Is Focusing the same as Counselling or Therapy?

No.

And it isn’t because the relationship between me, as a Focusing Practitioner, and you, the person I am teaching, is an equal relationship – one human being with another.

Counsellors and therapists who have also trained as Focusing Practitioners, might include Focusing as part of their therapeutic work, but Focusing can be practised on its own.  It is a process for helping your mind to listen to the wisdom of your body.  

You can read more about what Focusing is in my introduction and other blog posts (search for posts with the tag ‘Focusing’).

  • As a Focusing Practitioner I am teaching and supporting a self-help skill.  Sometimes our relationship may be brief, sometimes more long-term.  Nevertheless my aim is always to teach Focusing and Listening to you, so that you can continue Focusing alone and with others.
  • I am not an expert on your inner world: you are, or you will become so with practice.
  • You and I can share as much or as little as we wish with each other.  If you want to say aloud what is going on for you, then that’s okay, or you may prefer not to – that’s okay too, and I won’t refer to it again unless you want to.
  • Focusing Practitioners tend to be honest with our students, and say how we are feeling – without pretending that everything is okay when it’s not.  At one introductory day I felt a bit nervous, because it was a large group, in a new venue, and I didn’t know the layout of the building.  As I demonstrated Focusing early on in the day, I was aware of a collective intake of breath when I shared with the group that I felt a little anxiety, and how that felt in my body.  It was actually really helpful in demonstrating the equal footing that we were on, and gave the students permission to own how they were feeling in that moment.  I have trained as a Focusing Practitioner, I am sharing what I know with you, and we are both getting to know our inner worlds in this way.
  • Our time together as a Focusing Practitioner and a student is yours to use as you wish.  We have no agenda, no outcome to achieve.
  • I will not analyse what comes up for you in the Focusing session, and I will not even comment on it unless you ask me to. 
  • I will not attempt to diagnose any condition you might, or might not have.

So even if you have not worked with a counsellor or therapist, you will see that there are differences, the main ones being the equality of the relationship.  

Focusing is useful for getting to know yourself more.  The best way to find out how it works is to have a 1:1 with a Focusing Practitioner, or go to an introductory session.

“Carolann created a safe and supportive environment, encouraging participation but without pressure.. She made the subject interesting and clear.”  Lynn

You can contact me to join one of my courses, or to learn Focusing 1:1 at

csfocusing [at] carolannsamuels.co.uk, or here.

“I enjoyed the course very much.  I was surprised at how powerful the Focusing exercises were and helpful in connecting to my inner feelings.”  (Course participant at an Introduction to Focusing.)