Use Focusing to Recover Traumatic Memories

In my own process of healing from childhood sexual abuse, a practice called Focusing was instrumental in helping me to recover my traumatic memories. I talk about it at length in my book, Confessions of a Trauma Therapist.

Focusing is the name Dr. Eugene Gendlin gave to the model he developed for accessing deeper levels of awareness than most people are aware of.  We get this knowing by paying attention to the way the body responds to every thought, feeling or situation. The body is always reacting and if we learn to listen to it, we’ll have a richer, calmer life.

You can Focus on your own or with a partner. Maybe you’ll find a Focusing trainer from the website Then there’s Dr. Gendlin’s paperback, Focusing and Ann Weiser Cornell’s The Power of Focusing.

Focusing is a safe way of recovering lost memories. It’s safe because:

nobody contaminates your process. What you learn comes only from you. Your physical body holds the memories. YOU invite YOUR body to tell you what it knows (assuming you’ve already learned the skill of Focusing.)

you’ll never receive information you’re not ready for. This is because Focusing is like the drip-on-the-rock. You get information gradually and by the time the big stuff comes, you’re prepared for it.

you’re in charge. If you’re with a Focusing guide or therapist, you tell your helper what you need. You can stop the action at any time.

-you don’t have to tell the other person anything that feels too personal. All that matters is that you get it.

To access traumatic memories, we need to go beyond talk therapy. We need to reach a deeper level of consciousness than is usually available to us. Focusing, which involves both the body and the mind, the right brain and the left, helps us safely recover traumatic memories. It also provides a sound structure for our healing.

Please let me know if you would like to learn more.

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