Focusing Co-Mentors


Arno Katz

Hamm, Germany

Email  |  Website


The most rewarding moments in my life are when I help people to discover and to trust the wisdom of their bodies. I enjoy supporting people to get in touch with their bodily felt experience and to listen to it in a gentle and accepting way. For me it is true magic when a painful experience shifts and transforms into something completely new that couldn’t have been predicted before. That is why I love Focusing so much.

I am also a teacher at a high school here in Germany. My main aim as a teacher is to facilitate the personal growth of my students and their trust in their own sense of rightness. In a system that is based on reward and punishment this is often a real challenge. I teach Focusing to other teachers too. My dream would be a school system that is based on what is alive in people instead of evaluations and grades.

In my free time I enjoy walking, cycling, working out in the gym, and reading a good book. I am married and I have two children.

As your co-mentor I will support you to find ways of teaching Focusing that really work for you and I will help you to strengthen your own relationship with Focusing. However, if you choose me as your co-mentor, you need to speak fluent German because I only teach Focusing and do sessions in German.

If you have any questions, please write to me. You might also want to visit my website for more information.

Barbara McGavin

Bath, England



Each person is unique. Your journey is your own – no other can follow that path.

No one has to take that journey all alone. That’s what we are here for.

For me mentoring is about helping you on your journey, to find your unique path, to find what brings you alive to find what it is about Focusing in your life that furthers your largest self – your unique contribution.

I want to encourage you to ask yourself hard questions, “Why am I doing this? What do I want to enable in the world? How can I be the most helpful Focusing Companion or Teacher or Coach that I can be? What is my contribution – the one that only I can make?”

I want to encourage you to be willing to embrace the messiness of learning, the fumbling and confusion and downright embarrassment and anxiety that comes when you are on the edge of your skills and knowledge. I want to help you to dance on the edge, to play there, to fall on your face and pick yourself up and be able to say, “I love a challenge!”

I want to encourage you to think and sense deeply about your experiences and what you have learned. Out of your lived, felt, personally known experiences comes the depth and intricacy of embodied knowledge and wisdom.

I want to encourage you to trust your curiosity. It is the compass that will lead you on your unique path.

For me, I never stop learning. There is always something more that I can learn so that I can be a better Focusing practitioner, a better teacher, a better mentor. It never ends. Yeah!

Carol Nickerson

Carol Nickerson

Cape Cod, MA

Phone: 508-432-5640

Email    |   Website


When I’m not Focusing or teaching Path To Lasting Change classes, I work as a psychotherapist (clinical social worker) in private practice (28 years). Prior to this, I worked in community based agencies, including residential care for children and adolescents, and adults needing support services. Most of my work has been with people who have complex trauma and dissociative disorders. I provide clinical consultation/supervision to other clinicians. I love helping clinicians get unstuck with complex cases, or cases that challenge them. My newest offering is the Safe and Sound Protocol (an acoustic intervention based on the Polyvagal Theory).

I stumbled on Inner Relationship Focusing (IRF) in 2005 when looking for a continuing education class for my clinical social work license. I was using many respected approaches in my career, including attachment based approaches, Internal Family Systems, and EMDR. I was fascinated by the neuroscience that was coming out at the time (and continues to explode today). IRF helped me put what I’d learned into practice. I learned how to be with someone in a way that facilitates change. I became a more relaxed, confident, and less tired clinician!

Every approach I’ve studied highlights the importance of the clinician’s presence in the therapeutic relationship, regardless of the treatment approach. IRF taught me how to be present with myself while being present with my clients. It also helped me have the kind of practice I wanted: one that suited my skills, interests and was in balance with the rest
of my life. For me it was the formula that had been missing in all the training and education I’d had. And what a life saving practice it was at a time in my life when I felt like I was treading water as a mother.

As a mentor I’m interested to know about your journey with IRF, how it’s impacted your life and what you hope for in your certification process so I can support you the best way I can. I think the best way to describe my style as a mentor is collegial. I’m easy going, approachable, supportive, encouraging, and I love sharing resources and learning with others. I’ve been teaching with Focusing Resources for over 10 years; we might know each other from class.

EmilyAgnew TeacherBio

Emily Agnew

Rochester, NY

Phone: 595-500-9530

Email    |   Website


Do you come to the certification program wanting to integrate Focusing into work you already do—or with a vision of contributing in a new way? If so, I’m just a bit further down that path, so the details of the terrain are still fresh for sharing. My intent is to help you connect to the galvanizing energy of your life vision and to the role you’d like Focusing to play in that vision.

I love writing, teaching, and thinking about Focusing. I’m lucky to have been offered so many ways of integrating it into my work and personal life. I was certified in 2013 and I teach several courses in Ann Weiser Cornell’s certification program. I’ve also assisted with Ann’s “Guiding New People” course and with a Treasure Maps retreat. I’ve taught Focusing Levels One to Four online, and published articles about Focusing. And I work with clients full-time, using Focusing as my primary tool.

My first passion was music and I studied to become a classical oboist. I started doing inner work during a five-year stint with the Honolulu Symphony, looking for a “fix” for the crippling anxiety I experienced taking orchestra job auditions.

Everything I tried—from therapy to yoga to Zen meditation—led me to my second passion and profession: working with clients who thrive when they are connected to themselves and to their spiritual intuition, but get overwhelmed, anxious, and depressed when they lose that connection. I had experienced both extremes as an oboe player. I had felt the joy of becoming completely one with the instrument, and the anxiety of tightening up and losing that flow.

Searching for a way out of this cycle, I found some relief during many hours of training in Nonviolent Communication©. But in two other processes I finally found lasting change. The first one, Inner Bonding®, is a six-step process that provides an elegant conceptual framework for the causes and healing of depression, anxiety, addictions, and relationship problems.

The second process was Inner Relationship Focusing. By now I was working with clients, and I was thrilled to discover that using Focusing with an Inner Bonding framework, I found I could help my clients find a deeply personal sense of spiritual connection that flowed effortlessly into right action. For my Focusing certification project, I explored the synergy between these two processes. And I went on to create unique client offerings incorporating both, with a special emphasis on the trait of high sensitivity. I love deep one-on-one work, which I do primarily by phone, Zoom, and Skype. To read more, please visit my website (link above).

As a mentor, I’m committed to support you in any way I can. Together we can hold with kindness and deep acceptance any challenges that arise for you. I can provide you with a perspective adjustment, a good laugh, some advice, or even a kick in the pants if called for. I can also offer you business-oriented support if needed: I maintain a regular blog, I’ve studied marketing in depth, and I manage my own website. And I’m intimately familiar with the fears and false beliefs that can come up around starting a new business and how to work past them.

If you’d like to talk more, please email me and we’ll find a time to connect. I’m on East Coast time in Rochester, New York.

Jacek Kaleta

Tychy, Poland

E-mail    |    Website 


Teaching and helping others are the two main threads of my professional career and both found their happy home with Inner Relationship Focusing. I regularly offer both guided sessions and group courses.

My approach to co-mentorship is primarily informed by the principles and spirit of IRF. You have that inner sense of rightness that can be accessed at every step of your training, and beyond. This is your true guide, and you can connect with it through cultivating Self-in-Presence and felt-sensing. My job as a Co-Mentor will be to hold the space for its guidance with openness and curiosity.

I will be here to offer you a supportive presence along the way. It could be by embodying and inviting the qualities of Self-in-Presence into the inquiry. If needed, it could be reminding you to really take your time as you slowly go through each stage of the certification process, to remember and stay connected with what you find, or even resourcing and reconnecting with your deepest wanting for this training. I believe that no matter the situation you may encounter during your Certification process, there are these beautiful principles we can trust and rely on.

Mentorship also includes exploring some areas with a more cognitive mind, of course, and I will be happy to share whatever knowledge and understanding you may find useful while remembering how important it is to hold the space for not knowing yet and being curious together.

In my own Focusing process, I continue to emphasize the Untangling work and am currently exploring how to invite Spirituality into IRF as a way of resourcing and supporting Self-in-Presence. My other Focusing interests include working with musicians (I offered a course on performers), healing trauma, dreamwork and the interplay between IRF and NVC.

Jinevra Howard

Jinevra Howard

Taos, NM

Phone: 347-715-0603



As an Integral Coach and Inner Relationship Focusing teacher and facilitator, I am passionately committed to my own and others’ unfolding into the fullness of life. Inner Relationship Focusing has been the pivotal practice in my own unfolding journey, allowing me to heal from complex trauma, integrate the complexities of my inner landscape, and welcome reservoirs of living forward, joyful, and often playful energy into my life.

My background is eclectic, spanning academic, business and nonprofit environments, the service industry, western Buddhist psychology and meditation, and contemplative and mystical strands of spirituality. I am comfortable with rigorous intellectual and analytic thinking, but also aware of its limitations, and have explored tools such as shadow work, somatic awareness, enneagram, and many more.

Inner Relationship Focusing is what helped all of my background and all of these approaches come together and effect a genuine transformation of my inner and outer life, and I take great pleasure in companioning others on their own journeys of transformation. My style is both warm and direct, and I temper wisdom with humor. I am unfailingly honest and driven by authenticity and love.

I have lived in Los Angeles, Boston, New York City, and Austin, TX. More recently, after several years of focusing-oriented wandering, I have settled in beautiful Taos, New Mexico.

Jo Kennedy

Jo Kennedy

Melbourne, Australia

Phone: 0418141870

Email    |    Website


I live and work in Australia. I teach IR and Wholebody Focusing. I am currently training as a co-ordinator. As a co–mentor, I walk beside you and share what has come from my own personal journey with Focusing. Traveling with and articulating from ones own unfolding is for me at the heart of teaching Focusing.

I have been practicing for 13 years and have spent the last 5 years developing a Focusing community in Australia. If you are starting a community from scratch, if you are setting out on a journey to build a Focusing world where you are I can share my experience of the complexities that come with that.

The core of my formal teaching practice is Inner Relationship levels 1 to 4. I combine the IR teaching with my Wholebody understanding and practice. This is for me a natural opening to a deeper connection to one’s own embodiment and connection to the natural world.

If you are interested in using Focusing creatively I can offer my experience there. I come from a film/Arts background and combine Focusing with the arts, directing, working with actors, movement, singing, art, writing and poetry.

Focusing for me is a creative act and the exploration of the creative edge of being is central to my work. Learning to live and work from this evolving source of richness is what I share with others.

I have an ongoing passion to bring Focusing to children and their parents.

My Focusing process is greatly enhanced by ongoing study of the Process Model and encourage Focusers to explore the philosophy.

I encourage my trainees to listen in and follow their Felt sense of what they need and where to take their teaching of focusing.

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Jocelyn Kahn

Hawthorne, NJ

Phone: 201- 790-5604 (cell/office)

Email     |     Website


My View of Inner Relationship Focusing. Each Focusing pathway has its own genius. The genius of IRF is its insight that even if we are doing everything else right in our Focusing process, an unconscious identification with certain emotions or points of view will short-circuit the inner sense of safety required to allow the felt sense of our situation to fully develop and find its way forward. This brings a powerful clarity to the Focusing process that I have experienced in no other type of Focusing.

My Experience as a Focusing Trainer and Guide. Since my certification in 2010, I have taught three full series of IRF Levels 1-4 classes and numerous other Level 1 and Level 2 classes. I have guided individuals in several hundred Focusing sessions.

I have also taught a number of “Taste of Focusing” classes introducing groups to Inner Relationship Focusing.

In my teaching, I share not only my skills and strengths, but my own missteps and what I’m still exploring in order to encourage the people I work with to stay open to the same within themselves. I feel one of my greatest strengths as a teacher is my ability to listen carefully to students and stay with them until I grasp what they are communicating, which in turn allows me to respond in a clear and articulate way.

Other training and experience. Because I primarily teach Focusing at a Zen Center, one of my pleasures has been witnessing how IRF acts as a course-correct when students’ spiritual ideals subtly shift from guideposts to whipping posts. IRF returns them to the ability to rest into the spaciousness of the compassionate awareness that they are.

My original background is in energy healing.

My life was brought full circle when I began a 2-1/2 year Wholebody Focusing Advanced Training with Kevin McEvenue and Karen Whalen and I discovered its explicit recognition of a subtle energy aspect to Focusing.

An energetic flow happens naturally in any Focusing session where two or more people are able to rest into the Focusing/Companion field allowing “what wants to come now” within and through that field (or “larger Self”). And in fact, I first experienced this through IRF.

But I have found that this eludes some people. Through WBF I have learned to explicitly teach anyone how to enhance, rest into and draw upon this larger Self.

I feel this makes WBF a great complement to IRF – and I feel the facilitative language and profound clarity of IRF is a great complement to WBF.

It gives me great satisfaction to introduce others to the power and clarity of Inner Relationship Focusing. What a privilege to co-mentor others who also wish to spread this healing pathway throughout the world!

Lee Miller

Quakertown, PA

Phone: 845-797-9796     |    Email


What makes me most passionate about Focusing is that it belongs to everyone; it’s our natural capacity as mammals and humans.  Once we can reconnect to our body’s felt sense and discover the storehouse of wisdom that resides within, a whole new way of experiencing life opens up.  For me, the sense of inner authority, creativity, self-confidence and the discovery of my body’s natural capacity to heal trauma, made Inner Relationship Focusing seem like nothing short of a miracle.  I only wish I’d discovered it decades sooner.  This process is akin to reuniting with my true self.

As a Focusing mentor I look forward to giving you the support and guidance you need as you go through this IRF certification training and figure out how you want to integrate Focusing into your life and work.  I am here to facilitate your learning journey and empower you along the way.

My strengths as a mentor are generosity, intuition, empathy, deep listening, authenticity and a fierce respect for each person’s unique Focusing process.  I love doing one-on-one guided sessions with people, attuning to each person’s process in a way that feels both supportive and transformational.

In my former life I worked as a middle school English teacher and drama coach.  Then I left that career to become an ICF certified leadership/communication coach in 2012.   I like to call myself an empathic change agent.  In 2016 I completed my Focusing certification.  Since then I’ve integrated Inner Relationship Focusing into all aspects of my life and work.  It has become a way of being for me and meshes well with mindfulness meditation and coaching.    I’ve taught levels one and two of IRF in workshop format and will be teaching all four levels this fall both in-person and online.

As for my personal life, I live on an old dairy farm in Bucks County Pennsylvania where my partner and I have been planting a small arboretum of rare and not-so-rare trees for a few decades now.  It’s our labor of love and a daily connection to nature.  We share our life on the farm with six animals and two grandchildren.


Marcella Calabi

New York, NY

Phone: 917-584-5931

Email    |     Website


You’ve experienced the immense power of Focusing in your own life, and now you want to share it. Me too!

I find that by nature I’m dedicated to helping people reach two things: the aha! that comes when they understand something with real clarity, and the discovery of their own unique voice.

We express ourselves in the world with the literal voice in our throat, and also with the “voice” of our choices and actions, all influenced by our inner voices. Focusing accesses those inner voices – the wisdoms as well as the parts that block, help, nag or free us – more effectively than any other modality I know. That’s why becoming a certified Focusing teacher fit so perfectly with everything else I do.

I’m a consultant in such life issues as decision-making, negotiation, communication strategy, conflict resolution. I call my business Clarityworks because it’s about making complex situations clear, so that the path forward becomes clear too. I’m also a professional classical singer and teach voice as an avenue to self-actualization. “I can’t sing” and “I’m afraid to speak in public” overlap in important ways with “I want a voice – I want to be heard.” Freeing up that stuckness can transform our lives.

This all sounds very serious, and it is important. Yet what we all really want is joy and light and laughter. Learning is easier when we laugh together, and lightness comes from living with a sense of freedom and authenticity and clear life-forward-movement. Joy is how we know we’re doing the right thing.

You’ll be developing your own personal voice and achieving your own clarity, about Focusing and about your forward path as a Focusing professional. I would be happy to support you.

Nina Joy Lawrence

Nina Joy Lawrence

Corvallis, OR

Phone: 541-231-2432     |     Email


I like to help mentor new Focusing Trainers who want to live Focusing and share it in ways that can spread widely into communities of ordinary people and families, in far places and near to home. I am semi-retired and prefer to give Focusing away, trade for lessons, or offer inexpensive options to people around me who are interested. I’m interested in promoting Focusing Literacy everywhere.

I love to notice around me situations in which Focusing would open stuck-ness and when it feels appropriate, I invite the person to try.

I occasionally teach in person Levels classes when an already functioning group asks for Focusing training to use in their daily interactions, but more frequently I mentor others who are training people. For example I meeting weekly by Skype with the head of an aid agency in Kabul, Afghanistan, to support her as she spreads Focusing training to large numbers of Afghans, and meet daily with my work-partner, Dr. Patricia Omidian, as she teaches workshops in Pakistan, Japan, and elsewhere.

I also feel enlivened by making spaces for connections between Focusing people to happen, by hosting the monthly Community Lab phone conferences, assisting with the yearly Northwest Focusing Gathering, and co-leading phone or in-person workshops on Community Wellness Focusing. I love the excitement of creatively crossing my experience with the experiences of the person I’m mentoring, exploring new ways forward. I appreciate the feel of collaboration, enjoying similarities we find and rejoicing in the way differences can bring such fertile freshness.

Paula Gamble-Grant

La Center, WA

Email     |     Website


“You are not a problem to be solved. You are sacred.”

These are the first words many of my clients hear from me. Whether in a Focusing class, in Spiritual Direction or on the retreats I lead, I want to dispel the way most people tend to view themselves (or parts of their lives). And Inner Relationship Focusing is an amazing way to help people begin to connect to and listen compassionately to their whole self, not just their thoughts that keep them in repetitive, stuck patterns.

I have been companioning weary and disoriented, spiritually hungry souls for over 35 years. As a Focusing-Oriented Spiritual Director, International Retreat Leader and Supervisor of Spiritual Directors, I see how Focusing dovetails so wonderfully with those who want to deepen their Spiritual Journey. Therefore, it is my great delight to help people overhear their souls (via body, emotion, memory, etc) and live into a more authentic version of their God-given self. Focusing for me is both a spiritual practice and a way of being. I wish that every spiritual leader could learn this vital way of listening within.

I have crafted my own Focusing curriculum called, “Doorways to the Soul” where I help heart and soul-centered healing professionals learn how to live in their Self@E.A.S.E.™ – in their Embodied Authentic Self Essence. Doorways 1&2 teach Focusing Levels 1-4. I am also a Coordinator in Training, and am developing even more training specific to those who accompany others in spiritual ways and professions. Doorways is an intersection of Inner Relationship Focusing and Biospirituality. I also see a lot of Focusing intersecting with mystical traditions of many different faiths.

When I’m not teaching Focusing or leading retreats in Assisi, Italy, my husband and I love to go explore beautiful places on our motorcycles. We have a houseful of cats and dogs who bring me joy and teach me so much about life and living. And, my three favorite verbs are saunter, linger and frolic – all of which I seek to incorporate into my everyday living. I’d be happy to hear your heart and see if we would be a good fit for this journey.

Pat Omidian

Corvallis, OR

Phone: 925-482-7983 (leave text message)



I learned Inner Relationship Focusing (IRF) from Ann, but first through Nina Joy Lawrence in 2001 as we struggled to bring a healing practice to Afghan refugees living in Pakistan, who were traumatized by more than three decades of war. Together, Nina Joy and I adapted IRF to local cultures, using Rumi’s Guesthouse poem as a gateway into the inner world. We call our work Guesthouse Focusing and as a Community Wellness practice. Because of the critical need for refugees to heal their inner wounds from lives filled with war, displacement and loss, I taught what I learned even as I was learning it. That was a time of shared discoveries, as we learned together what worked best for each of us.

I have a PhD in Medical Anthropology from the University of California, San Francisco and Berkeley joint program (1992) and thirty years experience as an applied medical anthropologist, including over twenty years working on health and mental health issues in Afghanistan and Pakistan. I have taught anthropology and other applied public health courses on Focusing, psychosocial support and community wellness to both graduate and undergraduate students in North America, Africa, and South and East Asia.

In 2014, my partner Melinda Darer and I opened Focusing Initiatives International, a not for profit organization that promotes positive emotional and social resilience globally. For me, Focusing is a critical piece in promoting healthy, peaceful communities. I like mentoring others in how to work in communities so that they help themselves, and how to bring a Focusing attitude to everyday life.

I offer in person and internet-based workshops in Focusing; Selfcare for Community and Humanitarian Aid Workers; Community Wellness; and Psychosocial Wellness and Resiliency.

I am now based in Corvallis, Oregon but I continue to travel to other countries to give workshops.

ManjuNewPeter Gill

Gloucestershire, UK

Phone: +44 7905 360318

Email     |     Website


What I love most about being a mentor is encouraging and supporting people to find their own voice and way to live and express Focusing. I love seeing the small green shoots growing into unique and growing trees. Each persons journey is different and will bring joys, fears and challenges. I am here as a mentor to accompany on your journey – however it unfolds.

For me, Focusing is much more than a technique or method, it is a way of being in the world. The heart of my approach comes from Inner Relationship Focusing. I am also qualified as a Somatic Experiencing practitioner and enjoy bring these two approached together to support the exploration and healing of trauma.

I have been teaching Focusing since 2006 and teach Focusing full time. I teach around 20 workshops a year – both in the UK and internationally. I also love collaborating in leading retreats, teaching and exploring Focusing. I am Accredited with the British Focusing Association and also with The Focusing Institute.

I have a background in meditation and Buddhism. I enjoy music, art and photography. More and more, I am convinced that the world needs what Focusing has to offer and am committed to finding ways of communicating what I have found so valuable in my own life, and supporting others to do the same.

Rose Sposito

Louisville, CO

Email     |     Website


As a 5-element medical practitioner, meditation teacher, and IRF teacher and facilitator I bring as a mentor many years of experience and skills that are supportive with cultivating and nourishing a deeper level of embodied mindful awareness, clarity, emotional healing, and compassionate self-care.

I began my Focusing journey 9 years ago through my dear friend David Rome and have continued on teaching levels 1-4 to folks from all walks of life as well as to my patients and weekend Focusing programs for mental health practitioners, health care providers, meditation groups, and as a yearly guest lecturer at Naropa University’s Contemplative and Transpersonal Psychology graduate programs. I absolutely love teaching and facilitating IRF group programs online and in-house. As well, I have a private Focusing practice here in my hometown of Colorado. It brings me great joy and humility to witness the tremendous life-changing benefits it brings to all who have gone through this process and these levels. To bear witness to their bravery, vulnerability, discovery, and growth, to create and sustain the life that they value and wish to live. I continue to assist with the yearlong Untangling and Treasure Maps programs beginning and advanced.

Every Sunday morning since covid, I lead a Contemplative Focusing hour for Self-Care and Emotional Healing creating a growing online supportive community for new and experienced Focusers during these uncertain times.

I looking forward to getting to know all of you when we begin the training.