What is that vague and unpleasant sensation that is always with me? That ‘something’ that I have been carrying with me for long time? I have a clear sense of it but I find it quite difficult to describe it, yet I do know it very well. If you are raising these or similar questions to yourself, then you may be trying to get in contact with your Background Feeling.

Indeed, the Background Feeling is a vague sensation that is always or very often with us. It is something very familiar to us, yet quite complicated to capture. It is always grey, always lonely and always a little sad. It is often hurrying or trying to escape. it’s frightened or frightening, always trying hard and so on (Gendlin, 1997). It is important to be aware of it and try to take that out, as it may open a big space for us to reflect and solve some internal discomfort. However, the opening of this ‘big space’ is not an easy process and for some people can even be quite scary. That is why it is better to try and access it with the guide of a counselling professional specialised in Focusing.

This type of counsellor can help you recognise your Background Feeling while being supported and contained in a safe space. You will work through that predominant feeling(s) that you have towards life, this may include a felt sense of fear, anger, heaviness or many other feelings. Once you are able to access it and create an inner dialogue with it, you could see your life being transformed.


  • Fréminville (de), M. (2008). The Implicit Transformational Power of the Background Feeling in Focusing. The Folio. Vol 21 (1). 13-20.
  • Gendlin, E.T. (1997). A process model. New York: Focusing Institute.