Beyond Trauma: Helping Your Clients Cultivate Inner Presence

Beyond Trauma: Helping Your Clients Cultivate Inner Presence

A 3-week live, online course with Ann Weiser Cornell

Do your clients get triggered into emotional states out of proportion to current issues?

Are there areas of emotional fragility and “resistance” that are difficult to help your clients get past?

Do you long for your clients to become strong, adult partners in their own recovery?

Most client issues have trauma at the core.

Early life trauma – usually attachment trauma of some kind – is at the core of most of the issues our clients are struggling with. An essential component of trauma healing is cultivating the strong self, Self-in-Presence — in other words, the ability to be present with different parts and their needs.

You can help your clients become the healing environment for their trauma.

When the client is in the state of emotional overwhelm, therapy goals can be hard to achieve. Effective therapy usually involves facilitating the client’s development of a strong self. This course offers specific, empowering language that enables clients to move into a stronger sense of self even in the first session.

This work can be done within any psychotherapy modality and can combine with any other trauma healing method.

 At A Glance

Who For Healing Professionals who want to support clients in cultivating the ability to be present to their own emotional states.
What A three week live online CE seminar taught by Ann Weiser Cornell, author of Focusing in Clinical Practice: The Essence of Change. Full Course Description 
Where Live Online Course – join us from anywhere in the world!
Why Because most trauma can be healed by the client’s own secure, compassionate inner relationship with his or her distressed emotional states.

“The ‘problems’ inside you are only those parts of the process that have been stopped, and the aim of Focusing is to unstop them and get the process moving again.” -Gene Gendlin

About the Course

Many core life issues stem from early experiences of trauma.

The presenting issue may be a current relationship, or low self-esteem, or conflicts with authority figures… and yet we know that before too long something about childhood will come up.

Because the past casts a long shadow over the present.

It’s very moving when your client trusts you enough to tell some of those early stories. Yet simply recounting the incidents and reliving the emotions only goes so far. It’s as if the adult sitting in the therapy room somehow “is” the vulnerable, overwhelmed child. What we need to do is invite the client to be his/her strong adult self, and to be with the inner traumatized child.

In a sense, the trauma is still happening now.

The IRF view of trauma is that it is “stopped process.” An aspect of self (“part”) has been left behind, frozen, in the field of the trauma. Other parts patrol the borders of the frozen area, ready to send sleepiness or distraction, convinced that contact with the pain of the trauma would be too much for the person. Being caught up in distressed emotional states does not strengthen the person’s core self.

Your client doesn’t have to be at the mercy of past events.

The clinician can offer interventions that support the client in shifting into an inner healing relationship with even the most intense emotional states. This can happen even when the tendency otherwise would be to control the emotions, distract from them, or repress them

Healing from trauma is possible within a supportive inner relationship.

The clinician informed by IRF supports and encourages the client to build his/her ability to be Self-in-Presence with parts that are stuck at younger life stages. This enables attachment needs to be filled in by the client’s own secure, compassionate inner relationship with his or her distressed emotional states. It also gives clients the self-worth-enhancing experience of being able to regulate their own affect.

Skills You’ll Gain

You’ll learn how to:

  • Use language that supports the client in being in relationship with his or her emotional states instead of being flooded by them
  • Give your clients “homework” in the form of simple, practical emotional regulation practices to use during the week
  • Strengthen your own calm presence with your clients even when you are tired or stressed

And you’ll also learn:

  • Why it isn’t necessary for your client to recover specific memories in order to heal from past trauma – and what is needed instead
  • A definition of trauma that is sensible, hopeful, and process-oriented, based on Eugene Gendlin’s idea that “the organism can fill in what was missing”
  • How you can help your client grow in her/his ability to acknowledge, be with, and keep company with emotional states

Three weekly themes – Each introduces one or two new skills you can use to help your clients move beyond trauma.

Number 1

Cultivating Self-in-Presence for Your Clients – and Yourself

Learn how to support your clients in becoming an “inner healing environment” for their own traumatized younger selves… and learn ways to enhance your own healing presence.

Emotional Fragility and Low Self-Esteem – How We Help

Explore the challenges and difficulties of working with clients whose emotional states are easily triggered, and discover specific ways to help such clients experience a stronger sense of self.

Healing Trauma by Cultivating Self-in-Presence

Practice a process for healing trauma through cultivating the client’s healing relationship with the “younger self” who has remained frozen in the trauma state… until now.

About Your Guide

Ann Weiser Cornell, PhD, is the co-developer (with Barbara McGavin) of Inner Relationship Focusing. Ann learned Focusing in 1972 from its developer, Eugene Gendlin, and was his close friend and colleague to the end of his life. Ann has written several definitive books on Focusing, including The Power of Focusing: A Practical Guide to Emotional Self-Healing, and Focusing in Clinical Practice: The Essence of Change. She has taught Inner Relationship Focusing around the world since 1980, and is a past president of the Association for Humanistic Psychology.

“When our clients are present and willing to turn toward the hurt places inside (and also to turn toward the Protectors who are nervous about this process), something new can happen. They learn to supply the presence and empathy that was missing when the trauma occurred. The change is not instant… but over time, powerful change can happen. ”

-Ann Weiser Cornell

Do You Want to Help Clients Cultivate a Strong Inner Self?

We Can Help Get You There…

Register for Moving Beyond Trauma

Use the Exercises & Skills On Your Own & In Your Practice

See Clients Move Beyond Trauma as They Are More Able to Be Self-in-Presence

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

Need a Little Help Deciding?

Curious about this course? Watch Ann’s one hour webinar where you’ll learn:

  • Two key reasons why a client being merged with emotional distress holds back emotional healing
  • What “stopped process” is and why a having theory of trauma based on stopped process leads to useful interventions
  • Three practical ways to support a client in being with his or her emotional states instead of being flooded by them

What People Are Saying…

  • ~Larry Letich, LCSW-C, Individual and Couples Therapist, Greater Washington Center for Focusing and Focusing-Oriented Therapy, Frederick, Md.
    LarryLetich - Small"If it weren't for the methods Ann developed in Inner Relationship Focusing, my work with clients and the skills I'm teaching my therapy trainees would not be anywhere near as rich. Every other system of teaching Focusing that I know of is like a simple melody, but Ann's is like a Brahms or Debussy piano concerto, something so elegant and full of nuance that I can practice and use and teach it my entire life and still find new things about it. It is also so adaptable, and helps me to help people reach such deep places within themselves. Ann is the person who "carried forward" Gendlin's early discoveries the best, back when he concentrated on bringing his insights to the moment-to-moment process of psychotherapy. The concept of the Inner Relationship also probably captures more perfectly than anything else the neuroscience of what is going on, the re-wiring of the connections between different nuclei of the brain."
  • Carol Ivan, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, Brookfield, IL
    “Inner Relationship Focusing just clicks with me; it allows me to focus with the client on whatever is most present for them, and at the same time teach them a way of being with their inner experiences that will help them be emotionally and psychologically wiser and more astute. And learning this approach from Ann was wonderful; she is a great teacher, and I think her attention to facilitative language is 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.


You must be a healing professional.

Continuing Education Credit & Course Completion Certificate

Course meets the qualifications for 6 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. If you miss a class, it must be made up.

Cancellations, Changes & Refunds

Up to 5 days before the first day of class: We will refund your course fee less a $35 cancellation fee. Avoid the cancellation fee by applying the entire course payment towards a future class. Changing your registration to a later offering of the same course must also occur 5 days prior to the beginning of class.

Cancellations received 4 days or fewer before class begins: No refund. Changing your registration within this window results in a $75 fee.

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.

Do I need to attend every class meeting?

You can enroll in this course and listen to the recordings that are available 1-2 days after each class meeting. We call this remote attendance. Please Note: If you attend remotely, you are ineligible for CEUs.

Is this a course with partnership practice?

No, partnerships are not available for this course.

Tell me more about the classroom environment and how course content is provided?

Sure. This course is taught using an online video conference system called Zoom. You’ll receive all the details you need to join us via Zoom prior to the first class meeting. You’ll also receive a private class webpage where homework assignments and class recordings can be found. Participants will be able to communicate via an online forum on the private class webpage.



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