We continue a tradition we began a couple of years ago to begin the year with a huge THANK YOU to all our donors and volunteers during the previous year. I am delighted that so many of you do so much to "make Focusing findable" through your support of The International Focusing Institute.
Thank you to our donors from 20 countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, Guatemala, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States.
Many of you were motivated to give by one particular donor who offered a matching grant again this past year. We are grateful for those few "angels" who are capable of giving major financial gifts, as well as for the many whose gifts are smaller in amount, but just as large in terms of the generosity which motivates them.
Thank you to our amazing volunteers who come from 35 countries: Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China (mainland, Hong Kong & Taiwan), Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palestine, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK. and the USA.
We have come to expect about 100 volunteers each year, but this year it was a whopping 187. It was through the spirit of giving from all these people that we've been able to offer such amazing programs at reasonable prices.
The pandemic has been shocking and challenging on many levels. First and foremost, are hearts are with all of you who have suffered the loss of loved ones or other personal struggles resulting from this scourge. At the same time, we are happy, proud, humbled and moved by the ways in which you have stepped up as a community.
During 2021, my hope for all of us, is that we find our way forward together from out of these difficult times, and that we find ourselves stronger, more resilient, and more compassionate.
co-sponsored with Seattle University (Seattle, WA, USA)
The Departments of Psychology and Philosophy at Seattle University, in partnership with The Gendlin Center of The International Focusing Institute, will be holding an online symposium advancing the work of Eugene Gendlin. We invite participants to explore the implications of Gendlinâ€™s posthumous collection Saying What We Mean: Implicit Precision and the Responsive Order (2018). This extraordinary collection, edited by Edward Casey and Donata Schoeller, brings together a series of essays demonstrating Gendlinâ€™s creative and insightful ability to balance conversations across a wide range of voices in philosophy and psychology.
We are delighted to announce the featured speakers will be
Ed Casey, Donata Schoeller, Robert Scharff, James Risser and Eric Severson.
We have also had many excellent paper proposals and are currently selecting from among them. Thank you to all who sent in proposals; we will be in touch shortly.
Gendlin had a unique capacity for thinking â€œat the edgeâ€ of conceptual formulations. He was able to discover, in words and concepts, an evasive connection between idea and experience. Gendlin sought to open up phenomena by exploring ideas that can only be thought in the mode of embodied practice. Gendlinâ€™s hope was that he might awaken an appetite in his readers, a yearning to understand how â€œthe experiential side always exceeds the concepts.â€ In this regard, Gendlin invites expansive efforts to explore embodied thinking and experiencing.
We are arranging the schedule to be friendly to various time zones, so that there will be live events that are doable no matter where you live. In addition, recordings of plenaries will be made available quickly, so that if you miss something due to time zones, you can catch up before the next plenary.
Registration will be through The International Focusing Institute. Information on registration will be available soon -- watch your e-mail for updates.
The Weeklong is the flagship event of The International Focusing Institute, begun in 1979. It is intended for all those who are advanced in their practice of Focusing. It is a warm and intimate event, and features a certification ceremony.
This year, we encourage attendees (if it is feasible) to find a place to be away from home while attending the Weeklong online. If possible, arrange to be somewhere with great internet service which will allow you to be away from your everyday life, in order to have a retreat during the week.
Registration and pricing are not yet available for the Weeklong, but last year's cost was $500. Those being certified will receive a $300 discount on tuition. Scholarships are available through the Janet Klein scholarship program. Information on that will be sent out in spring 2021.
International Focusing Conference
June 22-26, 2022
(June 20 - 21, 2022 forCoordinators)
The 2022 international Focusing Conference will take place in beautiful Ardeche, France, at Lou Capitelle and Spa: www.loucapitelle.com
IFEF (Institut de Focusing d'Europe Francophone) has been organizing summer schools each year in France for many years. Now they are ready to share their vibrant community with the world.
All workshops will be in French and English. We can't wait to be together.
Vivement Juin 2022!
Gendlin Research Grant Recipient:
Dr. Mohamed Altawil
Founder and Director of the Palestine Trauma Centre
The Eugene T. Gendlin Center for Research in Experiential Philosophy and Psychology of The International Focusing Institute is pleased to announce the recipient of our 2nd Gendlin Grant for Original Research in Psychology:
The Eugene T. Gendlin Center for Research in Experiential Philosophy and Psychology is proud to announce that Dr. Mohamed Altawil has been awarded the second Gendlin Grant. Dr. Altawil, a clinical psychologist, is the Founder and Director of Palestine Trauma Centre (UK) and visiting lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire, department of Psychology. Dr. Altawil will be studying the efficacy of the Gaza Focusing Intervention for combating Post-Traumatic Syndrome Disorder (PTSD) in Gaza, Palestine.
The Gendlin Research Center committee was very impressed with the rigor of the study designed by Dr. Altawil and the inclusion of a control group in order to validate findings.
Here is an excerpt from his application for the grant:
Over the last 70 years, war and conflict have vastly influenced the lives and well-being of Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Giacaman et al. (2004) established that the restrictions on the liberty of young Palestinian people under occupation in the West Bank... have dramatically impacted adolescents wellbeing, development and education...
Every analysis of interventions on individuals and communities who are experiencing and observing war and conflict on a daily basis should always have those people's needs, dignity, culture, honour and resilience as the focus of attention.
With all the above in mind, this study aims to assess the impact of the Gaza Focusing Project among 500 traumatized people in the Gaza Strip by using pre- and post- assessment via PTSD Scale (a validated and published scale)."
The Eugene T. Gendlin Center for Research in Experiential Philosophy and Psychology was created in honor of Gene Gendlin to promote high level academic research that builds on the work he did in philosophy and psychology, as well as encouraging interdisciplinary work. Currently, the Center's primary goal is to promote quantitative research in psychology that will demonstrate the efficacy of Focusing.
Thank you to all of our generous donors for making the second Gendlin Research Grant possible.
Thank you to the members of the Gendlin Center Committee: Prof. Akira Ikemi (Kansai U.), Prof. Kevin Krycka (Seattle U.), Prof. Mary Jeanne Larrabee (DePaul U.), Dr. Rob Parker, Dr. Joao Messias (PontifÃcal Catholic University of Campinas, Brazil) and Dr. Leslie Ellis (board liaison).
In 2009, the then-Board of Directors crafted a statement which they named the "Diversity Statement." This was a statement affirming that The International Focusing Institute (TIFI) would not standardize the way in which Focusing is taught. It was intended to express the value of having diversity in the practice, teaching and application of Focusing.
In 2020, we find that (at least in the United States) something called a "Diversity Statement" is expected to address issues of ethnic and racial diversity. So the name has become a source of confusion. For that reason, in October 2020, the Board of TIFI voted to change the name of the statement to the "Diversity of Approaches" statement.
Furthermore, in December 2020, the "Diversity of Approaches" statement was provisionally revised to:
explicitly include the teaching of the Philosophy of the Implicit, Thinking at the Edge and other emerging approaches
make more explicit that the value of diversity does not preclude the Institute from defining parameters and competencies which must be met in order to qualify for certification
(In addition, the Board assigned one of its members to work with the Executive Director to craft a separate "diversity statement" which will address TIFI's commitment to including all people. That work is just beginning.)
This is the revised statement, which has been provisionally approved by the Board, with a request for feedback from members of TIFI:
DIVERSITY OF APPROACHES STATEMENT approved December 2020:
Thinking with the implicit always honors what arises freshly in the moment. The philosophy of the implicit, Focusing, Thinking at the Edge and how they are taught by our certified teachers will not be standardized. It is a core value of TIFI that diversity of approaches will be protected. This does not preclude The International Focusing Institute from defining parameters and competencies which must be met in order to qualify for certification. Constructive critiques are welcome among our teachers or between TIFI and individuals presenting or applying practices which arise from the philosophy of the implicit. These should be offered by means of open, respectful communication. TIFI itself will seek to honor the value of diversity of approaches in its operations, while recognizing that tension can arise between this and the need for effectiveness and efficiency in meeting its goals.
You are also invited to attend a Zoom meeting at one (or both) of the times listed below. Board member Evelyn Fendler-Lee and Executive Director Catherine Torpey will host these meetings. They will be happy to answer questions and receive your comments.
Thursday, February 11 at 7pm Eastern US time (Friday morning in Asia/Oceania) (your local time)
Members, please e-mail us at [email protected]org to let us know if you intend to attend one (or both) of the Zoom meetings. We will then send you the Zoom link.
In this new section of the InFocus newsletter, we will be letting you know about new Coordinators, new Coordinators-in-Training, and other milestones for those in the TIFI community.
Our first Milestone is a sad one: just as we were wrapping up this issue, we received this notice:
Siegfried and Christel Kraft died peacefully, on Thursday, January 21, 2021, at their residence in Victoria Beach, MB, Siegfried and Christel Kraft passed away together. Gilbart Funeral Home, Selkirk is in care of the arrangements. The Focusing Community is organizing a Zoom memorial service for Christel and Siegfried on Friday February 5 at 11am Eastern US time. For the link, please write to Nina Joy Lawrence at [email protected]
Christel Kraft was a Coordinator of TIFI, and a beloved presence at our online offerings, especially our Roundtables. Christel had a long and storied history with Focusing, and we will have a full article about her in an upcoming issue. Meanwhile, her online memorial page can be found here. We offer our sincere condolences to all who knew and loved her and her husband, Siegfried.
In response to the requests we have received and to expand our group of volunteers at the Institute, we are introducing this new section to our monthly newsletters. Below you will find Volunteer Opportunities at The International Focusing Institute.
We are currently looking for individuals of all languages to join our translation team.
These volunteers are a valuable and important part of the Institute. They translate documents for us from time to time, so that Focusers around the world can have access to them in as many languages as possible. Volunteers must be able to read English and translate into their native language in writing. Please contact: [email protected] to volunteer or for more information.
Tech Assistants for Online Classes/Events
Join our group of dedicated volunteers who support the delivery of online offerings by assisting with various Zoom functions. Training is provided, although some experience with Zoom and/or previous participation in TIFI online classes is helpful. Opportunities and timelines vary according to the type of class and availability of volunteers. Please submit an email sharing your interest, previous experience with Zoom online classes, and language(s) you are fluent in to: [email protected]
Support The International Focusing Institute with Amazon Smile.
Amazon Smile is a simple way to support your favorite charitable organization with every Amazon purchase you make at no extra cost to you. Simply go to smile.amazon.com and choose The International Focusing Institute as your charity of choice and AmazonSmile will automatically donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases. Click here to learn more.
Become a Member
Being a member of The International Focusing Institute is one way of staying connected to the International Focusing Community and its latest developments. The Institute is a supportive matrix whose purpose is to help the human community integrate Focusing into its many ways of living and working, and to see to the continued thriving and evolution of Focusing and Focusing teaching.
We organize what has already been done so that people have access to it. We support a thriving philosophical community centered around the Philosophy of the Implicit.
To introduce Focusing to people requires reaching out on many levels: publicity; archiving resources; bringing focusing into schools, medicine, churches, businesses and other areas. As Focusing is introduced in these areas, we connect people who need to know about each other worldwide. Membership is a way to support our work, and, as we are a non-profit organization, your contributions may be tax deductible.
Each member of our International Community is special to us. We deeply appreciate that you care enough about this work we are doing together to put some of your life energy into it, whether in the form of training, personal development, organizing projects, money or in other ways.
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!