful emotions and neural systems beneath that drive human reactions and behavior.

Yet 30 years before the neuroscientific revolution, psychologist Eugene Gendlin was already writing about his revolutionary discovery that deep therapeutic change occurred when clients became aware of, and paid attention to, an awareness inside that was neither solely cognitive (mind) nor solely emotional or physical (body), but simultaneously, inseparably, all three.

What’s more, this “felt sense,” as Gendlin called it, wasn’t some mysterious subconscious process needing a therapist’s expert interpretation. Rather, it existed right below consciousness, in that “tip-of-the-tongue” place, readily accessible if one knew how to find it.

His research, which he conducted at the University of Chicago, showed in fact that the most successful therapy clients – the ones most likely to make lasting therapeutic changes – instinctively seemed to hone in on these felt senses and use them in therapy, on their own, without their therapist’s guidance – regardless of their therapist’s orientation.

Gendlin called what these successful clients were doing “Focusing,” and developed ways to teach people how to do it outside of therapy. And he called the therapy that explicitly sought to harness the power of the Focusing process “Focusing-oriented therapy.”

Focusing and Focusing-oriented therapy are still revolutionary

They are ways to access the deepest inner experiences in ourselves and our clients in a manner that allows for transformative change to occur.

Focusing-oriented therapy offers a safe, gentle, powerful and clinically elegant way to help your clients connect to what’s really going on inside them and activate their own healing capacities. Within the context of relatively conventional “talk” therapy, Focusing-oriented therapy makes it possible for frozen and disconnected unconscious patterns to be brought into awareness in a fashion that allows the entire body-mind system to work as one to resolve difficult life issues and longstanding internal conflicts.

Not a rigid system or dogma, Focusing-oriented therapy is an array of new understandings and methods that will greatly enhance your ability to see, sense, and bring into conscious awareness what is truly happening within the therapy room and work with it safely, gently and effectively, enriching whatever work you already do.

Many modern-day theorists have drawn upon the insights Gene Gendlin had starting more than four decades ago, but no other therapy has replicated it. Whether you’re a veteran professional or recently begun your career, Focusing-oriented therapy will offer a new dimension to your understanding of yourself and your clients. Join us, and enhance your ability to take part in the body-mind therapy revolution with the process that is at its foundation.

Meeting at the Edge
of Change

A Six-Month Core Skills Program in Focusing-Oriented Therapy

 46 CEUs

How do people make real and lasting psychological change?

How can we better help our clients get past their stuck places, their despair, their confusion, blame and self-judgment, to feel better about themselves and make positive changes in their lives?

While Focusing-Oriented Therapy looks and sounds for the most part like conventional “talking” therapy, in many subtle ways it is quite different. Focusing-Oriented Therapy takes your client — and you as the therapist — out of the realm of content, out of the realm of fixing problems and “what’s wrong with me” or “what’s wrong with them,” into the realm of process, the realm from which all the thoughts, emotions, behaviors and life stories emerge.

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Upcoming Focusing Workshops for the General Public

While Focusing can be used within therapy to help make it more effective, Focusing is a skill that almost anyone can learn and use outside of therapy. Once you learn it, you can do it on your own, or with the gentle and unobtrusive help of a fellow Focuser.

In one weekend workshop, you can learn the skills of Focusing enough to begin using it to help you solve problems, make better decisions, and improve the quality of your life. In four workshops, you can learn enough to use it to help you with even the most difficult emotional conflicts and life issues you face.

Click below to read about upcoming Focusing workshops in the greater Washington area.

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Helene Brenner

Helene Brenner


Helene has been a psychologist in private practice for more than 20 years in Frederick, Md. She is also the author of I Know I’m in There Somewhere: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Her Inner Voice and Living a Life of Authenticity and a certified Focusing trainer since 1992.

Larry Letich

Larry Letich


Larry is an individual and couples therapist in Frederick and Rockville, Md., co-author of I Know I’m in There Somewhere: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Her Inner Voice and Living a Life of Authenticity and a certified Focusing trainer since 1994.