Focusing
& listening

Neuroscience

I became interested in neuroscience over 20 years ago when a copy of Antonio Damasio's book The Feeling of What Happens fell off the shelf in a bookshop one lunchtime. 'Aha' I thought, maybe this is about the experience of the felt sense that we talk about in Focusing - and it was!

My own bookshelves now groan with neuroscience books, to which I can now add my own, Therapy in the Age of Neuroscience, just published by Routledge. Focusing, and the experience it brings of mind and body working together, has helped me to understand this complex subject sufficiently to embark on this challenge. What has also helped is my experience of teaching seminars on aspects of neuroscience to groups of counsellors, therapists and focusers - such as memory, emotion and feeling, the mind-body question, and the right and left hemispheres - over the last 10 years.

Below are details of courses and presentations I have given, and some articles on neuroscience, Focusing and psychotherapy to download.

'Neuroscience for Therapists' course

This is a course for counsellors and therapists that I have run five times. It's spread over nine Saturday seminars from January to November, and it's in London. I put this course on hold while writing my book, but plan to run it again in 2020. Below are the flyer and course outline for the 2015 edition:

flyer

course outline

If you would like to go on my mailing list for this, please phone or email me (see bottom of page).

Seminars & presentations

As well as regularly teaching introductory days on neuroscience for groups of student and graduate counsellors and therapists, I have given presentations on various topics in recent years:

  • 'The felt sense, the right brain, and other people': a presentation given at the Focusing International Conference in Cambridge, July 2016
  • 'Focusing Integrates the Left and Right Brains': a presentation given at the Focusing International Conference in Seattle USA, August 2015
  • 'Should Therapists Embrace Neuroscience?': a workshop at the BACP Practitioners Conference in Leeds, April 2015
  • 'Neuroscience of the Social Brain': a keynote presentation at a conference on 'social media and the brain' for Edinburgh University student counselling service, March 2015
  • 'Neuroscience, Attachment and Affect Regulation': a two day semimnar for Psychotherapy UK in Manchester, June 2014
  • 'Focusing in an Age of Neuroscience': a presentation given at the Focusing International Conference in Switzerland, May 2013
  • 'The Right Brain & The Holy Grail': a workshop given at the European Federation for Psychosynthesis Psychotherapy conference in the Netherlands, May 2011
  • 'A Scientific Theory of Focusing': a presentation given at the Focusing International Conference in Germany, May 2010
  • 'The Biology of Love & The Therapeutic Relationship': a two day seminar for the Psychosynthesis Professional Association, April 2010

Articles

The following articles discuss neuroscience and the practice of Focusing, including the natural phenomenon of (small 'f') focusing:

The felt sense, the right brain, and other people - notes of a presentation given at the Focusing International conference in Cambridge UK, in July 2016

Focusing integrates the left brain with the right brain - notes of a presentation given at the Focusing International conference in Seattle, USA, in August 2015

Focusing in an Age of Neuroscience - an article describing key aspects of Focusing and the links with what we know about brain and body, published in the Focusing Folio, Vol.23 No.1, 2012

A Scientific Theory of Focusing, part one - a paper given at the Focusing International conference in Germany, May 2010

A Scientific Theory of Focusing, part two - ditto

Why Focusing Makes The Human Brain Work Properly - a paper given at the Focusing International conference in Montreal, May 2008

Body Brain: Focusing in the Light of Neuroscience - a paper given at the Focusing International conference in the Netherlands, May 2006

And the following articles discuss neuroscience and the practice of counselling and therapy, including focusing-oriented therapy:

Engaging the Body Changes the Brain - published in Eisteach, the journal of the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, Vol.12 No.2, summer 2012

Get Your Head Around The Thing Inside It - published in the International Journal of Psychotherapy, Vol.11 No.1, March 2007

Comments & questions

I welcome feedback and suggestions!

Peter Afford
020 8673 1860
peter@focusing.co.uk