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July 2015 Newsletter

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  July 2015  

Note from Catherine

Dear Focusing community,

I am looking forward to a very Focusing summer, with the International conference coming up in Seattle, and FISS (the Focusing Institute Summer School) in August. I hope all of you are coming to one or the other so that we can connect.

In May, the Board of Trustees and the International Leadership Council (ILC) met with a strategic planning consultant, Joe Colletti, to write a mission statement. We began by looking at the vision statement which has existed for a number of years and responded to each section of it in order to generate thoughts about the Institute's mission. We then all met in a video conference for two hours to craft a statement. (Getting us all online at the same time was quite a feat, since we come from so many parts of the world!)

Joe Colletti helped us stay focused on the goal by requesting that we check our felt senses for whether we felt 80% good (or more!) with the statement. That meant that each of us would have preferred some changes, but we nevertheless could live with the statement as it was. The next step was to send it out to all of you to ask for feedback. Thanks to a number of swift and gracious volunteers, we managed to get it translated into Chinese, German, Spanish, French, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Korean, Japanese, Dutch and Portuguese! (If you speak another language and are willing to translate for us at future points in our process, please let me know.) We are very pleased with how many responses we received: over 120 individuals gave feedback either directly or within groups which reported back to us. We gave all of the responses careful thought. If you sent us a message, you might not see your specific idea reflected in the new version of the mission statement, but please know that all of your thoughts and ideas are sitting with us as we move forward.

The crafting of a mission statement is just the first part of a larger strategic planning process that the leadership of the Institute is undertaking. The Board and ILC will be meeting face to face in Seattle, prior to the Focusing International in order to consider what such a mission statement will mean for what the Institute does and how it does it. We are hoping to have some face to face conversations with those of you who are there, and to continue to seek your input through email.

As this process moves forward, we will update the page There, you can find the mission statement as it evolves, plus the vision statement, which was our inspiration, and other documents that we are referencing.

Gene Gendlin famously says that we are interaction. This is a living process, a continuous interaction. We don't have to get it 100% correct right away because what is right in one moment will shift the next moment. In the process of articulating our mission, our goals and our strategies, I hope that we become ever more what we are meant to be. And, as Focusers, we remain open to whatever comes freshly as we go forward. Please join us in felt-sensing into the future of the Institute.


- Catherine Torpey, Executive Director, The Focusing Institute

TFI logo  

In this issue:

Note from Catherine
New Homepage
Focusing Institute Summer School (FISS)
The Haiti Fund
Awards and Certifications
The Gendlin Care Fund
Leslie Ellis Wins Award
Remembering Mary
FOLIO 2015 Potpourri
Focusing Conversations
New Resources

Support Universal Felt Sense Literacy


New Focusing Institute Home Page

We have launched a new home page to the Focusing Institute website to help make it easier for you to find what you are looking for.

We plan a complete redesign and restructuring of the full website when we have funding. In the meantime, we hope you find this change to the homepage helpful!


Focusing Institute Summer School (FISS)

With the Summer School Teachers:
Ann Weiser Cornell, Nada Lou, Greg Madison, Kevin McEvenue and René Veugelers

The Focusing Institute Summer School (FISS) brings together five international master teachers of Focusing who offer a variety of approaches and styles. Study in depth with one teacher in your morning course and sample stand-alone afternoon and evening workshops with the others. There are no prerequisites for any courses; the program is designed to engage beginners and experienced Focusers alike.

Enjoy complimentary morning and afternoon gentle movement classes or walks on the beautiful grounds along the Hudson River. The views are breathtaking and the atmosphere is serene. Best of all, you will be part of a no-pressure community where you can do as little or as much as you want.

>> Read more
>> Watch the teachers discuss their morning classes
>> Listen to a live recording of all five teachers together



November 6-12, 2015 at Garrison Institute in Garrison, New York.

“By crossing we create in each other what neither of us was before.”
Eugene Gendlin

The Focusing Institute and the Facilitation Team are pleased to let the community know that two Coordinators who are coming to share the week with their students have been invited to Facilitate Home Groups and/or offer a workshop at the 2015 Connections and Crossings Weeklong.

This year Peter Cheung from Hong Kong, and Jan Winhall from Canada will be facilitating 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.

Furthermore, Peter Cheung will be presenting an Introduction to Inner Relationship Focusing, and Beth Mahler, Coordinator-in-Training from the USA, will offer a Creative Movement Workshop. Beatrice Blake will be helping us with the nightly Focusing Cafe, where we can share our music, poetry, fun skits, or cultural traditions with each other.

All in all, the 2015 Connections and Crossings Weeklong will have seven International Certifying Coordinators present to deepen the experience of connecting and crossing, across cultures and Focusing styles!

Come celebrate diversity with us this November in this intimate gathering of advanced Focusers from all over the world!

Catherine Torpey, TFI
Aaffien de Vries, The Netherlands
Suzanne Nöel, Costa Rica
Tomeu Barceló, Spain

Join us for the Connections and Crossings Weeklong

International Focusing Conference 2015 in Seattle

The Haiti Fund

The Haiti Fund allows people who live and work in Haiti and have begun Focusing training to attend further training only available in the United States, such as the Certification Weeklong. Eventually people working permanently in Haiti or the Haitians being trained in Focusing, Community Wellness Focusing, Wholebody Focusing, Heartfelt Connection & Conversation, and Complex Trauma Focusing will become trainers.

Please click here to contribute to the Haiti Fund.


The Gendlin Care Fund

A fund exists to help our Founder, Gene Gendlin, to meet personal expenses which exceed the income he receives from his Focusing Institute salary and other sources. Learn more...


Awards and Certifications:

Gene Gendlin to be honored with two Lifetime Achievement Awards!

Gene Gendlin

The World Association of Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapy (WAPCEP) will have its world conference in New York City, July 20-24, 2016, where they will honor Gene Gendlin with a lifetime achievement award.  Registration information will be available this summer at their website:

Also, the Board of Directors of the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy would like to award him their “Lifetime Achievement Award” at their conference from July 21 to 23, 2016, in Providence RI. This is their highest honor, recognizing him, in their words, for "the truly outstanding contributions he has made to our field." Congratulations, Gene -- another award well deserved.


Dr. Leslie Ellis wins IASD's Hartmann Award for student research

Leslie Ellis

Leslie Ellis' dissertation research into the use of Focusing-oriented dreamwork (FOD) to treat refugees with PTSD has won the Ernest Hartmann award for student research. The award is given out annually by the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD), an international organization that supports dream research, clinical dreamwork and general interest in dreaming.

In the study, Leslie worked with staff members at the Vancouver Association for the Survivors of Torture, led by clinical director Mariana Martinez Vieyra, to treat refugees from various countries who suffered from both recurring nightmares and PTSD. The FOD treatment showed promise for reducing PTSD symptoms in a clinically-significant way in just two sessions. The qualitative analysis examined possible mechanisms of action, and identified specific ways the dreams began to change following an intervention that asked participants to tell their nightmare and dream it forward. Clearing a Space was used as a means of self-regulation during the process. The results will be used to fine-tune the FOD intervention, and to inform further study into the use of FOD for the treatment PTSD nightmares.

The award was presented to Leslie Ellis at the annual IASD conference, held June 5-9 in Virginia Beach. The Ernest Hartmann award is a fitting accolade because Hartmann himself was well-known for his research into nightmares.

Leslie Ellis will be teaching Living the Dream, a three-day Focusing-Oriented Dreamwork intensive from September 18 to 20, 2015 in New York City. Learn more here.


Marion N. Hendricks-Gendlin

Mary Hendricks-Gendlin

November 5, 1944 – March 28, 2015

Remembering Mary

Thank you for the many beautiful sentiments shared on the memorial page for Mary Hendricks-Gendlin.

A memorial service was held on May 30 at The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rockland. Its large windows in the simple sanctuary look out on a beautiful natural setting, and the trees swayed in the breeze on a warm and sunny day. Mary loved nature and especially as she became immobile she would meditate on the beauty she saw from her window. We chose this location so that it would be realistic for her husband, Gene Gendlin, to come. Mary's daughter Elissa and her sister Carole created the service itself and the Focusing community developed the Sharing Circle process with the facilitation of Executive Director Catherine Torpey. During the service we honored Mary's life in several ways. Carole created a slide show with pictures of Mary’s grandparents, parents, her younger years with Gene, the birth of her daughter, pictures of her grandchildren, and finally her death. Scriptures were read and eulogies were given by Doralee Grindler Katonah, Joan Klagsbrun, Elissa Gendlin and Gene tenderly shared his grief. We ended sharing a prayer that Mary recited every night during the last year of her life.

The Sharing circle invited intimate sharing punctuated by lovely music, including our musicians Susan and Paul Harris, and Rob Parker. Halfway through we read from the international groups that were pausing during the same time to honor Mary. We learned so much about her and what she has given each of us in different ways and we felt closer to each other. Nada Lou made a video of Mary speaking, which is posted on YouTube and Facebook. Rob Parker and Doralee Grindler Katonah created a booklet of Mary's writings, which will be on sale at the Focusing International in Seattle, and the Institute took all of the remembrances posted on the website and created a booklet of them for Gene.

Click here for the full text of the Memorial Service Program. It was all put together by a little Memorial Committee who worked hard to create this day: Susan Rudnick, Joan Klagsbrun, Rob Parker, Catherine Torpey, Carole Favero, Elissa Gendlin, and Melinda Darer. Everything was done in love.


FOLIO 2015 Potpourri

The 2015 Folio is a diverse and exciting collection of applications and integrations of Focusing. Articles delve into bodywork, restorative process, Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy, spirituality, community wellness and more! You'll want to carry it with you everywhere you go -- and now, you can have either the traditional paperback bound Folio or a Kindle edition so that you are never without your copy. Enjoy the reflections, the learnings and the wisdom of your fellow Focusers and read what everyone is talking about. Order yours here.

A number of you have asked us if the FOLIO will be available at the Focusing International conference in Seattle, in order to save on the cost of postage. YES, INDEED! It will be available through the TFI on-site bookstore. Also, if you are not going to Seattle, but a colleague is, you might want to ask them to buy a copy (or copies!) for you and bring them back to wherever you live.


Focusing Conversations - Hosted by Serge Prengel

June 2015:
Bruce Gibbs, Andrew MacDonald, Bruce Nayowith and Serge Prengel

Listen to podcast

In the June Focusing Conversation Bruce Gibbs, Andrew MacDonald, Bruce Nayowith and Serge Prengel talk about the Shared Field.

Bruce GibbsAndrew MacDonaldBruce Nayowith

These conversations are part of the "Conversations" series hosted by Serge Prengel.


Message To the Worldwide Focusing Community from Susan Lennox
Member of the Board of Trustees


Susan LennoxAs a member of the Institute's Board of Trustees, it is a pleasure to introduce myself to the larger Focusing community. I'll start with a little about myself, then say a few words about the experience of serving on the Board, and finally share some of my personal hopes and dreams for the Institute's future.

Focusing is the heart of my life. I first learned to Focus from Joan Klagsbrun in the 1990's, when I was struggling to find my way out of a legal career that had grown stale to a more satisfying and authentic path in the field of Adult Human Development. After experiencing the benefits of Focusing at the personal level, I wanted to give this gift to others. I went on to be certified as a Focusing Professional by Joan and Neil Friedman in 2000 and became a Certifying Coordinator in 2009.

I am passionate about bringing Focusing to newcomers. I love to see the light go on in their eyes as they discover the wonders of the felt sense. As an executive and life coach, I integrate Focusing into my coaching process and also have taught many Focusing classes and workshops. I also have a passion for building Focusing community. In the Boston area, I was active in Focusing New England, a monthly Changes-type group. After moving to Colorado three years ago I cofounded a monthly Focusing Meetup group in which we teach Focusing to newcomers and offer space and time for Focusing partnerships. A year and a half later, we have over 80 members and new folks come each month.

It is a great privilege to be able to serve the worldwide Focusing community as a Trustee. The six new Trustees have been working hard over the past year to find our footing as we navigate the delicate transition from a founder-led organization to the next phase of its organizational life. This has involved developing new infrastructure and entering into a crucial strategic planning process. As Catherine described in more detail in her message, the Board and the International Leadership Council are felt sensing our way forward. We are in the process of gathering input from the larger community. Your thoughts, desires, and dreams are crucial to this process of discerning the way forward. We are eager to engage in conversations with Focusing community members both live at the International Focusing Conference in Seattle and virtually through our online channels.

What is my vision for the Institute? I see the Institute as a space for connection among Focusers around the globe, a resource and support for individuals who are working with Focusing in their domains of interest, and a catalyst for the elaboration, dissemination, and application of Focusing and the Philosophy of the Implicit around the world. The potential is vast, the possibilities many. Join us as we discern the specific next steps along this exciting path.




You Are Needed!

We know there is an abundance of talents in the Focusing community. Please let us know if you have time and talent that you would like to give to The Focusing Institute toward making our organization more effective.

Some things in particular we could use your skills with are Fundraising, Public Relations, and ways to make smart use of social media for marketing and getting the word out about Focusing.

Please let our Executive Director Catherine ( know what you would like to contribute!


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 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 26th International Focusing Conference
Wednesday July 29 to Sunday Aug. 2, 2015, with a Certifying Coordinators' meeting before, July 27-28, 2015. We will meet on the Seattle University campus. The campus is invitingly landscaped on a hill in a city surrounded by mountains and water. SeaTac International Airport is close by.

FISS 2015: 10th Annual Focusing Institute Summer School
August 14-20, 2015. At the Garrison Institute, Garrison, NY.

Register now!

Bringing Your Ideas To Life
A 4-month interactive webinar in Thinking at the Edge (TAE) with Mentors Beatrice Blake and Evelyn Pross. Starting September 2, 2015.

Living the Dream...
A focusing-oriented dreamwork intensive from September 18-20, 2015 with Leslie Ellis, Ph.D in New York City.

The 2015 Northeast Regional Focusing-Oriented Therapy Gathering
The 2015 Northeast Regional Focusing-Oriented Therapy Gathering will take place on October 9-11, 2015 at Mercy Retreat Center by the Sea in Madison, CT.

The Advanced and Certification Focusing Weeklong
November 6-12, 2015 at Garrison Institute in Garrison, New York.

Supervising the Focusing-Oriented Therapist
A Yearlong International Interactive Webinar taught by Dr. Greg Madison
Starting Saturday, November 21, 2015.


New Resources

Click on the links below to see some of the new items that have been added to the TFI website over the past few months.

New books!

Mindfulness-Oriented Interventions for Trauma: Integrating Contemplative Practices

Edited by David Rome and others with chapters by Doralee Grindler Katonah and Robert Parker

Presence: A Guide to Transforming Your Most Challenging Emotions

by Ann Weiser Cornell

Also, check out Energy Flow Focusing Explorations:
Passageways Into Your Hidden Treasures
by Christel Kraft, M. Ed.


6/2015 Recovery Emerging Manual By Suzanne L. Noel, B.A., CFT. New book in the TFI store.

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

6/2015 Mindfulness-Oriented Interventions for Trauma: Integrating Contemplative Practices Edited by David Rome and others with chapters by Doralee Grindler Katonah and Robert Parker. New book in the TFI store.

6/2015 Presence: A Guide to Transforming Your Most Challenging Emotions by Ann Weiser Cornell. New book in the TFI store.

6/2015 June 2015: Our June conversation is between Bruce Gibbs, Andrew MacDonald, Bruce Nayowith and Serge Prengel. It is about their exploration of Shared Field. This is part of the "conversations" series hosted by Serge Prengel which you can access from the "Felt Community" menu or from to audio file

5/2015 Focusing-Oriented Experiential Psychotherapy: How To Do It by Marion N. Hendricks, Ph.D. Draft of article published in American Journal of Psychotherapy Vol 61, No 3, (2007), pg 271-84. [PDF]

5/2015 Don't Go It Alone: The Power of Focusing Partnerships by Joan Klagsbrun and Lynn Preston. Psychotherapy Networker Magazine. May/June 2015.

5/2015 Focusing in Haiti by Mary Jeanne Larrabee. Director of Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies Professor of Philosophy DePaul University Chicago, IL

5/2015 Strategic Planning: Mission Statement - join us in felt-sensing into the future of the Institute.

4/2015 A Pausa Revolucionária: O Focusing como Força para a Paz: Keynote Address da 15ª Conferência Internacional de Focusing na Alemanha, 2003. Mary Hendricks-Gendlin, PhD. Directora do Focusing Institute. Traduzido e adaptado por João da Fonseca. [PDF]

4/2015 Minutes from The Focusing Institute Board Meeting April 8, 2015

4/2015 April 2015 In Focus Newsletter is now on the website.

4/2015 Minutes from The Focusing Institute Board Meeting March 4, 2015

4/2015 April 2015: Our April conversation features a discussion with Helene Brenner. This is part of the "conversations" series hosted by Serge Prengel which you can access from the "Felt Community" menu or from to audio file



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Support Universal Felt Sense Literacy

We need your financial support to keep on making Focusing universally available. Together we can bring Focusing to more people who need it. Focusing belongs to anyone anywhere who is:

  • living in poverty,
  • suffering trauma or trying to recover,
  • in chronic pain, seriously ill, or dying,
  • living through war, natural disasters or personal crises,
  • and more