Find Your Next Step Forward

If you are just beginning…

Then you will be wondering more about what Focusing is.  There are many ways to describe it. Here I will say that Focusing is an easily learned method of inward bodily attention that opens new possibilities and meaning that can lead to lasting change.  Focusing is a natural skill that many of us in Western cultures are not very good at because getting good takes practice and practice has not been readily available.  Until now. Since Focusing is first and foremost a body awareness EXPERIENCE, a Guided Focusing Session with me is your best bet when you are ready to try out the Focusing process yourself with your own inner relationships.  I also have a beginner class, Being Your Own Best Friend, that allows one to explore these concepts individually without diving into the partnership activities of Level 1. Feel free to contact me to discuss this individually in whatever way makes you comfortable.

If you are ready to empower yourself …

It’s time for Level 1.  I offer both local Live in Floyd workshops or Teleconference courses where you call in from your home anywhere in the US.  The door opens here and you may  find that a lot wants your attention.  This is ultimate self-care and ideally, you have time in your schedule now to devote to just you.  Ann Weiser Cornell developed the format of teaching that I use and it truly is ingenious.  You will learn to let go of some of the ways of relating that Western Society has encouraged for a more authentic satisfying sense of being in this world. Here’s more details:

Level 1 Training : Open the Door

Like any other skill, use Focusing or lose it.  In this Introduction to Focusing, you will learn a practical step-by-step process you can use with any life issue, on your own & in partnership, now & in the future. Focusing is a body awareness skill that allows you to access your own body’s wisdom. Practicing it essentially wires our brains to a more holistic cooperative state of being, integrating our right and left brains, our emotions, body and mind. Focusing is also the essence of change and we become more comfortable with what it feels like to hang at the edge of something new that is emerging. Focusing can be used in many ways. Our motto in this class is Empowered Focuser, Relaxed Companion. The Focuser is always in charge of their inner process. We unlearn western cultural habits of fixing and setting others straight and how to be what is most needed as a listener.  Once you have taken a Level 1 Focusing workshop, you can practice as often as you’d like with local Focusers in person or with someone from our online Focusing community via phone.  This workshop is generally offered in five 2.5 hr sessions over a period of 2 months.   Focusing practice between sessions with others in the class is highly recommended.

If you want more …

LEVEL 2 is about deepening into the Focusing and Listening process by looking more at the role of the Companion. A companion to ourselves as well as others. We learn lead-ins. Then, wherever your process is now, this course nurtures your next step. Our ability to be larger than our emotions or challenges gets stronger. Our understanding of what it is like to stand on the edge of something new gains clarity.
The structure of the class for Level 2 is very similar to Level 1. We continue our emphasis on Empowered Focuser, Relaxed Companion and on deepening our understanding of this state of being we call Presence from which all the rest of Focusing unfolds.

LEVEL 3 is called the Guide’s Journey. My Favorite Level when I did my initial training! Here we learn the typical ‘shape’ of a Focusing session, so we know what stage the process is in and what reminder would be most helpful. This expands our sense of Presence in an experiential way I believe as Presence is always both able to be with our body AND bigger than it. We’ll discover more ways to bring Focusing into our daily life as we learn invitations here which very much adapt to our everyday relationships. There is a lot of new information in this level. By extending the class over a period of months, we’ll give ourselves space and time to integrate this information at a deep level. There are no assistants in this class. I hope that each of you will sometime volunteer to participate as either Focuser or Companion in a Demo. In addition to the five classes, I have added an additional 45 min with me individually to this level. This gives us an opportunity to really check in around process.  Often Level 3 is where people say “I thought I knew Focusing before and now I really get it!”

If you are a healing professional or have opportunities to support others (kids, clients, friends, etc!!) as they process a life situation, the guiding tools of Level 3 and one’s growing ability to understand every relational encounter as somewhere ‘in process’, are invaluable skills. This is also a great level to consider repeating sometime.

And… last with the idea that we spiral here happily ever after, I’ve designed LEVEL 4 to be my NEW VERY favorite Level! One I imagine would invite us back every so often as a way to reground in the principles of Focusing.

LEVEL 4 is called The Center of the Maze. Our goal here is to return to the essence of Focusing and ourselves as process. What does it really mean when something within us moves forward? We’ll have more support for embodiment practices and noticing how does this inner process transpire outward and change how we experience the world. We’ll gain clarity around these two normal states of being: Presence and Partiality and how they affect our experiencing. We’ll delve deeper into the principle of the Radical Acceptance of Everything and look at how it applies to distractions, images, sensations outside the middle body, physical symptoms & more. We’ll look closer at the inner criticizing process and it’s reactors. And so much more…

Here are general class topics:

Class 1: Focusing as a Way to Grow; Sensitive Empathic Listening goes a Long Way.

Class 2: More Clarity around Presence and Partiality; The Feeling about the Feeling

Class 3: Inner Criticizing Process and It’s Reactors

Class 4: Focusing Unites Brain and Body: Neuroscience, Close-Distant Process

Class 5: Wholebody Focusing, Exploring Body, Movement, Gestures and Beyond Body

Class 6: A New Sense of Self; Self in Presence as the Transformative Agent in Healing Ourselves and the World

We’ll meet approx. every 3 weeks for 2.5 hrs a total of six times or for about 4 – 4.5 months. Our first 1.5 hrs will be checking in and exploring our topics. Our 2nd hr will revolve around a Demo in class with process feedback. Unlike Levels 1-3, there is no partner practice during class unless you are in the Demo.

There is some essential reading. It’s relatively deep, the type that reveals something new for us from year to year. There are also several areas that we might look at closer depending on what comes up in individual processes. These additional readings and support materials will change yearly as I come across new materials. Focusing encourages us to explore that new edge and there is plenty of new emerging in this field to choose from. Thus, each group that comes together will create a somewhat different experience as we re-ground in a deeper level of trust in ourselves, our current experience and that it’s all going somewhere life-thriving.

If you have a regular Focusing partner, you are welcome to Focus with them throughout this class. If not, I will suggest partners either from this class or our greater community. To get the most out of this class, I’ll suggest you Focus with a partner regularly between classes.

How Focusing Classes Work

There will be lectures, demonstrations, question periods, group exercises, and paired exercises. You will be paired to practice a Focusing exercise with another participant each class session. There will also be an additional paired homework exercise between sessions that will take approximately 45 min. Even with local classes, this additional exercise is usually done over the phone.  Please plan to attend all 5 sessions for the full time of the meeting. Missing one class is acceptable.  If you miss more than one class, it is best to repeat the Level.

For the videoconference class, all you need is a computer with a camera. You can also attend via a cellphone. You’ll be able to see everyone in the class, generally, whoever is speaking appears larger at the time. You can mute and turn off your video camera as needed.  Recordings may be available if you miss a class.  Video seminars work amazingly well. Hope to see you here!

And last, but not least – if none of these options work for you, you can always practice the pause in your daily life…

AND share what you know about Focusing with others.  Together, we ARE the movement!

Getting Started and Guided Focusing Sessions

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”    Marcel Proust

Once we decide to try Focusing, our first step is often a Guided Focusing Session from a Certified Focusing Professional.  For many of you, that will be with me.  For those who feel any kind of conflict toward trusting me, I can refer you to another Professional who can provide a guided session over the phone.  You can also search yourself on the focusing.org website for Certified Focusing Professionals.  SAFETY in this process, in general, is an important topic you may be aware is holding you back.  Possibly some of these points will help.  I can also send you more information and would be glad to have a more in-depth conversation in person or on the phone around this as well.  First, in Focusing, we are primarily working with an inner experiential process and if it feels best, each of us can keep ‘what’ the experience is about, to ourselves.  All content that might come up in a Focusing Session is always 100% confidential.  I have not signed any oath to report certain anythings.  Next, Focusing is relationship building and we will be encouraged to honor what feels right to the inner relationship.  One shares what is wanting to be acknowledged and accepted out loud.  Anything which feels tender or needing to be protected would be acknowledged as that or silently to yourself.  This sense of safety and trust in the Focusing partnership process builds gradually over time.

Guided Focusing Sessions are precious self-care time.  Both you and I are doing nothing else but hanging out with, listening and inviting whatever inside of you is wanting your awareness right now.  You are holding what we call the Focusing Attitude of friendly, open curiosity toward whatever would like your attention. When something comes freshly (‘a felt sense’ experience), I will help you acknowledge it and sense into how it might want you to be with it.  You will get a feel for all the ways your body might choose to communicate with you – physical sensations, emotions, images or thoughts.  Every inner landscape is different and every Focusing session is different, yet, the core desire to connect and be understood weaves in, among, around and through it all.  And the experience of appreciation is often there, especially at the end, like one would feel for any authentic time with a good friend.  If something hangs around awhile, this is often an opportunity to get to know it better, possibly come to fully understand it. Sometimes there is not much communication, sometimes it is ‘hang out and do nothing together‘ that some part of us most needs right now.   This is not wasted time.  We are building a groundwork of acceptance and trust from which we will grow.  This same understanding that we are developing from inside may be just what we need next in our outer relationships as well.  Our body holds all of the complexity of where we have been, who we are now as well as a sense of where we are going next.  A Guided Focusing Session is an opportunity to tap into that rich fabric that is our life.

Guided Sessions are very helpful for moving through past or current issues that seem to be stuck or to re-invigorate your own sense of self. They are approximately 90 min for first time sessions and closer to 60 min in general. Guided Sessions, like massages or other self-care, are often helpful to integrate into your life on occasion as needed.
My current fee is $50-80 (sliding scale) for a Guided Focusing Session.
Sessions can be held in person  at my home office or via phone or Skype.

The prerequisite of having a Guided Session with someone who is certified to teach Focusing ensures that we are all on the same page in terms of understanding what type of experience we are practicing and exploring when we enroll in a Level 1 or similar workshop.