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Therapist Roundtable - The Role of Values in Psychotherapy: An Exploration of Gene's Thoughts

Part of the Focusing Roundtable Series

Your Hosts

Event Image
Mary Anne Schleinich
Julie Ramsey
Steve Moscovitch
Susan Lennox

The International Focusing Institute - Julie Ramsey, Mary Anne Schleinich, Steve Moscovitch & Susan Lennox

Where & When

Wednesday, June 8, 2022 1pm - 3pm
Eastern (New York) Time

Online Joining Information

A confirmation with the zoom link will be sent to registered participants the week of the event.


Live attendance required - no recording.

Meeting Format
The Focusing Institute (TIFI) Events

Wednesday, June 8, 2022  from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm Eastern Time

Live attendance required - no recording.

Times worldwide: convert to your time zone

Therapist Roundtable logo

The TIFI Membership Committee is pleased to offer Therapist Roundtables, a Roundtable series designed especially for members who work with clients in therapeutic settings. If you are not a member, please join at this link and then return to this page to register.

Program Description

This Therapist Roundtable will draw from chapter 21 on Values in Gendlin’s book, Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy: A Manual of the Experiential Method (1996), pp.264-275.

In this chapter, Gendlin explores the meaning of “values” to us as humans and more particularly the role of values in psychotherapy. He writes, “values are often thought of as general principles or preferences…. We need to recognize a valuing process that is much deeper than such generalizations.” (p.265) “Experiencing generates more differentiated values from itself. Such values are not imposed from the outside.” (p.267)

He explains how values can be used in psychotherapy in ways that help or hinder the client’s life-forward process. Gene suggests that therapists should maintain “value-neutrality” but also “take a stand in favor of a client’s life-forward direction”. (p.264) He cautions, “We can see how senseless and even damaging it can be to push a generalized value statement on someone without knowing the experiential effect it has in them. We cannot know what a value means inside another person or in ourselves, unless its experiential effect is entered into, through focusing.” (pp. 270-71)

This does not mean that values should be excluded from psychotherapy—far from it!  Gene tells us, “general value statements matter a great deal, and precisely because they can have great experiential effects. A bodily shift similar to a bodily shift during focusing may happen as we discover or recall a value….Value affirmation lets the problem be felt in the context of a life-forward direction. This does not solve the problem but now the problem brings a new felt sense, so that steps toward solving it can come. Therefore values constitute an avenue of therapy. ” [emphasis added], (p. 272)

In preparation for this Roundtable, we ask that you thoughtfully read chapter 21, a copy of which will be sent to you after you register. You can use it to mark the sections that stand out for you.  Questions you might reflect upon as you read are:

  • What speaks to me in this chapter?”
  • How does it apply to my own practice or my own life? 
  • How might I integrate Gene’s teachings to make my work more effective?

At the Roundtable we will spend some time exploring these questions and our own reactions to the reading as it relates to our work with clients. Of course, other issues and ideas may emerge from our mutual exploration during the Roundtable. We look forward to a rich and enlightening conversation.

Advance reading: Gendlin, E.T. (1996). Chapter 21 on Values (pp. 264-275) in Focusing-Oriented Therapy: A Manual of the Experiential Method. New York: Guilford.

Who might be particularly interested in attending this Circle?

Therapist Roundtables are intended to serve the needs and interests of a specialized subset of our membership community who use or have used therapeutic modalities deepened by Focusing. Current and former therapists are welcome, including psychotherapists, counselors, coaches, somatic practitioners, spiritual directors, occupational or physical therapists, nurses and the like. If you have an area of interest, curiosity or passion that you would like to explore in a future Circle, please let us know.


What to expect from Therapist Rountables:  Each Therapist Roundtable is designed to promote informal peer-to-peer conversation. Rather than acting as expert presenters, the Hosts will serve as conversation moderators to encourage sharing and exploration of the topics from the participants’ own perspectives. All participants’ sharings are welcome and valuable, no matter what level of experience or knowledge you have on the topic. To preserve the nature of informal conversation, the program will be offered live only and no recordings will be available. Registration is limited and on a first-come, first served basis. Participants are encouraged to create follow up opportunities for connection among themselves after the Roundtable.

About your hosts:

Mary Anne Schleinich, MPS, BScOT is a counselling body psychotherapist in private practice in Calgary and online. She is certified with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association and The International Focusing Institute as a Focusing Oriented Therapist. She integrates 14 years of work as an OT in palliative care, somatic psychotherapy with Bill Bowen and Internal Family Systems classes and group work.

Julie Ramsey, LICSW, FOT, is a psychotherapist in private practice in Wellesley, MA. She works with adolescents and adults in individual and couples therapy. She also teaches Focusing in small groups and enjoys bringing Focusing to all aspects of her work and life. She is a Coordinator-in-Training.

Steve Moscovitch, MSW is a therapist in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He has been a Certified Focusing Trainer since 2002 and has integrated Focusing and a Focusing orientation into his work in individual, couples and family therapy for 20 years of his 38-year career. Other significant recent trainings are Emotion Focused Couple Therapy and Internal Family Systems.

Susan Lennox, PhD, CPC, is a psychotherapist and coach in private practice in Westminster, Colorado. She is a Focusing Coordinator and has been a Certified Focusing Professional since 2000. Susan integrates Focusing and Internal Family Systems (IFS)  into her work with her clients.

Registration Details

Registration Closes: Tuesday June 7 at 12:00 pm (noon), or when the Roundtable is full, whichever is sooner.

Zoom: This conversation will take place on an online video conference service called Zoom. Please attend by computer so that we can have your video presence as well as your audio. Calling in by phone is also possible but not preferred.

Price: The co-hosts are volunteering their time in order that this program may be brought to members of TIFI at no charge.

PLEASE NOTE: When you register, you will receive an email indicating your registration was processed. If your dues are current, we will complete your registration and email instructions to join the event within a few days of the start date. If you know your dues are not current, or if you are not yet a member, please go to the membership page to pay your dues or join and then return to this page to register. Membership page:

2022-05-10T04:00:00 - 2022-06-07T16:00:00

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