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Working with Refugees: Exploring Focusing-Oriented Possibilities

Part of the Focusing Roundtable Series

Your Hosts

Your Hosts

Mary Jennings and Friedgard Blob



Online Joining Information

Information to join will be sent to all registrants prior to the class.

Please note: Live attendance is required as the Roundtable series is not a recorded event.

Meeting Format

Wednesday, October 30th, 2019 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm EDT

Times worldwide: convert to your time zone

The TIFI Membership Committee is pleased to offer this series of Focusing Roundtables designed especially for members of the Institute. If you are not a member, please join at, then return to this page to register. This program will afford members a valuable opportunity to engage in casual peer-to-peer conversation with other members who share Focusing-related interests.

There are an estimated 70 million refugees worldwide. People have left their homes because of war, natural disasters or to seek a better life for their families. Some are displaced within their own country. Many have taken dangerous journeys uncertain of what awaited them in their host country as they sought safety and the hope of a better life. Many more are living in refugees camps, not knowing what happened to their loved ones.

In this Roundtable, we will explore how we, as Focusers, might provide support to refugees, as well as the potential that a Focusing oriented approach might provide. There are many possibilities for supporting refugees, both informally and formally.  Informal approaches might include welcoming refuges and helping them to integrate into local communities by being present, listening, and providing practical support. More formal possibilities might include offering Focusing-oriented programs that enable people to find greater resilience or inner strength.  We also will explore how Focusing might provide self-care to ourselves as we support people who have experienced often severe difficulties or trauma.

Some questions we might explore together are:

•    What works well in working with refugees?
•    What made it easy or difficult to make contact with refugees – e.g. administrative rules, language, or other barriers?
•    What helped to take care of your own wellbeing and what do you need to be aware of in this situation?
•    How does Focusing work in these situations? What might point to needing other modalities/processes?

Other questions may emerge from our mutual exploration during the Roundtable.
This is the start of a conversation.

Who might be particularly interested in attending this Roundtable?  Members who have experience of supporting refugees either informally or formally, and any others who are interested in this topic or would like to explore how to become involved in supporting refugees.


What to expect from Focusing Roundtables:  Each Focusing 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 Jennings is a Coordinator in Training and long-time Focuser. Mary has supported the Palestine Trauma Centre in Gaza through training and supporting staff to use Focusing in their work. With Dr. Mohamed Altawil, in 2019 she ran a short focusing-oriented course for refugees living in the UK. She has a particular interest in Children’s Focusing and organized the first training in this field in Ireland ten years ago. She combines teaching Focusing and Mindfulness and is a Mindfulness Trainer. She uses Focusing and TAE in her work in business communications.

Friedgard Blob is a Certifying Coordinator and a German Focusing Teacher since 2001. She has a particular interest in intermodal Expressive Arts Focusing (EAF) and Focusing Presence in Atmospheres (FPA). She offers workshops and training programs at all levels in her field of Continuing Education and Community Wellness Focusing. EAF and FPA are influenced by her background in Design Techniques, Clinical Psychology and Educational Sciences. There is a focus on Focusing with the Whole Body (germ.Focusing mit dem Ganzen Körper FGK) and Existential Well-Being both in her trainings and in her practice of Focusing Oriented Psychotherapy. She has considerable experience in supporting the integration of refugees in Germany and is also familiar with African Philosophy and its concepts of co-existence.

Registration Details

Registration Closes:Tuesday, October 29, or when the class 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, if your dues are current, we will process your registration and email your confirmation within a few days. 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:

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