The potential role of a focusing invitation in social work education.

Focusing is an oriented psychotherapy that helps the client in the process of self-discovery through interacting with his or her “bodily felt sense” (direct sense of the self and the environment). It is also a valuable pedagogical practical tool that social work students can apply as another clinical approach to working with clients with a history of trauma and other problem issues. Thus, teaching social work students through focusing invitations can help them enhance their own self-care strategies and improve their social work skills. This article describes a qualitative study that assessed the effect of the experience of a focusing invitation among 40 social work students over a 14-lesson course. Students kept reflective diaries, which were submitted anonymously and read and analyzed separately using conventional thematic content analysis. The qualitative analysis explored the influence of experiencing a focusing invitation on social work students’ awareness of creating knowledge from the felt sense and their attitude toward the focusing as a tool for use in their future practice. It revealed three main themes: the focusing invitation enables a space for emotional arousal, the body as a source of knowledge, and the focusing invitation toward self-care and future professional use. The focusing invitation can be incorporated in social work education, particularly in those parts of the curriculum devoted to their professional use and self-care. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)