The Doorway in a Moment: Inviting Your Clients to the Edge of Change

An On-Demand Course with Ann Weiser Cornell

Would you like to help your clients have breakthrough moments that lead to real change?

Is This For You?

Are you a therapist who is passionate about helping your clients heal from old hurts and live fuller lives? Do you want to help your clients get beyond telling the same stories, being sunk in the same painful feelings, avoiding and shutting down over and over?

Most of your clients do well of course… But if you have a few clients who are stuck, you’re probably searching for ways to help them connect with their own fresh life energy and capacity to move forward with their lives.

In the research on Focusing done at the University of Chicago, clients who tended to do best in therapy were able to make contact with a fresh and immediately felt bodily experience that they could not easily put it into words – a felt sense. The felt sense was a doorway to change.

When the felt sense forms, it is the person’s next step of change already happening.

Three modules – Each introduces one or two new skills you can use to invite your clients to the edge of change.

Number 1

How to Spot and Nurture a Felt Sense

Learn to spot the subtle ways felt senses show up and help your clients to stay with them so that shifts can happen.

How to Invite and Facilitate a Felt Sense

Discover cues and prompts you can use to help clients move from storytelling into present moment awareness, where change can happen.

Working with More Challenging Clients

Explore how to help clients who struggle to feel in the body, have trauma histories, or have a hard time being present.

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 is the author of several definitive books on Focusing, including Focusing in Clinical Practice: The Essence of Change, The Power of Focusing, and The Radical Acceptance of Everything. She has taught Inner Relationship Focusing around the world since 1980, and is a past president of the Association for Humanistic Psychology. Today she is internationally recognized as one of the leading innovators and theoreticians of Focusing.

Skills You’ll Gain

In The Doorway in a Moment, you’ll learn how to:

  • Spot the subtle indicators that your client is having a felt sense
  • Support your client in valuing and staying with a felt sense – at the edge of change
  • Invite your client to move into felt sensing from storytelling or intellectualizing
  • Use unobtrusive prompts that can mesh with any modality or style of therapy

And you’ll also learn:

  • Working with clients who are out of touch with body and emotions
  • How getting in contact with the bodily felt sense is a key process for releasing trauma
  • Assessing what your clients need based on their level of “experiencing” (and what that means)

One Therapist’s Experience with Inviting Clients to Stay with Felt Senses…

“I notice that the ‘speedy’ client, one who may be involved in telling the same repeating story, describing it quickly and with a worried or desperate tone, begins to shift in moments after being invited to a [felt sense].

She becomes contemplative, her speech naturally slows, and she can listen from a reflective and curious place. Even her body looks completely different. A relaxed attentiveness comes, rather than a vigilant rigid body posture. This client doesn’t seem to be the same person that walked through the door!

The material that moments before appeared hopeless and chaotic is now taking on the quality of a deep and interesting conversation within the person. Fresh information is coming now, not the ‘same old same old’ that the client has heard herself say far too many times without effecting meaningful change and a movement forward.

This is exciting to the client to have newly emerging information about her situation for the first time, and it feels good to me as a therapist to have provided a container for something new and ‘life forwarding’ to come.”

-Lauren Mari-Navarro LCSW, quoted in Focusing in Clinical Practice, p. 64

Course Information

You might be surprised to learn that some little known but revolutionary research on client process done in the 1950s could give you new tools and fresh insights for your stuck clients. This research (done by Eugene Gendlin and others at the University of Chicago) studied the clients’ manner of experiencing.

Rather than looking at what clients were saying, the researchers looked at how they said it. The remarkable result was that clients who spoke articulately about their problems did not do as well in therapy as those who, in some moments in the session, were in contact with something so freshly and immediately felt that they could not articulate it easily.

Successful clients sounded like this: “It’s funny… there’s something I’m feeling right now… I can’t say it very well… um…”

Contact with something freshly felt is one indicator of contact with a felt sense – a freshly forming, wholistic, bodily sense of some life problem or situation. The research showed that some clients get felt senses naturally and others needed help to allow felt senses to form.

A felt sense is a doorway, an opportunity to go beyond fixed concepts and stuck patterns. We (and our clients) often miss those doorways, perhaps because our culture puts such a premium on being clear and articulate or perhaps because waiting with something unclear can feel almost terrifyingly uncertain. Yet if we want our clients to be able to move out of their well-worn roads of familiar repetitive concepts and emotions and into the fresh experience they are longing to feel, we need to help them have and stay with their felt senses.

This is done through subtle empathic prompts and un-intrusive invitations, set within a matrix of empathic attunement and relational awareness. These subtle prompts can be done within any modality of psychotherapy, from psychodynamic to CBT to somatic.

Helping clients find and stay with their felt senses is a way to help them move off the well-worn path of familiar concepts and repetitive stories; it’s a way to support the release of trauma-based frozen structures as well.

In this course, Ann Weiser Cornell shows you how to recognize, invite, and facilitate your clients’ felt senses. You’ll learn practical and specific methods that you can begin to use with your clients immediately.

Ann Weiser Cornell and I have been working closely together for thirty years, and she knows as much about Focusing as I do. Ann has a knack for making the complex understandable and the theory of Focusing accessible to all.


Eugene Gendlin

Are You Ready to Invite Your Clients to the Edge of Change?

Help Your Clients Move Beyond Their Most Stuck Issues

The Doorway in a Moment: Inviting Your Clients to the Edge of Change

$147.00 $73.50

3-week on-demand video course
Unlimited, lifetime access
Access to our online forum

Note: This is an interactive video course. Video was recorded during an actual live course and has been edited. Sound quality may vary.

This course meets the qualifications for 4 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 100% completion of the course and all assignments.

How This Course Works

Learn Wherever You Like

This course is accessible by computer, tablet, or smart phone. If you can connect to the internet, you can connect to this course!

Be Supported In Your Process!

You won’t be going it alone! You’ll have access to a forum to chat with other students, plus access to Ann for parts where you might feel stuck.

Available at Your Convenience!

You can move through this course as quickly or slowly as you like. You’ll also have lifetime access to the material, so you can revisit it anytime

Interactive Materials

This course includes a beautiful PDF workbook to help you integrate your learning. There will also be checkpoints during the course to check-in on your progress.

What People Are Saying About The Doorway in a Moment

Got Questions? We’ve Got Your Answers…

The great news is that you can take this course whenever it works for you. You get content when you want it, plus lifetime access. No stressing out about being somewhere on time. Way less pressure to move through the material at a pace that might not fit for you. The lessons are compact and set up so that you can do them in small bites or big chunks depending on your learning style and your availability.

No. You’ll have access to the first Module of the course as soon as you sign up. Every 7 days, you’ll get a new module released to you. We provide the content in ‘small bites’ like this because taking time to practice the material and move forward in small, consistent steps supports you in making the kinds of changes you really want to make.

Sure. The classroom is virtual. You’ll get access to the course platform right after registering. Materials are provided via a combination of video, audio slideshows, and written content to cover a variety of learning styles. There is a forum so you can connect with other program participants and be part of a dynamic learning community. And you get lifetime access to all of it. Go through it once and come back anytime you need some extra support to handle life!

Thanks for asking. Each course is licensed to a single user – you! While we can’t authorize you to share the materials, we’d love to have your friend participate too. Please feel free to invite them to sign up too!

Your course comes with a 100% money-back guarantee. If you let us know within one year after you purchase the course that we didn’t deliver what we said we would, just ask and we’ll cheerfully refund the full course fee.

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.

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