Demonstrations of Facilitating Focusing

Listen in as Ann Weiser Cornell guides three people through their very first Focusing sessions.

“Everyone CAN do Focusing… if the guide is patient, encouraging, and willing to be creative.”

― Ann Weiser Cornell

Whether You’re:

New to Focusing and want to experience what the process is like

Familiar with Focusing and want to learn different ways to facilitate the process

Or a helping professional who’d like to introduce clients to Focusing

The Demonstrations of Facilitating Focusing course gives you the chance to observe and discuss the power of the Focusing process with one of the leading teachers and theoreticians in the field of Focusing.

A Note from Ann

With this course, you can be present in the virtual room as I facilitate a first-time Focusing session. Afterward, we’ll discuss what happened (why I made certain choices, how I encouraged the process to deepen without asking questions, and much more).

What’s fascinating about showing Focusing to someone new is you never know what kind of process they’ll have.

Some people get very emotional. Other people have a hard time feeling anything. Some people get carried away by their stories. Other people are mostly silent.

I’ve given thousands of first Focusing sessions. Every time I do one, I learn more about the process and how to facilitate it. When you sit in, you’ll learn too!

For example, I’ve learned that just because a person names an emotion, that doesn’t mean they’re feeling it yet in the body.

Here’s how I might help someone feel an emotion in the body.

Ann Weiser Cornell

Focuser: “It’s fear.”

Guide: “You’re sensing it’s fear. OK. And maybe you can sense where in your body you feel that fear the most.”

Focuser: (pause) “It’s in my chest.”

Guide: “Uh-huh. And then maybe describe how it feels there, in your chest.”

Focuser: (pause) “Like a clenching, gripping…”

Guide: “Ah. It feels like clenching, like gripping, there in your chest. Maybe take those words to the feeling, sense if they fit well. Clenching. Gripping.”

Focuser: “It’s like a scared animal, digging in its claws.”

Guide: “And maybe you can be with that scared animal…”

Look how much richness of detail we now have, compared to the word “fear”! And notice how it’s possible to do all this without asking any questions.

There’s so much more I’d love to show you about how to take someone through Focusing.

In the course, you’ll get to see exactly what I do with three real people who’ve never done Focusing before. You’ll see me have my first conversation with the person and then take them through the process all the way to the end. And then the person leaves, and the group will discuss what you observed. It’s fascinating every time.

Hope to see you there!


Each Demonstrations class is 90 minutes. At the start I’ll give a short talk on some aspect of offering first-time Focusing sessions. Then our guest Focuser will join us, and have a guided Focusing session of about 45 minutes, and then leave the line.

We’ll have about 30 minutes at the end of class for a discussion of the issues raised by the process, including: the specific language used, this person’s type of Focusing process, and responses to special circumstances (e.g. working with a meditator).

Participants can also raise questions about people you’re working with using Inner Relationship Focusing. Every class meeting can be downloaded (by registered participants only) for 30 days after class ends.

All registered participants need to be on the conference line within 5 minutes of the start of the class, in order to create a safe atmosphere for the guest.

Our guest Focusers are volunteers who understand that their session will be witnessed by a safe and respectful group of people.

If you or someone you know might like to volunteer to be the guest Focuser for one of our Demo classes, we’d love to have you join us. (We typically need someone who hasn’t had a guided Focusing session before.) Just click here to submit your information.

About Your Teacher

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.

Upcoming Courses and Registration

To allow more people to participate, dates and times will change with each new Demonstrations group. If the current group is at an inconvenient time for you, check this page again for new dates.

Demonstrations of Facilitating Focusing October 2024 (fall)


October 14 to 28
3 Mondays; 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM Pacific
Taught by Ann Weiser Cornell
Live Online Course

Last Day to Register: October 7

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 Credits.

To allow more people to participate, dates and times will change with each new Demonstrations group. If the current groups are at an inconvenient time for you, check this page again in a month for new dates.

What People Are Saying

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.


There is no prerequisite for participation in this group. All students are welcome.

Continuing Education Credit& Record of Completion

Course meets the qualifications for 4.5 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 Credits. Records of Completion are awarded at the end of the course upon completion of all requirements and the course evaluation. (If you don’t want CE Credits but would like a Record of Completion, the $25 fee does still apply.)

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

Program Cancellation Policy

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.