Wholebody Focusing-Oriented Therapy: Four Avenues of Wholebody Felt Sensing for Transforming Symptoms of Trauma (co-author Karen Whalen, Ph.D.)

Wholebody Focusing (WBF) Oriented Therapy (WBFOT) (McEvenue and Fleisch, 2008; Whalen, 2009; Fleisch, 2009, 2010) is a recent development of Gendlin’s experiential process method of Focusing Oriented Therapy (1981, 1996). WBFOT is an integration of Gendlin’s seminal work on the centrality of accessing the wisdom of the living body through sustainedattention (Focusing) to a bodily felt sense, with the work of Kevin McEvenue on awakening the outward flow of bodily wisdom (felt sensing) through inner-directed movement. McEvenue discovered through his work as an Alexander Teacher and Focusing practitioner that physical and emotional habit-patterns can be transformed from within the body’s own intelligence by bringing a quality of conscious awareness to the whole body. Wholebody Focusing is a natural process of conscious awareness that connects to our living organism and environment in ways that activate an Inner Intelligence (body-wisdom). This inner wellspring of intelligence and vitality lies implicit beneath our conditioned and unconscious patterns of being, thinking, moving, and doing. Our Wholebody Intelligence remains intact in every human being regardless of severity of trauma. It knows how to unwind our stress and traumas and move forward our unfinished life situations.

The inward coming of life forward energy and movement is contained within the symptom of trauma itself, and knows its way back to membership within the Functioning Whole. Gendlin (1996, p.149) describes it beautifully as “It is a healing that comes from underneath. With this kind of relational and inward attention the whole intricate mesh reorganizes itself… We do very little.” Yet we will show that the little we do, bringing conscious awareness to the living body of feeling/experiencing makes all the difference in allowing trauma patterns to unwind from within.

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