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Advanced and Certification Weeklong 2020

Belonging and Crossing in Community

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2020 Weeklong Logo

Your Hosts

Event Image
2020 Weeklong Logo

An Institute event facilitated by Edgardo Riveros, Dan Schachter and Jan Winhall



Online Joining Information

An email will be sent prior to the start of the Weeklong with instructions and links.

Meeting Format

August 16 - 22, 2020



Join us for the 50th Weeklong!  We are celebrating the history of this flagship event, and the first 40 years of the Institute.  The Weeklong began in Chicago in 1979, and for about 10 years, there were 2 every year.  In good Focusing fashion, the exact truth is a bit murky.  Therefore, we are simply proclaiming this one number 50!

In the early days, anyone who wanted to become certified by the Institute was required to attend a Weeklong.  Now, the Weeklong is still a celebration of our international certification, but it is so much more. 

The Weeklong is open to all Focusers who are certified or soon-to-be certified, and to advanced Focusers who have a substantial experience.  Coordinators are especially invited to attend.  One of the highlights of the Weeklong is the Certification Ceremony where we have the opportunity to officially welcome newly Certified Focusing Professionals into the Focusing community and to celebrate and honor one another on our journeys.

At the Weeklong, you are invited to connect or re-connect with our diverse international community.  It is a rare opportunity to be with an intimate group of advanced practitioners, to learn from one another and to share your wisdom. 

A New Adventure

Though being together in person would have been wonderful, the Facilitation Team is excited to live this Crossing and Belonging experience authentically in this format.  The world is living through tumultuous times and we have an unprecedented opportunity to live through it together. We will be with one another from our homes in Israel and Ireland and Canada and Chile and Australia and who knows how many other places.  Many of our countries are in political upheaval, and many are just now facing the height of the pandemic.  We need one another, and the world needs Focusing.

This moment seems to be an instance of the meaning of the Institute's logo, the theta.  Gene Gendlin liked the theta as the symbol of Focusing, because the pen first goes backward into the past and then is thrust forward.   In the very year that we look backward to celebrate the 50th Weeklong, we are being launched into this new era.  

For us, this 2020 Weeklong is a grand new adventure.  We will be delighted to have you as our companions on this journey.

Benefits of the Weeklong

The Weeklong can reinvigorate or launch your work, and strengthen the foundation of your life-long participation in our global Focusing community.  It is led by a Facilitation Team of Coordinators from different countries and backgrounds.  They are supported by several Collaborating Coordinators, and together this team creates an event rich with learning and sharing.

At the Weeklong, you will deepen or learn new skills, connect with others through common interests, experience a variety of cultural perspectives, and build upon the legacy of Focusing and The International Focusing Institute. There are also ample opportunities to share your skills and your particular Focusing approach.

At the Weeklong, you will gain:

  • A deeper understanding of your special place in the ongoing evolution of Focusing and the worldwide Focusing community;
  • Deep and life-long connections to Focusers from around the world who share your passion and interests and can offer you continuing support and contact as you take your next steps;
  • Practical skills to help you to deepen your Focusing practice, professionally and personally;
  • A new or renewed sense of clarity and confidence about how you can offer your own gift of Focusing freshly to the world.

At past Weeklongs, people found they were able to more deeply discover themselves, their gifts, and their aliveness through the experience of deep connection in a profoundly accepting and supportive community — a community that has continued long after the week was completed. The Focusing Weeklong is not just about deepening our understanding and practice of Focusing, but deepening our understanding of ourselves and what we bring to the global community.


DAILY PRESENTATIONS – Each day, the main session will take place from 11am to 1pm Eastern US time (11am to 2pm on the first day).  This main session will be live, but will also be recorded.  The presenters are the same as originally scheduled.  These presentations will include simultaneous translation to Spanish.

HOME GROUPS – These are groups of about 10-15 people, facilitated by one of our Facilitation Team (or a Coordinator who has volunteered to lead one).  Home Groups give you a chance to form deep connections with an international small group.  Depending on where you live, your Home Group will either meet from 3pm to 5pm Eastern US time or from 4am to 6am Eastern US time.

FOCUSING PARTNERSHIP DYADS OR TRIADS (optional) – If you wish, you will be assigned into a group of 2 or 3 for Focusing partnerships during the week.  You will receive your partner(s) name about a week prior to the Weeklong so that you can try to meet even before the Weeklong begins.  You can decide together how and when to arrange your partnership times.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOU TO PRESENT WORKSHOPS (optional)– You can submit a proposal for a workshop to offer during the Weeklong.  We will do our best to accommodate all who wish to give a presentation.  We will send you information about that very soon.

OPPORTUNITIES TO HANG OUT FOR FUN, CONVERSATION OR FOCUSING (optional)– We will create times during the week when the Zoom room will be open for you to be spontaneous with one another.

Attendance Requirements

IMPORTANT: IF YOU SIGN UP, YOU ARE COMMITTING TO ATTENDANCE  – The hallmark of the Weeklong is the building of community cross-culturally among Focusers from all over the world.  To maintain the nature of the intimacy of the Weeklong, if you sign up, you must commit to attending all Home Groups and to attend all Presentations. (Presentations may be watched after-the-fact if you live in a place where the time of day is impossible for you.)  We also ask you to make an effort to attend as many of the optional events as possible.


Edgardo Riveros, Santiago, Chile. Edgardo is an Experiential Psychotherapist.  He has published a number of books including translations of Gendlin's Experience and the Creation of Meaning  and A Process Model. He founded the Continental Focusing School in Spanish based in Santiago de Chile in a blended training system for all Spanish-speaking countries. and

Dan Schachter, M.A., Tel Aviv, Israel. Dan is a Clinical Psychologist, Focusing Coordinator, and a Somatic Experiencing practitioner and supervisor. He teaches Focusing-Oriented Therapy (FOT) and the Philosophy of the Implicit.

Jan Winhall, M.S.W. R.S.W. Toronto, Canada. Jan is a psychotherapist in private practice and Director of Focusing On Borden, a centre for teaching Focusing and Focusing-Oriented Therapy. Jan is the author of “Understanding and Treating Addiction with the Felt Sense Experience Model” In Emerging Practice in FOT. Jan teaches internationally and is a lecturer in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto.


Why Focusing Works - Edgardo Riveros

A practical and experiential workshop to show how and why Focusing works. In other words, how does Focusing achieve a change in the bodily experience of symbolization?

Focusing is a lived journey that takes place in a universal way through three great experiential moments, as profound and powerful as ocean depths.  These three are the handle, the unlocking (transformation of content) and the panoramic vision just prior to ending.

Once this pathway is understood, one can then identify the crucial moments in Focusing where the dynamics of change, the emergence of novelty and carrying forward all take place.

I want to share with the community the incredible potential that this part of the process, that I have called Vision Panoramica has, as a creative space of our BEING to ensure the change experienced in Focusing, and look to the future with total creative confidence.

The group will experience Focusing exercises and be able to clearly identify these three phases of the Focusing Process. Participants will be given a guide and a list of suggestions to strengthen capacity for powerful experiential Focusing processes.

Diversity in Process - Dan Schachter

Diversity is a central principle and guideline of focusing and of the focusing community.

The presentation will be a critical exploration of the notion of diversity.
We will read the The International Focusing Institute's policy statement together, focus on its main intentions and open up some of its challenges. We will go back and forth between thinking and focusing in order to dive deeply into this important topic.
I do have an agenda here. It is important not to hide that. I want to state it clearly so that others who might think differently can express their view. I love the idea of diversity. I am proud to be part of an organization that has diversity as its policy. In my experiences with groups and organizations before knowing the focusing world the forces of uniformity and control always took over. I am proud to tell friends and colleagues about this unique policy of The Institute.

The notion of diversity is today under attack in the world.

It is important that we do a renewed process of felt understanding of this notion that was so central to Gendlin.

What are the some of considerations that might challenge diversity: Standardization, efficiency, sameness, common language, ease of communication, clarity, familiarity.

We want to look into for ourselves what diversity is for each one of us. What is the felt experience of diversity?

There is always a danger that even the most valuable ideas turn into fixed, blindly revered,
In this way precious values become empty shells. Concepts and habits without real life.

Might there be a tension between diversity as expressed in The Institute's statement and respecting different cultures and traditions? What about a culture that values a more hierarchical system, one that values tradition over novelty, or one that believes in the need to control in order to safeguard quality?

In February 2009 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 International 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.
Preparing this I reread the policy statement and was pleasantly surprised to see this sentence:
“recognizing that tension can arise between maximum diversity and the need for effectiveness and efficiency in meeting its goals.”
"Tension can arise." Yes. So important that this is recognized. And what do we do with tensions? We listen. Listen and focus. We recognize that everything is in process. When did you recently focus on diversity, checked in with what your felt sense knows about diversity at this juncture?
“Focusing is a practice that honors what arises freshly in the moment” it says in the statement. An organization, an institute that honors what arises freshly in the moment. Now here is an oximoron if ever there was one. Organization- freshly arising in the moment? But Gendlin says: A contradiction is a new concept waiting to be born. We need to take this seeming contradiction and do our best to find ways to have an organization with the core value of diversity- while recognizing the tensions- arise as freshly as possible in each moment.
“Frozen structures of any kind are antithetical to the ethic of Focusing.”
Groups and organizations tend to do exactly this, turn into frozen structures.

If we want to avoid this happing to the Focusing community, we need to explore freshly, on an ongoing basis, our values and believes. Also diversity.

The Felt Sense/Polyvagal Model of Addiction - Jan Winhall

The capacity to ground ourselves, to feel safe and regulated inside our bodies, is perhaps the most fundamental skill that we can achieve in a lifetime. Some of us are lucky and we learn these skills and the felt sense in our bodies from our loving care-takers. Some of us have this capacity early on in life, but lose it with experiences of pain and suffering. Others spend the better part of their existence trying to create this safe nest in which to grow and heal. Together we will explore how stress and traumatic experience prevents and /or disrupts our capacity to be grounded. We all have ways of coping that we would like to change. When needed, these ways become addictive or compulsive behaviours that are profoundly enticing coping strategies.

I have developed a new model for understanding and treating addiction called The Felt Sense/Polyvagal Model of Addiction. Polyvagal Theory gives us  a new way of understanding our autonomic nervous system, the part of the body that monitors our safety. From a Polyvagal lens we see these behaviours as self- soothing/self harmful ways to survive when we aren’t able to calm ourselves. These behaviors do not come from sickness: they come from a natural bodily response to threat and a wired in mechanism of survival. The Felt Sense/ Polyvagal Model (FSPM) addresses addiction where it lives, in the body.
We will explore this graphic model, enacting it in an embodied, whole body way. Participants will learn more about their own ways of avoiding and numbing. We will develop specific tools for working with and releasing these behaviours. The bodys’ natural state seeks growth enhancing Felt Shifts. We will harness the power of the Relational Felt Sense, our together safe space, to carry forward these shifts.

Our Collaborating Coordinators

We are delighted to have two Collaborating Coordinators: Kati Kimchi, Israel and Tom Larkin, Ireland. They will facilitate small group meetings - called "home groups" each day and present a workshop.

Kati Kimchi, Israel. Kati has been a Focusing Coordinator since 2014. She teaches Focusing and has facilitated private sessions for over 10 years. After years of working in the media mainly as a journalist who specializes in writing about sexuality,she started studying focusing in Israel with Rona Shafrir and Dana Ganihar Raz (in 2008). Over the years, she learned Whole-Body-Focusing (W.B.F), Macro Shifting, Focusing with children, T.A.E., and the philosophy of Focusing. For the last ten years, the heart of my work is dedicated to the crossing between Focusing and sexuality.

Workshop: S.H.I.F.T. - Sexual Healing in Focusing Therapy

In each process we usually meet two parts: the part that wants to deepen and create the change, and the part that does not want the process to happen.

In my field of specialization for the past 10 years, I have been studying these two aspects or parts, trying to understand what allows us to dare and meets parts that are embarrassing to look at, and what stops or slows down the process.

Within the workshop we will touch the duality that holds each process, and learn how to acknowledge those two parts.

More on my website:

Tom Larkin, M.A. Dublin, Ireland. Tom is a psychotherapist in private practice in Dublin. He is also a spiritual guide, teaches meditation in schools and is a Children Focusing trainer.  He has a particular interest in Focusing and the environment.

Workshop: Focusing with Nature

Eugene Gendlin said, “There is no ‘body’ apart from the environment. The body generates itself in the environment, out of environment … Living things are always already both body and environment”. This workshop will be an opportunity to explore experientially what this statement might mean as it pertains to our natural environment. For participants it will open up the possibility to make or remake a connection with nature and will model a way of being in the natural world.

You are invited to participate, by phone, tablet or computer, from a safe and familiar outdoor space near you - that could be from a local park or from your garden or from inside your own home either looking out on the natural world or with house plants. Employing guided Focusing exercises, Tom will guide participants in a gentle exploration of their natural environment.

The process draws its inspiration from, and is a crossing of Focusing with Shinrin Yoku (Japanese for Forest Bathing) or Forest Therapy.


Being multi-lingual is an important value of The International Focusing Institute and of the Weeklong.  At this time, we believe that we can make this event accessible to Spanish speakers.  For the main presentations daily, we will offer live simultaneous translation to Spanish.  However, one of the Main Presentations (by Edgardo Riveros) will be offered in Spanish with English subtitles.  Also, we can offer a Home Group in Spanish.  Certainly, a Home Group could be created in another language as well, if there are enough participants who wish to speak that language. 

Registration Details

You must be a member of the Institute to attend. If you are not a member please join before registering.

Early Registration Pricing

Regular Tuition $500 (before August 1)

Australasia/Asia $300 (before August 1)

Regular Registration Pricing

Regular Tuition $550  (August 1 - August 12)

Australasia/Asia Tuition $350 (due to time zone restrictions) (August 1 - August 12)

Scholarship funds available - to inquire, please write to [email protected]

Certification Fee Discount -- Did you pay your certification fee within the last two years? If Certified with us after January 2017 and have not yet attended the Weeklong, we will deduct $100. (If you attend 2020, you will still be able to deduct your full certification fee paid from the next two in-person Weeklongs) Please email [email protected] before registering to apply this discount.

Payment plans are available. For a payment plan, please call our office at 845-480-5111 or email [email protected] to register.

Cancellation Policy - for cancellations received before August 2, 2020 - $150 cancellation fee. After August 2, no refund is available except in the case of unavoidable emergency.

Registration closes August 12, 2020


1. Please read Attendance Requirements

2. If you are not already Certified or in training with one of our Coordinators please write to [email protected] and share a few sentences about your Focusing training. Because this is an event for advanced Focusers, we want to ensure that this program is right for you.

2001-11-30T05:00:00 - 2020-08-12T18:00:00

$ 550.00

Regular Fee

$ 350.00

Australasia - Asia

The Small Print
TIFI reserves the right to cancel, change and alter the program if necessary. Participants authorize TIFI to use their name, statements and likeness without charge, for promotional purposes in publications, advertising, video, web, new media, or other formats.

For more information:

Contact Elizabeth at [email protected] or (845) 480-5111.

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