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The Gendlin Online Library - central location of all of Gendlin's work

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Recommended Books

We recommend the following books which discuss, develop, cite or have integrated FOCUSING in some way. Most of them are available through Amazon Bookstore.



Education/Creative Arts



Psychotherapy / Self Help / Healing

Mindfulness Centered Therapies: an integrative approach by David Cole and Carol Ladas-Gaskin (2007).  This book explores a method of working that combines concepts, processes and sub-processes from Hakomi Body-Centered Psychotherapy, Internal Family Systems and Focusing illustrating various ways of negotiating the transitions between these methods.

Energy Psychology: Self Healing Methods for Bodymind Health by by Michael Mayer (2009).  The internal process of psychological change, as Gendlin (1978) rightly pointed out, has energy activation (Qigong) as an inextricable part of it, as a patient's energetic "felt shift" emerges along with a patient's discovering new meaning.

Emerging Developments in Pre-Therapy : A Pre-Therapy Reader (2008) Garry Prouty (Ed.)
PCCS Books, Ross-on-Wye, UK.  The book is about Pre-Therapy applied to retardation, schizophrenia, dementia, dissociation and some basic research. It also contains my two most important articles. Pre-Therapy is rooted in and evolved from the Client Centered and Experiential tradition. Both Rogers and Gendlin are supportive of this "pre" relationship and "pre" experiential approach. Current practitioners are from the client-centered/experiential tradition.

Embodied Enquiry: Phenomenological Touchstones for Research, Psychotherapy and Spirituality by Les Todres (2007).
This book develops some of the implications of embodied enquiry including: how qualitative research can be a way to facilitate empathic understanding of self and others, how experiences of greater freedom and vulnerability support one another in focusing-oriented psychotherapy, and how spirituality can be understood in a more embodied way as the 'meeting of mystery' at the edge of the known.

Self-Actualization by Jürgen Kriz (BoD, Germany, 2006).
“Self-actualization” refers to a core concept both in Carl Rogers’ person-centered approach to psychotherapy and in modern systems theory. The book stresses the links between humanistic approaches, systems (and family) therapy, "old" holistic and dynamical thinking in psychology (in particular Gestalt Theory") and "modern" systems thinking in the natural sciences. Most people believe in the es­sen­tial difference between an engine and a human being, but still use the cognitive tools from mechanistic science. The intent of this book is to provide the reader with thoughts, ideas, metaphors and knowledge which are more adequate to understand the pro­ces­ses of life and our soul. For more information, preface and introduction in full text, see:

Demenz ist anders. Über den Versuch einer einfühlenden Begleitung (Broschiert) von Stefan Beyer (Autor)
Der Autor schreibt dazu: Dieses Buch ist eine Kreuzung zwischen einem Erfahrungsbericht und einem Ratgeberbuch. Es basiert auf meiner Erfahrung, meine demenzkranke Mutter acht Jahre lang weitgehend mit dem Wissen um personzentrierte Konzepte und Methoden (u.a. von Rogers, Gendlin, Prouty und Feil) begleitet zu haben. Als Erfahrungsbericht ist es insofern alternativ, als es eher positive Aspekte von Demenz und Demenzbegleitung betont, die sich anscheinend vor allem in förderlichen Interaktionskontexten entwickeln können. Von den meisten Ratgeberbuechern unterscheidet es sich insofern, als es sich nicht auf eine bestimmte methodische Schule beschränkt und anhand vieler Dialogbeispiele darstellt, wie die Methoden so verwendet, abgewandelt und erweitert wurden, dass sie möglichst zu mir und meiner Mutter passten. Das Buch soll inspirieren und dem Leser vielleicht sogar etwas Lust und Neugier auf die nächste Begegnung mit einem dementen Menschen machen.

Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy: Ancient Pathways to Modern Health by Michael Mayer, Ph.D (Bodymind Healing Publications, 2007)  Regarding his new book, Mayer writes, "I have Focusing as a center point of my approach of integrating Qigong, ancient sacred wisdom traditions, and psychotherapy.  I think people in the Focusing network would be interested to hear how I integrate Qigong, and psycho-mythology, with Focusing. My new book Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy: Ancient Pathways to Modern Health has Focusing as a center point, and has endorsements from top leaders in mind-body medicine.  In my book I use Focusing as a center point of the method that I call the "River of Life" process which is the key method of Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy. I teach people how to use microcosmic orbit breath from chinese medicineand combine that with imagining and experiencing a river coming down the body to 'clear a space." Then I use the felt experience of the river to activate a block in the body/mind and then 'focus' on what emerges. Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy has endorsements from ten leaders in the arena of mind-body healthcare. Another thing my book does is integrating Focusing with the newly emerging field of energy psychology."

Radical Ecopsychology: Psychology in the Service of Life, by Andy Fisher (2002), State University of New York Press. ISBN 0791453049. Ecopsychology is an emerging field that expands the focus of psychology to include the human relationship with the natural world. Fisher is a Focusing Teacher and one of the leading theorists in ecopsychology. In Radical Ecopsychology he uses Focusing and Gendlin's philosophical works as his starting point in building an experiential approach to ecopsychology. As David Michael Levin of Northwestern University observes: "His emphasis throughout on the experiential--our bodily felt, lived-through experience--brings to light a woefully neglected dimension in the ecology/environmental discourses and debates."

The Authentic Heart: An Eightfold Path to Midlife Love by John Amodeo, Ph.D. (2000).
John has been teaching FOCUSING for many years. His new book includes a chapter on "Focusing: A Path to Befriending Yourself."

Hinterkopf, E. (in press). Experiential-Focusing approach. In L. Sperry & E. Shafranske (Eds.), Spiritually-oriented psychotherapy: Contemporary approaches. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
This book describes, illustrates, and compares traditional and emerging approaches that address the spiritual dimension in psychological practice. The chapter by Elfie Hinterkopf provides the reader with an in-depth and comprehensive view of the theoretical and clinical basis for the Focusing-Oriented approach and then illustrates the application of the approach with case examples.

Fibromyalgia & Chronic Myofascial Pain: A Survival Manual by Devin Starlanyl and Mary Ellen Copeland. In this best selling guide, Mary Ellen explains the Focusing steps and talks about her own "regular practice of Focusing," in her chapter on Mindwork.

Finding The Energy To Heal: How EMDR, Hypnosis, TFT, Imagery and Body-Focused Therapy Can Help Restore Mindbody Health By Maggie Phillips, Ph.D. (2000)

Cornell, Ann Weiser, The Focusing Technique: Confirmatory Knowing Through the Body. In Inner Knowing: Consciousness, Creativity, Insight, and Intuition, Helen Palmer (Ed.), Tarcher/Putnam, 1998, pp.159-164. ISBN 0874779367

Food and Healing by Ann Marie Colbin. (1986)
In her chapter, "Changing the way we eat," Colbin suggests using FOCUSING questions to tune into body signals about food. "...send a question down to your solar plexus, just as if you were beaming a sonar wave to the bottom of the ocean. "Is this food good for me?" A distinct feeling will well up: "Yes, mnnn, it's OK," or "No, wrong, no good, danger. Regardless of how "good the food you want to change to is, how sensible the theory behind it. Or how desperate you are, heed your gut feelings. See Focusing for a clear and cogent discussion of this technique, a skill for "everybody in all of life's situations."

Getting Out of Your Own Way: Unlocking Your True Performance Potential by Nancy Shainberg (2001).  Nancy is a Certified Focusing Trainer. Her chapter, "Overcoming Negativity," is a clear, excellent presentation of the use of Focusing with performers to work with their "negative" feelings. It includes a transcript of a beautiful Focusing session Nancy does with Alice, an equestrian.

Handbook of Complementary and Alternative Therapies in Mental Health, edited by Scott Shannon, M.D. (to be published in 2002).  Contains a chapter on Focusing: "Medical Intuition" by Rick Leskowitz, M.D.

Handbook of Experiential Psychotherapy by Leslie S. Greenberg, Jeanne C. Watson & Germain Lietaer (1998)

The Highly Sensitive Person's Workbook: The Practical Guide for Highly Sensitive People and Hsp Support Group by Elaine N. Aron (1999)

I Know I'm in There Somewhere: A Woman's Guide to Finding Her Inner Voice and Living a Life of Authenticity by Helene G. Brenner, Ph.D. with Laurence Letich, published by Gotham Books, a division of Penguin-Putnam. Most of Chapter Five: Developing Your Sense-Ability: The Wisdom of the Body, is devoted to Focusing. (2003)
"At last! Finally! Yes!" These are my reactions as I hold this beautiful and inspiring, warm, wise, and funny book in my hands. How rare it is that something appears which is so validating of the Focusing viewpoint, yet positioned for such a wide audience! We Focusers tend too much to write and speak for and to each other -- I’m as guilty of this as anyone -- and forget that our messages and methods have wide application for a world of people hungry for ways to understand and heal themselves and their relationships. I Know I’m in There Somewhere delivers on every level: the deep veins of the Focusing philosophy are offered in a nurturing matrix of wisdom, speaking directly to the hearts and souls of women (and by implication men as well) who are yearning to find again the inner guidance to en-spirit their lives.
From the review by Ann Weiser Cornell.

Life Makeovers by Cheryl Richardson (2000)
The International Focusing Institute is cited as a resource in Chapter 9 "The Power of Focus".

The Lover Within: Opening to Energy in Sexual Practice by Julie Henderson (1987, 1999)

No Boundaries by Ken Wilbur (1979)
"Focusing is an important statement of the influential school of experiential therapy, which works with the ongoing psycho-physiological flow."

Pre-Therapy: Reaching Contact Impaired Clients, by Prouty, G., Van Werde, D., Portner, M.(2002) This book is about reaching schizophrenic, retarded and demented clients who are beyond psychotherapy as we know it. The book consists of historical background and the theory and practice of Pre-Therapy (Prouty). It also describes the development of these concepts into a ward milieu (Van Werde). Finally the book presents an outline of applications in European hospitals.  It can be purchased through for 15 pounds sterling.

Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha, by Tara Brach

Resonance: The New Chemistry of Love by Barbara Miller Fishman, Ph.D.  She proposes a relationship that is characterized by intimacy and independence.  As a means to that end she has a chapter on "tools of resonance" in which she refers extensively and specifically to Focusing.

Sensible Self Help: The first road map for the healing journey by David and Rebecca Grudermeyer and Lerissa Patrick (1995)
"FOCUSING is one of the most useful tools for learning how to recognize and learn from feelings." The Grudemeyers are Certified Focusing Trainers.

Systems of Psychotherapy by Linda Seligman (2000)

Thank You for Being Such a Pain : Spiritual Guidance for Dealing With Difficult People by Mark I. Rosen (1998)

Toward a Psychology of Awakening: Buddhism, Psychotherapy and the Path of Personal and Spiritual Transformation by John Welwood. (2000)
John has been involved with FOCUSING for many years and with the interface and distinctions between meditation and FOCUSING in the fields of psychotherapy and spiritual development. "As wonderful as FOCUSING is, it still works within a framework of duality, within the subject-object duality. It involves a split between experiencer (the focusing consciousness) and what is experienced (felt sense, felt shifts). As I wrote in chapter 8, this duality may fall away briefly while focusing, in what I call a "vertical shift." However, someone who is untrained in nondual awareness is unlikely to be able to fully recognize or enter that level of nondual presence, which requires letting go of all concern with "my experience," as well as all doing- not an easy thing "to do"!

Waking the Tiger by Peter Levine.
Levine has long integrated the felt sense into his work with trauma.


The Cauldron of Consciousness: Motivation, Affect and Self-Organization - An Anthology (Advances in Consciousness Research, Series B, 16) edited by Ralph D. Ellis, Ph.D. and Natika Newton.  (John Benjamins, 2000).

Dimensions of Apeiron: A Topological Phenomenology of Space, Time, and Individuation by Steven M. Rosen. Forthcoming in the Value Inquiry Book Series of Editions Rodopi, May 2004. See
Eugene Gendlin writes: "This groundbreaking book brings to fruition Rosen's reflexive theory of time and space. With recent physics breaking linear time symmetry, this unique integration of physics and philosophy is indeed timely."
PLEASE NOTE: Until May 1, 2004, a special pre-publication price of $25 (reg. $59) can be obtained by sending an email to the publisher at:

Eros in a Narcissistic Culture by Ralph D. Ellis, Ph.D.  (Kluwer Academic, 1996)

Living Across and Through Skins: Transactional Bodies, Pragmatism, and Feminism by Shannon Sullivan (2001).

An Ontology of Consciousness: (Martinus Nijhoff Philosophy Library, Vol 18) by Ralph D. Ellis, Ph.D.  (Martinus Nijhoff, 1986)

Questioning Consciousness: The Interplay of Imagery, Cognition, and Emotion in the Human Brain (Advances in Consciousness Research, Vol 2) by Ralph D. Ellis, Ph.D.  (John Benjamins, 1995)

Education/Creative Arts

A Community of Writers: A Workshop Course in Writing by Peter Elbow and Pat Belanoff (1989)
In the chapter, "Private Writing: Finding What You Have to Say," Perl's guidelines for composing using Focusing questions and the felt sense are presented, with examples and discussion from students using the guidelines.

Education on the Edge of Possibility. by Renate Nummela Caine.

Through Teachers' Eyes: portraits of writing teachers at work by Sondra Perl and Nancy Wilson (1986) Perl has been teaching writing teachers how to use focusing in their teaching for many years. Her "Guidelines for Composing," which are printed in this book, take writers through a series of Focusing questions, "to find a topic worth writing about to discovering what to say about it.


Reclaiming Judaism as a Spiritual Practice: Holy Days and Shabbat, by Rabbi Goldie Milgram. Offers a section on the applications of Focusing to the practice of Teshuvah.

Make Your Own Bar/Bat Mitzvah: A Personal Guide to a Meaningful Rite of Passage, by Rabbi Goldie Milgram. Offers a section that applies Focusing technique to finding and expressing the prayer of your heart.


Qualitative research with TAE steps. Thinking at the edge: Theory and Applications by  Satoko Tokumaru (translated into English by Mariyo Kida). Hiroshima: Keisuisha. ISBN: ISBN 978-4-86327-145-6 C3011. (2011)

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