Focusing With Children Workshop In Japan & The Birth of a Japanese Focusing With Children Team

by Kazuko Amaha , Certified Focusing Professional, Japan
Staying In Focus, Vol IV No.1

Marta and Ynse Stapert came to Japan three times between 2001 and 2003, and held a total of six workshops in Tokyo, Nagoya and Kobe. As one of the organizers, I was happy to see the workshops draw agood number of people and all ended in great success. The participants were eager to learn whatever they could and Marta responded to us with a passion to teach and spread focusing with children.

Marta, a Dutch focusing certifying coordinator as well as a focusing with children coordinator, and Ynse, a focusing trainer, have been actively teaching focusing for years. The couple supports each other with a perfect harmony. Marta enthusiastically and energetically conducts workshops while Ynse plays a facilitator role to supervise the procedure and overall workshops.

At the beginning, we could not quite understand why focusing especially for children was needed and why regular focusing was not enough to do focusing with children. But we gradually learned that to conduct focusing with children, you have to discover and experience your own child's mind and learn how to relate to children through child-feelings. Marta taught us using the processes from her theory called 'The Triangle'--modeling, experiencing and conceptualization. Naturally, we have to make adjustments depending on the children's ages and the type of workshops such as group or individuals. There are similarities between focusing with adults and focusing with children. But the key difference is that children do not have enough language skills to express themselves and sometimes do not even know how to express themselves. Marta's workshops taught us how to “be” with children in such a way that the children begin to naturally express themselves. We also learned how to respond and understand the children when they open up and share their thoughts and feelings.

Marta taught us many of her basic ways of thinking and methods which come from her long experience as a clinical psychologist, her shrewd observation, building hypothesis, her strong love for children and ultimate trust in them. Marta does not expect anyone to be like her, but she expects us to develop our own ways based on what we've learned. We are still new and we need more guidance from Marta. But we have already set off on a long challenging journey and are now talking about organizing our own workshops in Japan.
Nineteen people participated in more than three of Marta's workshops and have been given a title of focusing with children coordinators and trainers. We are grateful for this and we feel the responsibility to teach and spread focusing with children in Japan. The following is a list of the people who received the new titles.

Amaha, Kazuko (Certified Focusing Professional)

Doubeta, Yuko (Certified Focusing Professional )
Horio, Naomi (Certified Focusing Professional )
Koike, Junko (Certified Focusing Professional)
Matumura,Taro (Certified Focusing Professional)
Murasato ,Tadayuki (Certified Focusing Professional)
Noda, Etuko (Certified Focusing Professional)
Sasada ,Akiko (Certified Focusing Professional)
Shiraiwa,Koko (Certified Focusing Professional)

Murayama,Keiko (Trainee)
Furusawa ,Yasue (Trainee)
Koyama, Takako (Trainee)
Ogasawara, Aki (Trainee)
Osako, Kumie (Trainee)
Ozeki, Yumiko (Trainee)
Takigawa ,Michiko ( Trainee)
Murakami ,Yuko (Trainee)
Yoshimoto, Kimiyo (Trainee)
Yano, Kie (Trainee)


(translated to English by Eriko Amaha)