Learning Community for Mastery in Guiding

What does it mean to GUIDE someone else in ways that bring life forward movement?

In our Focusing partnerships, we learn and practice relational skills that support being a Companion to someone else on their inner journey. Professional guiding is different from being a Focusing partner. It is fun and sometimes bewildering because each person we encounter is unique!

Maybe you are a coach, therapist, social worker, yoga therapist, spiritual director, health professional, body worker, or educator…

Essentially, you have some vocational path you already enjoy that brings you together one-to-one with others.

You often find yourself in situations of facilitating change for this other person and you would like to help them access their natural Focusing skills in these moments.

WELCOME! We’d love for you to join us here!

Beginning in 2021, we are building an On-Going Learning Community for Mastery in Guiding.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If your goal is to offer and market ‘Guided Focusing Sessions’ to clients as a Certified Focusing Professional, you will need to find a certification program. Although you may still want to join this group for ongoing support, this class will not provide certification. For certification programs see The International Focusing Institute.

Although this community is not geared toward Focusing certification, we understand and believe in the transformational power of our one-to-one relationships. The Learning Community for Mastery in Guiding class has a pre-requisite of at least one year of skill training classes and regular partnership practice. This could be via my Creating Space for Lasting Change Levels 1-4 or equivalent classes or possibly a previous mentor relationship with me. We are excited about the variety of backgrounds coming together here and if you have trained in another Focusing modality other than Inner Relationship Focusing, let’s chat to be sure this will be a match for you. The first 10 classes will be grounding in guiding from an Inner Relationship Focusing view as a common experience and language from which to share and grow.

Grounded in our own experience as Focuser and Companion, we will: 

– Utilize Gendlin’s philosophy to expand our understanding of ourselves and others as interaction first.

– Empower confidence to TRUST Presence calisthenics. The Focusing process is resilient. Our body is on our side here.

– Learn more about how to tell where we are in our brain and the myriad of ways we can exercise our neural system toward a sense of flexibility, integration and resilience.

– Expand our ability to tell when someone would be open to Focusing invitations.

– Learn and/or deepen the practice of landing in the “we-space”, and finding a fresh rhythm from there, together. 

– Explore saying “yes” with equanimity to all that is here in our own and our client/friend/partner’s experience. Everything is welcome as it arrives and given a space to feel safe for however it is now.  

– Develop experience in how mindfulness practices can help identify and transform core emotional patterns that create anxiety/depression or other interpersonal conflicts.

– Explore the power of silence and our speech as music. How does sound contribute to a healing environment?

– Explore the benefits of metaprocessing, pausing to reflect and highlight anything new as soon as it arises in small ways.

– Deepen the practice of letting the Focuser’s words “land” in your body, then let that place speak naturally, rather than remembering or conjuring things to say back.

– Explore why sometimes listening to others becomes difficult and what we can do.

– Explore the subtle difference between “putting your own stuff away to be fully there for the other person” and the idea of “being there, just as you are, however you are” – i.e. Gendlin’s being a human being with another human being.

-Trust that our client has the capacity to heal and helping them see their choice points.

– Continue to gather and grow as a learning community. We can return here to make connections, celebrate our successes, ask questions, share challenging experiences and learn new modalities emerging.

Learning Community for Mastery in Guiding (LCMG)

LCMG begins as a year long program meeting fifteen times for 1.5 hours and continues with monthly meetings as long as you wish to join us. There will be a small dues fee to support inviting speakers in to learn from over time.

There will be reading between classes. Our first ten classes, we will be utilizing the deep wisdom in Ann Weiser Cornell’s curriculum Working with Focusing Clients One to One.

The classes will be a mix of discussing new content or demos and experiential exploration via small groups or paired practice. 

Maintaining a Focusing partnership outside of class during this time will be valuable and supportive of what you take from our time together.

I will bring guests into class for us to practice with. You will be encouraged to find practice clients sometime after the first 8 classes. This will happen at the timing that feels ripe for you. These might be people you already work with and maybe not. Practice clients can be new to Focusing or have had minimal exposure. Sessions you offer can be 20-50 min. Our classes will often have small group time where we share our client practice experiences with each other.

Three of our classes will be led by Guest Teaching Mentors who have experience facilitating change one to one with clients. I am excited about the diversity they will bring to our learning.

Our last class of the year will involve short project presentations; possibly a case study or an exploration of a particular interest of yours in facilitating change one-to-one.

I will start a new group every fall, alternating Sunday daytime or Thursday evenings Eastern or New York USA time zone. Please plan to attend all sessions for the full time. Missing up to two classes is acceptable. Since we will often be in small groups, there may not be much that I can record for you. You are welcome to make up classes you miss in a later spring or fall session.

The course fee will include a digital copy of Ann Weiser Cornell’s curriculum she uses with Certification students. We will be working just with her Teachers Manual Part One related to Guiding One to One.

There will be a limit on class size of 10 – 12 participants. Please register early if the dates/times work well for you. If these fees are difficult for you, I do offer options to pay over time. Please reach out and contact me about your situation.

Learning Community for Mastery in Guiding (LCMG) Videoconference Class – Thursday Evenings

15 Thursdays – Starting September 2
7:30-9 pm Eastern New York Time, 6:30-8 pm CST, 5:30-7 pm MST, 4:30-6 pm PST
 or your equivalent

Sept 2, Sept 16, Sept 30, Oct 14, Oct 28, Nov 11, Jan 6, Jan 20, Feb 3, Feb 17

Continuing with the first Thursday of March, April, May, June and July.

Prerequisite: Creating Space For Lasting Change Levels 1-4 OR 1 year equivalent Focusing skills training

Course Fee: $365

**Note Daylight savings time changes November 7 for me. This class will shift backward 1 hour for that day and those after. If you are not on the same time shift, take this into account. In spring, time will shift forward 1 hour on March 13, 2022.

Additional Learning Community Teaching Mentors

David Bell, LCSW-C is a clinical social worker in the central Maryland region. David specializes in experiential approaches to psychotherapy which means to bring the focus, goal or edge of growth into the here and now. He will share his favorite practices for helping clients explore edges including two powerful neuro-therapy practices: Brainspotting and Eye Movement Integration.

Helene Brenner, Ph.D is a Psychologist, Focusing Orientated Therapist & Author of I Know I’m in There Somewhere: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Her Inner Voice and Living a Life of Authenticity. Helene has developed an Inner Voice App. These brief step-by-step Innercizes help people learn self-compassion, reduce anxiety and to trust what they know, feel and want inside.

Peter Strong, PhD is a Professional Psychotherapist, Spiritual Teacher and Author, based in Boulder, Colorado. Peter developed a system of psychotherapy called Mindfulness Therapy for healing the root cause of Anxiety, Panic Attacks, OCD, Depression, PTSD and Emotional Suffering.

On Going Learning Community Members

Once we have completed this year course, we are officially members of this Learning Community. We can choose to stay involved in monthly gatherings by contributing $60 annual dues. Each time you pay dues, you will also be filling out a survey of your interests and goals in being a member of the community. The dues will contribute toward hiring guest teachers of interest to the group involved at the time. Each year, I will be looking for a small group of 5-6 members to review the surveys and develop our schedule. Members will be encouraged to rotate through a variety of leadership roles within the community. In addition to the planning group, members are encouraged to contribute small presentations and facilitate learning activities for our community space. What we do each year will vary with the amount we collect in dues and the interests of the particular group planning to be active for this period. If you have not paid your dues for a particular period, you are still welcome to attend up to two gatherings per year.

*My general goal here is to have a place to land for community support and continued learning related to facilitating change one to one. The first year group already is interested in repeating and thus dropping in on classes for the next group. This will be an option in addition to the schedule we set up where we are not mingling with 1st year members.

2021 On Going Learning Community Dates

Sundays 4 – 5:30pm EST: July 25, August 15, Sept 19, Oct 17, Nov 14

2022 On Going Learning Community Dates will include both Sunday and Thursday options

Sundays time will vary with needs of the group

Thursdays 7:30 – 9pm ET

2021 On Going Learning Community Dues for July – Nov



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