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June 2023 Newsletter


Notice anything new in the logo just above? Beginning this summer, in lieu of our TIFI In Focus newsletter, you'll begin receiving the In Focus News Feed. All the news you've come to expect will be in weekly e-mails, including News from the Board, Milestones and special articles and interviews. This will allow us to get information to you in a more timely manner, in bite-sized pieces.

No need to wait for weekly emails; you can always find our In Focus News Feed here!


Weeklong for Advanced Focusers
There is still time to register

June 25 - July 1, 2023
Online and with an in-person option in Dublin


Your Hosts
Cecilia Burgos, Beatrice Blake, Tom Larkin

The 2023 Weeklong for Advanced Focusers

June 25 - July 1, both online and hybrid in Dublin

The flagship event of The International Focusing Institute (TIFI), the Weeklong, is a rare opportunity to be with an intimate group of advanced practitioners, to learn from one another and to share your wisdom.

Your choices:

1. All Online (including your Home Group)
2. Hybrid (Plenaries via Zoom, with Home Groups and more in person) Dominican Retreat Centre in Dublin, Ireland

Watch the video below for an explanation of how the Hybrid Weeklong works.



Board: Encountering What is Emerging

At the latest meeting, the TIFI Board welcomed and congratulated new Coordinators Yasushi Kuba (Japan) and Sandy Jahmi Burg (USA). Claude Missiaen also attended the meeting on behalf of the International Leadership Council (ILC).

During the meeting, the Board finalized the announcement (see below) of both the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and Diversity of Approaches statements on the It is important to us not only to make statements but also to live the spirit of diversity, which is so essential to Focusing. We therefore discussed potential actions the Board could take to embody the DEI statement, including the creation of a scholarship fund to support the participation of people from any under-represented group in TIFI's programs.

The automated technologies of today have their serious limitations, but where they help us be truly international, we wish to make good use of them. The Board therefore once again spent considerable time reviewing a summary of feedback from Coordinators, regarding the Board’s efforts to address the challenge of automated mis-translation of the word "Focusing." There was extensive conversation about next steps, with the Board deciding to offer meetings with any Coordinators who would like to discuss various solutions to this challenging issue.

As a Board, we seek to ensure not only that the Institute functions well day to day, but also it is responsive to the world emerging around us, outside our immediate community. By actively encouraging diversity and by "getting ahead" of issues of automated translation, we are working to ensure that TIFI can effectively "make Focusing findable" for all, in an ever-changing landscape.


DEI Statement

Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) statement can be found on our webpage at Translations into Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and French have now been uploaded. Our Diversity of Approaches statement can be found on the same page. Together, these two statements express the Board’s commitment to diversity. The Diversity of Approaches statement affirms the value of embracing the many ways that felt sensing is taught, while the DEI statement affirms our commitment to include all people in the work of the Institute.

This process began over two years ago when, in late 2020, we, the Board, made some updates to the Diversity of Approaches statement. We invited input from Coordinators on those changes; we then made a number of edits thanks to their valuable feedback. Next, we created a draft DEI statement and invited input from: the International Leadership Council; our Coordinators; our members; and people who are in groups who are under-represented in our Focusing community. Thank you very much for all of you who weighed in on these statements. 

While many of you helped us shape these statements, we wish to emphasize that we publish these as a way of holding ourselves accountable as a Board; these statements do not create obligations on anyone other than ourselves. We hope that you will join us in valuing diversity in your own ways and with your own words and actions, as may be right for you.

Thanks again for all you do to support TIFI and to spread felt sensing throughout the world.

With gratitude and respect,

The Board of TIFI


In Fond Memory of Lucy Rietveld Bowers, 1943-2023
by Barbara Dickinson

First, thank you to TIFI for the privilege of attempting to pay tribute to Lucy Rietveld Bowers. Lucy contributed so much to our global Focusing community, and to each and every one she met. How can anyone possibly do justice to her? 

Lucy and I met in the Focusing Institute Summer School (FISS) of 2010. We only spent a little time together, but had several conversations thereafter, which I remember as always deep and meaningful. Lucy is known to so many people through her teaching, her writing, her innovations, her love of all things Focusing, and most of all her joyful spirit. 

Second, let us thank all those who offered words of tribute upon Lucy’s passing. As many as possible are included here. There are so many more of you out there whose lives she touched! Meanwhile, for those of you who kindly offered a memory of Lucy, your moving words made this tribute possible. 

Lucy was born in 1943, in the middle of a time in history when a world war was raging. This must have shaped her early years in ways we can only imagine. She lived for almost 80 years, and Lucy carried on across all those years with such grace and hope. She also carried her Dutch ancestry with her proudly throughout her life, and often shared a comment about how this or that in her current experience brought that Dutch heritage to light.


Good Morning Heartache
Insights on Focusing and Jazz

by Karen Carmeli; edited by Akira Ikemi

Focusing is a method that helps us focus on “this thing” that keeps us occupied and bothers us on a daily basis. We would like to find a way out of the tangle and relieve the tension that has accumulated due to "this thing."

In Focusing, you focus on "this thing" which is called felt sense: a feeling that is often difficult to describe in words. It is mainly an experience - a general or specific feeling in the body or in the atmosphere. It is a feeling that is alive and dynamic and full of layers and meanings that, only if we pay attention to it and really agree to experience it and attempt to say it, can it become a resource, a driving force and a change maker.

Deep listening and Focusing on the felt sense leads to an encounter with the implicit. We can understand ourselves in a broad way, lengthwise, because when we really listen to the felt sense, memories, images, experiences, beliefs, and emotions arise that we are not usually in contact with. We are actually enabling a meeting with what is stirring from below and drives the important decisions in our lives. Contact with the felt sense raises all this and also creates a sense of control based on the assumption that the power is in our hands and that we are the experts in the affairs of our lives. Through deep listening and symbolizing the felt sense, we will understand and know exactly what is good for us and what we need in order to move forward.

Karen Carmeli is a Holistic Therapist and a Certified Focusing Professional (TIFI). She is an Israeli living in Tokyo. She sings jazz in her free time.

Akira Ikemi is a Coordinator of TIFI. He currently serves on the steering committee of the Eugene T. Gendlin Center for Research in Experiential Philosophy and Psychology.



We are happy to congratulate the following three new Coordinator's-in-Training (CITs), Certified Focusing Professionals (including Trainers and Focusing-Oriented Therapists) and Proficiency in Partnership (PFP) recipients. Congratulations to each of them on their achievement. We wish them all the very best in their ongoing endeavors!

Coordinators-in-Training (CiT'S)

Paula Gamble-Grant, USA
Mentoring Coordinator: Peter Gill
Supported by: Tom Larkin and Mia Leijssen

Joanna Kaczmarek, Poland
Mentoring Coordinator: Claude Missiaen

Ciriaco Uriarte, Spain
Mentoring Coordinator: Carlos Aceituno
Supported by: Florentina Sassoli and Mentxu Martín-Aragón

New Certified Focusing Professionals

Jill Benet, UK
Coordinators: Ann Weiser Cornell and Peter Gill

Michelle Carchrae, Canada
Coordinator: Donna Steadman

Marta Estela Carenzo, Argentina
Coordinators: Cecilia Burgos and Eny Ottini

Julian Crotti, Germany
Coordinators: Peter Gill and Angelika Kopecny

Noa Gottfried, Israel
Coordinators: Dana Ganihar and Baruch Brenner

Anna Gray, UK
Coordinators: Greg Madison and Frank Bock

Souzan Kasir, Greece
Coordinator: Pavlos Zarogiannis

Yosuke Koshikawa, Japan
Coordinator: Toshihiro Uchida and Kie Yano, CIT

Alexa Loewen, Canada
Coordinator: Anne Poonwassie

Sara McGowan, Canada
Coordinator: Anne Poonwassie

Jadelyn Mckay, Canada
Coordinator: Anne Poonwassie

Wanda McKenzie, Canada
Coordinator: Donna Steadman

Aurora Elizabeth Meneses Valadez Mexico
Coordinator: Salvador Moreno

Sheri Rattlesnake, Canada
Coordinator: Anne Poonwassie

Anja Tavenier, Netherlands
Coordinator: Chris van de Veire

C ten Kate, Netherlands
Coordinator: Chris van de Veire

Brent Unrau, Canada
Coordinator: Donna Steadman

Stefano Vita, Italy
Coordinator: Olga Beatriz Pasquini

Kara Woods, UK
Coordinators: Greg Madison and Frank Bock

Yuma Yamamoto, Japan
Coordinator: Toshihiro Uchida and Kie Yano, CiT

Proficiency in Focusing Partnership Awards (PFP)

Elzbieta Antoniak-Zawadzka, Poland
Miu Sum Cheng, Hong Kong, China
Brian Esch, USA
Alison French, UK
Michelle Lawyer, USA

Madalina Mi, UK
Elroy Pinto, USA
Sue Reece, UK
Clare Roberts, UK
Melissa Ternes, USA

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