Living a Focusing Life

“For me, living a Focusing life means being able to trust my inner sense of rightness in my choices and my relationships.”

― Ann Weiser Cornell

Be more fully present in your life.

You’ve discovered you love Focusing. After 18 weeks of Path to Lasting Change, you’re living with more presence and possibilities. Old stuck places are starting to shift.

But you also know that you’re just at the beginning. You could use more practice to feel confident and relaxed with Focusing partnership. There are still areas where Focusing hasn’t brought you change. And you’re curious — what would it be like if you could bring Focusing more fully into your life?

Wouldn’t it be great to have support to really live your life in a Focusing way? You’d feel more skillful as a Focusing partner and also be able to do Focusing alone. You’d have a deeper understanding of parts, felt senses, and how to live from Self-in-Presence more of the time. And you’d apply Focusing to areas like making decisions, releasing blocks, pursuing your desires and dreams, and the spiritual dimension of Focusing.

“Nothing that feels bad is ever the last step.”

― Gene Gendlin

What’s different and special about this training:

Living a Focusing Life starts at an advanced level. We build on everything you’ve learned in Path to Lasting Change. It’s one thing to learn the concepts. But to really integrate them takes time and practice. How great to be able to do that in a supportive group, with a master teacher!

Focusing isn’t just for those quiet times with your eyes closed. With practice, you can LIVE Focusing every day, all through the day — in your relationships, your decisions, your actions. You can live from and as Self-in-Presence, all day long.

When you spread that process of integration over seven months, with lots of practice, you end up with an experience of really living in a new way. Priceless!

You’ll gain confidence and ability in:

  • all aspects of Focusing partnership
  • being better at Focusing alone
  • living your life from Self-in-Presence more and more
  • following your “inner sense of rightness”
  • using Focusing to make decisions, release blocks, go after your heart’s desire
  • bringing Focusing to issues in your relationships

The Structure of The Course:

  • We meet as an online group on Zoom for 18 two-hour classes every week at first and later every other week.
  • You will be paired with a different partner from the course every other week unless you arrange something different. (For example, you could ask to be with the same person each time, or some other arrangement.)
  • There’s a new handout each time 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.
  • Each time Ann will share an important quote from the philosophy of Eugene Gendlin, and we’ll discuss how it supports us in living in a Focusing way.
  • Ann is 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 Ann – in a group that lasts 18 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 Ann and go further with your Focusing.
  • You’re interested in learning more about Gendlin’s philosophy and applying it.

3 Steps to Living a Focusing Life

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

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

Live Each Day with Presence, Awareness, and Curiosity

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.


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 Living a Focusing Life 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, 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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

The Spiritual Side of Focusing

We are all part of something larger. Gendlin called it “The Bigger System.” He said that the “body” that we contact in Focusing is part of a vastly larger system that includes the whole universe. We’ll practice being aware of the living world that we’re part of, and we’ll explore the ways that inner awareness can enhance the spiritual side of life, honoring that each person has their own perspective and their own way.

Learn 3 Ways To Bring More Focusing Into Your Day

Watch a replay of Ann’s free webinar.  You’ll come away with insights on how to use Focusing to:

  • connect with your inner sense of rightness, for example with decisions
  • communicate clearly in relationships
  • know what you really want and be willing to go for it

You’ll also learn more about the upcoming course, Living a Focusing life.

 Ready to Live a Focusing Life?

Join us and bring Focusing more fully into your life in a multitude of ways!

Pay in full or in six installments.


We’re committed to making this course as diverse and accessible as possible.
To learn more about scholarship options in detail, click here.


Living a Focusing Life

Living a Focusing Life


September 16, 2024 to May 19, 2025
2024: September 16, 23 & 30, October 14 & 28, November 11 & 25, December 9
2025: January 6, 20 & 27, February 10 & 24, March 10 & 24, April 7; May 5 & 19

18 Mondays; 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM Pacific
Taught by Ann Weiser Cornell


Payment and additional details

Installment Plans include processing fees. Option to pay in installments displays on last page of checkout.

The last day to register is September 9

This is advanced training: You’ll need four Levels of Focusing (now taught under the name Path to Lasting Change, Parts One and Two) in order to join

Not sure? I’d love to chat with you about it! Just click here to set up a free 20-minute call or Zoom meeting with me.

What People Are Saying

  • C.R.
    "My biggest challenge was feeling pressure, like living life with a to-do list. I felt as if peace came in snatches. Now I have more acceptance of being human — an awareness of challenges and peace. Before the course, I wanted to be fixed. Now, I simply want to be curious and grow."

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.


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

Continuing Education Credit & Record of Completion

Course meets the qualifications for 36 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.

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 CE Credits, 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 Getting Free or Treasure Maps; will this be the same?

People who have taken the Getting Free course or the Treasure Maps to the Soul retreat will recognize Self-in-Presence and parts,​​ but there is lots of material in this class that wasn’t covered in those courses, including specific work with action blocks, decisions, the inner sense of rightness, and the heart’s desire. In addition, we’ll be spending time on bringing Focusing into daily life.

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?

Living a Focusing Life 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 Living a Focusing Life 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 class you’ll get 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. There’s an experiential component to every class. You’ll have an assigned partner each week, and you can tell us if you’re not available that week, or if there is someone particular you’d like to work with.

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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