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December 2018 Newsletter

Note From Catherine
ear friends,
Focusing is important.
Focusing is a powerful way to gain integrity because by engaging in this simple practice, we can be more fully who we are.
Often in our personal and social lives, there are reasons for our behavior that are hidden from our sight:
 - Maybe something inscrutable stops us from writing the book we want to write.
 - Or perhaps something lurking inside makes us speak rudely to the taxi driver or the waitress.
 - Or something we don't acknowledge inside causes us, as members of one ethnic or political group, to make life unfairly harsh for another ethnic or political group.
I remember hearing Gene say once that "what's unarticulated is more powerful than what's articulated." How true that is. Unacknowledged motives can rule our lives, both as individuals and as whole societies.
Focusing is the most powerful way I know to face what is scary -- whether inside my own self, or when encountering big societal issues.  I find that it allows me to be both safe and bold.
Focusing is important, and The International Focusing Institute has an important place in bringing it more and more into public life.  We are determined to make Focusing a known and respected practice in the world, so that more people can be more fully themselves, with integrity and compassion.
As the year draws to a close, please make a year-end contribution to the Institute.  
Not long ago, a friend who knows Focusing shared with me his discomfort about a friend who had recently come out as transgender. "Until a few weeks ago, my friend was like a brother to me. Now suddenly, 'he' is a 'she.' I want my friend to be happy, so of course I support her. But... I don't like it." He laughed at himself for his discomfort. It is important to him to support the transgender community in general and his transgender friend in particular. Yet he knows that in order to do so in a genuine way, he must be willing to say, "It makes me uncomfortable." Thanks to Focusing, he knows what to do with that feeling of "I don't like it," so that it doesn't fester, silenced and lurking. He can love and support his friend, and also have compassion for the discomfort inside of him.  So many personal and social problems come from not knowing how to have patience and compassion for our discomfort.
If we could multiply this one person's experience by thousands and millions of individuals, how different the world would be. How many personal and social issues could be dealt with in a gentle, patient way that is loving to all?
That's why Focusing is important.
At The International Focusing Institute, we are committed to making sure that Focusing takes its rightful place in the world -- in as many languages as possible, in as many cultures as possible, and in as many arenas of life as possible.
Your financial support of the Institute allows us to ensure that Focusing has an established presence in the world, and is positioned to help Focusing become better known and utilized.
That's why we've called our special fundraising campaign "Stepping Up." Because it is time for us to boldly step up to our rightful place.  We want you there with us.
THANK YOU to everyone who participated in our first phase this past summer. We raised about $65,000!
Please keep the momentum going by giving whatever amount you can as we finish out the year.
Focusing is important. Your contribution is important.
Thank you for your continuing support.
With warmest regards,

In This Issue
Annual Appeal
News from the board & ILC
Website Committee Update
USABP Conference
Researching Dreams and Focusing
Human Qualities Way of Being
Lore Korbei, Focusing Coordinator in Austria
Exploring the Space Between
Focusing Conversations
Upcoming Courses and Events
Connect with Focusing
Ways to Help

Our Stepping Up capital campaign continues. THANK YOU to everyone who participated in our first phase this past summer. We raised about $65,000!
Please keep the momentum going! At the Institute, we are Stepping Up to the next level, where we are more visible to the world, and -- the world is more visible to us.
A key component of this campaign is embodied in our taking the flagship event of the Institute - the Weeklong - to Chile. We've witnessed how this move has ignited enthusiasm in our Latin American community. We are eager to ensure that those who are spreading Focusing in new areas with substantial need can attend this event, so that they deepen their understanding of Focusing and strengthen connections internationally. The Janet Klein Fund needs substantial support to allow us to fund more scholarships for Focusers in El Salvador, Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay, and other countries where Focusing is just gaining a foothold. We are also doing our best to help Focusers in more established countries such as Argentina and Brazil to attend, as well as, of course, our Chilean community.
  • $10,000 entirely funds the Janet Klein scholarship for 2 years;
  • $5,000 pays for our translators, facilitators, and Collaborating Coordinators to attend;
  • $1,000 pays for an individual with no resources to attend the Weeklong;
  • $100 subsidizes one attendee for one day;
  • Amounts from $1 to $99, added together, allow the event to happen, and to bring it to other parts of the world in the future.
2017 Weeklong with María Orozco (in Spanish)
2017 Weeklong with
María Orozco (in Spanish)
Stepping Up Campaign - Weeklong Scholarships
Salvadorans on 
Weeklong Scholarships
But helping great Focusers in emerging areas of the world to attend the Weeklong is only part of how we are Stepping Up.
Your donations to this campaign also allow us to direct resources to:
  • Igniting research in Focusing through the Gendlin Center;
  • Launch a new website that is capable of serving our mission, and fund a staff person who will ensure that our Certified Focusing Professionals know how to make full use of it;
  • Increasing connections among our Focusing community through staff support for members-only opportunities, such as the Roundtables which are being offered regularly in several languages.
Board of Trustees
News from the Board &
International Leadership Council
Nancy Falls
  • We are delighted to announce that the Board has elected Nancy Falls as its newest member, upon the recommendation of the Nominating Committee.
  • The ILC wishes to thank Donata Schoeller for her two years as a fellow member.  She was an energetic, wise presence, and has a real gift for always bringing a group back to what is most important.  She will be missed!
    Evelyn Fender-Lee
  • We are also delighted to announce that the Board has elected Evelyn Fender-Lee as the newest member of the International Leadership Council, upon the recommendation of the Nominating Committee.
Board of Trustees
Update from the
Website Redesign Committee
The Website Redesign Committee has been meeting weekly over the past two years, to help shepherd the enormous and important task of redeveloping Thanks to a generous gift of $25,000 early in our process, we were able to hire a Project Manager (PM) who helped us understand the needs of a complex organization and a complex site. The PM worked alongside our dedicated webmaster (Scott Will) to identify an excellent developer who was able to offer us their services at an amazing discount. 
The site will be on the platforms Drupal 8 and CiviCRM, and the developer's job is to create ways for these two platforms to work in tandem seamlessly. They will allow us to give permissions to various volunteers to manage content in their own areas and languages, to better support our global community. The new site will also allow members to check on membership status, change profile information, and communicate better with other Focusers. Most importantly, the site will allow certified members to upload information about your classes.
We are at a phase where the bulk of the website has been developed, and we are in the final stages of readying it for launch. The next steps involve testing the site over the next couple of months, in order to work out as many "bugs" as possible before going public with it in early 2019. We've worked hard to ensure a powerful, reliable, multi-lingual, and dynamic site which will serve us well into the future. For those of you who are interested in learning about the long and rigorous process we used to get to this point, please check this out.
Mary Jennings, Renee La Roi, Jenna Chevalier, Mary DuQuaine, Catherine Torpey, Scott Will, Mariana Pisula and Henry Chen
Board of Trustees
In Honor of Eugene Gendlin
"A Focus on Focusing"
The US Association for Body Psychotherapy (USABP) Conference hosted a tribute to Eugene Gendlin on November 3. There were two Focusing presentations, one by Institute Board member and Coordinator Leslie Ellis, and another by somatic psychotherapist Darcy Lubbers.
  • Bodymap Protocol: Integrating art therapy & Focusing in the treatment of adults with trauma, Darcy Lubbers, PhD
  • Body Dreamwork: Using Focusing to help clients find the lifeforce inherent in dreams and nightmares, Leslie Ellis, PhD
Board of Trustees
Researching Dreams and Focusing
Interviewing Leslie Ellis, by Barbara Dickinson
Leslie Ellis is currently the vice president of the Institute's Board of Trustees
Leslie talks with passion about the work she is doing now.
One thing that she is very excited about is being involved in a study at Swansea University in Wales where one of the top dream researchers is doing a post-doctoral study using Focusing-oriented dream work with people who have nightmares. She describes this as a quantitative study comparing two conditions with a control that will compare prefrontal cortical activity in response to a task both before and after dream work. Other measures will include sleep quality, nightmare frequency, and related distress.
Leslie's excitement is palpable as she describes this research. She recently spent a week in Wales training the researchers after a month-long online course. The training continues, with members of the team keen to become Certified Focusing Professionals. A dream research group has formed, and she hopes that they will continue to do research in Focusing. As the liaison on the Board of Directors to the Eugene T. Gendlin Center for Research in Experiential Philosophy and Psychology, Leslie is definitely in the right place at the right time on both fronts - as a connector between the new Center and the world of research, and to spread awareness about Focusing in the community of researchers.
  Barbara Dickinson is a Certified Focusing Professional who also
  consults with individuals and non-profits on strategic planning.
Board of Trustees
Human Qualities Way of Being
Interviewing Roberto Larios, by Banu Ibaoglu Vaughn
Roberto Larios is a member of the Institute's International Leadership Council (ILC), a Coordinator, and a member of the Institute's Membership Committee.
Roberto Larios
Roberto: A difficulty was one of the clues to one of the greatest discoveries for me. When you study something like being a medical doctor and then a specialization in medical surgery and then gastrointestinal surgery, you become kind of an expert on something, and then you start to think as an expert. People in Mexico start asking you a lot of things because you're a medical doctor; even though you know nothing about all that. Yet, still you say something [laughing].
So it was fantastic when I started studying psychotherapy to start listening to people and see that they have huge amounts of wisdom and knowledge. That was a huge discovery for me and a change of my way of being in the world. There is a little bit of ignorance when you're an expert in something. People ask a lot of things and you are so ignorant of a lot of things outside your expertise. So for me it has been fascinating to try to become humble and to listen and to see what the other people know and to learn. That has been amazing going from an expert to a learner, and to see beautiful things listening to everybody. And I mean everybody! The people that say hello to you in the supermarket, or the driver of the bus, a taxi - just listen, listen, listen - and that has been fascinating for me. There is something that's alive and I will never be an expert on that...every day it is surprising. The ticket to that [aliveness] is to be humble and silent and not an expert, just curious to receive whatever floats from the other person.
Banu Ibaoglu Vaughn, PhD, is a psychotherapist, Focusing trainer-in- 
  training, and psychology teacher in Turkey and the US. She is 
  spending time on how to formulate the depth of Focusing and its 
  context as an agile real-life philosophy.

Board of Trustees
Lore Korbei,
Focusing Coordinator in Austria
by Marlys Mayfield
Lore Korbei is a Coordinator for the Institute.  A native of Vienna, she was very engaged in the Russian translation of Gene's book Focusing, and continues to work in Hungary, Romania, Ukraine, and Moscow. Klicken Sie hier für die deutsche Übersetzung.
Lore Korbei
In the Focusing Institute's September newsletter, Lore Korbei provided us with two newly translated articles of her account of Gene Gendlin's 1990s return visits to his native Vienna. Lore Korbei is one of two Focusing coordinators for Austria as well as a person-centered therapist.

The Focusing community owes much to Lore for all her efforts and successes in bringing Gene Gendlin and his achievements to the attention of his native Austria where he had been a prophet not so well known or recognized.

Having first learned of Focusing in 1983, Lore began a correspondence with Gene a few years thereafter that continued for the remainder of his life. A portion of this correspondence included Gene's account of his family life in Vienna from the time of the Anschluss through to their escape to Holland.

It was in the early 90s that Lore first proposed that a chapter be added on the work and life of Gene Gendlin for a book called Vienna Where Else! The Origin of Psychoanalysis and Its Schools (1994). That chapter by Lore includes Gene's above account, and can be read at the Institute's website .

With the success of this book, so many Austrian and German therapists became interested in learning more that Lore was able to persuade Gene to come to Vienna in 1996 to teach small and large groups Focusing and his philosophy.

In 1997, Gene asked Lore to become Austria's first Focusing Coordinator. Soon Johannes Wiltschko joined Lore as a second Austrian coordinator; he greatly furthered Gene's recognition in the German-speaking world through his development of Focusing Therapy and his co-authorship with Gene Gendlin of Focusing in der Praxis: Eine schulenübergreifende Methode für Psychotherape und Alltag (1999) (Focusing in Clinical Practice: a Crossover Method Between Psychotherapy and Everyday Life).

In 1996, again upon Lore's initiative, the city of Vienna awarded Gene an honorary silver medal for his service to Austria.

Then in 2007, Gene received the Viktor Frankl prize upon the nomination of Lore Korbei and Jürgen Kriz of the University of Vienna. (Viktor Frankl was one of the very few Viennese Jewish therapists who returned to live in Vienna after World War II. More remarkably, as a Holocaust survivor, it was here where he wrote a bestseller, Man's Search for Meaning (1946), and developed Logotherapy.) Thus, although late in this career, Gene not only received a great honor from an esteemed Austrian society, but also a much-needed grant of 20 000 euro.

This last May, a year after Gene's death, it was Lore who first suggested that the Austrian Person-Centered Psychotherapy Society seek support for a plaque to be erected in Gene Gendlin's honor at the school that Gene had attended at age 12.  Since Gene had been expelled from this same school, along with all other Jewish children, the plaque's unveiling ceremony aroused deep feelings of sadness together with joy for those witnessing such an act of reparation. Moreover, the presence of Vienna's new mayor, Michael Ludwig, added to a sense of restitution.  A similar poignancy lay beneath Gene's account described above.  And althoughVienna Where Else! summarizes the Viennese lives of over 26 Jewish psychotherapists, Gene's account was the only experiential piece to convey what each of these individuals must have gone through in order to escape  from Nazi oppression.  (Other contributors included Alfred Adler, Bruno Bettelheim, Sigmund and Anna Freud, Melanie Klein, Margaret Mahler, Jacob Moreno, Otto Rank, and Wilhelm Reich.)

Finally, Lore Korbei's long-time active membership in the Austrian Association for Person-Centered Psychotherapy has enabled her not only to teach Focusing in Austria but also to bring both Rogerian therapy and Focusing to Eastern Europe beginning in 1994.  (See The Focusing Institute Newsletter for her
January 2011 article titled "The Eastern European Expansion," about their work in the Ukraine, Romania, and Moscow.)

This July of 2018, I, as a California Focusing Trainer and post-WWII Vienna resident, was invited by Lore to attend the 13th conference, held in Vienna, by the World Association for Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapy and Counseling (WAPCEPC). Here, Lore served as a facilitator in their daily encounter groups.  And here I was able to see first-hand how beloved she is in this community, where she was to be seen repeatedly in the embraces of its attendees, especially those who have benefitted from her teaching in Austria, Romania, the Ukraine, and Russia. But the conference also included participants who knew and loved her from Japan, South America, Australia, Canada, Scandinavia, Greece, and the rest of Europe.  On this occasion, Focusing-oriented presentations were offered by Akira Ikemi of Japan (on Kanga Focusing), by Heike Deloch of Germany on her use of Thinking at the Edge in individual counseling, and by myself on hope (the theme of the conference) as a collective felt experience in Vienna in the years following World War II.
Marlys Mayfield has been a Focusing Trainer since 1994.  She is a 
  retired college professor of English and humanities best known for her
  pioneering college critical thinking textbooks.  
Board of Trustees
Exploring the Space Between
by Beth Mahler & Serge Prengel
Rather than time, another way to think of the "space between" is to think in terms of space. Think visually: Imagine a chair where the client/Focuser sits. Another chair, facing it, the therapist/listener sits. And, between the two is something that we so take for granted that we don't even notice it: "the space between."
What is that space? There's you. There's me. And then there's what happens between you and me. Notice how evocative this phrase is: "what happens between you and me." It is not just about the physical space between you and me. It is about the process, the interaction. So, when we're talking about what there is between you and me, we're talking about paying attention, not just to what happens to you or what happens to me, but to the interaction itself.
Board of Trustees
Focusing Conversations Series
Listen to conversations with Focusers, hosted by Serge Prengel
Jeffrey Morrison - December 2018
What is Focusing Like? Jeffrey describes a recent session. Good to share with your non-Focusing friends.
Rob Foxcroft - October 2018
In this conversation, Rob, a classical musician, Focuser, and author, uncovers some of the many layers of listening.
Upcoming Courses and Workshops
(Focusing Roundtable Series in Italian)
da novembre 2018 a marzo 2019
19:00-21:00 Europa Centrale (Italia)
How Focusing can illuminate and transform your challenging moments as a therapist
Dec 14, Free for members
with Irit Tessel
Dec 19, a pay-what-you-can class
Advanced and Certification Focusing Weeklong 2019
Jan 13-18, 2019
La Casa de Ejercicios (Retreat House)
Punta de Tralca, Chile
Become a Member
11/2018  Board minutes October 10, 2018
10/2018  September 2018 In Focus Newsletter on the website
10/2018  Board minutes September 13, 2018
10/2018  International Leadership Council (ILC) minutes available here
Now available in our bookstore:
This section of the Institute's website has a sortable list of major International Focusing events.
Connect with Focusing
Join one of our many email discussion lists to discuss an array of Focusing-related topics.  Members can also join our Facebook Forum.
Click here to check out the benefits of becoming an Institute member.
Become a Member
Ways to help the Institute
Volunteers Needed
We would love you to bring your energy, enthusiasm and skills to help our mission.  Some of our needs:
  • Being a technical hosting for our online webinars and workshops
  • Offering classes and online conversations in your language
  • Translating our communications into your native language, and bringing content from other languages into English
  • Producing and editing content for our website and social media in all languages
  • Copyediting articles that are submitted to our newsletter in all languages
  • Creating guided Focusing recordings in all languages
Please contact us to see how you can help!
Send us your Focusing-related high-resolution photos!  By sending them to us, you confirm that you have the rights to the photos.  You also authorize us to edit and use the photos on our website and communications. 
If you have air miles that you are willing to donate, please contact us.  Your air miles could be used for a variety of purposes, such as to help the volunteer members of the Board of Trustees and the International Leadership Council to attend their face-to-face meetings, or to help someone being certified to attend the Weeklong.  Please help give someone the chance for these meaningful connections!
Have you considered remembering the Institute in your will?  Leaving a bequest can be a way to continue to promote Focusing well into the future.  Please contact us if you are willing to do this or have done so already. Thank you!