About Wholebody Focusing

In Wholebody Focusing we welcome the places in us which are wanting to come alive, knowing that each of these places has its own wisdom and its own solution. We don’t have to come up with solutions; instead we create a welcoming and trustworthy environment in which the new life chooses its own path.

In our work, a Wholebody Focusing session generally begins by attuning to the living body and with what Eugene Gendlin (founder of the Focusing movement) called the ‘greater system’.

When we have settled into our body, and are conscious of our connection with greater system, we can say that we are holding Grounded Presence. If we feel ourselves losing that Grounded Presence, we return to felt awareness of our connection to the Earth, the environment, other people, Spirit.

Sometimes in a session we simply invite whatever is wanting to come alive, and we attend to what comes. Other times, we invite something that is troubling us. We turn our attention toward someplace that is in pain or distress.

Our symptoms and our stuck places are like the X that marks the spot for buried treasure. They not only contain their own solutions but they hold the key to even greater joy, freedom and fulfillment.

So even in the midst of our biggest challenges, when we can turn toward a painful place with respect and curiosity, we find something waiting for the chance to come alive, in its own time and in its own way.

A word about ‘curiosity’. In this context, we don’t mean the kind of intellectual curiosity that’s aimed specifically at problem-solving. That kind of curiosity can be great for scientific discovery but often feels invasive or aggressive to the vulnerable places inside us. What we want to cultivate is more of a childlike, wide-eyed interest, a fresh sense of wonder --while also holding the grounded presence of a loving adult.

It can be tough to create that kind of safe, accepting, welcoming space for ourselves while we’re experiencing something like intense shame or fear, so this is one of the places where we notice the vital importance of Companioning, or Co-Presencing.

The Companion helps to hold that grounded space of patience, caring and acceptance—in silence, in reflections and invitations, in mirrored movements. Companions pay attention to

their own sense of grounded presence, to what they are feeling in their own body, to what they are sensing in the Focuser and to what is happening in the larger environment.

This shared field allows something new and alive and palpable to emerge, something that is more than what could be created by either person alone.

Co-Presencing (like sensitivity to the 5 Spaces) is an inherent ability that we all have, and it is deepened with persistent intention, attention and practice.

With practice, we get more of a feel for these modes of communication—the language of the body, the language of nature... Gradually, we can find ourselves developing an active partnership with the deep wisdom inside and beyond us, a partnership that brings a whole new dimension to our lives.




Wholebody Focusing is a natural process that invites the power of consciousness to awaken the inner wisdom of the living body, a knowing that is at the heart of every one of us. Beneath our conditioned and stressful patterns that are all too familiar to us, lies an inner wellspring of intelligence and vitality that knows how to unwind our stress and traumas and move forward our life situation. Wholebody Focusing offers us the resources we need to reconnect with this Body Wisdom, in order to reboot our particular life stoppages and to open us up to the fullness of ourselves.

Karen Whalen & Kevin McEvenue, Foundation of the Wholebody Focusing Manual