Open Focus™

Open Focus audio exercises are a unique combination. They have something in common with guided mindfulness meditation, but have more structure, more guidance. They have an element of hypnotherapy, but when listening to an open-focus exercise- we are totally awake, lucid and attentive. What they can help us to achieve is a state of profound relaxation.

Dr Les Fehmi, along with his wife, psychotherapist Susan Shor Fehmi, successfully used open-focus exercises to treat anxiety, chronic pain, and stress related conditions for decades. He confirmed their effectiveness with neurofeedback equipment he had invented himself.

He found that when we relax our attention…when we open up our attention, focusing not on specific objects but on non-objective, indistinct things such as space or silence, with little effort, we generate an abundance of relaxation-inducing alpha-waves in the brain. His original first recording of using his technique on himself, is shown above. He and Susan later proved that long-term practice produces lasting improvements in a wide range of physical and mental health conditions. He documented this and his technique in the book The Open-Focus Brain (Fehmi and Robbins, 2007) which contains example exercises.

I trained with Susan, who has co-directed the clinic in Princeton for the last 20 years. Today, I make my own Open Focus recordings for people I work with.

Below is a short example. I suggest you sit gently upright, your hands resting on your thighs, but not touching each other, palms up if that is comfortable. Most people prefer to listen through headphones.

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