9th Dec 2021
Mary Hendricks Gendlin Memorial
I wish to share on the BFA blog this YouTube video with other Focusers. It is a memorial to Mary Hendricks Gendlin in 2015 set-up by the International Focusing Institute. What touched me about what Mary said about Focusing is what has always been very important to me; that Focusing is for everyone and easily available to learn; what I consider a foundation of Focusing.
In the YouTube video, Mary stated: ”I want to ground us in this point we all know which is that Focusing does not belong to anybody it belongs to everybody. Does not belong to Gene it does not belong to us, the Institute; it is a level of a human process – its’ free, so we cannot ever be confused about that. The only thing we actually care about is that this process to be available and findable by people.”
I learned Focusing and Empathetic Listening at Changes, Chicago in early 1970’s from Gene, Mary and others. Gene would say “Listening and Focusing to me are the same things from two sides. Focusing is how to get into yourself. Mostly that thinking as we do about our problems isn’t much good.” For a member of my Saturday Focusing group, “focusing provided a shift in working out what is going on and a new way of seeing old problems”.
Mary and Gene inspired me to teach Focusing in the way I do. In a Focussing session each individual is listening to themselves in what emerges, and with another or in a group of what has emerged for each other. A key part is listening to each other and sharing the exploration of the Focusing experience.
Currently since 2016 I have been convening a Sheffield Focusing/Listening group on a Saturday morning; and during lock down and after on Zoom. I have used this YouTube a number of times and have created a website of Focusing/Listening resources.
I began teaching Focusing and Empathetic Listening to two small groups in London in early 1980’s; which lead me to gaining Certification as a Trainer and Certified Focusing Professional in 2017.
I came to London/UK in 1980 to enrol in an Antioch University Masters degree programmes. My primary studies was with the Philadelphia Association (PA), founded in 1965 by R. D. Laing and colleagues. The PA challenged established ways of thinking about and responding to distress; and offered an open-minded alternative approach to psychotherapy that is unique in Britain.