Ruth Hirsch

Healing through Focusing

Listening. Deeply.

I am here to bring peace and healing to hearts that hurt, and expansion to lives that are smaller than they could be. That is why I do what I do.

I listen deeply. And I lead with my heart.

In one word, I help people EXPAND.

I believe that:

  • It is possible to live more in the present, feel your feelings and be happy, effective and competent in your life and work.
  • By learning and practicing Focusing, professionals can deepen and expand the possibilities for healing and growth in their clients.
  • Listening inside yourself and facilitating this process for others is sacred work.
  • Everyone learns in different ways. At the same time, research has shown that a learning environment that emphasizes authenticity, acceptance and humor is ideal.
  • Optimal learning happens in small groups in which safety, respect and confidentiality are ensured and where questions related to the subject matter are welcome.
  • We are all still learning.
  • This work is highly transformative for you and your clients.

Be with what is.

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside dreams. Who looks inside awakens.” –Carl Jung

My work is grounded in the philosophy and practice of experiential Focusing.

I also draw from a wide variety of holistic healing modalities including Chinese medicine, meditation, 12-step work and Jewish philosophy.

I help you to see deeply within and learn to help others to do the same.

Working with me feels good. It will stimulate and heal your mind, heart, and spirit.

What you receive will be an alive, vital, dynamic peace within yourself and with others in your life – and most likely much more than what you might expect.

All of who you are is welcome.

Who I work with:

  • People who are excited about learning and growing
  • Those who are open to moving beyond the familiar
  • Those who have experienced physical, emotional or spiritual pain
  • People dealing with issues of self-esteem, self-confidence or trusting themselves
  • Those looking to connect with a larger or deeper source of wisdom
  • Healing professionals who want to incorporate Focusing into their practices or teach it to others
  • People who value an integrated mind-body spiritual approach to healing and growth that is also heart-centered
  • Psychotherapists, coaches or other healing professionals who are ready to bring their work to the next level
  • Those who’d like to feel less anxiety, depression, stress, and challenges in relationships

Ultimately, change is only possible when we are able to evolve beyond our present limitations.

When you can hear your own unique inner truth, the way forward will begin to open.

“It felt very safe. When I’m safe I don’t need to be guarded. The work allowed me to begin to experience peace, emotionally. This was a watershed experience for me. It allowed me to connect with the emotions. All the talking from years of therapy didn’t let me reach my feelings the way this work did.” —J.G., Retired, CA

Discover your own personal operating manual

Guided Focusing Sessions
For those wanting to experience Focusing One-to-One in a safe, supportive environment

Focusing Oriented Therapy
For those wishing to make a longer-term investment in their personal growth and healing

Focusing Training Programs
For laypeople and professionals in the healing arts — such as psychotherapists, coaches and body workers — in all stages of learning Focusing

“I learned to be quiet and respectful of my inner self. With added compassion and patience I developed more self-respect. It’s about what our souls, not our conscious minds, really want.” –L. E., Teacher, Israel

What is Focusing?

Focusing is a simple yet profound process that results in significant change, growth and healing on all levels — body, mind, heart, and spirit. The Focusing process is deeply spiritual while also firmly grounded in the latest neuropsychological research findings.

We all have different degrees of understanding and meaning available to us. Most of us are aware of only the more surface levels, usually those that are strongest or loudest either physically or emotionally.

With Focusing, you gain access to a subtle, powerful awareness and inner wisdom that is not generally accessible to the conscious mind. You learn to listen – to yourself and to others – in a way that is both safe and respectful.

Life’s challenges offer you the potential to develop your wisdom, your vitality and your connection with yourself and others. When you tap into and learn from your inner knowing, you can actually benefit from these challenges.

An example Focusing session

Does Focusing really work?

Focusing was discovered back in the 1960‘s through research into what makes psychotherapy successful at the University of Chicago. Since then, there has been considerable research into its effectiveness with a wide range of people in a variety of settings.

The fact that many newer healing modalities such as Somatic Experiencing (SE) and Internal Family Systems (IFS) have incorporated Focusing into their protocols also points to its effectiveness.

I have personally witnessed this novel approach to life do wonders for my clients and trainees and expedite the healing process time and again.

“The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart.” —Helen Keller

Benefits of Focusing

With Focusing, you gain clarity about your very essence: who you really are, your inner wants and needs. Simply allowing these to come to light can be quite profound.

Focusing may be used to work on:

  • Life-long goals
  • Day-to-day issues
  • Blocked creativity
  • Unfulfilled potential
  • Goals you’ve been unable to achieve
  • Lack of clarity about the goals themselves
  • Relationships of all types

Thanks to enhanced skills in listening and communication, you will experience a greater sense of connection with yourself and feel more at ease in relating to others.

Focusing, Therapy, or Coaching?

The primary distinction between Focusing and psychotherapy is the nature of the relationship between the facilitator/therapist and the client.

In Focusing, the primary relationship is between you and your inner self.

In therapy, the relationship between client and therapist is often central.

In coaching, the relationship between you and the coach is oriented to help you meet your goals.

That said, Focusing alone is therapeutic and Focusing integrated with therapy can be particularly powerful. Coaching with Focusing can help you clarify and meet goals.

Focusing Oriented Psychotherapy (FOT)

According to founder Eugene Gendlin, psychotherapy opens a process in which something new can develop. In FOT, the same respectful, curious attitudes typical of Focusing are brought to therapy.

Clients experience:

  • A sense of empowerment
  • Increased awareness
  • Self-acceptance
  • Opening of areas in their lives that were previously blocked
  • An overall increased feeling of aliveness

Is Focusing like Coaching?

Focusing is a path to awareness and helps you to be present in a gentle, respectful way with your inner reality. Coaching (also known as life coaching) is typically more direction-oriented and action-based, geared toward helping you to reach specific goals.

Many coaches have found that Focusing significantly enhances their work with clients.

Coaches use Focusing to help clients:

  • Move forward in their lives
  • Identify priorities
  • Frame goals
  • Create action plans that are aligned with core values
  • Discover attitudes and behaviors that might be in the way of achieving important goals

In other words, adding Focusing to a coaching practice can result in improved outcomes in less time.

By listening deeply to what is in the way of you being at peace with yourself and/or of moving forward in your life, you will find the wisdom you hold inside. I facilitate this process by helping you learn to compassionately listen within yourself, to your own unique inner truth.

Additional Resources

For additional resources related to Focusing, and articles I’ve authored, click here.