Focusing with children
A collection, by Anneke Broertjes and Marta Stapert

A publication of Tranzit F & S Transnational Center for Focusing and Supervision


“I believe that the children are our future.

Teach them well en let them lead the way.

Show them the beauty they posses inside.

Give them a sense of pride.

“Mary McGuire, 1986



What is now presented to you is a collection in which we describe focusing with children as far as we are now. A snapshot in a continuous development to put children into contact with something they know by nature. A child knows how something is feeling in its body what is good. When we give children the space, the opportunity and help to listen to that, is it going into the right direction, although it often goes with small steps.

This collection started when I submitted a contribution to the Focusing Folio, the international Journal for Focusing. Previously I described the possibilities of Focusing in school, such as we developed this together at ‘De Wissel’ a school for special education at Hoorn, which I am appointed as a children’s’ psychotherapist.

Apparently Focusing can contribute to the realization of the adaptive education, by which there is strived for helping to develop the self-activity, the self-revolving power and the self-guiding of the child

In the project “increasing concentration in the class we use a partial process from the total of focusing.

It is directed to bringing inside the attention, feeling what’s being in the way to feel good, and to express this by nuance of signs. If inner felt free space develops, the concentration is improving.

Moreover, the focusing can be added with simple means to the personal approximation of a child, to give the “problematic talks” more depth by speaking to the self-dissolving power of a child.

Meanwhile Anneke Broertjes, teacher at ‘De Wissel’, rounded up her study of play therapist with a scripting on the possibilities of Focusing in the play-therapy.

This describes as well the means of focusing in general, with the theory, being the root of it.

From the article appears as well how versatility Focusing can be applied.

Thereafter Anneke Broertjes and I started the course “Focusing with Children”, in which we could bring together our common expertise in the dealing with children with than of focusing trainer and - trainer in training. In the course we let the adults, both parents and professional workers, learn by experience how close focusing is with children and how we can aim our attitudes at the development of the inner self steering of the child by means of focusing and to accompany them therein.

When I was asked to give a contribution to a reader for Gene Gendlin, who developed Focusing from the client centered tradition, it became clear at me that it was important to transfer our experiences of this course there in.

We decided about the sequence in this collection, that article by Anneke Broertjes should be ahead become of the general insight in Focusing she is going as well.

The second article describes the course for parents and professionals workers with the entire focusing process, how to teach this to the children and to accompany then there in.

The last article is more reproducing the base attitude, the experiences and the steps of the partial process “clearing space” of the focusing of the whole class.

Some lines are a repetition in itself, but is it bad to read something twice ?

In the mainstream we are already further in the development of the focusing approach, especially for the youngest children in school. Focusing is development and keeps us in development. We hope that the reading of this collection will be a stating point and an encouragement to you to work with children with focusing attention.



Marta Stapert, 1997 Focusing with Children, how we handle children with a focusing attitude, teach them focusing and accompany them there in.

Marta Stapert, 1997 Focusing in school, a manual for “clearing space” in the class