You probably think that it means to concentrate on something, like: I need to focus on a project, my future, etc.....However, Focusing in the psychotherapeutic sense means something different; it is a guided thought exercise which is designed to help you to transform an emotional block. It is not hypnosis, your eyes are closed but you remain fully aware at all times.
When dealing with our conscious minds, there are roadblocks we put up (subconsciously) in order not to feel pain. And yet, to transform the pain during therapy we do need to briefly touch upon the pain. There is no magic wand that wipes away the pain. But Focusing offers an alternative to the sometimes uncomfortable discussions that many people associate with psychotherapy.
Unlike traditional therapy, Focusing allows you to remain in a safe state of mind while the therapist guides you to a place where you can deal with your emotions and gain peace of mind. One aspect that many people find comforting with this exercise is that much of the conversation is optional, leaving them able to respond and react to their own experience of the therapy.
Often when you come in to therapy it can be easy and natural to become defensive; this sort of an exercise will take the burden of communication away, and allow you to orient yourself on your emotions. By getting closer to the issue, you are able to see the it from a distance and ask yourself "What is it all about?" and find an answer.
During the entire session I will coach the client to pay attention to their feelings. Through gently asking specific questions I bring the client to a point where they feel ready to deal with the pain; whether it's through seeing things from a different angle, having a eureka moment about themselves or being able to express their deepest emotions to someone.
As each person is unique, I deal with each person in a different way. Prior to directing their attention within themselves, I guide the client to their peaceful place with their eyes closed so that the client can get relaxed and more in tune with the emotions held in their body. In holistic therapy, the connection between body and mind is given greater importance.
The session has been successful when you feel a shift in your emotions, and experience a feeling of release. Most of the time there is no need for much talk afterwards and the you can go home and let it all sink in and celebrate your newfound peace.
It always amazes me how powerful this method can be. Focusing helps the client to go much deeper within themselves than by regular talking. Although talking has it's place, transformation happens when we have our eyes closed and our mind focused with no fear of overcoming the obstacles. The greatest satisfaction arrives when the transformation is complete.