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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?
Focusing is a level of human process rather than simply a technique, and so it is the nature of the focusing process to respond to each situation freshly. For this reason, our certification processes allows for individualized learning. Your process of reaching the level of Certified Focusing Professional (Trainer) will arise out of your Certifying Coordinator's own expertise and Felt Sense of what is needed. We have Core Proficiencies that should be achieved during training, but we allow our Certifying Coordinators to design teaching around the specific needs of the learner. Some Certifying Coordinators have very set patterns of working with their students; others do not. What one teacher calls a "Level Two" course may be quite different from what another teacher called a "Level Two." As you are considering which Certifying Coordinator to work with, be sure you ask about their approach and ask them to describe how their approach might differ from other approaches. Consider talking to at least one other Certifying Coordinator to ask similar questions so that you will find someone whose style and expectations are aligned with your felt need.
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 take our Focusing Basics and Advanced Focusing online courses. You can also learn with any of our Certified Focusing Professionals (Trainers). Note that you can learn Focusing with any Trainer. Later on, if you choose to pursue becoming a Certified Focusing Professional (Trainer), you will need to have further training with a Certifiying Coordinator.
Click here to find a Focusing Trainer or a Certifying Coordinator
(To see Certifying Coordinators select "YES" for the "Show Coordinators, only" option on the search form.)
As soon as you take the first step to learn Focusing, please become a member of the Focusing Institute. The Institute wants to be connected with you, and your membership dues allow us to further Focusing in the world and connect Focusers with one another.
Click here to become a member.
If you are a therapist (or in a similar profession such as life coach or religious leader) the therapist training track might be right for you.
Click here for Focusing-Oriented Therapist Training Track.
Step Two: Become a Trainee
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.
Trainee membership status is required.
[There is also a separate therapist training track. Click here for Focusing-Oriented Therapist Training Track.]
Request an evaluation of your readiness to begin work as a Trainee. 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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to become a Focusing Trainer, but cost is an obstacle, partial work/study scholarships are available through The Focusing Institute.
The reasons you might choose a particular Certifying Coordinator 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.
Step Three: Become Certified, Attend the Advanced and Certification Weeklong, Maintain your Certification
What certification means
When this process is complete you may call yourself a Certified Focusing Professional (also called a CFP or "Trainer" -- the terms are equivalent). You will be listed in the Focusing Institute Directory and on our website, and you will appear on the list of CFP's 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. Please contact us at the Institute if you want help with how to further your work as a CFP; we are here to help!
Maintaining your certification
In order to maintain your membership as a Focusing Professional, you will need to meet the following conditions:
- Maintain high ethical standards of honesty and confidentiality at all times.
- Submit to the Focusing Institute a one-time Certification fee and annual fees each year thereafter. (To find your schedule of fees, click here.)
- Attend a Focusing training a minimum of once every 3 years, stay current in your professional development on an on-going basis and stay connected with others in the Focusing community. Ways to keep connected include attending the Weeklong (even after you have been certified), attend 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, or participating in the online Focusing discussion group.