2016 International Focusing Conference, UK

A Flavour of Workshops Presented at the International Focusing Conference, Cambridge, UK, July 2016
from our Membership Committee

The International Focusing Institute acts as a hub and connector for Focusers all over the world. As part of our service to members we recorded a series of conversations with workshop facilitators who participated in the International Conference in Cambridge, July 2016. We wanted to bring you a flavour of just some of the wonderful work and fresh ideas presented at the world-wide gathering.

These first sessions see Mary Jennings, who serves on the membership committee, talk to some of the facilitators whose workshops she attended at the conference. Other facilitators who wish to have their work featured in this series please send a short email to membership@focusing.org outlining what your workshop was about and any material/links you want to provide and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Cambridge Conversations

If you are interested in knowing more about the work profiled, please see the contact details for individual presenters provided. You are free to use the resources some of the facilitators have so generously provided. They would value feedback and interaction with you on the various projects/research/mentoring they are actively pursuing.
Enjoy and be inspired by the innovative work in Focusing from different parts of the world.

Tasting, Dipping, Diving with Ram Eisenberg

Ram Eisenberg is an environmental designer and teacher. He teaches landscape architecture at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. His workshop was entitled, Tasting, Dipping, Diving – 3 Modes of Experiencing, Well-Being and Creating Meaning.

Drawing on TAE-inspired methodologies developed for his research into well-being-in-place, Ram invited participants to felt-sense into their own experience of place to see what emerged.

Ram invites people to use his protocol for experiencing well-being-in place for themselves – or it can be a way to teach Focusing. You can download the protocol via this link.

He also invites people to collaborate with him to gather more information using his research protocol and to return the results to him; this will assist with the development and validation of this this new kind of research. Contact him at ram.eisenberg@gmail.com.

Workshop participants also played Ram’s unique Stonesensing game, based on the design principles for Japanese stone gardens, as one way to experience tasting, dipping and diving.  Ram has generously made his this fungame available for people to play themselves (a great way to teach felt-sensing). Download the game via this link (full instructions provided)

Teaching Focusing Through Instances with Bruce Gibbs

Bruce Gibbs is a long-time Focusing trainer, a long-time meditator and former management consultant living in Northern California. He has developed a method for teaching Focusing through having people identify instances when they were in effect ‘felt-sensing’ (without naming it as such): instances might be the body-feel of the exhilaration of skiing downhill, or reaching for the line ball in tennis. By enabling people to get in touch with this kind of knowing, he builds their capacity to allow felt senses to form and unfold. In this way they are gradually enabled to learn Focusing from their own real life instances and to include Focusing into their live more consciously and seamlessly.
Bruce’s paper outlining the basics of this approach Focusing Through Instances can be found here.

He is willing to advice people interesting in experimenting with teaching Focusing through instances. He emphasises that the best method is for people to create their own way of teaching, building on the basic insights that he has uncovered. He can be contacted by email at bbentonb@gmail.com

Criss-Cross Crossing with Evelyn Pross

Evelyn Pross, coach, counsellor and TAE trainer, divides her time between Germany and the US. She has developed Criss-Cross Crossing - How to use this Thinking at the Edge (TAE) step to enhance creativity. Evelyn led participants to ‘cross’ seemingly unrelated modes such as music or pictures with some area of life they wanted to think further about and to felt-sense “what falls out; what kind of shift might happen” when they did that. The results were often unexpected and fresh! Crossing, a core element in Gendlin’s Thinking at the Edge, can became, Evelyn says, a kind of ‘creativity machine’ that enhances our capacity to deal more effectively with stuck areas in our lives, to work with dilemmas or enrich our creative projects. 

Evelyn Pross offers training workshops in TAE and Applied TAE. Website: http://www.applied-tae.com

Evaluating the Success of the Focusing Project in Gaza with Mohamed Altawil

Mohamed Altawil is a psychologist and Focusing trainer, born in Gaza and now based in the UK. He is the founder of the Palestine Trauma Centre http://en.ptcgaza.com  Gaza and the UK charity that supports it http://www.ptcuk.org .One of the centre’s main projects is the Community Wellness Focusing project, which began in 2009. This project aims to promote wellness and harness the strengths of the community which has suffered on-going trauma over many years as the blockade continues. Locally based Focusing trainers offer 10x1 hour Focusing sessions for groups.

Mohamed has developed a protocol for pre-and post-testing of workshop participants which shows that participation leads to a significant decrease in PTSD symptoms. He attributes this in no small part to the “gentleness of Focusing where the person is in charge”. The research protocol he developed can be viewed here. The formal results of the research will be published shortly in an academic journal.

Mohamed can be contacted by email at:  ptc.2015@yahoo.com

The workshop also featured a live link to Gaza where project coordinator Ghada Radwan talked about the team’s on-going work running the workshops.

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