Focusing: The Second Year

“Feeling confident about Focusing and Focusing partnership is a priceless gift. So many areas of life, from creativity to self-esteem to relationships, become easier when we practice and build up this lifelong resource.”

― Ann Weiser Cornell

Have you gotten a lot from Focusing and know there’s so much more?

Focusing is a process that continually unfolds. You probably already know this from your own experience with Focusing. There is so much richness and complexity to the inner world. And so much more to learn about applying Focusing to your life in a way that feels like second nature.

Do you sometimes feel shaky about how to cultivate Self-in-Presence when you need to?

Self-in-Presence can be challenging to stay in touch with when certain types of parts get triggered. The good news is there are ways you can feel more confident and connected to your own sense of Self-in-Presence. Like any skill, practice is key and in Focusing: The Second Year you get twenty weeks to further develop your presence skills through your own practice and in partnership with fellow students.

Are there times when Focusing doesn’t work well… or types of issues that just don’t shift?

It’s remarkable how it’s the very times when we come up against the limits of what is possible — with Focusing or with ourselves — that the greatest breakthroughs can occur. Rather than avoiding such times, we can turn toward them in a supportive group and discover the richness that can emerge. Experiences of “resistance,” going blank, getting overwhelmed — either in ourselves or in Focusing partners — would be just a few examples of this potential richness.

Do you ever feel less than confident as a Focusing partner?

Perhaps you haven’t had a regular partner since the end of your Focusing training course, or perhaps you’ve had a partner but you’ve been feeling uncertain about some things that come up. Like so much else, partnership gets better with practice — and you don’t have to figure it all out by yourself. Wouldn’t it be great to have a supportive group where you can bring your questions and increase your comfort level as a partner? As confidence and comfort grow, so does the power of the Focusing process to bring change and greater freedom to your life.

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“The course helped me have better relationships with my children. And as I move through the world, I’m better able to discern what I’m feeling in each moment. Being able to do that is a superpower. It lets me be in the world and not feel tossed around. As a special education teacher, I can be with my students in a calm state and listen to what they’re saying under their words. The effects of learning this process are exponential.”

– Susan S.

What is different and special about this training:

I really wanted to put together a program that would take people to the next level, so I developed a curriculum that would give empowerment and support in areas that none of my other courses cover (or cover so thoroughly).
For example:

  • Yes, I have an audio course on releasing blocks to action… but I’ve never before taught how to work as a Companion with action blocks. It’s quite illuminating to discover how many issues can be framed as action blocks! And it’s not too difficult to work with them… if you know how.
  • Yes, we talk about Self-in-Presence in Path to Lasting Change Parts One and Two. But were you aware that there is a Helpful Protector that masquerades as Presence? In this course I will show you how to recognize it, in yourself and in your partners.
  • Yes, we start working with Protectors in Path to Lasting Change Part Two. But it is possible to be so much more at ease and confident with what to do when Protectors arise… including how to spot them.

Here are some of the reasons people have taken this program and the results they’ve received:

“Focusing works well sometimes but other times I just get fuzzy and space out.”

He learned how to build trust in the inner world so he could stay with elusive felt senses.

“I’m so nervous when I’m a Companion, I don’t know the right words and I’m afraid I’ll mess up the other person.”

Practicing with a supportive partner from the course every week, she learned to relax and trust her own instincts about what to say, as well as trusting the process itself.

“When I get triggered, I get overwhelmed easily, and when I do it’s hard to get back.”

She learned how to be with the Small One, the part that carried the early wounding, so that it began to feel safe and to heal, and this built up her ability to be Self-in-Presence.

You will leave with skills and language (and confidence) in helping with:

  • being Self-in-Presence
  • blocks to action
  • critical and “helpful” Protector parts
  • decisions that aren’t easy
  • persistent longings

And perhaps most important of all: deep bonds of connection with a supportive group where you are know you belong and are accepted.

The Structure of The Course:

  • We meet as an online group on Zoom for 20 two-hour classes, usually every week but with breaks for holidays.
  • You will be paired with a different partner from the course each week unless you arrange something different. (For example, you could ask to be with the same person each week, or some other arrangement.)
  • You have a new handout each week with a new exercise to try out with your partner. Many of these are “protocols” where you get the precise language to take your partner through the process.
  • During class we will have presentations, discussions, group guided exercises, and demonstrations.
  • I am available in between class meetings for your questions by email.

This course could be right for you if:

  • You want to go further with Focusing – and me – in a group that lasts 20 weeks so we can really give each other lots of support… and so you can go deeper into your own healing and growth.
  • You don’t want to take the two-year certification program to teach Focusing to other people – either that’s not your thing or it’s not the right time – but you do want to work with me and go further with your Focusing.

Want to Take Your Focusing to the Next Level? Now You Can!

Feel More Confident in Your Ability to Cultivate Self-in-Presence

Get Advanced Training You Can Apply to Specific Blocks & Life Issues

Feel Unshakable in Your Ability to Meet Whatever Comes as a Focuser & a Partner

About Your Teacher

Ann Weiser Cornell, PhD, is the co-developer (with Barbara McGavin) of Inner Relationship Focusing and Untangling®. Ann learned Focusing in 1972 from its developer, Eugene Gendlin, and was his close friend and colleague to the end of his life.

As the CEO of Focusing Resources, she has taught in twenty countries around the world for more than thirty-five years, as well as online. Ann has written a number of definitive books on Focusing, including The Power of Focusing: A Practical Guide to Emotional Self-Healing, and The Radical Acceptance of Everything.

Curriculum

In Path to Lasting Change, Part Two you learned how to help with blocks to Focusing like “The Feeling about the Feeling,” inner criticizing parts, feeling overwhelmed and feeling nothing. As you learned how to help other people with those blocks, you were also learning about them for yourself.

In Focusing: The Second Year we will continue the process of learning how to help yourself and others with specific blocks and specific kinds of issues. Each week there will be a new exercise tailored for that particular area. We’ll learn the theory behind it, practice the process in class with a guided exercise or a demonstration, and then pair up during the week to try it in a session with a partner.

More about the areas we’ll be exploring:

Self-in-Presence

Self-in-Presence, we can’t get enough of it! When we need it the most, it can be the hardest to find. You’ll learn and practice more ways to cultivate Self-in-Presence yourself and support it in your partners. Did you know that a part can masquerade as Presence? You’ll learn how to spot this in yourself or a partner, and how to help it shift.

The Not-Wanting/Wanting Process

We touched on this powerful process in the first year of Focusing but did you really learn the nuances of taking yourself or a partner through it? Now you will… including how to tell if it is the right time for “Not Wanting/Wanting,” and what to do instead if it isn’t.

Working with Parts

What is a Protector part? How do we recognize it and how do we treat it? What about a Defender part? How parts arise from trauma… what is our definition of trauma… and what kind of part is underneath all the warring Protectors and Defenders, a frozen young part we call The Small One.

Releasing Blocks to Action

It’s a block to action if you want to do something and you just don’t do it. It could be organizing your desk, or finally making your own creation, or getting your website updated. If you want to do it and you don’t do it, that’s an action block, and it’s an incredibly rich place to do Focusing. In Focusing: The Second Year you learn how to help someone else work with a block to action. Hint: It all starts with framing the issue, and we’ll learn how.

Focusing with Decisions

If decisions are hard, that’s often because we have two or more parts of us pulling in different directions. The need to make a decision points to a profound moment in which two sides of the self need to be honored and heard in order to move forward from our wholeness. But how? We’ll learn a format for helping a person who needs to make a decision and wants to use Focusing to do it.

Longing and the Heart’s Desire

What were the messages you received around “wanting”? Is it OK to want something you might not get? Perhaps there is a part of us that protects us from wanting, or from wanting too much. We’ll explore making a space for desire AND for the parts that are worried that having desires is dangerous… and work with them both. And we’ll see how to go deeper with wanting (even addictive wanting) to get down to the essential aliveness underneath.

Working with Addictions and “Unhealthy Behaviors”

Barbara McGavin and I have the following definition of an addiction: “A compulsively repetitive behavior that is an unsuccessful attempt to carry forward a situation.” Many behaviors (whether involving substances or not) can be done addictively. It is not the behavior or the substance that makes it an addiction, but the internal dynamic – how it feels, how it works, and the result in one’s life. Do you try to get yourself to stop doing “unhealthy behaviors” with little success? This week we get to know the Defenders and Protectors involved in this dynamic, and how it can shift.

 Want to further your Focusing?

Register Here for Focusing: The Second Year

Pay in full or in six installments.

Registration is now closed. If you’d like to be notified when we teach the course again, please contact Allison.

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.

Prerequisite

Path to Lasting Change Part Two (or Focusing Level Four) with an Inner Relationship Focusing Teacher

Continuing Education Credit & Course Completion Certificate

Course meets the qualifications for 40 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.

Cancellation and Refund 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.

Got Questions? We’ve Got Your Answers…

Do I have to be present for every class? What about recordings?

This is a participatory partnership class and your presence at most of the classes is important, but there is no precise number of classes you need to attend — unless you want CEUs, in which case you need to attend 80% of the classes and make up any missed classes. Every class will be recorded and the recordings will be available to every registered participant.

To respect the confidentiality and privacy of our participants we do not provide video recordings of our classes. All recordings are provided as audio files.

I’ve taken Treasure Maps; will this be the same?

People who have taken the Treasure Maps to the Soul retreat will recognize the three types of parts and the Not-Wanting/Wanting language, but there is material in this class that wasn’t covered in Treasure Maps, including specific work with action blocks, decisions, framing the issue, and the heart’s desire. In addition, if you took Treasure Maps, this class gives you a chance to carry forward the work with weekly partnership practice in structured exercises.

I’ve not taken Treasure Maps yet, is that OK?

Of course! The only pre-requisite for this class is Path to Lasting Change, Part Two (or four Levels).

What’s the relationship between this course and Certification Training?

Focusing: The Second Year could be taken before, after, during, or instead of certification training. (It does not lead to certification itself, but certainly enhances practitioner skills.) If what you want is to deepen your own Focusing practice (with a partner), then Focusing: The Second Year is the most direct route.

This time isn't good for me; will you be teaching this again?

We offer this course once a year starting in September. It will be at a different time of day next year.

What is the format? How does the partnership work?

Each week I will offer new teaching, including theory, examples, and specific language for taking a partner through the process we are learning about. There are also handouts each week written especially for this course and you can read in advance if you want to. There’s an experiential component to every class; either I will guide everyone through an exercise, or I will work with one person as a demo… and sometimes we will also pair up for a while during class. You will have an assigned partner each week, and you can just tell us if you’re not available that week. It’s also OK to work with the same person all 20 weeks, just let us know.

You’re certainly welcome to bring what you’re learning to your other Focusing partnerships outside the course. And feel free to bring the new skills to your clients if you’re a healing professional—it’s meant to be shared!

Other questions? Let me know by clicking here.

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