The Felt Sense: Conceptual Mind versus Holistic Knowing

When the conceptual mind loses its moment-to-moment connection to direct bodily experience, it begins to take on a life of its own.  Conceptual mind is very good at identifying parts and putting different parts together in new combinations, but it is not good at holding a sense of the whole.  Therefore conceptual mind often leads us to places that are out of touch with the whole reality of our lives.  It can create alternative realities, both pleasant and unpleasant, that we come to believe in but which are in fact inaccurate or incomplete. Of course there are times when this…

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The Felt Sense: What It Is and Why It’s Important

In the 1950s Eugene Gendlin, a young graduate student at the University of Chicago working with the great American psychologist Carl Rogers, set out to discover why some people in therapy have successful outcomes and others don't. By means of carefully controlled analysis of scores of audio tapes of therapist-client sessions, Gendlin and his team were able to demonstrate that the crucial variable was not the kind of therapy practiced or even the skill of the therapist, but rather a capacity that the successful clients manifested from the very first session that was lacking in the unsuccessful clients. This was…

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