I came to focalizing broken, very sick and traumatized from recent adult circumstances and interlinked childhood incidents. I was immobilized and had been crying for many months. Traditional mental health care did nothing to relieve my symptoms, and often made them worse: I felt unheard, the doctors and therapists looked at me quizzically and offered medications that I could not tolerate. I was willing to become unstuck and face whatever needed attention. A friend promised that with focalizing I would come out the other side and my life would change. After two sessions, I became aware of my body as a whole. In doing so, I moved through some very challenging parts of my life in a safe, calm and loving environment. The process was even fun at times and I found myself laughing. I am now on that other side and I am free of all the junk that was holding me back from living my life. I am joyful, happy and content. I am a totally different person . . . a transformation happened. I feel blessed to have discovered focalizing.
—Jeanne Burns, Vermont
To me, focalizing is very hard to explain. In fact, the more I think about it, the harder it is to define. Yet I see real results in my day-to-day life, and sometimes even get a glimpse of the infinite potential within my grasp.
—Glen Dooley, New York City NY
I live in Alaska and was crippled for a month with a PTSD attack. In the summer of 2007, I made an 8-week trip to New York to do the focalizing with Dr. Michael Picucci that I had read about. The process powerfully, yet gently guided me out of deep, immobilizing trauma. After 7 weekly sessions I returned home with a renewed sense of inner freedom in my life. Months later I did distance focalizing by phone when there was some kind of other discord in my being. That too worked amazingly well, bringing me back to a place of strength, balance and clarity. Whenever a session was complete a stuck energy was released and new possibilities were revealed. What a gift to discover this new human technology!
—Shabd Sangeet Khalsa, Alaska
My life feels lighter and easier since focalizing. I feel more and I also act more spontaneously, without doing self-destructive things to tamp down sadness or fear. I find this new mode of healing pretty easy to engage when I need it. The process is simple, even ordinary. The simplicity of the path belies its power to transform my experience of the world and my place in it.
—Dr. George Russell, Chiropractor, Bodyworker and Counselor
When I first started focalizing, a lot of everyday occurrences would overwhelm me. I felt like a deer in the headlights and wasn't feeling present in my life. Focalizing has helped me give this feeling permission to exist, and then swiftly helped me move it. It's counterintuitive at times but it works. Problems and issues still come up (such is life), but at least now I can address them effectively. I like how the approach is more “zen” and less violent. We are not attacking anything head on; we are simply allowing it and moving past it, like in a deep meditation.
—Mike Treeman, New Jersey
Working with focalizing, I was able to tap the energy that was latent within me. Equally important, I was able to connect quite literally with the energy of the cosmos and to transform my entire professional situation from one of devastation to one of empowerment. That was some time ago. I’m now in a thriving business adventure, one from which I continually draw inspiration, energy, and strength. Each day I celebrate the vibrant and multidimensional presence, fueled with resourceful energy, that I’m now able to bring to every aspect of my life. There is no turning back: the focalizing I’ve done has left me forever changed.
—Chris Collette, New York City NY
Prior to focalizing, my work in therapy and recovery had only skimmed the surface. Through focalizing and other visualization techniques, I find myself able to finally let go of the mental debris that prevented me from building a more solid foundation. I am now able to make positive, transformative changes to become more of my authentic self. It is truly exciting! I’m able to challenge myself, enrich my life experience and become the person I want to be.
—Deloris Bennett, Bangor ME
After a car accident, I began to suffer from a number of bewildering symptoms. I was extremely anxious, unable to sleep, and fearful when driving. Worst of all, I felt disconnected from those around me. Everyday contact with family, friends and colleagues became very painful. Nothing I did to “get over” these feelings gave me relief. Talking about the accident and what I was going through only served to intensify the suffering. I felt stuck and did not know what to do.
In two focalizing sessions, I was gently guided in exercises that helped me to discharge the trauma from my body, regain a sense of well being, and re-connect with my self and those around me. It almost seems improbable how powerful and effective this technology can be in such a short time. I recommend focalizing to anyone who needs help in getting “unstuck” after a traumatic event in his or her life.
—Michael Knauth, Woodstock NY
After the sudden death of a loved one, bereaved and confused I was introduced to focalizing. To my amazement, learning to focalize has given me a skill and tool that can be used on a daily basis. I accessed the process quickly and it mysteriously worked through me. I now have management over my own thoughts and actions and I have moved forward with new ease.
—Rosemarie Dreier, Isles of Palms SC
My recent work with focalizing leaves me with a growing sense of optimism that difficulties experienced both physically and mentally can be resolved. Many years of personal suffering brought me to search out different approaches, paths, and healing practices. My searching ended when I began to experience the subtle changes brought about through the focalizing method. I brought to it many deeply held and disabling issues around sexuality, intimacy and compulsive habits. Through my sessions I feel heard and understood. I have finally started to shed the shame, guilt, and fears that I felt imprisoned by for years. I still have a bit to go but feel a renewed enthusiasm and sense that I have the resources to stand on my own two feet.
—Jamie Suten, Ireland
I came to focalizing due to a severe depression, which I believed was going to drive me to suicide. My mind was filled with ruthless self-hatred and resentments, despite professional success, wealth and physical health. I felt alone and unworthy. The escape that I had found in alcohol was not working anymore, and instead was turning things worse.
My focalizing partner asked to hold a “shared intention” with him in our first session that our process would lead to the healing of my internal conflicts. This intention materialized and the process took me out of my depression and led to a meaningful improvement of my life. It put me in touch with different “resources” (internal and external) that I used tools to change my state of mind and to dissolve internal knots and fears. This somatic technology helped me open a door into internal “journeys” that have made me aware of an inner intelligence that supports me.
Today my life has changed beyond what I thought was possible: I found the courage to leave my previous job and start up my own business. I am moving into my dream home, and today I cherish every moment of my life—even the challenging ones.
—Michael Rubin, Miami FL
I began therapy at 19, when I recalled being sexually molested as a child and realized I needed to speak with someone because it was bothering me a lot. In session after session with a slew of therapists, I realized I was just rehashing the same story and not getting any relief from my pain. It was having such a negative effect on my life and my relationships—I couldn't have sex without being high on something—I needed to try something different. In my own attempt to free myself, I became more dependent on drugs and alcohol. Then I was told about focalizing and within a couple of sessions, I experienced a profound sense of liberation that took me by surprise. I became free of almost all of the anxiety and, after some further work; it was further reduced in intensity.
I NEVER thought I would be free from the anxious feelings around my history. Yet now I feel empowered to be in charge of my destiny, making way for the good things that are happening.
—Mark Freeman, Detroit MI
After some horrific years, I found focalizing. After learning the process, and practicing it for a while, I am now noticing that I feel good about my life and future possibilities. And when I have bad days, I have all of the tools to be able to release that. I now experience life as something flowing through me, rather than a cause for my pain. Now, I realize this is what it is to feel free. I am free from that feeling of crushing anxiety, needing to be prepared for the worst thing to happen. It is the most enormous weight off my shoulders that I’d ever imagined possible. What a relief!
—Deborah Walsh, Montréal, Canada
I found focalizing when I felt stuck in a situation that I didn't seem to have a way out of; there didn't seem to be a solution. I began familiarizing myself with this new somatic and definable work. I had been in therapy before, but the focalizing work I've done in the past year has given me a lot more tangible results—in terms of really identifying stuff that was getting in my way—and in finding more peace of mind.
Looking back, I notice how trapped I had been by my fear about the unknown—the things that might happen that we have no control over. Now, I have the sense of being present and in the moment. When I think about frightening scenarios that might happen, I realize they also might not happen—which causes immediate relief. It doesn't detract from the happiness I feel today or the work I've done. I've never felt this way before in my life. It's exhilarating, it's fun, and I'm having a fantastic time.
—Michael Goodman, Bedford NY
GROUP FOCALIZING EXPERIENCES
The atmosphere at a focalizing workshop is one of openness, sharing and discovery. The tone was immediately set by one of the focalizers candidly sharing his personal journey of growth and discovery and by inviting us to release our sense of limitation in order to discover what is possible and how to manifest it. The most important discovery is the profound awareness that an individual's thoughts and actions impact us—and the Universe—in a major way. Through our individual sharing, we realized how more alike we are than different, that the sense of separation is an illusion.
—Sheila R. Salama, MD, New York City NY
The first time I did a focalizing group I thought, this might be a waste of my time, but the next day something inexplicable happened. I was taking the same train—from the same station—that I ride every day. It was as if I was embodying some new kind of heightened awareness in the midst of the mundane. I felt alive in a different way, with an expanding consciousness I hadn't even recognized yet. I felt more connected, to everything, to life itself. My work with the group continued, and when it was over I stood up to leave and my steps were so bouncy and happy, I almost didn't recognize myself. I felt so good in my body; it was as if I'd been given a brand new one.
—Pete Simon, Sante Fe NM
I thought any kind of therapy was a crock, but my life was in unimaginable turmoil: a breast cancer diagnosis, barely escaping my too-close-to-the-World-Trade-Center apartment on the morning of 9/11, losing my job, ending a 12-year relationship and caretaking my mother who had Alzheimer's. I had been coping with all of that over the course of a decade, and my spirit was broken. I was feeling vulnerable in every way, and I was ready to try absolutely anything to ease the pain. I was invited to participate in a focalizing workshop, and even though I had no understanding of what it was, I went along. Though it's hard to describe what happened there, I recognized the beginning of a shift.
I continued to be resistant to focalizing; yet my growing trust in the group collective allowed me to stay open, and little by little my inner shift continued. I began to sense how much I was getting out of it. I was letting go of old images of fear, and embracing insights that were fresh and self-assured. I experienced a new trust and connection to myself. I could accept the past circumstances of my life without feeling battered; rather I felt empowered by them. It was as if I made a new, trusting connection to myself, and that relationship is still unfolding in a very dynamic way.
—Barbara Genova, Mt. Kisco NY
I attended a “Reinventing Ourselves Naturally” focalizing workshop. It was truly transformational. During a grounding focalizing process, the group was asked to visualize something that had been an obstacle or deterrent. Mine had always been financial insecurity and a relentless fear. During this exercise, I imagined that fear and pictured a black, muddy rock closing in on me. It came closer and stopped in front of my face, dark and foreboding. I was then asked to picture a resource, something that made us feel good, the opposite of what the previous image symbolized. Pools of serene water emerged before me, washing away all fear as I breathed in the calmness. Next we were instructed to join the images together to come up with a third, illustrating the merging of the two. A white torrent of water sprayed out of the ground shooting towards the sky, as if to tell me, “I live in abundance, I have nothing to fear and I am very grateful.”
—Oliver Olwyn, New York City NY
Shortly after reading his book Ritual as Resource I invited Michael Picucci to give the opening keynote address for LaGuardia Community College's 2nd Annual Complementary and Alternative Health & Healing Fair. Like ritual, Dr. Picucci is an important resource to access.
The audience that afternoon was diverse—and composed of students, faculty, administrators and members of the general public. This exposure to focalizing was marvelous. It connected to those present by inviting them to “explore together” one of the focalizing healing techniques. The responses and the hands-on experience were instantaneously enthusiastic and positive. It left a tangible, valuable and lasting impression on all those present.
—Tony Allicino, Director Center for Complementary and Alternative Health & Healing LaGuardia Community College/CUNY/ New York City NY