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How to Become a Trainer

Who might want to consider becoming a trainer?

Becoming a trainer is a possibility for someone from any walk of life. You do not need to be a therapist or have other formal credentials. This is a human process open to any person. Focusing joins naturally with any kind of work in which you are attending to an ongoing process.

For example, it can fit seamlessly into your work if you help others move forward or find more ease, or your work is about finding the right expression for something. You might be a nurse, a doctor, a massage therapist, a child care worker, a teacher, a home schooling parent, a secretary, a manager, a pastor or spiritual director, a hospice worker, a designer, a housewife, a retired person... Even if you start out learning Focusing so that you can use it in your own work life, you may find as you begin to apply it that you have a growing desire to teach it to others. For instance, a therapist may originally learn Focusing to use with their own clients, and later begin to see that they could train other therapists in their agency to use Focusing in their work, as well.

What is the process of certification?

The Focusing Institute purposefully does not standardize the content of our training or what is taught at each level. In is the nature of the focusing process to respond to each situation freshly. Focusing in not a technique. It is a level of human process. Our intent is to help any person find this level of their own process. This can be done in many ways and teaching arises out of each trainers own sense of how to help someone find this level. We protect diverse ways of teaching from pre formed exact steps to working newly with each situation. We recognize that teachers can be of high quality throughout this range of approaches.

Step One: Learn to Focus

You start by learning Focusing. We have made learning to Focus both affordable and flexible, while still giving you maximum support as you learn. You can come to Level I and II workshops in New York, or you can learn with any of our certified trainers. Click here for Upcoming Workshops. Click here for Focusing Trainers. We encourage you to join the Focusing Institute as a Member, or Professional Member. Click here for Membership Benefits and How to Become a Member. There is also a separate therapist training track. Click here for Focusing-Oriented Therapist Training Track.

Step Two: Become a Trainer-In-Training

The Focusing Institute authorizes our most experienced Focusing trainers to give training for certification. We call these people Certifying Coordinators. You can choose any Certifying Coordinator and learn about his/her training requirements.

Click here for more about working with Certifying Coordinators. Upon completion of your program, your Coordinator will recommend you for certification. Once you have been recommended, you may either pay a certification fee or attend the Certification Weeklong offered by the Focusing Institute.

Trainer-in-Training membership status is required.

[There is also a separate therapist training track. Click here for Focusing-Oriented Therapist Training Track.]

What certification means

When this process is complete you may call yourself a Certified Focusing Trainer. You will be listed in the Directory and Website for the Focusing Institute, and will appear on the list of trainers sent to anyone in your area who asks for referrals, as long as you remain a member in good standing. As a trainer, you are encouraged to help people in your area and in your working community become familiar with Focusing. The Institute offers support to trainers involved in bringing Focusing into new geographic areas and settings.

Maintaining your certification

To maintain your certification on an annual basis, you will need to remain a member in good standing of the Focusing Institute at the Trainer rate. Trainers are also asked to remain active members of the Focusing community. You can do this by attending the International Focusing Conference or a workshop offered by any Focusing Institute trainer at least once every 3 years. Stay informed by reading the Folio, reading the Focusing Institute newsletter, reading the Focusing Connection newsletter, or participating in the online Focusing discussion group.

If you have further questions contact The Focusing Institute at info@focusing.org or call 845-362-5222.

Request an evaluation of your readiness to begin work as a trainer-in-training. Preferably this evaluation will be made with a Certifying Coordinator who has worked with you over time. Discuss your interests, and your needs for the training process, as you think together about your readiness to work towards certification as a trainer. If you both agree that you are ready, and that you would like to work together as Coordinator and student, this Certifying Coordinator can become your mentor.

This training program is for people from all walks of life who want to become a Certified Focusing Trainer. The program is designed to help you become firmly rooted in the Focusing process, to be able to effectively introduce others  to Focusing, and then to teach the process.  Among other things, as a Certified Focusing Trainer you are officially affiliated with The Focusing Institute, and are entitled to advertise as a Certified Focusing Trainer. Furthermore, you become listed on the Focusing Institute's Website as a Certified Trainer. Therefore, people who are looking for a Focusing Trainer, to learn Focusing privately or through a workshop, are referred to you through the Website.

If you are unable to attend the Levels workshops at the Institute or set up a program with a Certifying Coordinator because of distance or other factors, you may be accepted into training with a Certified Focusing Trainer as your mentor, but you must contact the Institute to have this arrangement approved and to get further details about how the training process will be set up in this case.

If you're interested in becoming a Certified Trainer, send email to: melinda@focusing.org. If someone wants to become a Focusing Trainer, but cost is an obstacle, partial work/study scholarships are available through The Focusing Institute.

Information about Certifying Coordinators

The reasons you might choose a particular Certifying Coordinator (also called Certifying Coordinators) could include: geographical proximity, a particular specialty, or simply personal preference (for instance, you took a workshop with them and felt comfortable).

Contact the people you might like to work with, and find out what they need in order to know you well enough to accept you in training. Find out each Certifying Coordinator's requirements and needs, and let each know what you are hoping for from training, as well. Find out the fees you will be expected to pay as well. Both you and the Certifying Coordinator need to feel confident that you are ready for training, and that you are a good fit as Coordinator and student, before you are accepted as a student.

Each Certifying Coordinator is empowered to create a training program by his or her own standards and beliefs. Thus, each Certifying Coordinator's program will be somewhat different, and will usually be a flexible program responsive to your needs and interests.. We consider this a positive benefit of the Focusing philosophy of trusting each person's inner sense of rightness.

Individual Certifying Coordinators' programs almost always include these elements at their core:

  • The requirement to maintain an ongoing Focusing partnership, in person or by phone,
  • Taking courses; assisting your Certifying Coordinator or other Trainers in teaching workshops; and being supervised in your own work with Focusing clients.

Click here for List of Certifying Coordinators. Select "YES" for the "Show Coordinators, only" option on the search form. 

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