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July 2016 Newsletter

Our name has changed
We have big news: The Focusing Institute has become
The International Focusing Institute! 
This is a change that has been discussed for many years to reflect the fact that we have always proudly been an international body. Last year, our International Leadership Council (ILC) requested this change, and the Coordinators who met in Seattle also expressed their desire for this change. We are so pleased to announce formally and joyfully that the change is now official.
The change in name isn't just a statement of an already-existing reality; becoming The International Focusing Institute signals that in this new era, we are working hard to reflect the full diversity of cultures and languages that make up the Focusing community.
You'll begin to see the change reflected on our official communications as the changeover takes place. In the spirit of Focusing, we are pleased to be making explicit what has long been implicit. 
Note from Catherine
Dear Friends,
I will soon be on my way to Cambridge, England, for our International Conference, organized by the wonderful British Focusing Association. My heart is very much with the people of the United Kingdom right now, who are experiencing great upheaval in the wake of the vote to leave the European Union.
Many, including me, see a connection between the "Brexit" vote and what we are experiencing in the USA as we select our nominees for President. In both instances, the votes of the people seem to signal a deep mistrust of "the establishment" - so much so that those voters seem to prefer chaos over an order which they feel has not served them. I sympathize with the anger that has led to this rejection of the standing order, but like many of you, I am deeply concerned about where that anger is being targeted. More and more, mistrust is misdirected at the weak, who can be bullied, instead of at the strong, who have the resources and the motives to encourage such misdirection.
I have been asking myself lately how I might best respond to a world turned topsy-turvy. I vacillate between a pessimism which feels justified but not helpful, and an optimism which feels helpful but naive. I struggle between giving my opinions or simply listening. I know that arguing opinions can risk alienation from others, which threatens to exacerbate divisions. And yet it is difficult to "just listen" when the words I am hearing are more like slogans, used to justify true injustice and even violence.
My Focusing practice has taught me over and over again how powerful it is to just listen, and so one would think that the answer to my struggle was obvious. In a Focusing session, when I put aside the need to correct, instruct or demand, then miraculous and delightful things almost always emerge. And that is true no matter how frightened or stuck I had felt before Focusing. Yet my experience in Focusing sessions doesn't necessarily translate into engaging with the wider world in a Focusing way. What is a Focuser to do?
I don't have easy answers, but I do know that we are never observing situations from the outside, powerlessly, even when it feels that way. And while I have yet to achieve my vision of living out of my felt sense wisdom with every waking moment, the more I manage to do so, the better life is not only for me but for all those around me. And, I believe that the more that Focusers are connected with one another, the more we can find felt sensing ways to address the major social issues of our times, in all of our countries and cultures.
I look forward to the "great gathering of Focusing worlds" in Cambridge and beyond. At the end of our week there, we will surely be energized from being together. Whether you attend or not, the Institute - now officially The INTERNATIONAL Focusing Institute - exists to keep connecting and connecting and connecting us with one another across every kind of border.
With warmest regards,
-Catherine Torpey, Executive Director, The Focusing Institute
TFI logo  
In this issue:
Our Name has Changed
Note from Catherine
International Focusing Oriented Therapy Conference
Weeklong 2016
Announcing New Board Members
From the Board of Trustees
From the International Leadership Council
Summer School (FISS) 2016
Writings From the Edge
Focusing Conversations
Become a Member
From the TFI Office
Upcoming Events
Join our Discussion Lists
Seeking Web Project Manager
Seeking a Website Redesign Project Manager 
As we begin the process of redesigning the website of The International Focusing Institute, we are seeking a Web Project Manager (download the job description here).

Please feel free to distribute this to anyone you think would be interested.
FOT conference
Join us for the fourth gathering of the international community of Focusing-Oriented Therapists at the Garrison Institute in Garrison, New York, one hour north of New York City. This year's theme is "FOT - Taking its place in the world of psychotherapy."
Focusing-Oriented Therapy - therapy that explicitly aims to foster, support and be guided by this deep, living inner awareness -- was revolutionary back when Gendlin first developed it, and it still is revolutionary. There is still no other psychotherapeutic system or method that helps clients bring their minds and their bodies together as effectively or as elegantly as Focusing.

We will have two-and-a-half days of workshops and presentations from FOT therapists from around the world sharing their insights and approaches as they apply FOT to therapeutic issues and different populations, helping people heal and grow. And of course, there will be time and opportunity to Focus, to dance, to re-connect with old friends and make new ones, in our ever-expanding circle.

Learn more
and Crossings
Advanced and Certification Focusing Weeklong 2016

The Focusing Institute and Facilitation Team are pleased to announce that three Coordinators have been invited to Facilitate Home Groups and/or offer a workshop at the 2016 Connections and Crossings Weeklong.
Edgardo Riveros (Certifying Coordinator from Chile), Emanuela Fonticoli (Certifying Coordinator from Italy), and Mónica Iturraspe (Certifying Coordinator from Argentina) will be "Contributing Coordinators" who will facilitate Home Groups along with the Facilitation Team. The Home Groups meet daily to process a Focusing interest or a personal, work, or creative project. Weeklong participants will have an opportunity to cross with different Coordinators as well as with each other as they explore their Focusing edge.

What participants have said about the home groups:
"Amazing," "heartfelt," "safe," "comforting," "growing," "at home," "caring," "meaningful," "connection," "a place to explore and experience a MAJOR shift in my life."
Also, here is a sampling of this year's morning and afternoon workshops. These will be experiential encounters that enable you to live what you are learning. You will be given time and space to process with your fellow participants so that the overall theme of the Weeklong, Connecting and Crossing, is an integral part of your experience.
Come celebrate diversity with us this October in this intimate gathering of advanced Focusers from all over the world!
New Board Members
Read the pdf of this notice in these languages:
Nominating Committee Update:
Announcing New Board Members 
Dear Members of The International Focusing Institute,
Thank you for the responses you sent regarding the nominees for the Board and the International Leadership Council. We received only positive feedback, and we are delighted now to make their appointments official.
The new Board:
Dana Ganihar (Israel), Mary Jennings (Ireland), Kevin Krycka (USA), Paula Nowick (USA), David Rome (USA), Susan Rudnick (USA)
The board's page on our website is found at To communicate with them at any time, write to [email protected].
The new International Leadership Council:
Hejo Feuerstein (Germany), Ruth Hirsch (Israel), Akira Ikemi (Japan), Sergio Lara (Chile), Roberto Larios (Mexico), Donata Schoeller (Switzerland)
The International Leadership Council's page on our website is found at To communicate with them at any time, write to [email protected].
We wish to extend deep gratitude to the members who are leaving. They have given conscientious, faithful service to the Institute and the Focusing community at a very special time of transition. The work has been arduous, and we hope satisfying. We owe them a great debt. We hope you will thank them with us:
            Marine de Fréminville (Canada), stepping down from the ILC
            Jim Iberg (USA), stepping down from the Board
            Susan Lennox (USA), stepping down from the Board
            Barbara McGavin (UK), stepping down from the ILC
            Jane Quayle (Australia), stepping down from the Board
The Board of The International Focusing Institute
Board of Trustees
Board of Trustees and Membership Committee Update 
by Susan Lennox
It is with mixed feelings of sadness and satisfaction that I leave my position on the Board of Trustees this month. It has been a great privilege to serve with such a devoted, creative, and collaborative group of fellow Board and ILC members for the past two years. Likewise it has been a wonderful experience to work closely with our new Executive Director and her staff. As I reflect on the highlights of the last two years, what stands out for me as some of the achievements are increased professionalism in the management of the Institute, improved fiscal accounting, an in-depth and ongoing strategic planning process, the commencement of the TFI website redesign, more frequent and concerted outreach to our members around the globe, and the initiation of exciting new programs, such as the very popular Focusing Highlights programs, to name a few.
I am pleased to say that I will continue to work with the TFI Membership Committee after stepping down from the Board. The Committee is moving ahead on several fronts to find ways to connect with and serve our members across the globe more effectively. In my last newsletter article I reported a couple of exciting initiatives we are working on, including a new member package, a "Trainer Talks" series, as well as a series of gatherings to bring members with shared "Focusing And..." interests together in virtual space to connect, share, and potentially catalyze new collaborations. Both of those programs will be provided free of charge to members in good standing. The first Trainer Talk in which Mary Elaine Kiener shares her experiences in running a virtual changes group will be available soon. The first "Cafecitos" program of talks by and for Spanish-speaking members will be presented in the fall. Hosted by Florentina Sassoli (Argentina), the first Cafecito will feature Beatrice Blake, who will explore how Non-Violent Communication can be a doorway to Focusing. Stay tuned for more on these programs over coming months.
The Membership Committee is now comprised of eight members, three from the United States (Wendi Maurer, Jocelyn Kahn, and myself) and five members from around the globe (Mary Jennings from Ireland, Jane Quayle from Australia, Florentina Sassoli from Argentina, Hejo Feuerstein from Germany, and Sally Tadmor from Israel), plus Catherine Torpey and Elizabeth Cantor from our staff. Among the issues we are working on are ways to become a more truly international organization. If you have ideas for the Committee, please feel free to contact me or any member of the Committee.
International Leadership Council Update
by Marine de Fréminville
Dear Focusing Community,
The first time I wrote to you as an International Leadership Council member was in December 2014. I was sharing with you my vision of our role/function as a "bridge," communicating the views and wishes between the Board of The Focusing Institute and the local, regional worldwide communities.
Today, on the edge of retiring from the ILC for family reasons, something in me feels sad to leave my colleagues and also grateful for working together. But another feeling emerges from this whole experience: I feel our work as a kind of subtle relational weaving composed of all the rich threads (six ILC members, and sometimes six Board members plus Catherine Torpey, our Executive Director, during joint meetings).
Through the months, without being sure of the result, we were building the "weft" (the frame) as a solid base on which the Board and ILC and their new members will be able to continue to carry forward the vision of the International Focusing Institute and the worldwide Focusing Community.
One unforgettable experience has been the strategic planning process begun in April 2015. It reached its peak experience during the two full days before the International Focusing Conference in Seattle when we (The Board, the ILC, Catherine and Strategic Planning Consultant Joe Coletti) let emerge, felt sensing, the goals and strategies for the Focusing Institute in a strong sense of collaboration. Then we shared the four goals and the four strategies for each goal with the Coordinators and the participants attending this wonderful Conference (
During this mandate, we experienced a kind of uncomfortable murky-zone felt sense, in search of a still not yet clear identity on our role and function which, as in Focusing, now got clearer.
I will end by noting the delightful experience of being on the Nominating Committee, and happy to welcome the new Nominees.
With my grateful thanks,
Marine de Fréminville
The Eleventh Annual Focusing Institute Summer School (FISS)
August 21-27, 2016 in Joshua Tree, California!
At the Focusing Institute Summer School (FISS), you'll study each morning with an internationally respected Focusing teacher, and enjoy a variety of classes each afternoon. There will be plenty of free time and other activities around these classes, including movement classes, socializing, and Focusing partnerships.
Ann Weiser Cornell
Nada Lou 
René Veugelers
Laury Rappaport 
Soti Grafanaki and William Hernández
Join us at the beautiful Joshua Tree Retreat Center (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and his son, Lloyd) in the California desert where it is dry and warm during the day and cool at night. All rooms are air-conditioned and there is a swimming pool on premises.
Watch this short video to learn more about the Summer School experience.
Beginners and experienced Focusers are welcome. We can't wait to see you there! Please join us! 
Writings From the Edge
Writings From the Edge 
Featured: A poem by Glenn Fleisch

"The context of this poem: It emerged at the end of a retreat that I co-lead with Doralee [Grindler Katonah], called Transformational Focusing. The retreat is a journey to reconnect with our living body, the body of wholeness and spirit. On the final day, we invite everyone to create something that expresses what they would like to take with them after the retreat has ended. We called it 'creating your totem,' something that symbolizes and embodies the energy, feel and spirit of the journey - so that it can be carried forward into our ordinary life and everyday world.
So this poem represents my totem, a continual reminder of staying awake and aware on the path, to keep trusting the spirit and energy of the body - and not fall asleep or become numb. It has been an invaluable resource, my ruthless companion. Interesting that 'ruthless' is usually defined as: cruel, without mercy or compassion, etc. Yet in another sense, I can feel it as a powerful force that does not want to be filled with regrets or remorse. This place wants me to develop courage and inner strength to live more fully, to feel more, to be more embodied and express more openly, compassionately. It kind of implies 'no excuse,' take full responsibility for your living and being."
- Glenn Fleisch
Being Ruthless on the Path  
There is a stirring, a rumbling
It wants me to be ruthless
to follow the path of heart and passion.                                           
It says, "You know what you desire... what is true
be ruthless in its pursuit."
Time is short - the passing hours will run out.
What then?
When there is no more time,
there is only what you leave behind.
What will it be?
It will follow you - will it truly be your gift?
You know it will be filled with regrets - so much pain pain
of the unfulfilled spirit - the soul that didn't speak...
so grab it now with all you've got -                                            
stay one-minded, point your compass toward the horizon
and let your spirit free to find the way.   
So I'm here now - your ruthless companion
I will be there when you stray      
reminding, pushing, to stay on the path.
This is important! I won't let you forget me!        
And I won't stay quiet anymore!  
Be ruthless - on your journey. For only you can walk it,
or leave those footprints unmade, those steps untaken.
And that would be a terrible loss,                        
Humanity needs you, depends on you,
generations before and after awaiting your fulfillment.
Glenn Fleisch, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in private practice for 35 years. He has been a Focusing-oriented Therapist for nearly 20 years, as well as being a Wholebody Focusing Coordination with the Focusing Institute. Glenn has written extensively on FOT and WBF, as well as leading/co-leading workshops/trainings/ retreats worldwide. He is currently offering WBF seminars online. For more information, contact [email protected]. You can also listen to listen to Glenn's conversation with Serge Prengel below.

This new newsletter section, Writings From the Edge, features submissions by members of the international Focusing community. If you would like to learn more about submission options, contact Suzanne Noel at [email protected].
Focusing Conversations
Join us for the Focusing Conversations series, hosted by Serge Prengel!
May: Glenn Fleisch
Body Recovery of Spirit
July: Sophie Glikson Cahen
and Marina Strauss
What Makes Your Heart Sing

Listen to this conversation here

Eugene Gendlin Receives two Lifetime Achievement Awards  


In New York City: The World Association of Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapy (WAPCEP) holds its world conference in New York City later this month (July 20-24) where they will honor Gene Gendlin with a lifetime achievement award. If Dr. Gendlin is able to receive the award in person (unclear as of this date), the presentation will be broadcast live and available for later viewing (specifics announced by email and on Facebook beforehand) so that Focusers around the world, including those at the International Conference in the UK, will be able to watch it. In his absence, the award will be received by Kevin Krycka and Lynn Preston. Conference registration information is available here:  


In Providence, Rhode Island: The Board of Directors of the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy will also honor Gene with a lifetime achievement award at their conference from July 21 to 23, 2016. This is their highest honor, recognizing him, in their words, for "the truly outstanding contributions he has made to our field." This award will be received by Ann Weiser Cornell in Gene's absence. 


Congratulations, Gene - these awards are well deserved.



Being a member of The 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.


Learn more here. 


From the TFI Office

Translation and Interpretation


It is important to us to have as many of our communications as possible translated into as many languages as possible.  If you are willing to translate written materials from English into your native language, please contact us at [email protected] and let us know your language, and how much time you can volunteer for this valuable task.

It is also important to us to be able to offer interpretation (spoken) when we have events such as the Summer School (FISS) and the Advanced and Certification Weeklong.  When we have four or more people needing interpretation, we pay for an interpreter.  Please contact us if you would be willing to be an interpreter, or if you know of someone who you believe would do this well.

Air Miles

We are a very international organization and it is extremely meaningful when we can be together.  Frequently, however, members of our community cannot attend Focusing Institute events because in addition to the cost of the event, they have very high air fares.  If you have air miles that you are willing to donate, please contact us.  Your airmiles could be used to help members of the Board of Trustees and the International Leadership Council to attend their face-to-face meeting, or to help someone being certified to attend the Weeklong, or for any Focuser to attend FISS (the Focusing Institute Summer School).  Please help give someone the chance for these meaningful connections! 

Upcoming Conferences, Retreats and Workshops
The 27th International Focusing Conference in 2016 will be held in England in the beautiful old university town of Cambridge. The dates are Wednesday 20th to Sunday 24th July 2016, with a coordinators meeting starting the day before on Tuesday, July 19.
Focusing Basics An 8-week interactive online course for beginning Focusers starting August 17, 2016.
Advanced Focusing Training An 8-week intermediate interactive online course starting August 9, 2016.

Taught by Ruth Hirsch, MSW, MPH, CMP
Trails to a living philosophy
Saturday, August 13, 2016
Interactive Online Class facilitated by Dan Schachter and Dana Ganihar. Part of the Focusing Highlights Series of pay-what-you-can classes.
Focusing Institute Summer School
August 21-27, 2016 in Joshua Tree, California!
Join us at the beautiful Joshua Tree Retreat Center (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and his son, Lloyd) in the California desert where it is dry and warm during the day and cool at night. All rooms are air-conditioned and there is a swimming pool on premises.
With Charlotte Howorth, LCSW and International Guest Teachers.
The Advanced and Certification Focusing Weeklong
October 1-7, 2016 at Garrison Institute in Garrison, New York.
The 9th Children and Focusing Conference
Athens, Greece from October 26 - 30, 2016
The 9th Children & Focusing Conference will take place in the surroundings of Athens, by the sea-side, at Cabo Verde Boutique Hotel, Mati.
4th International Conference on Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapies
June 22-25, 2017 at The Garrison Institute, Garrison NY.



6/2016 Focusing and Dreams: a new resource page has been added with new articles:

6/2016 The second volume of a two-part series of The Folio is literally a Potpourri - a mixture of articles covering innumerable topics that integrate various aspects of Focusing into very specific and enlightening subjects and themes. Now available as a free digital eFolio or or as a printed version which can be purchased in the TFI store 


6/2016 Paraphrasing Eugene Gendlin in A Process Model by Edgardo Riveros. Translated by María Jesús Lillo [PDF]


6/2016 Parafraseando a Eugene Gendlin en Un Modelo Procesal por Edgardo Riveros [PDF] 


6/2016 El uso del Focusing como herramienta para el tratamiento de adictos en recuperación en un programa de doce pasos. Una práctica en Costa Rica Recovery Center. Por James Doga Noel, Ciudad Universitaria Rodrigo Facio, 2015. [PDF] 


6/2016 Dreams and the person-centered approach: cherishing client experiencing by Andrea Koch (2012). New book in the TFI store.


6/2016  イン・フォーカス Octoberl 2015 Japanese In Focus Newsletter




5/2016 Conversation (offsite) with Serge Prengel and David Rome about "Contemplative Thinking."


5/2016 搜索认证聚焦专家数据库 (Search the Certified Focusing Professional Database - Chinese version)


5/2016 Several new articles, chapters and research (doctoral dissertation and Master's theses) have been added to the Expressive Arts Therapies page:

5/2016 May 2016:: The May conversation is with Glenn Fleisch. This is part of the "conversations" series hosted by Serge Prengel which you can access from the "Felt Community" menu or from  


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!
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