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Beginners course in Inner Relationship Focusing

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Where & When

Mondays, 7pm - 9pm BST 4th March - 27th May, 2024 (no class on 18th March, 1st April, 6th May)
Irish Standard Time/British Standard Time

Online Joining Information

Zoom link shared upon registration. 

Meeting Format

Why Inner Relationship Focusing (IRF)? 

Inner Relationship Focusing (IRF) is a refined and expanded form of Focusing developed by Ann Weiser Cornell and Barbara McGavin. It works with ‘parts’ as well as felt senses. Parts can often be in conflict with one another, or hidden from us, and IRF offers an approach of working with these in an educated and compassionate way that can lead to new shifts. 


What will you learn in IRF Path 1? 


You learn how to::


  • Develop empathy and compassion for yourself, even with troubling emotions.
  • Sense freshly into an old problem and find new perspectives.
  • Begin accepting yourself  as you are. 
  • Listen deeply to another, and allow yourself to be heard by another. 
  • Begin to experience yourself as that ‘bigger’ you which can be with what are often perceived as ‘difficult’ parts. 
  • Experience and understand what is meant by the ‘felt sense’ and ‘the unclear edge’.
  • How to Focus and Companion in Partnerships*.



How will you do this?


  • Skills are broken down into weekly bite-size chunks.  
  • There are worksheets with each exercise. 
  • You will watch demos of Focusers rehearsing that weekly exercise. 
  • Guided exercises led by Fiona demonstrate weekly learning.
  • You  will Focus in class and outside class with a partner each week. 
  • Time for Q&A, discussion and sharing. 
  • There are prescribed readings from the class textbook. 


What is Focusing Partnership*?  

People can Focus by themselves, but usually find Partnership to be hugely supportive and enjoyable.. The presence of a compassionate other can greatly facilitate us to be more present to ourselves, even if that person is a beginner. 

We need to learn the skills of deep  listening (we call this Companioning), and the etiquette  of IRF Partnering relationships, in order for this to be a safe and helpful experience. Path 1 teaches the basics of good Partnership. 


What are the benefits of this course?

  • It gets easier to be yourself: In being deeply present to yourself, more of you emerges in all situations that feels natural, right, and easy. 
  • You get new perspectives on old problems:  Sensing freshly brings new changes. 
  • Facilitates deep shifts: Even if your partner is a beginner, just like you, their presence enables you to be with difficult emotions with greater skill than when on your own.
  • Empowering:  Partnership recognises that you are the expert in your life, as both you and your companion are peers. 
  • Cost-effective: Partnering is free. It is an exchange that you can arrange with others every week, reducing the need for paid therapy or guided sessions. 
  • Compatible with other therapies: Focusing compliments all other therapies very well - meditation, counselling, therapy, yoga etc.  No need to stop what you’re currently finding supportive. 
  • Road to professional qualifications: If this is something that interests you, Path 1 is the first necessary step. After Path 2  you can begin professional training. 
  • It’s not a huge time commitment:  Classes run for 10 weeks, 2 hours a week. You will need to participate in weekly partnering as well (which will take from 30- 60 minutes a week via Zoom), and enjoy some class readings. Minimum of 3- 4 hour weekly commitment for 10 weeks. 

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