Certification as an Inner Relationship Focusing Professional

You don’t 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.

1. Have a 20-Minute Chat

Ann can help you explore whether the program meets your needs. Click here to get started and fill out our pre-chat form.

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.

'The program is sensitive, supportive, and substantive...' Click to read more from a satisfied student

“So much of education is like a factory floor with machines churning out biscuits that are all the same shape and size. This is a completely different approach that cultivates each person’s interests, passions and capabilities. It’s sensitive, supportive, and substantive.

“The way the teachers in this program give to students is unlike any education program I’ve ever witnessed, including all the countries I’ve worked in around the world and all the programs I’ve supported other people teaching…

“Here’s an example of what I mean… When I first started seeing practice clients, I’d write a few notes about each session. By the end, I’d try to transcribe entire sessions. Why? Because if I did, I’d get these incredible emails that offered suggestions for every single line. Who does that? The depth of caring is truly quite remarkable.

“Even with that remarkable caring, a part of me was worried about being judged during the observed sessions. When I finally had them, they weren’t judgmental at all! It was like a love fest that helped me better understand my capacity to support people.

“From a personal perspective, I’m so much happier and more grounded than I was before I took this program. I’m so much more in tune with what I want to share with the world. Were my family in this room, they’d be saying thank you!

“And on the professional side, well… My first paid Focusing client said to me, ‘You know, I’ve been going to therapy for so many years. They always said I could find what I needed inside but I never felt like I could until I started Focusing.’ To be able to help someone see that within themselves is the biggest gift I could be giving. Thank you so so much!”


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 2024 – June 2025

October 10. 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 17. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell
Fundamental concepts of Inner Relationship Focusing and Focusing partnership. Reviewing our shared agreements as Focusing partners. What is essential about Focusing?

October 24. Led by Peter Gill
Empathic attunement and listening. Accompanying someone else’s process. Empathic prompting. Spotting felt sense moments. Getting what the person is conveying.

October 31. 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 7. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell
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 14. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell
The Power of Guiding. The “Bottle” Model of a Focusing Session. Balancing Reflecting and Guiding. Using One’s Own Felt Sense when Accompanying a Focuser.  Helping a session to end: (1) if there has been a shift, (2) if there hasn’t been a shift.

November 21. 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 5. Led by Helene Brenner
“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 12. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell
Developing Relationship with something that is there. How to support a Focuser to come into relationship with what they are experiencing. Listening for “something.” When a Focuser has a positive feeling at the start of a session. When a Focuser has both a stressful feeling and a positive feeling.

January 2, 2025. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell
Parts. What is a Part? Developing Relationship with Parts. The importance of working with parts in IRF. Protectors need “Might you be worried?” and other types of parts need “What kind of contact do you want from me right now?”

January 9. 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 16. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell and Lee Miller
Sessions with Someone Who Knows Focusing. As you get started working with practice clients who know Focusing already, the essential skill is following the person, following the process. Having a professional role with clients, not thinking you have to help them… and yet helping when you sense they need it. How this is different from Focusing partnership, and from therapy. How we can approach sessions with curiosity and in learning mode.

Focusing-oriented supervision/consultation. How to do your own Focusing on (and learn from) doing practice client sessions. How to give each other support in triads.

January 23. Consultative Triads meet
Focusing with feelings and issues around starting to work with practice clients.

January 30. Led by Barbara McGavin
Protectors. “Resistance,” sleepiness, blankness, intellectualizing. Developing a different kind of relationship with Protectors. The Role of Protectors in Trauma. Not-Wanting/Wanting.

February 6. Consultative Triads meet
To practice the topic of the last session.

February 13. Led by Emily Agnew.
Working with New People Part One. The Conversation Before the Session. Following the Issue.

February 20. Consultative Triads meet
To role play being new people, the conversation before the session and following the issue.

February 27. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell
Working with New People Part Two. Moving from Story to Felt Sense. Keeping in Touch with the Issue.

March 6. Consultative Triads meet
To share Focusing turns on working with new people.

March 13. 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.

March 20. Consultative Triads meet
To share Focusing turns on working with new people.

March 27. 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 3. Consultative Triads meet
To share Focusing turns on working with new people, especially the ending.

April 10. 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.

April 17. 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.

April 24. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell
Working with Trauma. When Parts Tell or Show Hard Times in the Past. Memories. Giving Empathy to the Younger You.

May 1 Consultative Triads meet
To practice facilitating contact with a younger Part.

May 8. 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.

May 15. Consultative Triads meet
Consultative Triads meet to practice Start with Why exercises and do Focusing on what they bring up.

May 22. Led by Barbara McGavin
Life forward direction. Listening for the positive. Not everything is a Part! And when Parts change. Supporting possibilities.

May 29. Consultative Triads meet
To practice working with life-forward direction.

June 5. Consultative Triads meet
To do Focusing looking back and looking forward, and to discuss if and how to continue over the summer.

June 12. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell
Summing Up the Year and Looking Forward to the Summer and the Second Year.

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 (12-hour) Focusing 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 2025 – May 2026

September 18, 2025. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell
Coming Back, Intentions, A Look at the Year Ahead, Choosing a Topic for Your Project. The Worlds of Focusing. The many styles and types of Focusing, and where you fit in those traditions.

September 25. Consultative Triads meet
To do Focusing on plans for a project.

October 2. 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 9. Consultative Triads meet
Consultative Triads meet to share Focusing turns around the issue of how you would create a Focusing course.

October 16. Led by Emily Agnew
Finding Your People. Saying what you do in a way that reaches the people you want to work with.

October 23. Consultative Triads meet
To share plans for how to find people to teach, and develop an action plan.

October 30. 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 6. Consultative Triads meet
Consultative Triads meet to share Focusing turns around offering attunements and exercises.

November 13. Led by Peter Gill
Planning Level One Creatively – Weekend vs. Weekly – Online vs. Live – Planning vs. Flexibility

November 20. Consultative Triads meet
To create action plans for their Level One.

December 4. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell
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 11, 2025. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell
Four students offer attunements to the class and receive feedback.

January 8, 2026. 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 15. Consultative Triads meet
To share Focusing turns on feelings around group leadership and group safety.

January 22. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell
Reviewing Your Plans for Teaching a Level One Course. Support and tips from mentor and other trainees.

January 29. Consultative Triads meet
To share Focusing turns on issues around planning for a Level One course.

February 5. 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 12. Consultative Triads meet
Consultative triads meet to share Focusing turns on the topic of teaching your Level One course.

February 19. Led by Nina Joy Lawrence and Pat Omidian
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 26. Consultative Triads meet
To share practice the topic of the last meeting.

March 5. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell
Designing Group Focusing exercises for any purpose. Creating your own special purpose Focusing-related workshops.

March 12. Consultative Triads meet
To share practice the topic of the last meeting.

March 19. Led by Emily Agnew
Spreading the Word, Promotion for Introverts (or Whatever You Are), If You Want to Learn More About Marketing.

March 26. Consultative Triads meet
To share practice the topic of the last meeting.

April 2. 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. Getting in touch with the value of our work to others, including the ripples and reverberations in people’s lives. When you need to end your professional relationship with someone.

April 9. 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 16. 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 23. Consultative Triads meet
To do Focusing turns on completing and presenting their projects.

April 30. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell and Co-Mentors
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 7. Led by Ann Weiser Cornell and Co-Mentors
Reports and presentations from projects, part two. Half of the trainees present their projects.

May 14. Consultative Triads meet
To do Focusing turns on feelings about completing the program, moving into next steps, and how we can support each other after graduating.

May 21, 2026. Led by Ann with other Teachers and Co-Mentors.
Last class together. Celebrations, appreciations, looking back, looking forward.


Completion of the program:

In addition to completing the classroom two-year 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 1

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 8

Early Enrollment Application Deadlineget in your application by this date to enroll early, securing your spot and getting access to program materials in advance

August 29

Final Application Deadline – Must have a chat with Ann in order to receive the application form.

September 5

Registration Closes – final payment deadline

October 10

Class begins

Want a free taste of our program?

Join Ann Weiser Cornell, with Barbara McGavin and other program teachers for a 90-minute Open House Webinar all about the Two-Year Certification Program.


  • Find out if this program is right for you
  • Learn about the different components of the program and how they integrate
  • 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 for the 2024-2026 Program. Registration is limited to 20 participants.

Step 1. Have a 20-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.

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


Dates: October 10, 2024 to May 21, 2026
Time: Thursdays; 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM Pacific
Taught by Ann Weiser Cornell and Additional Program Faculty


Payment and additional details

Cost: $7500

Pay in full or in 12 installments. Installment plans include processing fees. Choose payment plan option at checkout.

Don’t Miss Out: The last day to register is September 5

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 Path to Lasting Change, Part One Assistants
  • 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& Record of Completion

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 Credits are awarded for completion of Year One, and 34 CE Credits are awarded for completion of Year Two. (Demonstrations of Facilitating Focusing class and the Treasure Maps retreat also award CE Credits 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 Credits. Records of Completion 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 Credits but would like a Record of Completion, 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 8 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

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!



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