Focusing is a psychotherapeutic process developed by psychotherapist Eugene Gendlin. It involves a person directly “tapping into” their body’s knowledge and wisdom to help resolve issues or make decisions. This is done by paying attention to what Gendlin calls the “felt sense”, a physical sensation that corresponds to emotions or thoughts. This “felt sense” is never clear at first. It emerges from an inner murkiness one has to confront.

The process of focusing can be broken down into six steps: clearing a space, getting a felt sense, finding a handle, resonating and checking, asking, and receiving. These steps allow the person to get in touch with their inner self, understand their feelings better, and find solutions to problems.

Clearing a space involves setting aside all preoccupations and worries. Getting a felt sense involves paying attention to the body’s physical sensations that are associated with particular issues or concerns. Finding a handle means finding words or images that accurately capture these sensations.

Resonating and checking involve going back and forth between the handle and the felt sense to see if they resonate with each other. Asking involves asking open-ended questions about what the felt sense means. Receiving involves accepting whatever answers come up without judging them.

Focusing is often used in combination with other therapeutic techniques such as psychoanalysis or cognitive-behavioral therapy. It can help people deal with issues such as anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, and relationship problems.