Certification as an Inner Relationship Focusing Professional

as an Inner Relationship Focusing Professional

 Has Focusing changed your life in a profound way?

Do you feel called to help facilitate that kind of powerful change for other people?

Do you feel passionate about helping other people learn the empowering skill of Focusing?

Would you like to build a profession teaching Focusing one-to-one and to groups, or add Focusing to your current profession, or bring Focusing to your family and community?

Becoming a Certified Focusing Teacher/Practitioner is a possibility for someone from any walk of life. You do not need to be a therapist or have other formal credentials in order to become a Focusing Teacher/Practitioner. You just need to go through the training process and demonstrate your ability to provide safe and empowering Focusing experiences for others, both one-to-one and in groups.

At the end of the program – having met the requirements – you will receive Certification as a Focusing Professional from The Focusing Institute, the international nonprofit organization. Ann Weiser Cornell and Focusing Resources are authorized to offer this certification.

This program is offered once yearly starting in October, days of the week and times vary. The prerequisite for entering certification training is Path to Lasting Change Parts One and Two (or the equivalent) with an Inner Relationship Focusing teacher.

At A Glance


If you have been inspired and helped by Focusing and you would like to share it with others.


A two-year intensive program taught by Ann Weiser Cornell, Barbara McGavin, and other Inner Relationship Focusing teachers. Full Course Description 


Primarily live online by Zoom, join from anywhere in the world – plus one in-person Treasure Maps retreat.


To receive certification as a Focusing Professional (also called Focusing Trainer) from the International Focusing Institute so that you can bring Focusing to people who can benefit from it and ultimately make the world a better place.

See Full Curriculum Outline.  All deadlines and program dates below pertain to the October 2020 to June 2022 Certification Program.

Enrollment is limited to no more than 12 participants each year.

Get Started in 3 Easy Steps

1. Have a 30-Minute Chat

Ann can help you explore whether the program meets your needs. Click here to schedule.

2. Complete Your Application

A link to our program application is provided after you have your chat with Ann.

3. Register for the Program

Get ready to learn and grow as you embark on this two-year training program. Click here to get started.

Ready to Know More?

In Our Two-Year Comprehensive Certification Program You Will:

  • Deepen your understanding of change processes and be able to translate that self-understanding into your work with clients
  • Learn to deeply listen to yourself, your clients and the life unfolding around you
  • Develop the inner and outer tools to establish yourself as a Focusing Professional
  • Actively participate in a consistent community of peers and fellow professionals, hopefully forming lifelong friendships and even professional collaborations
  • Learn to create a clear heart-based marketing strategy to help you thrive in your Focusing practice
  • Engage both the theory and practice of Focusing in order to bring Focusing into your professional life in a holistic, integrated and alive way

What You’ll Be Able to Do

At the end of the program, we expect you will be able to:
  • Provide one-to-one Focusing sessions at a professional level, including introducing Focusing to someone who has never done it before.
  • Create and teach classes and workshops in Focusing.
  • Offer guided group exercises and attunements to bring Focusing into various group settings, including workshops on other topics.
  • Communicate successfully about Focusing and your work in conversations, in public settings, and in marketing materials.

What You’ll Receive

 Training and Support in:

  • doing one-to-one sessions with practice clients, including provision of practice clients to work with if you need them, and consultation and feedback
  • designing group learning experiences in Focusing: classes, workshops, blending Focusing into other kinds of training
  • communicating about your work to your potential clients in a heart-based, authentic way

 Individualized Attention

  • Six Focusing sessions, three with the Primary Mentor, three with the Co-Mentor are included – and you receive a discounted rate if you want more than six Focusing sessions
  • Three Milestone Sessions (both Mentors present, can be by phone or Skype).

And More…

  • 33 weekly meetings in Year One & 33 weekly meetings in Year Two
  • A consistent group of students to share and support you in your learning process
  • Unlimited attendance at Ann Weiser Cornell’s Demonstrations of Facilitating Focusing class
  • The Focusing Teacher’s Manual (PDF files)
  • Support in forming partnerships with other program participants – for Focusing, for consultative support, for other kinds of peer support

Some of the Benefits You’ll Enjoy

Build connections of mutual support with fellow students so your skills grow along with your ability to enhance the skills of others.

Grow in confidence and skills in your ability to take other people through Focusing, with a step-by-step mentored learning process and lots of practice.

Deepen your own Focusing process and your own emotional healing far beyond where you are right now.

Our Faculty


Although this is the planned schedule, it is not guaranteed that a particular teacher will teach the week listed. Topics are also subject to change. Click the “+” or “-” to expand each year.

Year One

In addition to the classroom meetings described below, Year One includes:

  • Demonstrations of Facilitating Focusing, a 3-week phone class taught by Ann Weiser Cornell (can be taken any of several times during the year)
  • Assisting at Focusing classes taught at Focusing Resources or by other teachers
  • Beginning to work with practice clients and receive supervision and feedback
  • Beginning to receive six guided sessions from mentors (three with each mentor over the whole training)
  • Treasure Maps to the Soul retreat or Getting Free course (usually begun or scheduled by the end of the first year)

Year One: October 2020 – June 2021

October 15. Led by Ann with other Teachers and Co-Mentors.

Introduction to the program. Introduction to each other. Setting intentions. What do you bring to the program? What is your passion around Focusing?

Participants will pair for Focusing partnership each week with a different trainee from the course, until each trainee has met with each other trainee. Consultative support triads will then be formed.

October 22. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell
Fundamental concepts of Inner Relationship Focusing and Focusing partnership. Reviewing our shared agreements as Focusing partners. What can Focusing partnership show us about facilitating Focusing as a professional?

October 29. Led by Barbara McGavin
The Power of Cultivating Self-in-Presence. On being Self-in-Presence yourself when you are offering a session, and on supporting and facilitating Self-in-Presence in the Focuser.

November 5. Led by Barbara McGavin
Empathic attunement and listening. Accompanying someone else’s process. Empathic prompting. Spotting felt sense moments. Getting what the person is conveying.

November 12. Led by Peter Gill
Being a fully present listener. Listening to thoughts, images, stories, non-verbal expressions. Offering other words than those the Focuser used. Listening for what is alive. Following the experiential track.

November 19. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell
The Power of Inner Relating. Developing Relationship with something that is there. How to support a Focuser to come into relationship with what they are experiencing. Principles of Guiding

December 3. Led by Barbara McGavin
Portals to Felt Meaning. Body sensations, emotion, story, imagery, and gesture/body posture as forms of experiencing. How our awareness of these “portals” allows us to connect with different types of Focusing process, and facilitate more skillfully.

December 10. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell
“Too Close” Process. Helping with Overwhelm. Helping with Being Identified with a Part. The Feeling about the Feeling. “Too Distant” Process. When It’s Hard to Feel Anything. When What is There Disappears. When the client doesn’t want to feel their emotional states.

December 17, 2020. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell and/or Barbara McGavin
Parts. What is a Part? Developing Relationship with Parts. The importance of working with parts in Untangling. Protectors need “Might you be worried?” and other types of parts need “What kind of contact do you want from me right now?

January 7, 2021. Led by Emily Agnew
Good Boundaries. Self-Care When Working with Clients. Self-in-Presence for the Facilitator. How to set up practice client sessions. Communicating with the client. Getting feedback from the client. Making use of the reflection forms after the session.

January 14. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell
Starting a Session. Framing the Issue. Giving the Invitation. Ending a Session. More about Self-in-Presence for the Guide.

January 21. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell
Focusing oriented supervision/consultation. How to do your own Focusing on (and learn from) doing practice client sessions. How to give each other support. More about one-to-one sessions.

January 28. Consultative Triads meet
Focusing with feelings and issues around starting to work with practice clients.

February 4. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell
Protectors. “Resistance,” sleepiness, blankness, intellectualizing. Developing a different kind of relationship with Protectors.. The Role of Protectors in Trauma. Not-Wanting/Wanting.

February 11. Consultative Triads meet
To practice the topic of the last session.

February 18. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell
Trauma. When Parts Tell or Show Hard Times in the Past. Memories. Giving Empathy to the Younger You.

February 25. Consultative Triads meet
To practice the topic of the last meeting

March 4. Led by Emily Agnew
Working with New People Part One. The Conversation Before the Session. Following the Issue.

March 11. Consultative Triads meet
To role play being new people, the conversation before the session and following the issue.

March 18. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell
Working with New People Part Two. Moving from Story to Felt Sense. Keeping in Touch with the Issue.

March 25. Consultative Triads meet
To share Focusing turns on working with new people.

April 1. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell
Working with New People Part Three. Teaching the Focuser How to Use Your Reflections. Silences. Following Up Your Suggestions. Using Your Own Felt Sense.

April 8. Consultative Triads meet
To share Focusing turns on working with new people.

April 15. Led by Emily Agnew
Working with New People Part Four. How to end the session in a series of stages that allow the client to gently emerge. How to discuss the session afterward in a way that keeps the client with the positives from the session.

April 22. Consultative Triads meet
To share Focusing turns on working with new people, especially the ending.

April 29. Led by Helene Brenner
Comparisons of Focusing practitioner with therapy, coaching, and Focusing partnership. Legal issues. Ethical issues. When and how to refer someone to another professional.

May 6. Consultative Triads meet
To do Focusing around what comes up around working with clients and being able to tell when they need something other than what we offer.

May 13. Led by Barbara McGavin
Life forward direction. Listening for the positive. Not everything is a Part! And when Parts change. Supporting possibilities.

May 20. Consultative Triads meet
To practice the topic of the last meeting.

May 27. Led by Barbara McGavin
Start with Why. A process of inquiry in which trainees sense into their own deepest purpose for doing this work, and draw from that a sense of how to communicate about it.

June 3. Consultative Triads meet
To practice Start with Why exercises and do Focusing on what they bring up.

June 10. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell
Summing Up the Year and Looking Forward to the Summer and the Second Year.

June 17. Consultative Triads meet
To do Focusing looking back and looking forward, and to discuss if and how to continue over the summer.

Year Two

In addition to the classroom meetings described below, Year Two includes:

  • Carrying out a Focusing Project to explore some aspect of Focusing (eg Focusing in schools, Focusing and creativity, Focusing and chronic pain, Focusing combined with some other method)
  • Teaching a Level One class
  • Developing materials for communicating with one’s intended audience
  • Continuing to work with practice clients and receive supervision and feedback
  • Continuing to have sessions with Mentors

Year Two: September 2021 – June 2022

September 16. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell.
Coming Back, Intentions, A Look at the Year Ahead, Choosing a Topic for Your Project

September 23. Consultative Triads meet
To do Focusing on plans for a project.

September 30. Led by Emily Agnew.
Finding Your People. Saying what you do in a way that reaches the people you want to work with.

October 7. Consultative Triads meet
To share plans for how to find people to teach, and develop an action plan.

October 14. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell.
The Big Picture of Teaching Focusing to Groups. What We Value as Focusing Teachers. Elements of a Level One Course.

October 21. Consultative Triads meet
To share Focusing turns around the issue of how you would create a Focusing course.

October 28. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell.
Focusing Attunements and Exercises. Designing Attunements and Exercises According to Purpose, Bringing Focusing to Meetings and Other Trainings. How to use exercises and games to teach the elements of Focusing to a group.

November 4. Consultative Triads meet
To practice attunements and exercises.

November 11. Led by Peter Gill.
Planning Level One Creatively – Weekend vs. Weekly – Online vs. Live – Planning vs. Flexibility

November 18. Consultative Triads meet
To create action plans for their Level One.

December 2. Led by Lucinda Hayden.
Answering Typical Questions Asked in a Level One Course. Empathy for the spirit of what is being asked. Discerning whether the question is a request for information or a request for help.

December 9, 2021. Consultative Triads meet
To practice the topic of the last meeting.

January 6, 2022. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell.
Group Process – How to Create Safety in Groups. Feeling safe is required for people to allow themselves to be vulnerable and learn new skills. We will explore how to create and maintain safety in groups, and how to balance structure with flow in teaching.

January 13. Consultative Triads meet
To share Focusing turns on feelings around group leadership and group safety.

January 20. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell.
Reviewing Your Plans for Teaching a Level One Course. Support and tips from mentor and other trainees.

January 27. Consultative Triads meet
To share Focusing turns on issues around planning for a Level One.

February 3. Led by Barbara McGavin.
What Focusing Teachers Need to Know about Gendlin’s Philosophy. Focusing is based on Gene Gendlin’s “Philosophy of the Implicit.” We will explore concepts like carrying forward, life-forward direction, stoppage, and felt sense – with special emphasis on how these concepts help us teach and explain Focusing.

February 10. Consultative Triads meet
To share practice the topic of the last meeting.

February 17. Led by Nina Joy Lawrence.
Community Wellness. Alternatives to offering private workshops. Bringing Focusing into an organization or community in accord with the needs of that setting. Creating Community Wellness opportunities. “Viral” Focusing… how Focusing spreads through a community.

February 24. Consultative Triads meet
To share practice the topic of the last meeting.

March 3. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell.
Designing Group Focusing exercises for any purpose. Creating your own special purpose Focusing-related workshops. Plus: The Worlds of Focusing. The many styles and types of Focusing, and where you fit in those traditions.

March 10. Consultative Triads meet
To share practice the topic of the last meeting.

March 17. Led by Emily Agnew.
Spreading the Word, Promotion for Introverts (or Whatever You Are), If You Want to Learn More About Marketing.

March 24. Consultative Triads meet
To share practice the topic of the last meeting.

March 31. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell.
Working with clients one-to-one: What have we learned? Also: Setting up a professional practice one-to-one, good business practices, waivers & disclaimers. The practical things that trainees may need to know about setting up a professional practice as a Focusing practitioner.

April 7. Consultative Triads meet
To do Focusing turns on feelings about setting up a professional practice, or whatever is relevant to each person’s situation.

April 14. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell.
Sharing Level One Teaching Experiences. Trainees have a chance to share what they learned from teaching Level One, with support and appreciation from teacher and other trainees.

April 21. Consultative Triads meet
To do Focusing turns on completing and presenting their projects.

April 28. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell.
Reports and presentations from projects, part one. Half the trainees will present their project reports to supportive group appreciation. If the project is unfinished at this point, a progress report is given.

May 5. Consultative Triads meet
To do Focusing turns on feelings about completing the program and moving into next steps.

May 12. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell.
Reports and presentations from projects, part two. The other half of the trainees present their projects.

May 19. Consultative Triads meet
To do Focusing turns on next steps and how we can support each other after graduating.

June 2. Led by Ann with other Teachers and Co-Mentors.
Graduation! Celebrations, appreciations, looking back, looking forward.


Completion of the program:

In addition to completing the classroom 66-week program, trainees also need to complete other requirements, and this can take longer than the end of the classroom program in accord with individual needs. There is no need for everyone to “graduate” together.

Checklist of final requirements:

  • Complete 50 practice sessions, at least half of which have been reported on to Mentors
  • Teach a Level One course
  • Complete Focusing Project
  • When all other requirements have been completed, have the final Milestone Session with the two mentors


Note: these are final deadlines. There are great benefits to completing the steps well before these deadlines.

August 22

Schedule a chat with Ann by or before this date to explore whether the program meets your needs and access the Application form in time to complete it before the early enrollment deadline below. 

August 29

Early Enrollment Application Deadlineget in your application by this date to have time to be accepted before you need to pay your deposit

September 1

Deposit due – Payment of deposit officially enrolls you in the program where you’ll have access to the primary textbooks and the complete Certification Program Handbook. You can also begin to meet your fellow trainees.

September 26

Final Application Deadline – late registration price applies (full payment due within two days of acceptance to program). Must have a chat with Ann in order to receive the application form.

September 30

Registration Closes Deadline

October 17

Class begins

Want a free taste of our program?

Join us April 30, 2020 at 10:00 AM Pacific Time to:

  • Meet and interact with many of the teachers of the certification program
  • Learn about the different components of the program and how they integrate
  • Get a chance to share your own goals and questions
  • Enjoy the exciting prospect of this new group forming

Payment & Registration Options

Registration is a three step process. Please complete the steps in order. Program dates and prices can be found in Step Three.

Enrollment is limited to no more than 12 participants

Step 1. Have a 30-Minute Chat

Ann can help you explore whether the program meets your needs.

Step 2. Complete Your Application

A link to our program application is provided after you have your chat with Ann.

How to use our online scheduler:

Scroll down and choose “Free Chat to Discuss Entering the Certification Program” from the list of appointment types. Set your time zone and then choose a date to see available times.

Step 3. Click Here to Register or See Course Details (do not register until you've completed Steps 1 and 2)

Certification as a Focusing Professional

Certification as a Focusing Professional

$6,950.00 $6,500.00

Dates: October 15, 2020 to June 2, 2022
Time: Thursdays; 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM Pacific
Taught by Ann Weiser Cornell and Additional Program Faculty


Payment and additional details

Cost: $6500 through end of day August 28, $6950 after
Installment options: Pay in full or pay in 7 payments of $950 or 15 payments of $464 (includes processing fees, installment increase at late registration)
Don’t Miss Out: The last day to register is September 28

Prerequisite: Completion of Level Four or Your Path to Lasting Change, Part Two Inner Relationship Focusing (IRF) Training. Application approved by the Training Coordinator.

Credit Cards

What is Included in Your Program Fees


  • Year One Course (includes facilitating one-to-one Focusing sessions with people who know Focusing and new people)
  • Year Two Course (includes Teaching Groups and Communicating about your work)
  • Demonstrations of Facilitating Focusing
  • Mentor & Co-Mentor Fees (includes 3 milestone sessions)
  • 3 Mentor Sessions with Ann
  • 3 Mentor Sessions with Co-Mentor
  • Help in finding Practice Clients
  • Practice Client Feedback
  • 3 Observations of Sessions with Focusing clients
  • Support forming Peer Partnerships for Consultation, Marketing & Teaching
  • Additional Support & Training for Level 1 Assistants with Lucinda
  • Teacher’s Manual (digital download, PDF files)
  • Focusing in Clinical Practice book

Paid Separately:

  • Treasure Maps to the Soul or Getting Free course
  • Focusing Institute Fees
  • Travel costs for in-person workshops
  • Phone charges
  • Membership in Zoom.us

Additional Information

Continuing Education Credit & Course Completion Certificate

Two-year program meets the qualifications for 78 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. 44 CE units are awarded for completion of Year One, and 34 CE units are awarded for completion of Year Two. (Demonstrations of Facilitating Focusing class and the Treasure Maps to the Soul retreat also award CEUs when taken.)

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 each year of the program upon completion of all requirements and the course evaluation for that year. (If you don’t want CE units but would like a completion certificate, the $25 fee does still apply.)

Program Cancellation Policy

Any student may withdraw from the Training within one week (7 days) after the first training class meeting and receive an eighty (80) percent refund of the tuition. This refers to the total tuition payable including by installment plan. No refunds will be granted after the first week of training.

Students will be held to this agreement, regardless of future attendance and/or completion of the training. In extraordinary circumstances,we will consider requests for refunds or release from the payment contract. However, the final decision in such matters will rest with Focusing Resources, Inc.

Attendance Policy

Regular attendance is a requirement of the program. Participants should plan to attend 80% of the scheduled classes for Year One and Year Two curriculum.

This roughly translates into being able to miss no more than 13 class meetings over the course of two years.

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.

What People Are Saying

  • Mary Keeney
    "The course far exceeded my expectations. Ann is the most generous teacher I've encountered in all the various courses I have taken. The level of safety she provides allowed me to blossom and thrive in a way I had never experienced before. I am deeply grateful for the entire program."
  • Karen DeHart
    "Being in the certification program has brought me many things that I expected: among them new friends, a deeper understanding of myself, better listening skills, and more competence in focusing. The class is brilliantly designed and masterfully taught. Ann guides us through the learning process with skill and compassion and the mentors bring added depth through the sharing and support of their years of experience. It is an outstanding training."
  • Rose Sposito
    rosesposito"The Inner Relationship Certification Program was for me a skillful, in depth and thorough unpacking of the magic and power of focusing altogether. As a health care provider, the wealth of resources that I received, are invaluable and continue to inform my work in further supporting my clients, with their deepest longings, needs and purpose in life.The teachers are excellent in that they are so passionate and knowledgeable about Focusing and are so willing and generous to share this understanding with us throughout the program. I highly recommend this certification program for anyone wishing to explore Focusing at its best!"
  • Kelly Verret, Certification Trainee
    kellyverret-small"From the readings, which  seem so simple but are so very deep and rich, the classes which are alive with sharing, practice, and gentle but expert guidance, to the way Ann and Barbara are living examples of this way of walking in the world, I am so grateful.  What is demonstrated and cultivated here in this course is so profoundly respectful of each human person’s capacity to come into relationship with all they are experiencing within and create the conditions for an ever unfolding, dynamic process that is at once expansive, life-saving, and life-giving, it is no wonder that I have already grown so much in my capacity to walk with others and guide them in this Focusing way; it is no wonder that my own process has deepened so richly since I began this course only a few short months ago.  I am so glad that I gave myself this gift, it has opened me to the wonder and awe of each person I encounter and meet in this way, including myself, who I meet ever freshly. And in a world of people starving for this way of holding themselves and others in Presence, this course is providing me with an ever deepening capacity to walk with others and guide them as they open into the ever unfolding world of experience within them. And, as I write this, I realize this is just the beginning."
  • Susanne Rieger, Muenster, Germany
    Susanne Rieger, Muenster, Germany

    "Doing this class is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.

    First, this class is very intense – we are delving deep into Focusing: the basic and advanced steps. Ann and the other teachers have profound Focusing knowledge and are highly experienced. When we have questions, we can always ask Ann and/or our mentors and teachers, and get timely answers.

    Second, what I love about this training is by doing this training, I learn a lot about my inner struggle, and I learn to overcome it by first seeing the different parts causing this inner struggle, acknowledging them, listening to them... and thus making it possible to integrate them in my whole being and finding my true inner peace. In my opinion, this inner peace is one important step towards world peace. If everybody could achieve this inner peace, world peace would be much closer. – Bearing this in mind, I think it is very important that many people learn Focusing, and I’m so glad and grateful that I took this step and decided to do this training. My contribution to world peace."

Is this a training for therapists?

No, it isn’t a training for therapists, although therapists may find it valuable. The curriculum centers on facilitating sessions that are explicitly Focusing sessions, and teaching Focusing to groups, and does not include bringing Focusing into other kinds of practice.

I am not sure I can make the class times. Can I take the course another way?

No, sorry, this is an intensive program with a high commitment to your own training and to the other students, your cohort. If you don’t think you can make at least 80% of the classes, better to find a different program.

How is this different from the certification offered by the International Focusing Institute?

Actually, this IS a certification offered by the International Focusing Institute. We are one of the organizations that they have authorized to give their certification. Specific programs will differ and it’s good to interview the directors of any two programs that you are deciding between. We’ll be happy to tell you all about ours… but we are not experts in theirs… so do ask them!



Sign up here and get your first lesson right away.

Thank you! Your first lesson is on its way to your inbox. If you don't see it in the next couple hours, be sure to check your SPAM folder (or Promotions tab in GMail)