The Untangling® Intensive

with Ann Weiser Cornell and Barbara McGavin


If you long for your own fuller life but your energy is bound up in fear, shame, confusion, self-criticism.


The Untangling® Intensive is an online alternative to Ann & Barbara’s 6-day Treasure Maps retreat.


By Zoom, in your own home or office.


You would love to live your bigger, freer, untangled life… finally

Do you long for life to change but keep getting tangled up when you try?

Does what you want for your life seem impossible?

It sounds like you might have a Tangle…

The Untangling® Intensive is a six-day online course for untangling your Tangles and turning your life around – so that what was impossible becomes possible.

In the Untangling® Intensive you can expect to:

  • Feel a fresh sense of freedom and space even before the issue starts to change.
  • Experience your own strong calm center even in the midst of turmoil and confusion.
  • Let your unique strengths grow and flourish as you step away from patterns of self-blame.
  • Create relationships with the various parts in your Tangle so they can finally heal in the way they have been longing for.
  • Shift the level at which you have been holding your Tangle so that it doesn’t have to keep repeating… and something really new can happen.

We know, we’ve been there…

It all started in 1994 when we happened to be confronted with our own most challenging life issues (addiction to alcohol and suicidal depression) just as we were about to teach three workshops together. We were both professional Focusing teachers… but years of Focusing (as we knew it then) had not helped us with our toughest issues – which seemed impossible to shift.

Somehow the urgency of it and the combination of our unique strengths resulted in our developing a new form of Focusing that did work to bring change in those most challenging, tangled life issues.

We thought our new discoveries could be kept to ourselves until we got a lot more sure about them. But the questions that people asked us about their own problems and issues kept calling for answers out of our newest learnings. We found we had to share what we were discovering, raw as it was. People loved it, and wanted more.

What IS a Tangle Anyway?

What We’ve Discovered is…

Inside a Tangle, no road leads to freedom. There are dead ends everywhere. Resolution is literally impossible at that level. Everything you try just keeps you even more stuck. But there is a way to shift outside of the Tangle so that new possibilities open up.

There is some kind of trauma underneath – Underlying any Tangle is a “stoppage” of life forward energy – in other words, a trauma. Transformation and resolution come when you can be present to the stopped energy (and the pain of it) without falling in. When you can do this, you begin to get back your own life direction and your own resources.

Exiled parts play key roles – The key player in the Tangle may be an exiled part of you that you can’t feel or hear. All the Focusing in the world doesn’t help until you invite the missing player. Having a “map” lets you know what missing part to invite… so your inner work is effective and brings real change.

You are not your Tangle – Inside a Tangle, it’s hard to access your full, aware, freely acting Self. But you are not your Tangle. You are a resourceful, resilient, flexible Self who can be in Presence with every aspect and part. Wouldn’t it be great to really experience that? You can!

This is What We Want for You:

  • That in the places in your life where you feel most stuck and despairing, real hope dawns, because what was impossible becomes possible.
  • That repetitive painful patterns no longer repeat and instead begin to shift, because you can shift levels and be with your Tangle without being in it.
  • That you can move forward with your life with energy, curiosity, ease, and connection with others – in ways that felt out of the question before.

What You Can Expect from This Program:

  • A living, flexible “map” of your tangled issue with the different parts separated out
  • A new way to understand your stuckness – not as something permanently wrong with you or your life, but as a “stoppage” of life energy that can resume and flow again
  • A powerful way to get underneath the repetitive patterns to what is really driving them… and give the stuck parts what they’ve always needed… at last

The Program

The Untangling® Intensive is an online program (via Zoom) led by Ann Weiser Cornell and Barbara McGavin. It meets over six days: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday on two successive weekends. There will be six hours of class each day, three hours (with a 15 minute break) and then another three hours after a 90-minute break.

That might seem like a lot of time in front of a screen, but there will be breaks, movement, and Focusing partnerships within each of those three-hour sessions. We want to offer you an intensive, immersive experience that supports you in going deep into the process.

Over these six days, we’ll be going on a journey of inner exploration that begins with Getting to Know Your Tangle… and then one by one we show you the Five Powers of Presence and how to apply each of them in your own Tangle.

We teach through stories from our own lives and demonstrations of each of the Powers. There are specially designed paired exercises to do with each other. After your practice partnership time, you’ll come back to the group to share your experiences and receive support.

The spirit of the retreat is respect and safety for every part of yourself. Expect to feel deeply understood and accepted… even those parts of yourself that you don’t accept (yet).

At the end of the week:

  • You have learned to use five “Powers” to create the environment for transformational change.
  • You have learned about four Territories that are common areas where people have Tangles: the Swamp of blocked actions, the Wilderness of compulsive actions, the Pit of despairing emotions and the Mountain Top of obsessive desires.
  • You have support and help to go forward with the process beyond the week, through partnerships and your own Focusing.

What Else? You’ll Also Receive:

  • A beautifully designed Workbook to follow through the week that gives you the details and specific language of every exercise
  • A leaflet that tells you where you are in the process at each step of the retreat
  • 63 pages of Workshop Handouts that go into detail about the process and the theory behind it… available before the retreat so you can read in advance if you want to

This Program May Be For You If:

  • You have a deep commitment to your own transformation and growth, and a determination to find something that brings real change
  • You are not a beginner to Focusing – you have completed a Focusing training program either Path to Lasting Change One and Two, or four Levels
  • You have a longing to experience your life in a new way, free of what has been holding you back

“When you are merged with a Part, you see the world through its eyes. You can’t see the larger picture or another person’s point of view. You can’t get a sense of the whole situation.”

Barbara McGavin & Ann Weiser Cornell

Enroll for Your Course Here

Registration is closed. Please email us to be notified when the course opens again.

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.


You have completed a Focusing training program either Path to Lasting Change One and Two, or four Levels.

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.

Program Cancellation 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…

Each section of the class builds on the one before, so please plan not to miss any meetings.

We’ll meet twice per day, March 17-29 and March 24-26, 2023:

  • Pacific Time: 6:30 AM-9:30 AM; 11:00 AM-2:00 PM
  • Mountain Time: 7:30 AM-10:30 AM; 12:00 PM-3:00 PM
  • Central Time: 8:30 AM-11:30 AM; 1:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Eastern Time: 9:30 AM-12:30 PM; 2:00 PM-5:00 PM
  • UK and Ireland: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM; 6:00 PM-9:00 PM
  • Central European: 2:30 PM-5:30 PM; 7:00 PM-10:00 PM
  • Eastern European: 3:30 PM-6:30 PM; 8:00 PM-11:00 PM

*On Sunday, March 26 these times will be one hour later because of Summer Time.

Yes, you’ll be Focusing in partnership each day, for longer times each day, as you gain the resources you’ll need to be with your Tangles. These Focusing sessions will be in breakout rooms via the Zoom link.

We’d like you to have a fair amount of experience as a Focusing partner, able to direct your own Focusing process and accompany someone else. We ask people to have Parts One and Two of our Path to Lasting Change course, or the equivalent. If you’re not sure about your previous Focusing experience please check with Ann.

The Untangling® Intensive is based on the 6-day Treasure Maps retreat, and covers approximately the same material. The Introduction to Untangling® course (which we are not currently teaching), is a simpler, less intensive course without partnership practice. The Getting Free course is a yearlong remote course which allows a significantly more in-depth engagement with the Untangling® method compared to any of the other courses. You might choose the Untangling® Intensive if you want to immerse yourself in the Untangling® method and the yearlong Getting Free course doesn’t fit your needs.

Can’t find an answer?