What 'Focusing' Is and What It Is Not
The General Sensate Focusing Technique (To be called sometimes in the following chapters by the short form of "Sensate Focusing" or simply "Focusing") is first and foremost an easy and systematic way to influence one's emotional climate and to deal with each sensation which comes to one's attention. By investing a small part of your mental resources in focusing on the plethora of sensations occurring in daily life, with the added consideration of topics worth focusing on - you will be able to achieve nearly everything.
Using this technique, you will be able to influence the course of your whole life, and each detail in it as well. With this technique you can relieve tensions, pains and any other unpleasant sensations and feelings; put end to psychosomatic disturbances; and even resolve indecisiveness. The technique can also be used at will to change single habits or even the personality.
Sensate Focusing is not a new kind of meditation. It is not a relaxation of the mind resulting in its freedom from thoughts and feelings. Although focusing is not an emotional storm and does not need physical effort, it is not a peaceful rest. Focusing is really a kind of struggle: a fight for freedom - done everywhere and every time you choose to dedicate part of your resources to it. It is still a fight even when done in an armchair and when the felt sensations focused on are only mild or even pleasant ones. Focusing is the struggle which will free you from the invisible emotional shackles you still endure.
Focusing is not an artificial activity or a fast trick to be used by professionals who treat you. It is neither a cult nor any other ceremonial activity. Focusing is just a natural activity you do many times a day - alas it is done by you half consciously, for too short periods and in a very inefficient way.
The development of the ability to take the various steps of "Sensate Focusing" in your daily life, and getting into the habit of paying more attention to the various sensations of the body, are like other measures taken to keep the body in shape - with the investment of a small amount of resources and effort you will achieve a huge improvement in life quality and prevent many troubles.
Last Updated: 10 July 2016
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD