FOCUSING by Eugene T. Gendlin

FOCUSING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

At times the world seems to be full of defecting psychotherapists with defective breakthroughs to communicate, and Gendlin contributes enthusiastically to the overflow. Several years ago he decided that psychotherapy was something less than a raging success with all but that handful of patients who seemed to understand the therapeutic process intuitively. No need to panic, though--this intuitive ability, the ""inner act,"" has now been captured in a convenient six-step bodily awareness process that puts the patient in touch with a ""felt sense"" of problems. The six focusing movements involve such brilliant innovations as clearing a space by mentally piling problems off to one side, making contact with the ""felt sense"" of one problem, discerning the crux of the problem, letting words flow out of the problem's nature, and rechecking the ""felt sense"" to see whether the chosen words match it closely. The emphasis on physical correlates to serf-knowledge seems more ho-hum than inspired these days, and the ""listening"" techniques for ""friends"" of the focuser sound like many a therapeutic technique we've heard before. Lines like ""When, in focusing, I ask my body to let me have more of what's in that whole feeling, the very way I approach myself changes the totality"" tell the whole story--""focusing"" is for those who feel that their jargon needs a 20,000-mile checkup.

Pub Date: Nov. 20th, 1978
Publisher: Everest