The Lonely Outsider: Exploring Issues of Belonging and Identity

Would you like to discover how to be with your painful feelings of loneliness and isolation in a radically different way?

Do you feel lonely even when you are with other people?

Are you the one in a group who feels left out or not really belonging?

Do you hide the ways you are different from other people?

Wouldn’t it be great if you – the whole complexity of you – would be welcomed and celebrated by the people around you? How relaxing and supportive it would be! How often has that actually happened to you?

Perhaps you feel lonely at some deep level – even in a crowd. Maybe you feel like there is something wrong with you, that you can’t seem to be what other people expect or want you to be. Or maybe you feel there is something wrong with them – they are “narrow-minded” or “unimaginative” or the like. Or maybe both!

In the small town in Illinois where I grew up, “belonging” and “being alike” were fused. You could belong if you were like everyone else… in your dress, your speech, your ideas. I had both the urge to rebel and defy the conventions and the longing to be folded in and accepted as I was. Neither was very successful. So I was odd… and that feeling of being an “odd outsider” persisted for a long time. (See Ann’s Story below.)

In The Lonely Outsider, you’ll:

  • discover how to turn toward your own loneliness and isolation – with compassion
  • learn how to heal both the hurt of not belonging and the hurt of what you had to do to fit in
  • allow the “outsider” parts of you to come out and dare to be expressed
  • find your unique life energy that has been shuttled aside by the need to belong

At A Glance


If you ever feel like an oddball or an “outsider” – or if “do I belong?” is ever an issue for you.


In this three-module interactive video course, Focusing expert Ann Weiser Cornell shows you how to meet feelings of loneliness and not belonging with compassion so that you can feel freer to be your self in the world. Full Course Description 


In your own home or office, on your own computer or mobile device, anywhere and anytime.


Discovering the compromises we made in order to belong and fit in allows us to heal the hurts and bring our unique talents and gifts more fully into the world.

What have you given up in order to belong?

Ann’s Story

Recently I joined a group of professionals who meet once a month to present and discuss each other’s work. It seemed like a great opportunity to have interesting conversations and meet new people. But I was surprised to find that old questions of “am I acceptable?” and “do I belong?” were coming up for me in the group, and getting in the way of me being able to participate fully.

Doing Focusing with my feelings and reactions took me on a rich journey of discovery and healing, into my childhood with other kids at school, and my college years with teachers and authority figures. I was able to spend time with the younger “me” inside who was longing to belong and be accepted, who was willing to hide parts of herself in order to fit in… but at a great cost.

I learned that to be rejected by other people was a trauma, but hiding and rejecting parts of myself in order to belong was another trauma on top of that. As those traumas began to heal, in my Focusing process, I was able to recover parts of myself that had long been hidden… and also be relaxed and confident of my voice in the group… and in the world.

Course Information

Join me for this three-week interactive video course where we will explore issues of belonging and identity – and begin to release the blocks that have been in the way of being welcomed for who you really are.

The Course Includes:

  • Exploring the compromises you have made in order to fit in – and what it cost you to do that
  • Spending time with the part of you that has been protecting you by hiding parts of who you are
  • Discovering what might be possible for you if you allow more of who you are to be expressed
  • Beginning to heal the wounds of not belonging and not fitting in

Here’s What You Come Away With:

  • A self-compassion process you can use any time you feel like a lonely outsider
  • A greater acceptance of your full self, including the parts of you that are different from others
  • The possibility of a deep sense of comfort in your own body, and with who you are

It’s tragic when we think we have to hide and curtail who we are in order to fit in. Who would you be if belonging wasn’t an issue? Let’s discover that together… and create a safe and welcoming space for all our uniqueness!

Three weekly modules – Each introduces one or two new skills you can use to shift your sence of belonging in the world.


The Impossible Choice

Will I be myself… OR will I be loved and accepted? To be rejected by other people is a trauma… but hiding and rejecting parts of ourselves so we will not be rejected is also a trauma. In this module, we’ll talk about how to shift this dynamic so that you can be loved and accepted as you are..


Belonging as Myself

What we deeply need is to belong – as ourselves. We are born ready to be completely accepted as we are. This is what should have happened and so often it did not. Together we’ll explore what you gave up in order to belong so that the exiled parts of you can come safely home.


Can I Be Me With You?

It can seem inconceivable that someone can belong and be different. Yet, our greatest gift in relationships is the thing that only we, uniquely, can bring to the table. This module examines how you can live fully as yourself in a world in which you belong. I promise it is possible…

About Your Teacher

Ann created Inner Relationship Focusing with her long-time colleague, Barbara McGavin, to help people learn to listen compassionately to all the inner voices. Along the way, Ann and Barbara developed a radical new process for relating to the self-blaming voices inside them. It changed their lives, and it became their mission to help others transform as well.

For over 35 years now, Ann’s been teaching this practical, revolutionary process to people all over the world. With The Lonely Outsider on-demand course, you get the benefit of Ann’s expertise and the chance to practice the simple, yet revolutionary process of Focusing with her gentle, compassionate guidance.

Ann is the author of Focusing in Clinical Practice: The Essence of Change, The Power of Focusing, and The Radical Acceptance of Everything. Today she is internationally recognized as one of the leading innovators and theoreticians of Focusing.

Are You Ready for Change?

3 Steps Can Help Get You There…

Explore What You Gave Up in Order to Belong

Engage in Practices to Help You Live More Fully as Yourself

Radically Shift Your Sense of Belonging in the World

Register Here

The Lonely Outsider: Exploring Issues of Belonging and Identity

The Lonely Outsider: Exploring Issues of Belonging and Identity


3-week on-demand video course
Unlimited, lifetime access
Downloadable workbook
Access to our online forum
Click here for more information about the course


Get 6 Powerful Guided Exercises:

  • What happens when… (you join a new group or feel like an outsider)
  • The Part that Tries to Fit In and the Part that Holds Onto Being Different
  • What would have been right (for you)
  • What did you give up in order to belong?
  • Can I be me in the presence of you?
  • Living as your full self and belonging
  • And much more…

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

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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…

  • A.S.
    "I came to The Lonely Outsider course because I believe many of my clients struggle with feelings of not belonging. To be honest, I struggle with feelings of being an outsider too. I have enough insight into my childhood to know where my own feelings come from but that knowledge has not caused a change in my experience. During the course, Ann shared her own struggle with not belonging and when she coupled her experiences with Gene Gendlin's theories, I felt a subtle shift begin to stir inside me. Now that I've completed The Lonely Outsider Course, I've added tools I can use in my psychotherapy practice. I also have this feeling of being more comfortable in my own skin and maybe, more importantly, being a more engaged participant in my life."

Money Back Guarantee

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.

How am I going to fit this into my life right now?

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.

Do I get access to the course all at once?

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.

Tell me more about the classroom environment and how course content is provided?

Sure. The classroom is virtual and taught in a learning platform called Ruzuku. 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!

Can my friend and I share the course?

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!

Are CE Credits available?

No, we’re sorry. Continuing Education Units (CE Credits) are not available for this course. If you need CE Credits, please check out our upcoming live online courses here.



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