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2008 Annual Fund Raising Letter

The Focusing Institute takes as a core value the principle that the practice of Focusing, how it is taught by certified Focusing teachers, and its applications in different fields will not be standardized. Diversity of approaches will be protected. (Diversity Statement 2009)

December 8, 2009

Dear Focusing Community:

Sometimes I feel concerned about getting Focusing out into the world and about surviving financially. Most of the time I feel excited, hopeful and impressed by the quality of what we offer.

It feels to me that the Seeds we have all worked to plant are sprouting, faster than we can keep up with, which is a good thing. Every day there are new appearances of Focusing in many fields and in many countries.

What is most exciting to me is that the green shoots are not isolated individuals! A spontaneous cross connecting is going on. For example, The Focusing Institute (TFI) now has 175 reciprocal links to members’ websites. This is a very substantial network, and now members are cross-linking their sites to each other, too. In addition, members are forming "functional wholes1"  to establish sites at the local, national and regional levels, which in turn are linked into the TFI site and to other members’ sites. This sense of layers of overlapping structures provides a resilient, supportive matrix from which Focusing can further develop. The future of Focusing does not depend on any one individual or group.

The Ecuador story is a good example of the value of overlapping structures. TFI received an email inquiry from the executive director of a development organization in Ecuador . Their mission is "to improve in a sustainable manner, the living conditions of the most vulnerable groups in Ecuador ." They were interested in training in our Community Wellness Focusing model, and requested communication in Spanish. We connected them to TFI Certifying Coordinators Edgardo Riveros in Chile and to Elena Frezza in Argentina . Within a month training began in Ecuador for a group of nine counselors. The director came to the Second Iberian America Focusing Summit in Chile and has just attended our First World Conference on Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy and The Advanced and Certification Weeklong. It was a great pleasure to meet William, to see his excellent slide show, and to know that we will have a productive collaboration for many years.

Edgardo says in his report from the Summit, "William and his group presented a great work at The Second Iberian American Focusing Summit. Most of the people finished crying at their presentation. He and his team talked about how people in different communities and families changed their self-conceptualization after the focusing interaction with them. We are not poor people; we just do not have material things. William spoke with humility, without realizing at all about the immense impact he was having. People cried because they were touched by how focusing was inside William’s body, because how our dream called focusing has been in an alive interaction with people, how our focusing was doing a miracle with the poor people so they experience that really they are PEOPLE and not poor individuals without dignity. William said that poverty is a frozen process of the soul, and Focusing gets it unfrozen".

William’s journey took him through several of our linked structures. It went from Ecuador to TFI, to training by Certifying Coordinators from Chile and Argentina, to the Summit in Chile and now to the USA . Because we have developed a diversity of structures, which overlap, they are available to hold and support such a passage.

However, TFI needs your financial support in order to continue.
Sometimes people think we are a big organization with lots of money. In fact, we have a small staff, with a very limited budget and we run the organization out of our home offices to keep overhead expenses down. Our existence depends on membership dues and individual donations. We check the bank balance daily, and we worry. We are a not-for-profit institution and we have no funding from government or corporate sources. This fact makes our income base vulnerable. Voluntary contributions can be the first to disappear.

Running an International organization with two full time staff and four part time people on a shoestring budget is very challenging. We need to raise money for a project manager and at least one more staff person. We also need to do long term planning, which includes planning for succession and having more than a one-year budget. We welcome your input into this planning process.  

It is hard to ask for money but we must:
Please take a moment to check inside and sit with your sense of this Focusing work. I hope you will feel that you want to support it. This is our annual appeal to you for donations. We need to raise $75,000. Of that amount $35,000 will help us cover the shortfall we anticipate for the end of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010, $15,000 will fund a part time Director of International Programs. The remaining $25,000 will allow us to respond to small grant requests. By making a donation today, you are supporting the teaching of Focusing to people and in places where it is so badly needed—whether in an inner city project with teens, or in a war zone like Afghanistan, or the markets of San Salvador . Through your donations you are supporting the work of this international organization.

Please think with us how we are going to raise the needed money. Perhaps you might think of a friend, a parent, a grown son or daughter who might be happy to support something you care about. We hope you will contribute an amount that is affordable to you, maybe through smaller monthly payments. If you are interested in including us in your estate planning, please contact Melinda at [email protected]

Please give as generously as possible. Every contribution counts. If 100 members give $100, 100 members give $200 and 45 members give $1,000 or more, we would meet our goal.

You can easily make your donation in one of the following ways:

1. On our website:

2. Mail a check or money order in US dollars only to: The Focusing Institute, 34 East Lane, Spring Valley, NY 10977

3. Wire: Chase Bank, Route 202, Pacesetter Mall, Pomona, NY 10970 Phone:845-362-5222, Swift No. CHASU33 or Routing No. 021 00021 Acct No. 650-0654858-65

4. Fax 845-704-0461 (Please include the credit card number, expiration date)

5. Call 845-362-5222 with credit card information

You can inquire whether your employer offers a matching donation program. If you wish to contribute appreciated stock or include us in your estate planning, please call or email Melinda Darer at: 845-362-5222 or [email protected]

Marion Hendricks-Gendlin, Ph.D.
Director, The Focusing Institute

1 A functional whole exists when a team of people come together around a specific goal or function. It lasts as long as the function is needed. People may be part of more than one functional whole so there is a cross fertilization between wholes.

The Focusing Institute 2009 Highlights

In February this statement was approved by the Board of Directors

TFI Diversity Statement

Focusing is a practice that honors what arises freshly in the moment. Frozen structures of any kind are antithetical to the ethic of Focusing. Therefore, the Focusing Institute takes as a core value the principle that the practice of Focusing, how it is taught by certified Focusing teachers, and its application in different fields will not be standardized. Diversity of approaches will be protected. Constructive critiques among Focusing Trainers or between TFI and individuals presenting or applying Focusing are welcome and should be offered by means of open, respectful communication. TFI itself will seek to honor the values of non-standardization in its operations while recognizing that tension can arise between maximum diversity and the need for effectiveness and efficiency in meeting its goals.  

During 2009 TFI:

  • Certified 78 new Trainers from 16 countries including for the first time Ecuador .
  • 72 new Trainees this year from 15 countries
  • 31 Coordinators-in-Training from 17 countries
  • 10 new Coordinators . 
  • Began re-designing TFI Home Page and new logo.
  • TFI web site averages 2170 visits per day and 5430 page views per day. So far this year visitors have come from 160 countries. People continually express their appreciation of our "generosity" at making so much substantial material available for free to the public, especially in poor countries in the world.
  • The Gendlin Online Library (GOL) continues to be a unique and appreciated resource.  Articles are requested about 162 times per day from 58 people per day.  There have been 30,529 unique visitors and about 33% repeat visitors. Visitors came from 158 countries, over 600 educational organizations, and about 110 search engines; 100 websites have links to GOL. The library is used frequently by undergraduate and graduate students. In 2009, it has been accessed by 600 educational institutions (   Clearly we are providing a valuable academic resource to the worldwide community.
  • TFI discussion lists are active with lively conversations about such topics as Focusing and 12 Step Recovery, Focusing and NVC, and A Process Model. 
  • Our online referral database has over 900 TFI certified Focusing teachers and Focusing-oriented therapists from all over the world.
  • TFI Focusing Partnership Program (FPP) has 55 coaches from 13 countries and has 300 people.
  • 1480 orders to 30 countries have been filled through our online store.
  • Put out three issues of our newsletter Staying in Focus, which provide detailed descriptions of pilot projects, which members can replicate or learn from.

TFI sponsored workshops 2009:

  • In May we concluded a five module Training Program on Complex Trauma with Shirley Turcotte. There were 19 participants many of whom work on the front lines. The Focusing Institute is sponsoring a new Training series on Complex Trauma beginning January 2010.
  • The 4th Focusing Institute Summer School (FISS) had 108 participants from 17 countries.   

"This is the first time in my life I have ever felt love for all of me through interaction with others"

 "I am very impressed by this community and by the depth of what the Summer School allows to unfold"

  • The First World Conference on Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapies: In November some of the most well-known and experienced Focusing-Oriented psychotherapists, including Gene Gendlin and the next generation of leading Focusing-Oriented therapists gathered to teach, learn, converse and envision together at the First World Conference on Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapies. We had 120 participants from 15 countries. Joan Klagsbrun and 17 volunteers worked tirelessly to create this first World FOT conference and to place Focusing-Oriented Therapy on the map.
  • Also in November, at the TFI Certification and Advanced workshop we welcomed 22 participants from 9 countries : Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom and the  United States .  This included four "emerging teachers": Suzanne Noel ( Costa Rica ), Jan Hodgeman (US), Susan Lennox (US), and Ruth Rosenblum ( US ).
  • The 21 st annual Focusing International Conference, the first in Asia, was held in Japan, hosted by a wonderful Japanese team and attended by over 200 participants.

New Books and translations:

  • New issue of The Institute Journal The Folio:TRIBUTE ISSUE Celebrating Thirty Years of Focusing 1978-2008. It is being sold at cost for paid up members. A digital version is available for free on our website.
  • Un Modelo Procesal : Parafraseando A Eugene Gendlin by Edgardo Riveros, Chile
  • Descubriendo mi sabiduría corporal, Focusing. (Discovering my bodily wisdom, Focusing) by Salvador Moreno, Mexico
  • Focusing-Oriented Art Therapy Accessing the Body's Wisdom and Creative Intelligence
    by Laury Rappaport, Ph.D., ATR-BC
  • We are negotiating a contract with a Hungarian publisher for a translation of Let Your Body Interpret Your Dreams
  • The Chinese translation of Focusing has just come out in mainland China. It is in bookstores and also available on the Chinese Internet bookstore. We are, finally, negotiating a contract for an Arabic translation of Focusing.

Community Wellness Projects:

  • Afghanistan: Focusing continues in Afghanistan to address issues of psychosocial trauma, conflict resolution and peace building. Program activities include internships for university students where they receive supervised training toward full certification as Focusing trainers. They train kindergarten and primary school teachers to use these skills in their homes and classes. In addition, classes are held in Bamyan and Kabul provinces for teachers, women's and men's community groups and in orphanages.
  • Palestine Focusing Project: This is a new project to bring community-based Focusing to Gaza-Palestine. We are working with the Palestine Trauma Centre in the UK. Jerry Conway (UK) is leading the initial training and overseeing the translation of Focusing materials into Arabic. The follow-on step will be to place Focusing trainers in Gaza-Palestine.
  • Pakistan: Focusing is growing in interest in Peshawar and Karachi . Nina Joy Lawrence is working with two Pakistani social workers in Peshawar to train them in Focusing for their work with refugees, displaced persons and prostitutes. Patricia Omidian has held Focusing workshops in Karachi . Last year a program to work with children with learning disabilities was initiated. There are plans to develop a program to work with adolescents in local schools.
  • Nepal: In response to an inquiry from a counseling association which works with the poor in rural areas we are sending a Focusing "seed library". As a second step we hope to send a TFI Certifying Coordinator to begin a training program in Community Wellness Focusing.
  • El Salvador: Beatrice Blake recently returned from a second round of trainings, using her integration of Nonviolent Communication and Focusing. She taught vendors in the market place.
  • Ecuador: Nine counselors who work in the social development sector with people in rural areas are being trained by Certifying Coordinators Edgardo Riveros (Chile) and Elena Frezza (Argentina).


  • Focusing is being taught in Graduate programs in many countries: Chile, Japan, US, Argentina, Belgium, UK and others.
  • In 2009 Brigitte Domas has been invited by the "Paris Catholic Institute", the top private university in Paris, to create a "Focusing Diploma" program and Donata Schoeller and Hanspeter Mühlethaler have taught TAE in two Universities and have waiting lists for future classes. The University of Zurich may ask them to teach TAE as a required course for all Philosophy and Science graduate.


  • Carroll, Oroco Maria La expresión del consultante, desde el experienciar, en un proceso de psicoterapia . ITESO University, Guadalajara, México
  • Lowe, Amanda Reflective Practice in Psychology Training:A Phenomenological Study of Student Peer-Group Focusing Duquesne University USA