Awakening the Essential Self: The Core of Focusing-Oriented Therapy

Awakening the Essential Self: The Core of Focusing-Oriented Therapy

Take your clients from powerlessness and self-attack to knowing and trusting what they know, feel, and want within.

Join us for this class where we’ll show you how to help clients learn to “go inside” and develop the capacity to be with the unknown.

Our Next Class

This workshop is not currently scheduled. Please contact us if you are interested in being informed when this workshop goes on the schedule.

Can’t make this time? You can register and participate by listening to recordings of the course each week at a time that works with your schedule. But you won’t be eligible for CE units.


 At A Glance

WhoFor therapists and healing professionals interested in using Focusing in their client sessions.
WhatTeaches a strengths and skills-based, relational, and client-centered system to help clients build their inner awareness and develop a stronger sense of self, so that they can meet the challenges of their lives in more adaptive and self-responsive ways.  Full Course Description
WhereLive Online Course – join us from anywhere in the world!
WhyOur clients come to us with all sorts of problems – even crises – and usually have no idea that the very way they “hold” their problem hinders their ability to resolve it. In this course, Helene offers tools to help clients build their inner awareness and develop a stronger sense of self, so that they can meet the challenges of their lives in more adaptive and self-responsive ways.

Course Information

About the Course

Our clients come to us with all sorts of problems – even crises – and usually have no idea that the very way they “hold” their problem hinders their ability to resolve it. How do we empathically meet our clients where they are, but then shift their awareness so that they can go from powerlessness and self-attack to trusting, and following, what they know, feel and want from within?

In this course, Helene offers powerful tools you can incorporate into the therapy you do with any of your clients, including those who are not ready or willing to do much Focusing-style introspection. These empowering tools are part of a strengths- and skills-based, relational, and client-centered system of FOT Helene has developed for helping clients to build their inner awareness and develop a stronger sense of self, so that they can meet the challenges of their lives in more adaptive and self-responsive ways.

What we will be learning:

  • How to build an alliance between yourself as the therapist and the client’s Essential Self
  • How to draw inner forward movement from externally-oriented clients
  • How to help clients “wake up” to their own wisdom and inner compassion
  • How to help your clients learn 5 powerful pathways to aligning with their inner selves
  • How to talk with colleagues and other professionals about the value of this approach in comparison with other therapeutic approaches

In this course you will learn how to powerfully use your Focusing presence within therapy sessions. Starting with the first session, you’ll learn how to assess clients’ abilities to access, listen to, and trust their inner selves and their strengths to following their life-forward movement.

You’ll learn how to actively empower them with tools they can use to awaken their Essential Self and Inner Voice.

You’ll also learn how to “listen for the edge,” entering fully into the client’s experience yet going one step beyond it to bring forth what’s not yet known.


About the Teacher

Helene Brenner

HeleneBrenner2013 - Small

Helene Brenner, PhD, is a Focusing-oriented therapist and trainer who has worked for 25 years as a psychologist in private practice with a very diverse clientele. She is director of Women’s Counseling and Psychological Services in Frederick, MD.

Helene is the author of I Know I’m In There Somewhere: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Her Inner Voice Living A Life of Authenticity, (Penguin USA, 2003). She has led numerous workshops, including at the Omega Institute, Kripalu Center, and the Washington National Cathedral and conducts Following Your Inner Voice tele-groups for women.

Need a Little Help Deciding?

How do you take clients from “What’s wrong with me? How do I fix myself?” to “I know what I want and need. I can trust myself”?

Watch our webinar from October 23rd. We shares some powerful and practical methods for you to bring immediately into client sessions:

  • Building an alliance with the client’s essential self, from the very start.
  • A powerful way of helping a client to slow down and attend to their felt experience in the very first session.
  • The vital importance of your presence… and how to cultivate it.

Join us to discover practical ways to bring this profoundly transformational process into your work as a therapist.

Free Focusing Webinar

(Click the image above to watch a webinar)

Upcoming Courses and Registration

Register early to save money and ensure your spot! Tuition goes up three weeks prior to the start of class. To help us provide an excellent experience for everyone, registration closes one week before every class.

What People Are Saying

  • Jules Jarvis, Takoma Park, MD
    Jules Jarvis, Takoma Park, MD "Helene Brenner embodies her teaching. From the moment you hear her welcome you into the virtual classroom, she exudes warmth, joy, care and genuine hospitality. That's not always easy to do on a teleconference and I always have a feeling of embrace and being hugged by Helene from the moment the class starts. Helene's teaching is all about how to embrace your client with Presence and she models this by how she treats all her students. Helene is also incredibly generous will all the materials she gives her students all of which are accessed with ease and important learnings. In all of Helene's classes I have been able to quickly learn and to take the learnings to all my clients and have seen the effectiveness of her teachings. I highly recommend any and all of Helene's classes."
  • Amanda Raine, Sussex, UK
    "This course was a real ‘how to’ bring the incredible benefits of ‘Focusing’ to clients in a seamless way, without client’s having to learn Focusing or thinking they were doing a ‘new process’. Helene generously shares her years of professional experience as a therapist and her in depth understanding of Focusing by offering tips and modeling processes which I was immediately able to start practicing with my own clients. Invaluable!"

Additional Information

How Online Courses Work

We use Zoom, an online video conference platform, to connect you to other students and the teacher. Before the class starts you will receive a Zoom link to use each time the class meets. You can join us via your camera-equipped computer, tablet, or smart phone. Prefer not to be on video? You can turn off your camera. Don’t want to call via computer? You can call in by phone. Zoom is free and easy to use. You will be able to sign on in advance to make sure you can access it, but we’ve had very few problems with it. Students also receive access to a private webpage where course materials can be found.


Participants must be a Healing Professional and have completed Path to Lasting Change, Part One with any Inner Relationship Focusing teacher.

Continuing Education Credit & Course Completion Certificate

Course meets the qualifications for 6.25 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Focusing Resources, CAMFT Approved CE Provider #62524

Focusing Resources is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs. Focusing Resources maintains responsibility for this course and its content.

There is a $25 administrative fee for CE units. Course completion certificates are awarded at the end of the course upon completion of all requirements and the course evaluation. (If you don’t want CE units but would like a completion certificate, the $25 fee does still apply.)

Eligibility for CE units requires at least 80% live attendance. Missed classes must be made up.

Cancellations, Changes & Refunds

Up to 14 days before the first day of class: Just let us know and we'll refund your course fee. Or you can choose to apply the entire course fee towards a future class with us.

Cancellations received 13 days or fewer before class begins: No refund, sorry.

When Something Doesn't Go As You'd Hoped...

We are always open to discussing experiences with our courses that didn’t work for you or didn’t go the way you expected. Depending on the circumstances, you may want to email your course instructor, the staff member in charge of your course, or Ann Weiser Cornell. Email addresses for all these people will be supplied on registration. We will work with you to find a way to meet your needs.



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