The 2016 Focusing Weeklong Facilitation Team -- Aaffien de Vries, Jan Winhall and Jeffrey Morrison -- is pleased to announce the Workshops and Activities of this year's Focusing Weeklong.
We have developed a schedule that offers a wide variety of experiences that reflect the theme of connecting and crossing across focusing cultures.
This year, Edgardo Riveros, Certifying Coordinator from Chile, Emanuela Fonticoli, Certifying Coordinator from Italy and Mónica Iturraspe, Certifying Coordinator from Argentina, will be this year's "Contributing Coordinators," who will facilitate Home Groups along with the team.
We invite Trainees ready to be Certified, Advanced Focusers, Focusing-Oriented Therapists, Certified Trainers, and Certifying Coordinators to join us for this traditional, joyful and fruitful event.
Optional quiet time for volunteer participants to offer reflective activities. One of the options will be a 30-minute meditation led by Jeffrey Morrison. In the past, others have offered yoga, meditation and Tai Chi.
Each morning, all the participants will meet in one circle for one or two morning workshops. These will be experiential encounters that enable you to live what you are learning. You will be given time and space to process with your fellow participants so that the overall theme of the Weeklong, Connecting and Crossing, is an integral part of your experience.
Cross-lingual Focusing is a way to Focus with someone who does not speak your language. It not only enables you to have Focusing exchanges beyond the language barrier but also deepens your Focusing process since you need to carefully choose your handles using fewer and more essential words. This method was developed by Dr. Robert Lee. It is an eye-opening method, and it has enriched the Weeklong experience for all participants.
Focusing and Emotional Regulation
The capacity to ground ourselves, to feel safe and regulated inside our bodies is perhaps the most fundamental skill that we can achieve in a lifetime. Some of us are lucky and we learn these skills and the felt sense in our bodies from our loving care-takers. Others spend the better part of their existence trying to create a safe nest in which to grow and heal.
Together we will explore how stress and traumatic experience prevents and /or disrupts our capacity to be grounded. We all have ways of coping that we would like to change. Sometimes these ways become addictive or compulsive behaviors that are profoundly enticing coping strategies.
Jan has developed a model for understanding and teaching about the integration of emotional regulation and Focusing called The Felt Sense Experience Model. She will be presenting from her chapter in "Emerging Practice in Focusing Oriented Psychotherapy," edited by Greg Madison. Within the context of our safe Focusing community we will practice exercises that deepen awareness of early attachment experiences and help to understand ourselves in relation to the model.
Wounds and Gifts:
How Trauma Can Reveal Our Uniqueness
The English word trauma is a direct translation of the Greek word for wound. We all have a story of being wounded by life. I would like our Weeklong community to spend some time shining a light on the darkness that follows trauma so that we can learn from each other, and bring our medicine back to where we live. Our world needs people and practices that carry us beyond the stuck wounded place. I believe Focusing offers a wonderful practice for entering the territory of our wounds and leading us to the fullest expression of our gifts.
We all have suffered and many of us have found something deep inside that has pulled us through and helped us be our biggest self. I refer to this as a gift. It is a unique quality about us that is often activated, discovered and expressed during times of hardship and struggle. Focusing puts us deeply in touch with our-self. It helps us find that which carries us forward into new fresh living.
I would like to bring stories from my psychotherapy practice and my own life as a way of saying, "we are all in this together." I would like to discuss and offer experiential activities so that we might find safe ways to both explore our own stoppages and how we found a path forward. Stoppages cause us to "leaf" and "version" new fresh ways of being. The right trouble can lead us to healing and to a deeper experience of what we uniquely have to offer. To paraphrase Gene, "Each of us has a unique quality that has never been and will never be again. How are you going to bring that into the world?" Let's support more of that happening!
Focusing Life and Work:
Living and Connecting Beyond Cultures
Aaffien de Vries
We usually define ourselves by our roles: I am a woman/man, a Christian/Muslim, a European/Asian, Gay/lesbian, black/white, etc. Our behavior, feelings and emotions are related to these roles. Some of them you are aware of and experience how difficult they are to change, and there are others of which you are not aware. Gene Gendlin calls these "fixed," often unconscious patterns, "Obedience Patterns." To analyze and understand these patterns Gene distinguishes three levels of feeling: emotions as part of an impulsive, fixed action pattern (e.g. burning your hand and withdrawing it), culturally determined emotions (e.g. men don't cry) and felt senses. Emotions can cause changes in a behavior but not the tendency to this behavior (that is why it is so difficult to change some behavior). Felt sensing can change the underlying pattern. In this workshop we will explore our roles and role-related behaviors and emotions. You will be invited to step out of your obedience pattern. Stepping out of your obedience pattern makes a shift in your frame of reference and changes your whole life.
Finding Your Own Way as a
Focusing Professional or Therapist
After the publishing of Gene Gendlin's book "Focusing" in 1978 there has been a huge development and spreading of Focusing in the entire world. Several Focusing models have been developed, and many applications have emerged in different fields of psychology and other fields of human interaction. But it is not enough -- the Vision Statement of the Focusing Institute speaks about the aim of bringing Focusing to a "substantial proportion of the population in all countries, cultures, and social classes." To achieve this intended aim of reaching people from all social and cultural backgrounds in all kinds of situations and professions, Diversity is needed. All participants of the Weeklong are invited to find their own way of spreading Focusing into the world.
In this program we will begin with an introduction of Gendlin's Process Model, in which Focusing is embedded. Afterwards, we will become familiar with some of the elder teachers who have contributed in different fields. We will make a timeline of historical highlights in Focusing, and invite you to find your place in this rich tradition with your own contribution, your special interest, model, approach or application.
AFTERNOON WORKSHOPS and ACTIVITIES
After the lunchbreak you meet in your home group. These are small, fixed groups that meet daily to explore a Focusing, personal, or creative project; a personal topic/change; or to simply meet and explore what needs your attention at that moment.
We encourage you to explore your own interest in a particular application of Focusing, perhaps crossing Focusing with one of your passions.
The home groups will be facilitated by the members of the Facilitation Team and/or by one of the contributing coordinators. These are Coordinators that come to the Weeklong, for their own pleasure of interest and/or to accompany their students.
We invite participants to decide for themselves how best to use their time in the afternoons after the Home Groups. You may wish to rest or to enjoy one of the following activities:
Focusing Partnership Sessions
Each afternoon Weeklong participants will have a choice to go to a workshop or spend time in a Focusing/Listening partnership (or simply rest and relax!).
Aaffien de Vries
Janet Klein and Mary McGuire developed a Focusing approach which they've called Interactive Focusing. In an Interactive Focusing session the Focuser and listener are very actively relating to each other within a safety guarding model. A special aspect of Interactive Focusing is the "Double Empathic Response" - the listener takes in how this whole situation must feel for the Focuser and shares how it resonates inside the listener. Interactive Focusing can be used in every session and has a special function in conflict resolution. In this workshop Aaffien will share with you this beautiful Focusing model. We will invite you to practice Interactive Focusing in a partnership exchange.
Experiencing Diverse Focusing Cultures
There is no fixed standard of how Focusing must be done or taught. Diversity is one of the main values of the Focusing Institute. Several Focusing trainers have developed several models and approaches. Introductory workshops will be offered about Classic Six Steps, Inner Relationship Focusing, Domain Focusing, BioSpirituality and/or Whole Body Focusing.
How to Use Focusing in Your Teaching
Aaffien de Vries
We all know that just talking about Focusing is not enough to help people get it. People need to practice it. So you talk and you do exercises. Could there be more? Are there possibilities of using the implicit intricacy of the bodily knowing of the participants to learn (about) Focusing? In this workshop we will explore these possibilities and deepen our teaching skills.
The facilitation team is aware of the vast amount of knowledge and skills that participants bring to Focusing and to the Weeklong. So we want to make space to share some of your work or to offer a workshop in the Open Space if you wish. Please let us know in advance if you want to take advantage of this opportunity. Both Coordinators and Trainers are invited. Once we have more an idea about the open-space workshops we will add them to the program on the website.
Evening Focusing Cafe
Each evening, after dinner, we will have time to be together during The Focusing Cafe to relax and have fun! Bring your games, music, poetry, cultural activities, or anything you wish to share with others during these special hours.
What an honor and joy it is to celebrate our Certification as Focusing Trainers, Certifying Coordinators, or Participation in the 2016 Focusing Weeklong with each other! For Coordinators, this is a special treat, so consider coming with your students to personally deliver this recognition.
Certified Trainers from Canada with their Certifying Coordinator, Jan Winhall
Seeing your new friends being recognized and honored by The Focusing Institute for their achievements is a special treat you will remember with gratitude.
The Connections and Crossings 2016 Advanced Focusing Weeklong has a playful way of closing this full week of meaningful meetings and of deep processing! We joyfully celebrate our world-wide web of Focusing with this special activity!
Don't forget to bring some extra cash for books! The Focusing Bookstore will be open on certain days for an hour.
JOIN US for the 2016 Connections and Crossings Focusing Weeklong!
Enrich your Focusing wisdom by connecting with others
from diverse cultures and diverse Focusing traditions.
The Facilitation Team:
Aaffien de Vries, Netherlands
Jan Winhall, Canada
Jeffrey Morrison, USA