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Children and Focusing


Boys Playing Children's Focusing


Focusing is a process that helps the child to understand and express their feelings in many different ways.  It helps children to have a better sense of who they are and get more confidence.

They manage to communicate better with other children and adults about their feelings, choices and underlying needs. Through Focusing, children will be able to deal with the influences of the outside world and also keep in touch with their own trust and their inner compass.

Focusing is a process of change.

Children learn:

  • To build a better relationship with themselves and with others
  • More about their feelings and understand them better
  • To be less overwhelmed by their emotions
  • To concentrate better on what they are doing
  • To listen to other children in an empathic way and to solve their conflicts themselves
  • How to deal and relate to their life situations
  • How to become clear about their boundaries
  • To express their feelings, not only in words, but also in many other ways
  • To become more confidant and trust themselves

We want to invite you to start learning Focusing for yourself. It takes time to learn and explore the process. The more you are able to stay and be with your own Focusing process the more skilled you will be to support children in their own process.

Areas of Interest:

  • Focusing in the family
  • Focusing in your work: as a teacher, a therapist/ counselor
  • Inner child experience
  • Becoming a Children's Focusing trainer

No matter which background or interest you have, we suggest that you start with the basic Focusing training for adults.  Focusing is a process of change which requires practice. Slowly, step by step, you can integrate this into your own way of being with children.

Through the process of Focusing you experience

  • New ways to be with your own emotions.
  • How to stay calm and steady in difficult situations
  • In another way to really listen to yourself and others
  • A different way to make decisions.
  • How to express your needs and set boundaries in your life

Through Children's Focusing you will explore that every age group needs a different language  and attunement.

Benefits of learning Children's Focusing:

  • You will be able to build a better relationship with children.
  • You can learn more about their feelings and understand them better.
  • You learn to listen and support them through their own process.
  • You learn how to create an environment that supports development and learning.
  • You will help children to learn how to become clear about their boundaries.
  • You can support them to become more confident and learn to trust themselves.
  • You discover the importance of being with the child in an empathic way, instead of solving their problems or conflicts.
  • You will learn skills and activities to help children learn how to "symbolize" and express their feelings, not only in words, but also in many other ways


Focusing in the family:

Through the introduction of Focusing, you will build a better relationship with your feelings. It helps you to remain grounded and to find your balance in difficult situations. Through listening, you will be able to understand each other’s needs better and become more confident in yourself as a parent or caregiver. The process of Focusing will change the quality of the connection within the family.

Focusing in your work:

If you are a teacher, a therapist, a counselor or a member of other helping professions, through the introduction of Focusing you will learn how to trust your inner intuition related to children. You will experience through listening how powerful it is to be able to really trust the child’s own process.  By training in Focusing, you will learn practical skills about how to integrate Focusing into your work.

Inner child experience:

Through Focusing, you can get a connection with the child within. This experience contributes to self understanding and self care.

Through the years there are many projects and trainings that were developed by local Children's Focusing professionals. 

See below for contacts who can teach you, or help you connect with the right teacher.


Children's Focusing Coordinators (and Coordinators-in-Training)

Please find contact information on our homepage under "Find a Focusing Professional."  If not available there, you may request contact information from the Institute office: [email protected]


Analia Zaccai


Tine Swyngedouw


Lucy Bowers


Heidrun Essler


Laura Bavalics (Coordinator in Training)


Derek McDonnell


Atsmaout Perlstein
Bilha Frolinger


Monica Zambelli


Mari Orbán (Coordinator in Training)
Enikö Skolkae (Coordinator in Training)

The Netherlands

René Veugelers
Harriët Teeuw


Simon Kilner

Sara Bradly (Coordinator in Training)

Other Contact Persons for Children's Focusing:

Please find contact information on our homepage under "Find a Focusing Professional."  If not available there, you may request contact information from the Institute office: [email protected]


Angela Mackenzie

El Salvador

Beatrice Blake CC


Brigitte Domas CC


Elli Coumoulos


Kie Yano (coordinator in training)


Petr Andreyev 


Ferran Juan Torrens
Juan José Mendinueta
Lucía Ema Llorente


Teresa Dawson CC


Camilla Sim


Nina Joy Lawrence CC


Hong Kong

Kwan Siu



Articles On Children And Focusing

Children's Focusing Discussion List

The Children's Focusing Discussion List is meant to be the connection between adults who are, in the broadest sense, involved in (or interested in) Children's Focusing. Learning from each other is a fundamental belief in Focusing training and development.

Sign Up for the Children Discussion List


Foundational book: Focusing with Children

Erik Verliefde and Marta Stapert (written in Dutch): De kunst van het luisteren, Communiceren met kinderen op school en thuis.

The translation and publishing in English: Marta Stapert and Erik Verliefde, Focusing with Children.

Translations are also available in Italian, Spanish, Hungarian, Korean, Japanese, Greek, other languages will follow after the English translation; German, Romanian, Hebrew and Polish.

Link to article about Marta Stapert


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