FOT concepts: Pointing to something

The following is a point of view written (and drawn) by Catherine Flynn.

My overall project is to illustrate the key concepts of focusing oriented therapy.


So what are we actually doing as a ‘Focusing oriented therapist’ in the counselling room? One of the main themes involves being a kind of ‘experiencing detective’ and then offering invitations to clients to ‘be with their feelings’. Here, the client is really involved in telling their story, and the therapist is absorbing all of that. While the therapist is listening to the content of the story, they are also listening out for clues which point to experiencing below the surface level of the story. The hope is that by offering an invitation to the client to notice their experiencing, that they may turn towards that and pause, and perhaps ‘be with’ their not wanting to go, thereby letting it unfold into something that may become a felt sense of the whole story.  The client may or may not pick up the invitation and that’s fine, many invitations may fall on the floor before one is picked up!

Catherine, a trainee in the Integrative Focusing Therapy program, is a Counsellor & Focusing Practitioner working in private practice in Bristol, UK. She is also a mother of four boys – two sons aged 8 and 11 and two step sons aged 24 and 25. Catherine is passionate about bringing Focusing into counselling practice and enjoys connecting with others who are also on this journey. See website.