The Dance of the FOT Therapist: Attuning to the Experiential Process

The Dance of the FOT Therapist

Have you wondered how to take the power of the Focusing process more deeply into your therapy practice, and with more of your clients, not just those who find it easy to “go inside”?

Would you like the work you do with your clients to be deeper, more intimate and immediate, more alive and “in flow”?

Would you like to create and capture more moments of inner connection and change?

> Full Course Description

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.

Want a Taste of What You’ll be Getting in this Course?

Download a past webinar where Helene Brenner shared practical tips for therapists interested in integrating Focusing into their practice, including:

  • How Focusing as part of therapy differs from individual guided Focusing sessions.
  • How to get instant rapport with new clients that moves them to a deeper place from the very first session.
  • The circumstances when you wouldn’t try to get a client to focus inside, and what needs to be done instead.

Click the image to download the recording.

What People Are Saying

“I just wanted to let you know how extraordinarily helpful Focusing has been in my life — how often I use it — and how frequently I tell people about it! It has definitely informed my work, worldview, and changed my way of listening and being a friend. Plus, actual Focusing sessions have been enormously helpful to me — and others close to me — facilitating our moving ahead with our lives. …These days I truly can’t imagine my life without Focusing.”

– Ruth Schwartz

Course Information

About the Course

Many therapy clients do not come to therapy ready to open to their inner experience. They come feeling a lot of confusion and pain, with a problem in their feelings or their lives (or both) that they want to fix. How do we as FOT therapists meet them where they are and help them move forward?  How do we not get caught in their habitual ways of defining themselves and their problems?

The beauty of Focusing-oriented therapy (FOT) is that it does not revolve around content. It revolves around the experiential process that is occurring within the client moment to moment in therapy, and the responses that we as the therapist give to this process. Come to this class to learn how to exquisitely tune to what is going on moment-to-moment in even your least self-aware clients and how to use yourself as an instrument that is perfectly attuned to bringing out the healing capacities implicit within the ebb-and-flow of every single therapy session.

Among the topics we’ll be covering:

  • How to practice FOT with clients who do not naturally “check inside” in therapy. 
  • How to follow and respond to the nonverbal signals that indicate whether your client is moving toward or away from her inner process, and when an important internal shift has occurred.
  • Skills for leading your client’s attention toward life-forward motion.
  • Responses and interventions that help clients be in an empathic relationship with their inner experience.
  • How and when to use the therapeutic relationship to reinforce an internal shift.
  • How to strengthen your client’s ability to recognize and follow her own body’s cues for what is true and right for her.
  • The principle of non-counteraction, of saying “yes” to your client.
  • The times when you would not expect a client to be able to Focus inside (and what must happen first).  

This course will mostly involve didactic learning and reading, with optional assignments to try what has been taught and discussed in class with clients and see what transpires. In addition, there will be time for sharing and discussing challenging real-life therapy situations.

About the Teacher

Helene Brenner:

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 telegroups for women.

What's Included

  • Five one-hour-and-fifteen-minute meetings for a total of 6.25 hours of class time.
  • Access to digital recordings of every class so you’ll be able to download them and listen to anything you want to hear again.
  • A private web page where you can access homework, recordings, and other important class information from any web browser.
  • Email and/or phone support in case you have questions or need extra help.


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.


Path to Lasting Change, Part One with an 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.

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.

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

What People Are Saying

  • Lauren Mari-Navarro, LCSW 
    "LaurenMari-Navarro - SmallIf you are a therapist and you love Focusing, then the material in The Dance of the FOT Therapist is a gift you'll treasure. Helene has such a thorough understanding of both the Focusing and the therapeutic process, and she shows, with so much personal warmth, how to bring the two together in the context of therapy. After taking this course, my clients now understand much better what I mean when I invite them to listen to their “inner places,” and what occurs as a result has become far more meaningful and transformative. It’s been thrilling! This course will transform your work with even your more challenging clinical issues and rejuvenate your sense of what is possible in helping your clients."
  • Betsy G., LCSW
    "Anyone interested in combining Focusing with therapy can benefit from this wonderful class. Led by Helene Brenner, every class resonated with examples from therapy practice, and included discussion from seminal readings in both Focusing and therapy. Members were deeply engaged in the process. What I learned from this class I use in every session with clients, it was so rich and deeply moving, going to the heart of the felt meaning of experience and our relationship with our clients."



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