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The History of Focusing

Focusing was discovered in the 1960's by Professor Eugene Gendlin of the University of Chicago. Gendlin noticed that some people were more successful in therapy than others, and set out to understand why. After observing hundreds of therapy sessions, he determined that those who were successful had a special way of going inside to get the answers when asked a question by the therapist, that those who weren't successful did not. He called this Focusing, and went on to write many books and articles about it.

Ann Weiser-Cornell, together with Barbara McGavin, further developed focusing and called it Inner Relationships Focusing. Inner Relationships Focus is the style of focusing I practice and teach.



What people are saying
about Focusing

"I trained in Focusing in the 1990's, and still feel it to be among the best, if not the best experiential processes for doing deep personal work. As a psychotherapist I used Focusing with my clients, I was part of a weekly Focusing group for many years, and have had a number of short and long term Focusing partnerships since then. It continues to be my main practice for self awareness and emotional healing.

My sessions with Su have been among the most profound and deep sessions I have been involved in. I believe Su's teaching and guiding skills are at an extremely high level, in the top 5% of Focusing teachers and Focusing oriented therapists I have met (I've met many). Better yet, her skills are infused with the wisdom and compassion that comes from doing her own personal Focusing work, which makes her reflecting and guiding  all the more authentic, deep, reliable, and trustworthy. Her Focusing reflections, whether supporting or guiding, are often spot on and have the effect of pointing the way toward clarity and perspective where things might otherwise feel muddled and hard to see. And she has internalized the perspective of Inner Relationship Focusing, working with parts of ourselves and our "inner community" as well as anyone I have met. 

I feel very safe working with Su.  Like all the best Focusing teachers and guides, she knows the session belongs to the Focuser, and easily takes in the correcting feedback that is so essential to a good Focusing session.. As well, she brings kindness and compassion to her work that can only come from one who has done her own deep work and knows with humility how challenging it can be at times,  as well as joyful and healing. Because of this and her excellent training....she has thoroughly paid her dues and committed herself 100% to becoming an excellent Focusing teacher.... she is a trustworthy and courageous guide, and I recommend her heartily to anyone wanting to take up this extremely gentle yet deep practice and to know themselves at a profoundly deep level.

Having been trained as both a Focuser and a therapist, and having trained therapists myself, I am very picky about who I Focus with and who I recommend; so it is all the more meaningful for me to say that I think Su is a gem of a teacher and guide, and that anyone who finds their way to her for Focusing work is lucky indeed.

Ron Moshontz, M.A.
Portland, Oregon