Coordinators Resources

INTERNATIONAL FOCUSING CONFERENCE

May 1, 2004, Coordinators’ Meeting, Punta Renas, Costa Rica (Recorded by Anne Poonwassie)

I. Introductions of Participating Coordinators

II. Business Meeting

Purpose of Meeting: In a helpful way, to bring out issues which need our attention as Coordinators.

Most Urgent Issues-Prioritized:

  1. Next International Conference
  2. Future Direction of the Folio
  3. Decision-Making Process
  4. E-mail

1. Next International Conference

2005 17th International, Toronto, Kempenfelt Centre, Back to the Future, May 27-31/05
2006 18th International, Netherlands, first week of May, possibly near the sea
2007 19th International, Israel, mid-May, possibly Tel Aviv
2008 20th International, Montreal
2009 21st International, Japan

Argentina offered for 2010
Boston offered for 2011
Spain offered for 2012

Discussion:

Regional conferences should also be considered between the Internationals.

The conference dates will be kept to May, but the actual dates need to fluctuate to accommodate arrangements.

2. Future Direction of the Folio

The Folio for this year has been completed; it will be out by the end of May. Congratulations to Mary!

Folio issues, introduced by Mary Hendricks-Gendlin:

Discussion:

The Folio on medicine and pain was useful.
The Folio on working with children was also very useful.
The Folio is also very helpful in use with clients; some clients directly benefit from reading the Folio.

The Folio stands out as a professional publication; it spreads the word about Focusing and it is easy to read and understand. It provides credibility for accreditation efforts with educational institutions, and it is used by students, including graduate students, in their research.

The Folio is important to the future direction of the F.O.T. movement, and it is currently used by Focusing Trainers.

Interest was expressed to have the Folio come out 2x per year, but one Folio per year was agreed to be adequate. There would not be adequate time, resources and contributors at this time.

There needs to be a process to decide the themes for each Folio. This can possibly be done at the International Conferences. The goal of the Folio needs to be reflected in the themes.

An F.O.T. Folio was suggested for the next issue in order to promote the F.O.T. movement; another suggestion was Focusing and Trauma and How Can Focusing be Implemented in Other Fields? and another was to do a combination of issues/topics.

Recommended by vote: One primary theme per year and some varied articles should be considered for each Folio.

Clients, organizations and recipients could also contribute to the contents of the Folio.

A guest editor with expertise in the respective topics has been used to edit each Folio. This ensures the quality of the publication.

Peer review was suggested to further enhance the quality of the publication and wider Focusing community participation/involvement. There is much expertise within the membership, and it could be fully utilized.

An Editorial Board was suggested, comprised of those familiar with the primary category of the Folio—maybe a group of 3 editors.

The Folio could become a journal which is distributed by members to generate income.
Every coordinator could buy 5 Folios at cost and sell them at, for example, workshops, conferences, etc., to generate income for the Institute and off-set the cost of publishing.

More of our members are publishing in the field; the index at Universities is rising. Question: Does the Folio take away from the members’ publications in other journals?

The Folio is now controlled by the Focusing institute. Decisions are made with practicality in mind; there are no general policies. Mary suggested that the discussion address how the next Folio will happen.

The coordinators suggested that some structure may be required. Mary pointed out that the structure needs to evolve from real issues and consider the availability of resources, etc.

There seems to be an issue about the Focusing and Teaching Folio having been put on a shelf. The concerns were: (a) how was this decision made after all the work has gone into the Folio and (b) what can be done so that this does not happen again to a group of members who will work on future publications. The example of changing the California decision about the Week-Long was also brought up.

3. Decision-Making Process

A comment was made that some Coordinators agreed that some guidelines need to be put in place that will be consistent over time, while others need to go with what’s happening at the moment. A decision needs to be made about which path we will follow—one or both, and within what process?

In the earlier days, Coordinators had more say because there were fewer of them. Today, some coordinators are frustrated because they feel they have no say. The question was posed about what type of structure would serve us better?

Some of these issues may be coming from our values which may not be consistent with basic existing procedures. For example, Coordinators are required to connect trainees to the Institute. That is one solid policy that some Coordinators do not follow.

Consideration in the decision-making process needs to be given to other members of the Institute, not just the Coordinators.

Part of being a Coordinator is a commitment to participate and be involved. Maybe if a decision is made in this group, the final decision needs to be coming from the whole membership.

Mary suggested that decisions need to arise from someone who is trying to make something work. Maybe that is already a part of our structure; things get done as a result of people putting time and effort into something and making it happen. With those people, there may need to be a process in place, so that they can achieve results after putting hard work into a project.

Mary cautioned that before people rush into a project, time needs to be invested into discussing it; it needs to fit into the strategic global viewpoint, not only the local vantage point. Maybe we need a small body of Coordinators who can think from a global perspective. There needs to be a decentralization of decision-making, but how can that be done from an international perspective? Regional and cultural differences will also need to be considered. The issue of signing up trainees demonstrates the diversity and flexibility needed, but the International perspective needs to be there as well.

If we are all clear on what needs to happen internationally, our group may be more functional and successful.

Mary emphasized that the Institute is so under-staffed and under-resourced that it cannot generate all ideas and ways of doing things. Coordinators need to bring ideas forward and get groups working on them to get things done. Maybe sometimes ideas/projects get dropped because there are too many to juggle with such limited resources available. How can we support people when their idea/project gets dropped?

Maybe there is a value split between the Institute’s desire to spread Focusing and the members’ desire to be a community. Maybe what the members want needs to be done by themselves for themselves, i.e.: developing a sense of community and a sense of belonging. We need to define these areas and decide how we can achieve them.

The Coordinators’ group needs to be strong and cohesive because it impacts on the trainees and on the world.

The questions which emerge for Coordinators: (1) How much responsibility do we have? and (2) How much responsibility do we want?

Going back to the Folio as an example, maybe a group of people need to come together and discuss how the next Folio can come to be and examine all the issues related to it. Continuous interaction with Gene and Mary would be necessary.

If the Coordinators’ group is to “grow up”, some of the decisions will have to come to the Coordinators, so that they can effectively get Focusing out to the world. We need to keep the international perspective all of the time, and we need to keep our community perspective all of the time.

Currently, decisions are made within the ‘functional wholes’, and with Gene and Mary involved in these ‘functional wholes’. This model does not build community as a whole; people want to be more involved. Maybe those interest groups need to be groups where we commit energy, not just interest. We need to re-balance again, try to find the connection again. We need to spend more time building confidence, community and togetherness as Coordinators.

The time we spent together today is very valuable. We listened to each other, got closer and examined the complexities.

Interest groups may need to focus around what we will offer individually. This may take a year to explore. In the meantime, interest groups need to focus on the unfinished point regarding the Folio, Decision-Making, and the issue of E-mail. Groups were formed to discuss these issues and bring suggestions to a follow-up meeting on May 5, 2004.

 

May 5 : 8:45-10 p.m. (Recorded by Greg Madison, submitted by Jim Iberg)

Discussion about the difficulties of non-English speakers when native English speakers speak too quickly.
Reminder about the importance of being heard when strong feelings are involved.

Group reporting back (5 minutes for each of four groups)

1. E-mail Group.

2. TNT’s connection to the Institute.

3. Folio: once a year publication, higher quality, 3/4 theme + 1/4 diverse subjects

4. Decision-making

5. Folio

 

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