What does it mean to GUIDE someone else in ways that bring life forward movement?
In our Focusing partnerships, we learn and practice relational skills that support being a Companion to someone else on their inner journey. Professional guiding is different from being a Focusing partner. It is fun and sometimes bewildering because each person we encounter is unique!
Maybe you are a coach, therapist, social worker, yoga therapist, spiritual director, health professional, body worker, wellness enthusiast or educator…
Essentially, you have, or want, a vocational path that brings you together one-to-one with others in situations of facilitating change for this other person .
You would like to help them access their natural Focusing skills in these moments.
Or maybe you have access to groups that you would like to explore these relational and essence of change skills with.
Possibly you recognize some of the above as the direction you are heading toward…
WELCOME! We’d love for you to join us here!
Your goal may be to offer and market ‘Guided Focusing Sessions’ to clients as a Certified Focusing Professional or to teach Focusing as a Focusing trainer. You are also welcome here if you are already certified, if you want to use these skills with clients you already have or friends or community groups you belong to. This is a space for experienced Focusers to continue learning.
Although not everyone in this community is geared toward Focusing certification, we understand and believe in the transformational power of our one-to-one relationships. The Learning Community for Mastery in Guiding Change course has a pre-requisite of at least one year of skill training classes and regular partnership practice. This could be via my Creating Space for Lasting Change Parts 1-4 or equivalent classes or possibly a previous mentor relationship with me. We are excited about the variety of backgrounds coming together here and if you have trained in another Focusing modality other than Inner Relationship Focusing, let’s chat to be sure this will be a match for you. The first 10 classes will be grounding in guiding from an Inner Relationship Focusing view as a common experience and language from which to share and grow.
Grounded in our own experience as Focuser and Companion, we will:
– Utilize Gendlin’s philosophy to expand our understanding of ourselves and others as interaction first.
– Empower confidence to TRUST Presence calisthenics. The Focusing process is resilient. Our body is on our side here.
– Learn more about how to tell where we are in our brain and the myriad of ways we can exercise our neural system toward a sense of flexibility, integration and resilience.
– Expand our ability to tell when someone would be open to Focusing invitations.
– Learn and/or deepen the practice of landing in the “we-space”, and finding a fresh rhythm from there, together.
– Explore saying “yes” with equanimity to all that is here in our own and our client/friend/partner’s experience. Everything is welcome as it arrives and given a space to feel safe for however it is now.
– Develop experience in how mindfulness practices can help identify and transform core emotional patterns that create anxiety/depression or other interpersonal conflicts.
– Explore the power of silence and our speech as music. How does sound contribute to a healing environment?
– Explore the benefits of metaprocessing, pausing to reflect and highlight anything new as soon as it arises in small ways.
– Deepen the practice of letting the Focuser’s words “land” in your body, then let that place speak naturally, rather than remembering or conjuring things to say back.
– Explore why sometimes listening to others becomes difficult and what we can do.
– Explore the subtle difference between “putting your own stuff away to be fully there for the other person” and the idea of “being there, just as you are, however you are” – i.e. Gendlin’s being a human being with another human being.
-Trust that our client has the capacity to heal and helping them see their choice points.
– Continue to gather and grow as a learning community. We can return here to make connections, celebrate our successes, ask questions, share challenging experiences and learn new modalities emerging.
“The Learning Community was the perfect next step for me after completing Level 4. The community is so warm and welcoming and was supportive for me to learn and grow in my personal and professional practice. Sandy holds such a safe and open space to explore what feels alive for us. This paved the way for very rich discussions as a group. I really enjoyed learning from the guest teachers that Sandy brought in, it expanded my horizons and opened the doors to different modalities and practices. I would highly recommend the Learning Community to anyone looking to take the next steps in their Focusing journey.”
~ Ash Hall, Inner Wisdom Yoga Instructor
"I cannot express enough how this community has supported me through the pandemic - From the time I started my focusing level 1 which coincided with the beginning of the pandemic and lockdowns, to now when we are in covid recovery. The regular meets ups of the learning community has been a structure, support and groundedness which I really needed through the chaos and the fluidity of the pandemic, lockdowns and the erratic ever changing environment. Besides the structure of attending the classes every fortnight, the content of the learning community helped to support me personally through the challenging past 2 years. Learning to slow down, listen with curiosity, listening from within and creating relationship with different parts of myself has been a real gift during this time. I love that with focusing we are encouraged to focus with a partner regularly. I have had several different partners and did various focusing sessions with as many experienced focusers as I could. Learning from others (focusers and teachers) helped me to not feel isolated during the period of isolation as I was able to focus with people across the world on zoom. It really made my world a smaller and less scary place by knowing that someone across the world was experiencing exactly the same thing I was as well. The focusing partnerships also helped me to really connect with myself whilst being supported by a companion, and it helped me to practice my companioning skills to become a better coach."
~Jeanne Tan (Life and Career Transitions Coach, PCC Certified)
And when you are ready, here are upcoming opportunities..
Learning Community for Mastery in Guiding Change Year 1
Twenty 1.5-hour classes, maintain a Focusing partnership
2023 – 24
7:30 – 9 pm ET
Sept 7, Sept 21, Oct 5, Oct 19, Nov 2, Nov 16,
Jan 11, Jan 25, Feb 8, Feb 22, March 7, March 21, April 4, April 18, May 2, May 16, May 30, June 13, June 27, July 11
Creating Space Part 4 or equivalent
Learning Community: Year 2 & Ongoing
Oh my, what a joy to be here! Here we will continue our journey in facilitating change. This space is for those cohorts that have completed the first year in the Learning Community for Mastery in Guiding Change. My goal is for this to be a touchstone community for your journey toward holding space for change whether you are here as part of your certification path with TIFI or crossing these skills with something else you are already doing like coaching, therapy, body or energy work, etc.
We’ll meet a total of 10 times a year. I expect all cohorts to meet for the second year. For those who would like to stay part of the community beyond two years, you will be welcomed into a second year cohort for a discounted fee.
Our 1.5 hour gatherings will generally have one of these two structures:
- Two 40-45 min segments (with a 5 min break) that could include:
- a workshop from one of our members
- case study discussions of facilitating change with clients (bring your questions and share your celebrations!)
- a video of someone guiding a first time client (we share appreciations and process questions)
- small group discussions around relevant topics (i.e. felt sense conversations)
- A 1.5 hr presentation from a paid facilitator we have invited. These will often be Focusing related and not always. We may also explore related modalities that facilitate change in ourselves, others, organizations, etc.
All gatherings will be facilitated by me on zoom. All community members are encouraged to offer 45 min workshops to practice teaching something you’ve learned/explored outside of our class and also to bring topics for small group Focusing/felt sense sharing. This is a particularly rich place to explore edges as we are all advanced Focusers and you are not needing to teach basic skills. Topics can be something outside of Focusing that you are crossing freshly with us. Those on certification paths will be bringing a 20 min first-time client video at some point. We’ll share appreciations and explore potentials together. What we do each year will vary with the interests of the particular cohort. We will record classes if you miss and most of what happens here will lean heavily on being here in person for an experience. For those on certification paths, missing more than 2 classes will need to be made up in some way.
I am excited about the unique life skills you each bring with you to our space. I am honored to be a companion and fellow traveler with you all. Cheers for the beginners mind of self-in-presence and for having fun together in the process!
LEARNING COMMUNITY AGREEMENTS WE BRING TO THIS SPACE
- Bring all of yourself to this gathering, not just the “shiny parts”.
- Presume welcome and extend welcome. We all learn most effectively in spaces that welcome us.
- Attend to your own inner teacher. Pay close to attention to your own reactions and responses.
- No fixing, no saving, no advising, no setting each other straight! Each of us is here to discover our own truths, listen to our own inner teacher and take our own journey.
- You may be extended an invitation to share in pairs, small groups and in the large group. You choose, if and when.
- Speak your truth. Respond from your center to the center of the circle, not to another speaker’s center.
- Listen deeply without judgment. By creating a space between judgments and reactions we can listen to others and ourselves more fully.
- Identify assumptions. Over time our assumptions of how the world works become invisible to us.
- Use honest open questions. These are questions that we cannot possibly know the answers to. They are free of opinions and agendas.
- Maintain deep confidentiality. Allow what is said in Learning Community to stay here.
- Respect silence. After someone has spoken, take time to reflect and honor the words that were shared. This concept applies to the speaker as well – be comfortable leaving your words to resound in silence, without refining or elaborating them.
When the going gets rough within, turn to wonder.
SEPT 2022 – JULY 2023 DATES
Thursdays 7:30 – 9 pm ET.
Thursdays: Sept 15, Oct 13, Nov 10, Jan 19, Feb 16, March 16, April 13, May 11, June 8, July 13
SEPT 2023 – JULY 2024 DATES
Thursdays 7:30 – 9 pm ET.
Thursdays: Sept 14, Oct 12, Nov 9, Jan 18, Feb 15, March 14, April 11, May 9, June 20, July 18