Focusing and Chronic Pain

Focusing and Chronic Pain

Pain can evoke overwhelming emotions. Strong physical sensations of pain can disrupt your sense of well-being and ability to live your life with ease.

You may wonder, will this ever change?

Join us for this class where you’ll learn how Focusing and an understanding of current body/mind research can help with painful symptoms and the strong emotions often associated with them. In this new course, taught by someone who has also experienced chronic pain, we’ll explore how our inner awareness and the tools of Focusing can help build understanding and resilience for living with complex painful sensations and emotions.

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.

What’s Included

  • Five two-hour meetings for a total of 10 hours of class time.
  • Access to digital recordings of every class so you’ll be able to download and listen to anything you want to hear again.
  • A private web page where you can access homework, recordings, and other important class information.

 At A Glance

WhoFor people who experience chronic pain, or those who support them, and are interested in how Focusing can build presence, empathy, and self-awareness. For those who are seeking new ways to understand the mind/body connection and how Focusing can uniquely address feelings and symptoms associated with chronic pain.
WhereLive Online Course – join us from anywhere in the world!
WhatTeaches body-based, self-compassion skills for being with symptoms of chronic pain or helping loved ones who live with chronic pain. Full Course Description
HowWe use Zoom, an online video conference platform, to connect you to other students and the teacher. It’s easy and fun to use, great to see your fellow students and the teacher. You can join us via your camera-equipped computer, tablet, or smart phone. Prefer not to be on video? You can call in by phone. Students receive access to a private webpage where materials can be found.
WhyLiving with chronic pain can evoke strong feelings of fear, worry and isolation. Many people who struggle with chronic pain can experience difficulties in work and recreation, and in their close relationships. In this course, you’ll receive tools to help build inner awareness and develop a strong sense of empathy toward these painful sensations, feelings and emotions associated with chronic pain, helping you to become more resourced and resilient.

Course Information

About the Course

  • Do you feel overwhelmed when your body is in pain?
  • Are you worried you’ll never find relief?
  • Do thoughts and feelings overwhelm you when you experience painful sensations and symptoms?
  • Would you like to explore how Focusing may help?

Chronic pain is an epidemic in today’s world, with over a billion people worldwide reporting that it severely impacts their quality of life and overall sense of well-being. Some people with chronic pain report feeling they have little or no control over their pain, they often have depressed feelings, trouble concentrating, low energy levels and poor sleep. With that kind of overwhelming experience, is there a way we can help ourselves face these challenges?

Many people have “tried everything” and while some things may help, what more can we learn about Focusing and mind/body processes that may help in new ways we’ve not yet explored? We’ll explore together how Focusing may open new doors to how we approach the complex human experience of pain.

What you’ll learn and have a chance to practice in this course:

  • How to be more present with ourselves even in the midst of pain.
  • How we can use subtle changes in language that may transform how we experience pain .
  • How mind/body research can help us understand the cycle of pain and provide possibilities for relief.
  • How to be empathic toward others while they are in pain.
  • How people who use Focusing with painful sensations have learned to be with challenging and overwhelming emotions .
  • How to accept ourselves and not identify exclusively with “our pain” or as  “a person in pain”.

Focusing can help us understand and keep company with the complexity, confusion and lack of clarity that often comes with pain. We can listen for its story, get a “felt sense” of the crux of the whole thing this pain may be telling us.  It gives us a way to stay at that physically sensed edge of experience so we can access the wisdom of our body.

No one wants to live inside the box of a diagnosis or a label for an illness. It can create feelings of victimization and guilt. Focusing makes a generous space to be with all facets of pain. From the time we were children and had our first scraped knee we may have learned to be with pain from a place of overwhelm and fear. What we didn’t learn was how to listen to our bodies. Using Focusing we can learn how to listen to our pain and our body’s wisdom.

About the Teacher

LaurenMari-Navarro - Small
Lauren Mari-Navarro

Lauren Mari-Navarro, LCSW is a somatic psychotherapist with 24 years of experience as a licensed clinical social worker. She received her Masters in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley and was a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Lauren has professional training in somatically oriented therapies that address the integration of mind, body, and emotions. She works with people experiencing grief and loss, chronic pain, trauma, depression, and anxiety. She has taught six-week journal writing series for cancer survivors at Palo Alto Medical Foundation and she teaches expressive arts courses (SoulCollage® and Memoir) at Cabrillo College Extension in Santa Cruz, California. Teaching transformative Focusing skills that empower both her clients and colleagues is one of her main joys and passions in life.

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.


Participants must have completed Path to Lasting Change, Part One with any Inner Relationship Focusing teacher.

Continuing Education Credit & Course Completion Certificate

Course meets the qualifications for 10 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.



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