Eugene T. Gendlin, the American philosopher and psychologist who developed the mind-body connection practice called "Focusing," died on May 1 at the age of 90 in Spring Valley, New York. His death was announced by the International Focusing Institute (www.focusing.org), which was founded in 1985 by Dr. Gendlin to promote the practice of Focusing and the philosophy behind it, which he called the “Philosophy of the Implicit.” Focusing is an experiential, body-oriented method for generating insights and emotional healing. Gendlin's philosophy falls under the branch of philosophy called phenomenology. Significant influences on his philosophical work included Edmund Husserl, Jean-Paul Sartre and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. A nearly exhaustive library of his work is maintained by the Institute in the Gendlin Online Library.
"In a world which is increasingly superficial and directed to appearances and the outside world Joop was a man of character and depth. Not to say that he didn’t care for his personal appearance – on the contrary, he did. He dressed with flair. Perhaps the first thing you noticed about him was his beautiful coat or hand-crafted shoes; then his tall stature, greying hair and marked face, which could crease with a grin and warmth, or with great seriousness. Joop listened. He chewed over what you said – perhaps for some minutes, some hours or sometimes days. Then would come a comment or an answer to a question or a problem, which he had considered from many different angles. He was never satisfied with a simple answer – his solutions were rounded, thought out, compassionate, surprising, meaningful.
John was a celebrated teacher of polarity therapy and Biodynamic craniosacral therapy. His blend of therapy combined ancient wisdom with current health practices. He and his wife, Anna Chitty, started teaching polarity therapy in 1979 and opened the Colorado School of Energy Studies in Boulder, CO. in 1992. At the end of his life, John created Polarity Counseling.
With regret we share the recent news of Christa D. Ventling’s passing. According to Courtenay Young, she was a female pioneer in European Bioenergetic Analysis and in qualitative research in body psychotherapy.