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Focusing for Beginners (8 weeks)

Learn Focusing and listening skills

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Annette Dubreuil
Focusing for beginners - image of two butterflies

Annette Dubreuil (Coordinator-in-training) and Marg Peck (Trainer-in-training)

Where & When

Thursdays, May 2nd-June 27th, 1:30-3:30 pm (break week May 23rd)
Eastern Time

Meeting Format

In this eight-week course, we slowly get to know each of the 6 steps of Eugene Gendlin’s Focusing practice. Each week, we learn about one or two steps and/or a new way of listening in Focusing partnerships. Here is the course overview by week:

  • Clearing a space and the Focusing attitude (receiving) + Holding space
  • Finding a felt sense + Saying back (mirroring)
  • Finding a felt sense about an issue + Felt Sense Polyvagal Model (continue mirroring)
  • Getting a handle and resonating + Reflecting with our own words (active listening)
  • Felt shifts + Continue active listening
  • Asking + Helping your Focuser with general prompt questions (experiential peer listening)
  • Asking + Helping your Focuser deepen their experience with specific questions (experiential peer listening continued)
  • Noticing patterns + Helping your Focuser deepen their experience with specific questions (experiential peer listening continued)

As we go, we gradually grow our Focusing and listening skills, by building each week some of these skills.

You’ll learn to know where the Focuser is in the process, and when to ask questions which help the process move along, such as:

  • “Where do you carry that in your body?”
  • “Can you get a handle for that?”
  • “What’s the worst about that?”
  • “What would it feel like if it as all better?”

Each class begins with a centering/grounding practice and a check-in. We then have a a teaching piece of a Focusing step or two and/or some listening skills and a small embodied guided exercise (experiential). We’ll then have a short break and come back for a demonstration followed by breakout room practice (groups of two or three). We end back together in the main room for some Q&A, sharing and a brief closing.

To further your practice, it is encouraged to also form a Focusing partnership with another participant. This involves meeting between classes to practice, in an exchange of Focusing and listening. You can also opt to be assessed for the Proficiency in Focusing Partnership Award provided through TIFI in the final few weeks of the course.

Timing and other details

Next Groups:

  • Thursdays, May 2nd-June 27th, 1:30-3:30 pm Eastern (break week May 23rd)

  • Upcoming classes - dates to be determined. Please email me at [email protected] if you cannot make the above course to let me know when you would be available for this training. If you are a practitioner or someone who is an intermediate or experienced Focuser, you could also look at the 4-week version of this course.

Group size: each group is capped at 24 people

Who is this course for? The course is designed for beginners (both beginners in Focusing and listening). (There is also an intensive 4-week version of this course which may be better suited to you if you are an experienced listener but a beginner Focuser).

Course location: Zoom

Course teachers: Annette Dubreuil (Coordinator-in-training) and Marg Peck (PUPA Trainer-in-training)

Sliding scale pricing: There are spots available at a reduced rates to make the course more accessible. Please view the sliding scale fees page for details and codes if you need support.


  • You can take this class as a stand alone experience, continue on with the whole PUPA journey, or whatever course or courses resonate with you.
  • Consisting of five courses, the journey covers learning Focusing (this course), learning about who you are, discovering who you want to be and what you want to bring into the world with TAE, transforming a large block using the 8Cs of self-leadership, and finally a course on taking action with embodied leadership.
  • The journey can also be extended to the PUPA Focusing Certification Program, which includes additional requirements to become a Certified Focusing Professional with The International Focusing Institute.

What People Are Saying

Feedback for similar 4 week course

“As a newcomer to focusing, I very much appreciated Annette’s ability to hold an open and nurturing space. In addition, her teachings seamlessly built on one another over the span of the course. Presentations were clear, accessible and engaging. Finally, Annette patiently encouraged exploration of the focusing process, an ability that allowed me to grow in my practice—as a person, artist and coach. “–Steve J.

"This was a great class for those who are interested in deepening their connection with both their body and emotions in a gentle and yet effective way. I chose this class to help support my work with my clients as we do somatic processing. This is an excellent tool to help clients learn to settle into their own systems and gain information to support their healing processes. Sessions offered dialectical, practical and demos for concrete learning. We also were partnered with another to practice between sessions. Annette knows her work and is interested in ensuring that everyone gets a good grasp on the material. Her tone is gentle as is her approach to teaching - which is perfect to working with the felt sense."–Oraine R.

“Focusing provides a readily accessible path to understanding yourself by connecting to the deeper wisdom in your body and subconscious--a source of wisdom that we are usually too busy, distracted and lost in our thoughts to hear. If you wish to know yourself and those around you better, focusing is perhaps the most direct way of doing that. And I can think of no one better able to teach this valuable practice than Annette. She is both skillful and compassionate, and she does an exemplary job of making the process easy to understand and experience. Most importantly, she has the ability to create a safe and welcoming space for people to begin to explore deeper aspects of themselves in the company of others.“–Jonathan Walker MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Indiana University School of Medicine

“Annette, thank you again for such a great course. Very thorough and informative, nearing an advanced form of the basics. A rich collective experience. Great stuff.”–Blake Biery, US

“'I have recently completed the 4 week beginners focussing course with Annette. She offers compassion, warmth, patience, generosity of spirit and humility. I highly recommend this course. It has helped me to start to notice my body and not just what my mind is telling me. I felt in safe hands with Annette.”–Lesley C, UK

“Really great introduction to the basics, with lots of opportunities to practice.”

“I found the Basic Steps and the suggested questions very useful.”


Annette Dubreuil - [email protected]

There is sliding scale pricing to make the course affordable to more people.

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