What is Relational Wholebody Focusing

Relational Wholebody Focusing is a BodyMind experiential practice that values our differences and recognizes the ties of inter-dependence that link us as a civil, fair, and humane society.   I can choose to make space for you being different from me and still maintain bodily adult connection with you.   We can stand together and explore wise, intelligent and heartfelt conversations about how to move forward with mutuality and inclusiveness.  The more I can open up to meeting you and receiving you as a whole person, the more diverse and creative my own life possibilities and directions. 


Our Story

Relational Wholebody Focusing is a new iteration of a way of being in the world, that we have known for the age of humanity.

Philosophical Background

Influenced by earlier philosophers  - Martin Heidegger, Carl Rogers, Rollo May, David Levin, Mearleau-Ponty - Eugene Gendlin's articulation of life as experience, became known as Focusing.

Representing a bringing together of Humanistic Person Centered, Existential  and Phenomenological concepts, Gendlin proposed that unless we connect to the feeling of experience, transformational shift is unlikely to occur.   Referred to as the 'felt sense', Gendlin named this feeling of experiencing, as a necessary condition to deep transformational change.  

The Wholebody Focusing Story

Kevin McEvenue was an Alexander teacher who brought together his experience of the Alexander approach and the Focusing philosophy into one statement. Based on  years of experiential inquiry, McEvenue determined that when the body is aware of itself as a whole, and welcomed and loved as it is, it awakens to its own healing process.  McEvenue came to describe this understanding as, Wholebody Focusing.   Wholebody Focusing helps us bring awareness to the importance of being connected to the larger Me Here-consciously embodied as a living breathing part of the whole environment interaction.

Relational Wholebody Focusing Story

Inspired by Wholebody Focusing, Karen Whalen, a psychotherapist specialising in trauma and complex trauma, collaborated with McEvenue to create a more dynamic and relational practice, known today as Relational Wholebody Focusing.  Relational Wholebody Focusing was established as a practice to support real-life relationships - helping people navigate conflict, intimacy and all aspects of relational living in the real world.  Differently from Wholebody Focusing, Relational Wholebody Focusing brings emphasis to finding Me in the We of human relationships.

Learning to use our wholebody awareness to find a path forward in life, Relational Wholebody Focusing  helps us find an expansive  and grounded-in-the-earth, way forward.  Relational Wholebody Focusing creates new possibilities, a sense of flowing into the fullness of one's life,  and a deep pleasure in everyday living.

This simple practice is an every day iteration of everything we know about human development, ranging from attachment theory, to self-object relations, to inter-subjective theoretical perspectives.  We find the fullness of self in the intersection of Me and We in relationship.  Consistent with its roots as a therapeutic tool, Relational Wholebody Focusing offers a doorway to significant therapeutic shift and transformation.

The community today comprises of Relational Wholebody Focusing trainers and therapists across the world.  These professionals undergo many years of  training to become certified to then be able to deliver this work. 

Karen Whalen resides in Nova Scotia.

Karen Whalen PhD.