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Focusing Process Group

6 week group to carry you forward with empathy circles

Your Hosts

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Annette Dubreuil
Butterflies on pink flowers

Annette Dubreuil, Coordinator-in-Training

Where & When

Tuesdays, July 23 - September 10th, 2024, 6:30-8 pm
Eastern Time

Venue Website
Meeting Format

This process group is an opportunity to meet in a group of up to six people for six weeks to allow the process of Focusing to carry you forward, while deepening both your Focusing and listening skills. There is a strong emphasis on building self-compassion through common humanity in this group, and we utilize the practice of empathy circles with empathic reflections each class to help achieve this goal.

An empathy circle, practiced in a Focusing way, is at first a regular Focusing exchange, however it is held by the entire group. As such, there is a Focuser, a listener, and the remaining participants act as observers/witnesses. After the Focusing, all are invited to pause and sense what is happening in them now. An empathic reflection can then be offered by all who choose. The empathic reflection can be what was or is now felt physically (felt sense), or the word, phrase or image (handle) that came or now comes to mind. After all who wish to share have shared, the Focuser can then say what more comes in hearing the empathic reflections.

Empathy circles are powerful, as many kind-hearted people holding space allows for deep healing work!

The group is open to all skill levels, however some beginner training is required, such as the Focusing for Beginners course I offer.

The group will use an empathy circle each class, using the following format:

  • each week we will begin with a brief centering and check-in
  • next, one participant will be the empathy circle Focuser of the week, having a 15 minute experience. The listener can be myself or another participant. The rest of the group will holds space, and then offer their empathic reflections.
  • we will then either do a round-robin practice or breakout room practice in groups of two or three.
    • round-robin practice is where we stay together as one group, and go around the “circle”, taking turns Focusing and listening. When we do this, we will encourage participants to choose material that is empathically connected to the empathy circle we just had. How does their material touch you personally? (this is inspired by the Interactive Response)
    • breakout room practice will allow more time for processing per person. When we use breakout rooms, I either partner with a participant, or circulate between the breakout rooms to provide co-listening (one can always opt-out of having me co-listen).
  • finally, we will have a closing and final sharing

The group will not teach any pre-planned content other than the empathy circles and empathic reflections, which are inspired by Interactive Focusing. However, concepts, and if helpful slides, will be shared as needed and arise naturally from the group.

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.

Timing and other details

Next Groups:

  • Tuesdays, July 23 - September 10, 2024, 6:30-8:00 pm Eastern (no class August 13 and 20)

  • TBD - please email me at [email protected] if you are interested in this course

Group size: each group is capped at 6 people

Who is this course for? The course is designed for Focusers of all levels. However, some previous Focusing training is required (the steps will not be taught and some listening experience is required). This experience can be gained through the 8-week beginner course or 4-week intensive beginner course for advanced listeners.

Course location: Zoom

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

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