1. What is Focusing?
Focusing is an experiential way of your becoming/being aware of the depths of what your body knows by going beneath your feelings into the felt-senses that unfold your body’s wisdom.
2. What is BioSpiritual Focusing?
BioSpiritual Focusing is a spiritual practice that centers on developing the habit of noticing and nurturing the inner wisdom of our bodies that connects us to the wider Cosmos and the Divine. It opens up the “body” side of our spirituality.
3. Who founded/developed BioSpiritual Focusing?
BioSpiritual Focusing was developed out of the work of Gene Gendlin by two Jesuit priests: Fr. Ed McMahon and Fr. Peter Campbell.
4. What is “spiritual” about BioSpiritual Focusing?
BioSpiritual Focusing provides the basis for a holistic spirituality that includes “the body” as well as the mind in the quest for spiritual growth. Through the accessing of “felt-senses” and “felt-shifts”, one experiences a physical experience of “grace” and a deepened connection with the “More” of the universe. It provides the opportunity for “everyday mysticism.”
5. What are the “steps” in BioSpiritual Focusing?
There are three steps: Noticing, Being with the Felt-Sense, and Nurturing What Comes. Simply stated, we develop the habit of noticing what is going on within us, be with it in a non-judgmental way and then nurture whatever unfolds for us.
6. What is meant by “felt sense” and “felt shift”?
The “felt-sense” is a bodily-felt sensation ( usually in the torso area ) that lies beneath our emotions and feelings. It is the manifestation of and the doorway to the inner wisdom (and grace) that our bodies hold. When one is able to be with a “felt-sense” in a caring way, it unfolds in metaphorical symbols of images, words, sensations, memories, stories. While murky at first, the wisdom within the metaphor becomes clear and there is a bodily-“felt-shift” in the way your body is carrying the issue at hand. This sense of resolution ( not solution ) is felt as an inner release. This “felt-shift” is not caused by the “felt-sense” but rather is an experience of Divine “grace”.
7. How does one learn about BioSpiritual Focusing?
There are many ways to learn about BSF. There are several books as well as numerous articles that can be read. Check out the Campbell/McMahon Library section of this website for all the writings, audio recordings and DVDs that are available. Programs are also available through our regional Network Centers. See the Learning Experiences page of this website for more current details.
8. Where can I be trained in BioSpiritual Focusing?
9. Can I do BioSpiritual Focusing alone?
Yes, you can because BSF is a habit for individual spiritual growth. However, the entire experience is heightened when one has a “companion” who accompanies you as you go within yourself.
10. What is “Companioning?”
“Companioning” is the term used to describe the context within which a person in a non-judgmental way reflects back whatever the BioSpiritual Focuser verbalizes. The companion does not give directions, advice or question the focuser but instead offers a caring listening presence that supports the focuser in accessing the felt sense and nurturing what comes…
11. If I am a spiritual director or pastoral counselor, can I use BioSpiritual Focusing with those whom I serve?
YES ! The skills and tools of the BioSpiritual Focusing flow can be used either partially or fully in ministerial situations. The Focusing approach is fundamentally a methodology that can enhance your effectiveness in helping individuals in their healing and spiritual growth. It offers a more in depth way of listening and responding to those to whom you are ministering.
12. Is BioSpiritual Focusing a substitute for psychological therapy?
Absolutely NOT. BioSpiritual Focusing is NOT nor is it presented as a substitute for professional therapy or medical care.