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October 2019 Newsletter

Stepping Up Campaign
At The International Focusing Institute, we have taken some big steps, thanks to the support we have received from you! We launched the Stepping Up campaign in May 2018 and your support helped us take these incredible steps:

  • We’ve launched our beta (initial) version of the website!
  • We’ve awarded our first Gendlin Grant!
  • We brought the Weeklong to Chile and awarded 6 scholarships to Focusers!
We are now launching Phase II of our Stepping Up campaign. The funds we raise will help us break barriers of geography, finances, and language by funding:
  • The hiring of an International Tech Liaison
  • More live event streaming and video production
  • Janet Klein Scholarships and other scholarships
  • Greater availability of translators at Institute events
We are excited to continue building momentum in the Stepping Up campaign. Help us increase the accessibility of Focusing by donating today!
Save the Date!:
"Saying What We Mean" Academic Symposium on the Work of Eugene T. Gendlin
One of Gene Gendlin's key texts will be chosen and presenters will respond to that particular text. Presenters will be invited by an academic committee.
All are invited to attend. Registration information, including fees and lodging options, will be announced soon.
Symposium Information
October 23-25, 2020
The main symposium day is Saturday, October 24, with pre- and post- events on the Friday evening before and the Sunday afterward.
Seattle University
Seattle, WA
This event is made possible by the Eugene T. Gendlin Center For Research In Experiential Philosophy And Psychology of The International Focusing Institute. The event is supported by Seattle University's Philosophy and Psychology departments.
Note from Catherine
Creating an Institute ready
for the next era
Dear Friends,
Over the last five years, we have been working hard to create an Institute that is ready to move forward into the next era. We want Focusing to be better known throughout the world. In order to prepare for a world that seeks out Focusing and Thinking at the Edge and the Philosophy of the Implicit, we must “have our house in order.” This includes establishing and sustaining systems for decision making that are accessible and draw on a wide range of voices.
Our Board and the International Leadership Council have a rotating membership, which has so far included (at various times) 31 different people from 14 different countries. We have a Strategic Plan, a variety of committees, and have had over 100 different people annually volunteer to teach classes, lead Roundtables or serve in other ways.
In these few short years, we have concentrated our efforts on helping you more easily connect with each other. We have made our programs accessible and affordable through the active use of new technology. We have added programs in other languages, and we are eager to expand those efforts. Phase II of our Stepping Up fundraising campaignasks you to give donations to help us improve, among other things, our ability to offer translation. And, since the last time I wrote an article, we have launched the “beta” (in process) version of our website.
As an international, multilingual organization, our website is the place where we can all meet. We set a very, very ambitious goal with this site. It gives the option of many features which, over the coming years, we will now be able to offer our members. We appreciate your patience as we transition between our previous website (still up at and our new, modern in-process site ( We are confident that the Institute will continue to serve you better and better as this website becomes the “Home for Us All” that we envisioned when we began.
Meanwhile, we have many more ways we are expanding our mission, and we really need your help. Please always maintain your membership and consider giving additional donations as you are able. You can read more about our Stepping Up campaign in this newsletter.
Thank you for all you do to be part of making Focusing more accessible to all.
With warm regards,
Welcome to New Board Members!
The Board is pleased to announce the appointment of two new members:
Peter Afford is a Coordinator with the Institute and has been practicing Focusing for more than 30 years. He is a counsellor, psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer working in private practice, for training bodies and for business organizations. He is a founding member of the British Focusing Association, and was one of an amazing team of British Focusers who ran the unforgettable International Focusing Conference at the University of Cambridge in 2016.
Nelle Moffett received certification from the Institute in 2010, having studied Inner Relationship Focusing. She spent 25 years in higher education as a strategic planner, researcher, change agent, coach, and internal consultant. She has degrees in philosophy and psychology as well as a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy. In her retirement she is dedicating herself to bringing lasting change to the world as an Interfaith minister and serving on boards working to end homelessness.
We thank the Nominating Committee for these excellent people to join us in our work.
News from the Board
By Paula Nowick, Board President
At its August meeting the Board expressed its appreciation for the many contributions of two of its departing members: Susan Rudnick (United States) and Dana Ganihar (Israel). During their three-year terms, they helped forge policies that expanded membership, programs, Coordinator relationships, and community outreach. Their wisdom and camaraderie will be missed.
At the same time, we welcomed two new members, Nelle Moffett (United States) and Peter Afford (United Kingdom), bringing our Board to a total of six members. Officers were also selected at the meeting: 
  • Paula Nowick (United States), President
  • Leslie Ellis (Canada), Vice President
  • Hanspeter Muehlethaler (Switzerland), Treasurer
One of the Institute's priorities is to explore creative ways to welcome and support Focusers across the world. Several years ago, The Focusing Institute changed its name to The International Focusing Institute (TIFI) to more accurately reflect its multicultural membership. Since that time, there has been much discussion on how TIFI could be more effective globally. To that end, the Board recently unanimously adopted a new policy on the sponsorship of international events:
New Policy on Sponsorship of International Events
As an international organization, The International Focusing Institute (TIFI) will be limiting its sponsorship of in-person events to those intended for an international audience. (We will continue with any regional conference which is already scheduled, but will not be part of scheduling any future regional conferences.)
The World FOT Conference, the Felt Sense Conference and, of course, the Advanced and Certification Weeklong ("Weeklong") have always been offered under the auspices of TIFI. Other conferences have sometimes had more direct involvement of TIFI, and sometimes less. We intend to turn our attention to being more actively involved in the International Focusing Conferences, International Children Focusing Conferences, and other major international conferences organized by our members and related organizations (including pre- or post-conference events). We invite those seeking to organize such conferences to approach us to agree upon the best way to work cooperatively. 
We are eagerly looking forward to talking to members who might be willing to collaborate with TIFI on hosting an International Focusing Conference. Could that be you?
Paula Nowick, President 
Learn more about the Board at
International Leadership Council Update
By Evelyn Fendler-Lee
Evelyn is a member of the ILC and has recently created a Thinking at the Edge game titled “Thetaland”.
The International Leadership Council (ILC) is always eager to have conversations with TIFI members to share information and to discuss specific topics. We therefore have had a number of online meetings to accomplish that aim. The meetings are also an opportunity for attendees to connect with one another.
Those of you who are certified will know that Coordinators are the people with the authority to issue certifications through TIFI. We invited the Coordinators to online meetings with us on May 28 and on July 23. Thirty-one people attended both meetings. They joined from Italy, USA, China (including Hong Kong), Germany, Uruguay, Belgium, France, Canada, Israel, Peru, Mexico, Chile, Guatemala, Argentina, Greece and Spain. We offered translation (via the chat function), and we gave time for everyone to introduce herself or himself.
The May 28 meeting’s purpose was to have a conversation about the Pilot Program for naming new Coordinators. The Pilot Program was announced in December 2017 and will be extended until at least the end of 2021. Its main feature is to have at least three Coordinators as mentors during the process of training to become a Coordinator. 
People shared their experience of the Pilot Program. It was appreciated that Coordinators in Training (CiTs, formerly abbreviated as CNTs) now have more support, they become familiar with a variety of Focusing styles, and they can connect more with the international Focusing community. One Coordinator commented that the Pilot Program is not only about training CiTs to train trainers, but also about supporting them in finding their own style and specific applications (in their fields) of Focusing. He felt that this is an important way for the Support Team to help new Coordinators carry Focusing forward in their unique ways.
Initial experiences with the Pilot Program indicate that it works well and is beneficial. The ILC and our Executive Director, Catherine Torpey, request that Coordinators and CiTs all try the Pilot Program, rather than taking the option of using the old guidelines. This is because we would like to gather more experiences and make further improvements before making the new guidelines permanent.
The topic of the July 23 meeting with Coordinators was a policy that we call the "Concerns Procedure". You can find the document and its translations in various languages at The document came about because of a request to consider creating a code of ethics for Focusing professionals. The final document was created by the ILC with a lot of input by The International Focusing Institute Board. In order to honor process and interaction first, we have chosen not to have a rigid "Code of Ethics,” but instead to define a process. (In our deliberations, we were guided in part by Gendlin’s article “Process Ethics and the Political Question.” You can read the article at this link: .)
The participants’ response to the Concerns Procedure document was overall very positive. In addition, they expressed some intriguing ideas and suggestions. Many expressed appreciation for how Focusing is infused throughout the whole procedure. Some suggested that it could serve as a good model for local Focusing organizations and for other non-Focusing organizations. The idea that conflicts are opportunities to make things more right in a system, not just between individuals, was also expressed.
The document is seen as a living document and it will be adapted as we learn more about how the Concerns Procedure works in practice.
We are encouraged by the high turn-out of both meetings, and we also sense that the Coordinators enjoyed seeing each other. So, we will continue to have conversations about specific and relevant topics. We appreciate the feedback from everyone. 
Learn more about the ILC (International Leadership Council) at
TIFI Membership Committee Update: Report on Focusing Roundtables
By Susan Lennox
The TIFI Membership Committee’s primary mission is to serve and build community among TIFI’s members. One of our ways of doing that is our monthly Focusing Roundtables, which are small group online conversations around various Focusing-related topics. These are a free benefit for TIFI members, a way to say thank you for your membership, and a platform to create community and connection among members around the globe.
More than 40 Roundtables have been offered since the program’s inception in October 2016. These gatherings have brought together Focusers from many countries to share their experiences and explore Focusing-related topics of mutual interest in a casual peer-to-peer environment. We have had excellent geographical and cultural diversity in our attendees, with approximately half of all registrants coming from outside the United States.
We are especially delighted to work with volunteer hosts to offer Roundtables in languages other than English. The most extensive of these were two series of Italian language Roundtables—9 Roundtables in all!—ably hosted by Nicoletta Corsetti and Francesca Castaldi in early 2018 and by Maria Teresa Belgenio, Brigitte Moretti, Olga Pasquini, Agostino Manni, Lorenzo Salvi and Patrizia Bonaca from November 2018-April 2019. 
Thank you also to Hanspeter Muelethaler and Donata Schoeller for creating our first German language Roundtable. Spanish language programs are offered on a regular basis in the Cafecitos program coordinated by Mariana Pisula. We are also exploring Roundtables that are multilingual and cross-cultural so stay tuned on that front.
The Membership Committee plans to continue to present a Roundtable each month. Roundtables currently scheduled for the rest of 2019 are:
  • 10/20 - “Focusing & Coaching” 
  • 10/30 - “Working with Refugees”
  • 11/15 - “Research on Focusing”
We are well into the planning of programs for the first quarter of next year. So far these include “Focusing on Purpose”, “The Natural Pause”, “Cross-Lingual Focusing” and several others. If you would like to suggest a topic for a Roundtable, please send your suggestions to [email protected] . We especially welcome ideas for programs in languages other than English.
Look for them on Upcoming Courses and Events
Check the Courses and Events page on our website for information on upcoming events. Roundtables are posted online for registration about one month before each event, and an email announcement is sent to all members in the TIFI database. Go to and look for the Roundtable logo to see what is coming up and to register.
Special thanks to all of the volunteers who have donated their time to create and host Roundtables over the years, several of whom have served as hosts on multiple programs. 
Bruce Nayowith, Bruce Gibbs, Jocelyn Kahn, Andrew MacDonald, Karen Whalen, Heinke Deloch, Francesca Castaldi, Wendi Maurer, Hanspeter Mühlethaler, Christel Kraft, Paula Nowick, Anastasia Brencick, Jack Blackburn, Leslie Ellis, Rob Foxcroft, Christian Gerike, Susan Rudnick, Joan Lavender, Pamela Carr, Julian Miller, David Smith, Nina Joy Lawrence, Mary Jennings, Tine Swyngedouw, Mary Elaine Kiener, Jane Quayle, Heather Rogers, Cynthia Callsen, Jan Hodgman, Mariana Pisula, Francesca Castaldi, Nicoletta Corsetti, David Rome, Doralee Grindler-Katonah, Sophie Glikson, Judi Stein, Ana Zunic, Laura Bavalics, Ram Eisenberg, Dana Ganihar, Carol Ivan, Robert Lee, Donata Schoeller, Beatrice Blake, Jim Iberg, Kevin Krycka, Rose Sposito, Maria Teresa Belgenio, Brigitte Moretti, Olga Pasquini, Agostino Manni, Lorenzo Salvi, Patrizia Bonaca, Sergio Lara, Ruth Hirsch, Agnes Windram, Anthony Winiski, Monica Gomez Galaz, Viviane Silva, Arnold Zeman, Beth Mahler, Serge Prengel, João Carlos Messias, and Salvador Moreno-López
Thank you, thank you, thank you to you all!
By Yongwei Xu
Hello Focusers around the world:
I am most delighted to announce that the Second Asian Focusing International Conference and the Fourth China Conference on Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy will be held from November 8 to 10, 2019 in the beautiful city of Shanghai, China! 
The theme of the event is "Focusing and Asian Culture." It is organized by the School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University, sponsored by Nanjia (Shanghai) Cultural Communication Co. Ltd. and co-sponsored by the Supervisory Committee of Clinical Psychology and Psychological Counseling, Shanghai Psychological Association.
We anticipate that Focusers from Asia (Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan) and other parts of the world will join us and explore topics like: Focusing and Asian culture, Focusing and tradition, the application of Focusing in psychological counseling, Focusing and humanistic therapy, Focusing and mental health, Focusing and philosophy, and Focusing and phenomenology. We will also discuss how to deepen and promote the clinical application of Focusing in communities, schools, the health of the elderly and the psychological development of children.
So far, the following world-renowned scholars on Focusing-oriented therapy have agreed to deliver presentations at the conference and the pre- and post-conference workshops:
Akira Ikemi, Ph.D. from Japan 
Founding Chairman, Japan Focusing Association
Author of “Update on Listening, Feeling and Saying: Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy”
Ann Weiser Cornell, Ph.D. from U.S.A. 
Eminent scholar on Focusing
Author of “Focusing in Clinical Practice”
Karen Whalen, Ph.D. from Canada 
Co-founder of Relational Wholebody Focusing
Professor Masatsugu Momotake from Japan 
Ex-President, Japan Gestalt Therapy Society 
Robert Lee, Ph.D. from U.S.A. 
Founder of Domain Focusing (Dynamic Crossing) 
Shoji Tsuchie from Japan
Founder of Diversified Skills in Focusing with Art 
Yasuyuki Kira, Ph.D. from Japan 
Founder of Therapist-Focusing 
Cheung Ka Hing Peter, Ph.D. from Hong Kong 
Pioneer in integrating Satir model into Focusing
Details about these workshops will be released in our follow-up announcements.
Please enroll in the conference and the experiential workshops as soon as possible! More information on our full program is available at this website: .
All of those who are concerned about humanistic psychology, Focusing philosophy, and physical awareness and colleagues engaged in psychological counseling and psychotherapy are cordially invited to participate in this event. We look forward to meeting with you in Shanghai in November 2019 for an academic exchange to promote the healthy development of humanistic Focusing-oriented psychological counseling in China. We sincerely hope that Focusing will flourish in the land of Chinese culture! 
Dear Focusers, welcome to Shanghai!
With best regards!
Xu Yongwei
Focuser from China
Member of ILC
September 2019
A special thank you to Gloria Lau Pui Wah for the English translation of this article.
Le séminaire d’été de Focusing aux Jardins Intérieurs
par Bernadette Lamboy
French Focusing Summer School
at the “Jardins Intérieurs”
(Inner Gardens, Ardèche, France)
By Bernadette Lamboy, Coordinator
Every year for the last 23 years now, we have held our Focusing Summer School for five days at the beginning of July. It is a great moment of gathering for 50-60 members of the French Focusing community. Among the participants each year, there are people who come to discover Focusing (a good third of the participants), those who are in training, and some old-timers who come to explore fresh ideas and get back in the Focusing environment.
This year we had the great pleasure of welcoming Catherine Torpey, Executive Director of The International Focusing Institute. I really liked her presence, her active engagement in our activities while also exercising discretion and her “joie de vivre” in our always-lively "Folies." This year, we also had Bruna Blandino, a Coordinator from Italy, who offered several workshops, as well as Carolina Ades of Argentina. All of us also had the pleasure of meeting one another at the International Conference in Mexico.
This Summer School marks a high point of meetings, discoveries and sharing in an idyllic setting of flowering gardens with a small pond and lounge area, a swimming pool and the Ardèche River nearby to cool off. We come to cultivate our inner garden, and the environment is a good place to do so; it is welcoming and peaceful, yet simple. The food is healthy, tasty and vegetarian. The Focusing attitude is present within the workshops as well as outside; the good mood and laughter give a note of lightness to our work, which sometimes shakes us up and arouses strong emotions.
This year’s theme was "The Language of Intuition: Listening to our 6th Sense through Focusing.” Numerous workshops touched on this intuition, revealed through the felt sense, by way of haiku poetry, Bach flower therapy, clowning, Osho Zen Tarot, the quest for self, Wholebody Focusing and authentic movement, the intuitive tree, contact with nature, etc. More than 40 workshops were offered and 12 facilitators shared their expertise. Workshops that taught the Focusing approach were available to first timers throughout the week. We called that string of workshops the "red thread," though, of course, they had the option to take a detour and join other workshops!
I have had the great joy of organizing these summer schools, which have “punctuated” the teaching of Focusing in France and French-speaking Switzerland and Belgium, for so many years with my colleagues and my ex-husband, Gérard Lamboy. Last year our theme was "Focusing and Eastern Traditions." In other years we have invited experts outside our community as a way of building links between communities, so came Marine de Fréminville, Patricia Manessy, Philippe Hunaut, Francine Bergeron (all of Canada, as we favor the French language!) but also René Veugelers (Holland) and Macarena Lopez (Spain), and others whom I have certainly forgotten.
Even if, to our taste, Focusing does not occupy all the space it deserves, we will at least have contributed to our awareness of being in the world, and our living presence helps to develop a more peaceful and enlightened world. I am very grateful to Gendlin. Thanks to Catherine for being there, which has facilitated a strong link with the international community.
By Serge Prengel
In this month's conversation, Salvador Moreno describes a journey of discoveries and surprises.
Browse through upcoming events submitted by the worldwide Focusing community.