“Focusing in Clinical Practice” by Ann Weiser Cornell

Subtitle: The Essence of Change

Recommended to me by: Ann Weiser Cornell’s other books

As a bodyworker who integrated Focusing into my work, it seems that I would be the perfect reader for this book. It contained useful bits of information about Focusing, but my primary experience while reading it was a sense of exclusion.

When I try to put that sense into words, what comes is, “There is a Right Way to do Focusing, and you’re not doing it,” despite disclaimers throughout the book saying that Focusing does not stand alone and each form of therapy has its applications. In the chapter showing how to integrate Focusing with specific types of therapy, the author carefully states that there is nothing wrong with the examples as they stand, before adding Focusing to them.

Ann Weiser Cornell’s first two books emphasize equal partnership in Focusing and acknowledgement of the Focuser’s resilience and resources. That essential respect does not come through when she discusses Focusing in the unequal relationship between therapist and client.

At the same time, Focusing continues to be tremendously useful in my bodywork practice, and I picked up new phrases and understanding of “felt sense” from this book. “How does that whole issue feel now?” “Check in with your body about all of that.” I appreciated the client vignettes and information about types of therapy related to Focusing.

Available at Powell’s Books.

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