Report about Focusing with Children in Romania, February 2004

I would like to give you some information about this moment of the development of Focusing in Romania.
The Romanians Focusers, who completed their training as 'Child Focusing Psychotherapists' last September founded 'The Association for Focusing in Romania'. With this official form the training for Child Focusing Psychotherapy can be accredited by the National Association for Psychotherapy. This official recognition will enlarge the Focusing Work still more.

The Romanian Focusers are very good at organizing their work and spreading it out in the official world of psychotherapy as well in the professional fields of teachers, speech therapists, special education. They all express a lot of relief that focusing can teach them how to be in a more communicative way with themselves and with each other, which until now was connected with a lot of fear and threat during the dictatorial years under Ceaucescu.

We work with several trainers now from Hungary and Switzerland, and some of the new Child-focusing trainers from England and Germany are preparing to join with us as teachers in this project.

In the meantime three focusing trainers, who are also teachers at the University of Cluj Napoca, will finish their Focusing trainers- and Child focusing trainers-education in October this year. They will start to give Focusing training in the country. Now some participants come 5 and 8 hours by train to take our training in Cluj Napoca! The Hungarian focusing trainers started trainings already in a second town Timisoara.

Last week Madeleine Walder-Binder from Switzerland and I worked together doing 98 hours training. In the evenings we wrote guidelines/manuals in German and English. How we worked that day! The goal is to develop guidelines/manual for each Focusing-trainer in this project, with freedom to develop their own style and filling out the guidelines. The goal of the guidelines/manual is that participants can continue at their own pace and needs with different trainers, so the program has a certain continuity. Focuser / Translators can hardly wait to start translating it into Romanian.

To emphasize that focusing has a real contribution to social change I share a recent letter Madeleine and I got from one of the participants:

Dear Madeleine and Marta!
I just want to thank you both for the wonderful experience of being your student for four days. Inner healing processes went on in me and my whole attitude has changed. I am much more patient with my family and with myself. I started mirroring to my children and my younger boy (he is four) said to me "How gentle and understanding you are with me. What a pity I cannot be your husband!" I really feel the difference at work also. I should like to go on and on with focusing and I thank to God I could met you.

Of course, one person and one family and one work situation donít change the world. But through parents- and teachers-courses, we can reach so many persons in so many different cultures and above all the children who learn to be with themselves. From here focusing contributes to social change.
Special attention is needed for our work in the Baby Hospital I visited it last week two times, one time with Madeleine. Maybe some of you remember my description of our first visit in 2000, with Zack Boukydis. We were struck by the disconsolate environment the babies were in.
What a difference we can see now. The babies have playthings in their beds and cuddly toys, fuzzy animals. When I now come with a smile to them they smile back, even being very sick.
It is not only the psychologist Anca anymore, who works in a magnificent way with the babies for four hours a day. The way Anca is with the babies and the quite new communicative attitude from Dr. Carmen is now convincing also the nurses and aides that caring attention for the baby is as much nutrition as the medical care and the bottles they give.

The whole atmosphere is really changed. Dr. Carmen told me that she understood from our focusing attitude that it is not dangerous anymore after the change of the dictator to talk and to spread out her new insights about what is important for the healing of the babies. The rules from the European Union require they must change their orphanage-policy. Carmen told us that there is already a better cooperation with Social Services.

With Carmen and Anca we discussed the possibility to be in a focusing way with each baby, who has to stay in the hospital for a longer time. The goal is that each baby will feel heard in his experiencing birth and illness and in being alone in the hospital without parents. We together talked with a baby of an alcoholic mother about the strange feelings she must have felt in her body that weren't hers. At first she looked at me with distrustful eyes but then she started to listen attentively to my English sentences about her life and her feelings inside. After some time she stretched her arms out to be taken in my arms.
Children's Focusing Corner thanks everybody who helped us with their donation to continue our mission in Romania. It feels so good to know you are there with a warm heart for bringing focusing into the world, where they need it so much. For those who want to contribute we give again the ways how to do that. Payment of your donation is possible to:

The International Focusing Institute,
Childrenís Focusing Corner
On line at, --store---donations
MasterCard / Visa / AmEx: Card number and Expiration date with signature
Or by check or money order (in US currency drawn on a US bank)
Please make checks payable to The International Focusing Institute.

Only in Euro:

bulletInz. Childrenís Focusing Corner
M.Stapert-Wezelenburg, Schardam 9, NL1476NA SCHARDAM
Bankaccount Rabo 356926249
Rabobank Purmerend e.O. Postbus 6
NL 1440 AA PURMEREND, Netherlands

With warm regards and love, Marta Stapert

October 2001 Report