Equity in Membership
We are proud to have launched our new membership and certification pricing structure!
The Board, the International Leadership Council and the Membership Committee all enthusiastically endorsed a change in our schedule of membership rates and certification fees. The goal of this change is to make our pricing structure more equitable and more transparent.
The Institute has long recognized that our costs for membership and certification needed to vary depending on where members live, due to wide disparities in national economies and currencies. Members in the United States have always paid higher rates. We also have "Group 2" countries, which pay about 75% of US rates, and "Group 3" countries which pay about 50% of US rates.
For equity, we have now added 3 more groups. This is because there are many countries whose national economies which are far less than 50% than the strength of the US economy. Each successive new group (Groups 4, 5 and 6) will pay a lower percentage of US rates, approximately in keeping with their national economies.
For transparency, we have now placed countries in their group based on their per capita Gross National Income. While no method is perfect, this allows for greater transparency. In the past, it was not clear why some stronger economies were in Group 3, while some weaker ones were in Group 2. Also, over time, a national economy might grow stronger or weaker. This gives us a way to determine when to move a country from one group to another.
This document (found in the "Membership" area of www.focusing.org) shows the new groupings.
Note that we have not raised rates in any grouping. For almost all countries, this change in our schedule will mean either no change, or (because of the addition of lower groupings), a lowering of rates. Two countries (Israel and China Mainland & Hong Kong) have been re-categorized to a higher group than previously.
Thank you to those of you who have responded with such enthusiasm to these changes. This is an important part of our effort to live more and more honestly into our name of "international." Many of you have expressed that it feels good to know that each is carrying their weight in a way that feels right and just.
Answers to some questions which have been asked about our new membership schedule:
1. My rate has increased with no notice. Is it OK for me to pay the old rate? For those in Israel and China (Mainland and Hong Kong), since this change came with no notice, we are happy to accept 2021 rates. We ask that you budget for the higher rate for 2023.
2. What if I can't afford these prices? For annual membership, we very much value our connection with you, and so we are always happy to work with you based on the resources available to you. For certification, it is our policy to help you pay over time if it is difficult to pay in one lump sum.
3. Why use Gross National Income as the measure? We are well aware that there are an endless number of factors which determine an individual's (or a group's) ability to pay. Income is only one factor; other factors include the availability of low-cost health care, national unemployment protection, or family wealth. In order to meet the goal of transparency, we had to pick a means of measurement. National income level is, for us, a good enough measure for providing greater transparency and equity.
4. Many TIFI members are from the upper class in their country, and so they could afford more. Shouldn't we account for that? What's important to us is to make membership accessible to those of few resources. If someone is blessed with having resources above and beyond the prices in our schedule, we warmly invite them to give donations in addition to their membership or certification costs!
5. Does this mean that rates will be revised each year? It is our intention to revisit these groupings every few years, not every year.
For details on the new fees, visit focusing.org/membership and select "Click for Membership and Certification Prices."
& Workshop Proposals
accepted until February 28!
(Coordinators' meeting June 20-21)
Early bird rates (as well as acceptance of proposal applications) for the International Focusing Conference "The Conscious Body" end on February 28, 2022. The conference will take place in beautiful Ardeche, France, at Lou Capitelle and Spa, June 22 - 26, 2022.
Please don't miss this opportunity to finally be together again! We hope and expect that by June, and with precautions in place, we can be together safely.
Important note: if you have registered for the conference, double check that you also completed the second step, which is to secure your accommodations with Lou Capitelle. That is a separate process. After February 28, the venue cannot guarantee availability of rooms, although registration will remain open.
Coordinators: There is no extra charge for the Coordinators' meeting June 20-21, except that you do have to pay for the extra days of accommodation. Please join us!
For more information and to register, click below.
de Mariana Pisula y Monica Lindner
Click Here For English
Durante 2021, el Comité de Membresía ha estado trabajando en un nuevo proyecto llamado Hola Hola. La idea del Hola Hola es contactar con aquellas personas que conozcan algo de Focusing, que hayan estado practicando solos por un tiempo y que les interese unirse a nuestra comunidad internacional. El proyecto se trata de llegar y conocer a las personas que están ahí fuera.
Aprovechamos para contarle la historia de “Hola, Hola de Eugene Gendlin”: Cada vez que Gendlin entraba a algún lugar decía: "Hello hello" ("Hola, Hola"). Saludaba no solo a los participantes, sino a todos los aspectos de esos participantes. Todo era recibido y todo tenía espacio para ser nombrado. Los miedos, la ansiedad, la tristeza, la alegría, los dolores, los pensamientos, las emociones, las sensaciones…. Así saludaba Gendlin dando espacio para que todo se nombrara, se sintiera y se escuchara. Lo más notable es que Gene siempre decía 'Hello hello' al despedirse de la gente, en lugar de decir "adiós," como si incluso al alejarse, la interacción continuaría.
Monica Lindner y Mariana Písula convocaron a una reunión el 27 de noviembre en español, alemán e inglés. Asistieron más de 22 personas en representación de 10 países diferentes para hacernos saber quiénes son, qué están haciendo, cómo encontraron Focusing y qué les importa. La reunión comenzó con la descripción del proyecto y siguió con las presentaciones de cada uno de los participante.
Aún hoy estamos encantados por haber escuchado a los participantes expresar sus propias experiencias con el Focusing y su agradecimiento por la oportunidad de reunirse con TIFI y con personas de todo el mundo.
Esperamos seguir conociendo personas nuevas porque esto es importante para nosotros, escuchar cómo se está extendiendo Focusing por todo el mundo. Si tienes alguna pregunta, o simplemente quieres ponerte en contacto, puedes hacerlo enviando un correo electrónico a membresí[email protected]
Mariana Písula es Entrenadora Certificada en Focusing. Trabaja como counselor en duelo.
Monika Catarina Lindner es una entrenadora de Focusing y Experiencial-Concept-Coach y enseña Focusing y TAE. Trabaja como gestora de proyectos para cursos de alemán e investiga como pedagoga.
"A Most Precious Loam"
Reflections on the Felt Sense Conference on Embodied Liberation
by Gabrielle Hoffman
The 2021 Felt Sense Conference was a coming together of many in the Focusing community to support and share our hopes, ideas, sensings and prayers for a better future for the diversity of humans and all life on Earth. I am so proud of all who participated both live and through the recordings: over 150 people registered from many countries, and over 30 people presented at workshops or panels. As a member of the organizing committee, I am honored to have been part of the process from planning and attending, to reflecting back on it now. As I am writing this, I sense a thrumming feeling in my lower throat, like a cat purring or a harp string being strummed.
As I closed my eyes to sleep after the second night of the Felt Sense Conference and two very full days, I heard a phrase come to me: a most precious loam. It felt important, so I jotted it down. Then I wondered what “loam” means! I found out that it means ‘fertile earth with clay and humus.’ Since then, I have been contemplating how the conference was a special place to fertilize our own personal and community soil and plant seeds for living forward into better harvests.
In the poem, The Man Watching, Rilke writes:
I can’t bear without a friend
I can’t love without a sister.”
The Felt Sense Conference brought together those who listen to far-off fields, social fields, political fields, earth fields and climate fields. And what is hard to hear can be very hard to bear, much harder to spend time with, and much, much harder to love what arises to meet us there. It isn’t easy to face, go deeper into, and shift oppressive patterns in the fields of social justice, the suffering of oppression, the grief of harms being done, and longings for sustainable life-ways. We need support, and especially community support -- such as developed at the conference -- for us to travel through this difficult terrain.
In coming together at the conference, we created some tender and brave spaces to explore how the personal is political. I learned more about the ways I interact with food abundance and food scarcity. I learned about moving like a jellyfish to help my body when I feel tense or scared. I learned a way to feel into how white supremacy lives in me, and how I can bring compassion to myself to shift prejudices that I do not want to carry further. And I learned to listen for the ancestors whose tears still live in me and whose arms are there to support me. I could go on and on! There were many heartfelt people sharing ideas and creative exercises for sensing into larger fields.
We have heard Gene Gendlin say that we are interaction. One meaning of this is that organisms implicitly include social forms. If the forms oppress us or others, we can resist the old forms by recognizing and shifting how they live in us. And yet Gene points out that “we cannot be sure that our Focusing processes will undo every imposed form we would wish to overthrow if we could be aware of it.” Gene advises us to develop a “political awareness” to help us question things that we take for granted. At the 3rd Felt Sense Conference we shared various ways of growing our “political awareness” and listening into larger fields.
May we continue developing our larger awareness to help us shift internalized forms of oppression. And may we continue to bring our felt sensing into our larger awareness, to live our liberation tendencies forward into the world.
Here is a taste of some resonant phrases from the conference, listed in the time order that I heard them from the beginning of day one to the end of day three:
- There is hope in the unknown.
- Silence itself is political.
- Personal steps don’t necessarily change an economic system.
- Feelings don’t exclude social structures.
- The inner critic has personal, sociocultural, economic, political, and religious dimensions.
- Presence is a way against oppressive structures.
- Focusing is interaction in the world.
- Your voice is important.
- Suffering is a call to change.
- How do we make change without using force and creating more conflict?
- The felt sense cannot be collectivized, so how do we build movements and form agreements?
- Felt sensing can respond to contradictions in ways that are new.
- How do we embody social justice and deeply listen to those who are marginalized?
- We start and end with centering together.
- Western colonization affects who we are and how our forms of diversity came to be.
- Lean into the truth of the body.
- Non-binary and trans people have given us and show us that there is so much more space and flexibility in gender categories than we knew.
- Focusing is so queer; it is all about finding those spaces in-between.
- Doing what-we-don’t-know-how-to-do is carrying forward.
- Focusing is opening up liberation spaces.
- What does ‘disruption of unjust systems’ mean to you?
- Pushing toward what is generative, joyful, and celebratory; and getting curious about our discomfort.
- Healing is witnessing in beloved community.
- Sacredness of this space.
- Calling on ancestors, whatever that means; the ancestralness of our beings.
- This is hard work, heavy.
- Racism has twisted and corrupted our social fabric and us as human beings.
- Maybe we can sense the opposite of ‘othering.’
- We become other to ourselves.
- Your freedom and mine are tied together.
- Not many people look like me in the Focusing community.
- There should be more Black and Brown faces here.
- I hear you, I see you, and I am grateful for you.
- We each have a longing, an implying, that comes from the collective, yet is your unique offering.
- Longing isn’t a fix for what’s broken.
- Owning our fears and mistakes with each other.
- Dignity is central to human relationships.
- Making a way out of no way.
- We arise when we are recognized.
- Keeping the dream company.
- Focusing is creating the conditions of dignity.
- Compassion is natural, a root implying.
- Hope is from listening to the ground of being.
Gabrielle Hoffman, MSW is a certified Focusing professional and a somatic stress relief practitioner. Her passion is integrating Inner Relationship Focusing, Medical Hypnosis, and Spiritual Imagery, using a social justice and trauma-informed lens.
In its December 2021 meeting, the Board approved this list of priorities for TIFI in 2022. These priorities are shaped around the various portfolios that members of the Board have:
Finance: Sustainability. The Budget is a moral document reflecting values and intention of TIFI.
Nominating: Old guard feels appreciated. New people have a space to participate. Training path for new people.
Good Will: Connect members of the community with one another to foster enthusiasm and creativity. Communicate the inspiring things that Focusers are doing in the world; showcase and share voices and stories which honor the elders and celebrate the new guard.
Gendlin Center: Near term vision: Make sure that we are getting the basic research done which is needed to legitimize Focusing and all of Gendlin’s work in the fields of psychology and philosophy within academia. Longer term vision: Begin to include a focus on more than research in Philosophy and Psychology.
Gendlin’s philosophy is about how to do research. Build a bridge to other areas of research beyond Philosophy and Psychology.
Website: Continue development of the website to include menu navigation which helps direct audiences to their desired content. Audiences include: existing members, newcomers to Focusing, philosophy researchers, psychology researchers, scholars in other fields, Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapists, people looking for FOTs, people wanting to learn TAE or Focusing (including certification), non-English speakers, donors, people interested in “Focusing and...”. Collect data to know what works.
Diversity: Attract more people of color, LGBTQ+, various language/cultural groups, those with low financial means, and other under-represented groups within the Focusing community.
We are proud of how much we do with the financial and staff resources we have at hand. We are grateful to all of you who are "out there" doing your part to bring Focusing and felt sensing into the world.
We are thrilled to announce that for the third year in a row, you generously responded to our anonymous donor's end-of-year challenge.
Thanks to you, we have succeeded in matching the $10,000 grant in December.
Thank You to all the Donors of 2021
As a small organization with big ambitions, we depend upon the generosity of those who can give donations to supplement our income from programs and membership.
Large donations energize us and help us make big strides. Smaller donations add up fast when lots of people pitch in what they can. Every donation counts and is helpful and appreciated!
The list below is just a portion of the generous donors from 2021. Click here to view the complete list.
|Our Anonymous Donors
RSF Social Finance
The Canaday Family Trust
Marcia Elena Almeida
Helene Marie Berg
Thank you to all the Volunteers of 2021
We have once again blown past our previous record number of volunteers; this year, we have had 467 volunteer roles filled by 247 individuals! Thank you to our amazing volunteers who come from 37 countries: Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China (Mainland, Hong Kong & Taiwan), Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK, Uruguay and the USA.
The list below is a just some of the many people who volunteered their time and talents in 2021.
Click here to view the full list.
GENDLIN CENTER COMMITTEE
Christine Le Coutre
|Membership Committee cont’d
TAE ADVISORY GROUP
CHILDREN & FOCUSING ADV GROUP
Joke Van Hoeck
Maria Teresa Belgenio
David del Sole
Theresia W. Nestlang
This year and moving forward we will be including all the newly Certified to our Milestones section. In this issue, we are delighted to announce and congratulate the 167 people who were certified in 2021. Watch this section every month for newly certified members.
We are, always, happy to congratulate the following new Coordinator and Coordinators-in-Training and welcome them to the International Focusing Institute.
We wish them all the very best in their ongoing endeavors!
Carlos Gonzalez Perez, Spain Español
Boaz Shavit, Israel. Mentoring Coordinator, Ifat Eckstein
Yael Ronen Shavit, Israel. Mentoring Coordinator, Ifat Eckstein
2021 Newly Certified Members and their Coordinators
Daniela Antonieta Abufhele Meza, Canada,
|Shahar Amergi, Canada,
Jessica Anderberg, Canada,
Shlomit Arbel Emanuel, Israel,
Chen Ein Habar
Anamaria Aristizabal, Canada,
For the complete list, please click here