Archive for Focusing

Come to The 8th International Children’s Focusing Gathering

HAVE YOU ALWAYS WISHED YOU COULD LEARN TO  FOCUS?  OR MAYBE YOU’RE  ALREADY A FOCUSER AND WOULD LIKE TO HONE YOUR SKILLS……

WOULD YOU LIKE TO SPEND FIVE DAYS IN A SAFE COMMUNITY GETTING IN TOUCH WITH YOUR INNER CHILD?

MAYBE YOU’D LIKE TO LEARN HOW TO TEACH FOCUSING TO CHILDREN

Come to THE 8th INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S  FOCUSING GATHERING- AN INTERNATIONAL FOCUSING CONFERENCE HERE IN THE TORONTO AREA. Read more

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. Read more

The Importance of Community

As I write this I’m sitting in my room overlooking the Pacific Ocean in a retreat centre in California. I’m attending the 23rd annual International Focusing Conference. I’ve attended most of these gatherings of Focusers from around the world.

What I want to speak about is the importance of belonging to a safe community when you’ve been betrayed by those who had power over you as a child. It’s so important to find a community where you are accepted and encouraged to grow. It’s about being connected to people who share many of your values and who will support you in developing your own beliefs and strengths, rather than insisting you follow some party line or creed.  I’m lucky enough to have two of these communities. Read more

Overworked Amygdala Triggers Panic in Abuse Victims

Have you ever had the experience of beginning to cross the road and suddenly finding you’ve jumped back onto the sidewalk without even knowing what you were doing? Then you notice. You almost got hit by a truck. Wheww! That was a close call.

How did you do that? It was automatic. You didn’t even register that your life was in danger.

That’s because the amygdala, the part of your brain’s limbic system takes over in such emergencies to assure your survival. There’s no time to think. To think would mean losing that precious second needed to jump free. Read more

Does Your Trauma Cause Triggers in You?

People who have suffered childhood trauma are usually bothered by what we call triggers. Triggers may be smells, sounds, sights or situations and although the stimuli are innocuous in the present, the brain remembers them as life threatening. These particular stimuli are associated with some terrifying event in the past.

The brain remembers them and our survival system goes into action. It’s the amygdala that sets off the alarm. It signals danger so that we can fight or run. Our hearts start pounding, sending a good blood supply to our arms and legs to help us run or fight. All ability to think would be wasted at such a time. We now act on reflex and are capable of feats we couldn’t imagine in a normal state. Read more