Skip to main content

A Process Model Reading Group Chapter VII Sessions 1-11 with Rob Parker

Your Hosts

Event Image
The International Focusing Institute Event
Robert Parker

The International Focusing Institute - Rob Parker

Where & When

Chapter VII will run in 6 sections through Nov 2025. Sessions 1- 11 July 10 - September 18, 2024 7:00pm-9:00pm
New York time

Meeting Format
The Focusing Institute (TIFI) Events

A Process Model Reading Group - Chapter VII (Sessions 1-11)
with Rob Parker

Chapter VII is approximately 1/3 of the book so is being offered in 6 sections of 11 sessions
66 weekly meetings on Wednesdays - see schedule below
Audio recordings available after each live meeting

Notes: This offering is in English only.
            This registration page is for Chapter VII, Sessions 1-11
            New registrants are welcome who have previously read Chapters I-VI on their own or with some group.

Please register by July 8, 2024 allowing time to receive the new resource page with new zoom link for the July 10 session.

Chapter VII is very dense, and it's about 1/3 of the book, thus the long schedule. Payments will be made separately for each of the 6 sections.

Chapter VII, Culture, Symbol, and Language, was in many ways Gendlin's favorite chapter, not only because language and symbols are central to Focusing, but because they raise so many fascinating questions. Consider:

  • We are immersed in language most of our waking time; we are either thinking to ourselves or talking to others. Each word we speak expresses and carries forward a remarkable intricacy of meaning and grammar, and yet this usually requires no effort on our part: the words just come. How is that possible? Where do these words come from?
  • What is a symbol? What does it mean for something to be "about" something else? For example:

    Mary lives alone with her cat. When Mary takes her suitcase off the shelf, her cat becomes sad. The cat knows it means Mary is going on a trip soon, and will leave the cat alone for some days. But if Mary is only storing some things in the suitcase, there is no way to tell this to the cat except by putting the actual suitcase back on the shelf. (from A Process Model, page 115)

    What is this “aboutness”?
  • And how did language develop in the first place? Did some prehistoric committee go around naming things? And how could you begin naming things if you didn't already have language?

And this just scratches the surface; we can begin to see why Gendlin devoted his life to understanding the relationship between symbols and felt meaning.

Join me as we explore how Gendlin answered these and other questions about language and meaning; and in so doing explore the foundations of focusing.

If you want a taste of what’s coming, check out


July 10, 2024 - September 18, 2024

Sessions 1-11
7:00pm - 9:00pm New York time

convert to your time zone here

September 25 - Dec 18, 2024  (no class Oct 9 & Nov 27)
Sessions 12-22

BREAK: No class Dec 25 and Jan 1

Jan 8 - March 19, 2025
Sessions 23 - 33

March 26 - June 4
Sessions 34 - 44

June 11 - Aug 27  (no class July 2)
Sessions 45 - 55

Sept 3 - Nov 12
Sessions 56 - 66


Rob Parker grew up in a scientific family, with a deep appreciation for the power and elegance of modern science. Rob was also interested in spirituality from an early age, and has practiced yoga and zazen for many years. And all along, he has sensed that science and spirituality must be related, because reality doesn’t come in separate packages.

These interests led to a career in psychology, an area where science and spirit seem to overlap, and to an interest in the philosophical assumptions that underlie modern science.  Rob specialized in psychological trauma; he designed and directed several treatment programs for trauma survivors and trauma perpetrators, published and lectured for professional audiences and appeared on national media. 

His experience as a psychologist made Rob acutely aware of the problems inherent in our current approach to science. In 2000, the search for a new scientific paradigm led him to visit philosopher Eugene Gendlin. Rob recognized in Gendlin’s work a revolutionary new way of exploring and understanding science, spirituality, meaning and the related issues of our time. Recognizing a once in a lifetime opportunity, Rob began meeting regularly with Gendlin until his death in 2017.  This class is part of Rob’s ongoing commitment to understand and experience Gendlin’s philosophy ever more deeply (learning by teaching), and to share that understanding and experience with others.

Weekly live meetings - In meeting format on Zoom, Rob will offer a main meeting which will include reading and time for questions and discussion. In general Rob will try to keep to 90 minutes each week, but plan for 2 hours. (After the reading time, Rob will often continue an informal discussion - "the parking lot", which allows more unstructured time for questions. Information covered in "the parking lot" will be recorded but is not meant to be part of the official content and if you are listening to recordings only, "the parking lot" will be clearly delineated.)

Audio recordings - This offering will include downloadable audio (not video) recordings of Rob’s weekly meetings for all registrants. Audio recordings will be made available as soon as possible after each session for download prior to the next session.

Discussion Groups - There are a number of optional discussion groups being led by advanced APM students selected by Rob. These groups meet at various times in between sessions for those who would like an additional opportunity to explore and chat with others. Once you register, you will have access to the discussion group contact information.

Registration Policies - Chapter VII

Sessions 1-11: Regular price $400  Modified price $270 Lowest price $135

Three tier pricing. We welcome you to select the level right for you, while reminding you that if you have a reliable means of support and live in a country with a strong economy, we ask that you pay the regular price. By choosing the highest amount you are capable of paying you help make the sliding scale possible. Thank you! 

DEI Scholarship. There are DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) Scholarship funds available for anyone in a group under-represented in TIFI's programs, including people aged 30 or younger, those in the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community and others.  For more about our DEI scholarship, please see To apply for a DEI scholarship, please write to Elizabeth at [email protected] indicating which of the under-represented gropus you are a part of and a sentence or two about yourself.

Note: if the lowest price is not affordable for you please write to [email protected] to inquire about a general scholarship if DEI is not applicable.

Refunds A full refund minus a $15 administrative fee for cancellations 14 days before the start date. Cancellations less than 14 days before the start date are nonrefundable. The International Focusing Institute reserves the right to cancel or re-schedule for insufficient enrollment or for other unanticipated reasons. In such cases you will be given a choice of applying your tuition to future programs, or having the full enrollment fee returned to you.

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.

By registering for this course with the Institute, and in consideration of the right and opportunity to participate in and contribute to the Institute’s classes, for the purposes of its control of all video and/or audio recordings thereof pertaining to uses serving our purposes and goals, in enrolling in this session you acknowledge and agree to the Institute’s ownership of all rights in such classes, including all rights under copyright therein.  In no circumstance shall any portion or clip posted or displayed exceed 3 minutes in duration.  If you plan to use, post or display any portion or clips of these recordings, including posting these to a website or to a social media platform or portal, you agree that you will seek and obtain the prior approval of the Institute.

For more information:

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

Registration Details

2023-10-16T12:00:00 - 2025-11-26T20:00:00

$ 400.00

Sessions 1-11 Regular Price

$ 270.00

Sessions 1-11 Modified Price

$ 135.00

Sessions 1-11 Lowest Price

Share This Listing

Please help spread the word about Focusing by letting your colleagues and friends know about this listing. Thank you!