Social and Emotional Learning Standards

Eugene Gendlin, the philosopher who named Focusing, would remind us that he did not discover Focusing. He discovered how to teach the steps or skills involved.

"Gendlin's basic concept is experiencing. Persons are experiencing processes. We apprehend the world moment-to-moment through our experiencing of it."

Dr Neil Friedman, Ph.D., DAPA


Our experiencing relies heavily on our skills of interoception. Interoception includes the processes by which we sense, interpret, integrate and regulate signals from within ourselves. 

Let's look at how Focusing, grounded in experiencing, meets Standards of Learning, particularly SEL's, Social and Emotional Learning. The common ground is astounding!

SEL's standards are developed at the state level in the USA. CASEL is an independent organization formed in 1994 that states can use as a reference point. We are using their model to correlate standards with the exercises in our Facilitator Guide for Educators coming out in 2024. 


CASEL framework
For reference, this diagram and a pdf you can access HERE, are from CASEL.
Quotations that follow are from this pdf. 

CASEL stands for "Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning. They envision all children and adults as self-aware, caring, responsible, engaged, and lifelong learners who work together to achieve their goals and create a more inclusive, just world. How? Through a commitment to SEL."


"The CASEL 5 addresses five broad, interrelated areas of competence and examples for each: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. The CASEL 5 can be taught and applied at various developmental stages from childhood to adulthood and across diverse cultural contexts to articulate what students should know and be able to do for academic success, school and civic engagement, health and wellness, and fulfilling careers."


"SELF-AWARENESS: The abilities to understand one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior across contexts."

"SELF-MANAGEMENT: The abilities to manage one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations and to achieve goals and aspirations."

"SOCIAL AWARENESS: The abilities to understand the perspectives of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds, cultures, & contexts."

"RELATIONSHIP SKILLS: The abilities to establish and maintain healthy and supportive relationships and to effectively navigate settings with diverse individuals and groups."

"RESPONSIBLE DECISION-MAKING: The abilities to make caring and constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions across diverse situations."


Social and Emotional Learning made Easy with Smartview Stories products

Smartview Stories are designed to expand every reader's understanding of human potential.

We thrive on relationships! Relationships with ourselves, other people and the world around us.

Throughout the stories, you can see where the characters apply their skills in common everyday situations that children and adults encounter. We give an example from our first book on the individual pages for each area of competence and will add more over time. Our curriculum will unpack the skills in detail with exercises.

We also correlate what we've learned about Focusing skill development in the years since Gendlin's original research with Carl Rogers. *Check out the bottom of this page for more on this research.

Eugene Gendlin

"Focusing is a way that you do things differently."

Focusing is an experience I can show you.

"The point that I'm trying to make is that Focusing is not a country, a culture, or religion, or tradition, it's not an entity. Once you know Focusing it's just a way that you do things differently. Everything is different with Focusing so then you will have Focusing."

History of The Focusing Process

"The Focusing technique is based on research into successful personality change done by Eugene Gendlin and his colleagues. They compared successful therapy clients with unsuccessful ones, discovering that success in therapy could be predicted from client behavior in the first few sessions. If at some point in the session the client had an unclear bodily awareness, and slowed down his or her talking in order to refer to this and try to symbolize it, then the psychotherapy would ultimately be successful. Gendlin named this unclear bodily awareness the "felt sense," and the process of attending to the felt sense, in such a way that meaning emerges, he called Focusing. He developed a method of teaching Focusing, taught it to therapy clients and others, and eventually wrote a book for the general public (1981). By 1997 Gendlin and his colleagues had brought the Focusing process to schools, businesses, hospitals, religious communities, and tens of thousands of individuals throughout the world. Although Gendlin developed it as a teachable technique, Focusing is not an invention. It is a naturally occurring skill that can be observed in people of all cultures and backgrounds. The ability to receive and confirm inner knowing through Focusing is a human birthright. Unfortunately, Focusing ability is trained out of most people living in industrial and postindustrial societies, which place a premium on logical, intellectual ways of knowing. Most of us must be retrained in order to use Focusing effectively, and even people who have retained their natural Focusing ability can benefit from learning it as a consciously accessible skill." * excerpt from "The Focusing Technique: Confirmatory Knowing Through the Body" by Ann Weiser Cornell, 1998