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FISS 2015: Focusing Institute Summer School

August 14th – August 20th, 2015. At the Garrison Institute, Garrison, NY. Focusing is a way of tapping into your vast emotional intelligence through the messages of your body. Focusing gives you direct access to your own inner compass, where you know the right direction for your life. Focusing is a meditation-like process of inner attention and self-inquiry that can be done alone or in peer Focusing partnerships, and can be brought into psychotherapy, counseling, coaching, nursing, teaching… the possibilities are endless. More information

Tenth Anniversary
Focusing Institute Summer School

Video en Español

Use the player below or click here to listen to the free
"Focusing Gems" Phone Seminar recorded on April 13, 2015
with the Focusing Institute Summer School Teachers.
Special offer on call good through April 20, 2015 only.

August 14th – August 20th, 2015
The Garrison Institute, Garrison, NY

Focusing is a way of tapping into your vast emotional intelligence through the messages of your body. Focusing gives you direct access to your own inner compass, where you know the right direction for your life. Focusing is a meditation-like process of inner attention and self-inquiry that can be done alone or in peer Focusing partnerships, and can be brought into psychotherapy, counseling, coaching, nursing, teaching… the possibilities are endless.

Since the publication of Eugene Gendlin’s book Focusing in 1978, Focusing has become a worldwide movement with applications in creativity, business, health, trauma release, spirituality, addiction, chronic pain, working with children, parents and babies  – and much more. The Focusing Summer School brings together five “master” teachers of Focusing, people who are recognized in the Focusing community as some of the most well-known and sought after international teachers of Focusing, and who offer a variety of approaches and styles.

How it works… When you sign up for the Summer School, you choose one of the five teachers as your main teacher for the week. You will meet with that teacher in a class every morning for six mornings, along with the same people every day, building a container of safety and support and coming away at the end of the week with solid skills and connections. You can sample the other four teachers by attending the stand-alone workshops that are offered in the afternoons and on some evenings. Morning courses require advance registration, but afternoon/evening courses do not.

Enjoy the rich history of the Summer School through this video:

Celebrating 10 yrs of FISS

The Teachers:

Ann Weiser Cornell is the author of The Power of Focusing, The Radical Acceptance of Everything and Focusing in Clinical Practice: The Essence of Change. She has been teaching Focusing around the world since 1980, and has a special interest in making the Focusing process clear and accessible. Ann loves helping people listen with compassion to every part of themselves, and especially those little whispers from something deep inside which has been longing to emerge. She also loves to help people in a group feel welcome and safe to belong while being fully themselves. Ann is well known in the Focusing world for her attention to facilitative language, her popular manuals, and her co-creation with Barbara McGavin of Inner Relationship Focusing and Untangling (Treasure Maps to the Soul).

Nada Lou is well known throughout the Focusing world through her double specialty in teaching BioSpiritual Focusing and Thinking at the Edge (TAE). Originally trained by Frs. Ed McMahon and Peter Campbell, Nada has developed her own method of how to explore the connection between Spirituality and Focusing. She also co-presented TAE workshops with Dr. Gendlin and is in the forefront of spreading this new practice around the world. Her NEW program “Focusing for Generative Thinking (TAE)” is a synthesized continuity of felt sensing methods for personal growth. Nada has the ability to gently and patiently nurture each person’s inner process. She is a Focusing Institute Coordinator. Author of The Grassroots Introduction Manual to TAE and creator of the many Focusing/TAE DVDs that have brought the teaching of many Focusing luminaries into our homes and offices. For more see www.nadalou.com.

Greg Madison teaches Focusing therapy internationally at university graduate programs and training institutes and also maintains a private practice as a psychologist and existential psychotherapist. Greg is an experienced clinical supervisor and emphasizes the therapeutic relationship and existential themes in his work with supervisees. Greg is co-editor of the journal Existential Analysis and of the book Existential Therapy: Legacy, Vibrancy, and Dialogue. He is also author of the book The End of Belonging and editor of two recent texts, Theory and Practice of Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy: Beyond the Talking Cure and Emerging Practice in Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy: Innovative Theory and Applications. Greg divides his time between his home in Brighton and his retreat in Andalucia. As a Canadian living abroad, he has a personal and research interest in what it is like to live as a foreigner and the experiences of feeling ‘at home/homeless’ and what it means to belong in the world.

What is most striking about Kevin McEvenue’s approach to teaching is that it comes directly from his own embodied experience; so that what he shares is from his own authentic place of bodily knowing. Kevin loves sharing what he knows with others, and derives great joy in watching others grow and expand upon their own sense of knowing of who they are. In addition, he is a very intuitive and compassionate listener conveying strength of presence and heartfelt connection with anyone with whom he interacts. Kevin brings 35 years of experience having taught Wholebody Focusing globally including Canada, the United States, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, and Japan. For more see: wholebodyfocusing.com

As a Coordinator specializing in Focusing with Children, with an emphasis on the non-verbal world, René Veugelers, teaches parents, therapists, teachers and others how to be with children in a Focusing way, how to (re)connect to their own inner child experiences and how to integrate creativity and flexibility into their life and work. His experiences as an Art therapist embrace an expanded richness of creative elements and support a natural unfolding of creative process. René lives and works in the Netherlands and teaches internationally. He is an inspiring teacher who brings considerable experience, subtlety and joy to every person attending his workshops or training. For more see: www.ftcz.nl

In an unavoidable emergency, The Focusing Institute reserves the right to withdraw or substitute teachers while maintaining the overall quality of the program.

Movement and Bodywork

Movement and bodywork sessions will be in addition to regularly scheduled classes and workshops, for refreshing and centering moments throughout the day.

Donna Nisha Cohen

Donna Nisha Cohen, MS, Wellness Educator, Embodied Life Practioner, is a yoga and meditation teacher for over 30 years. She is the director of Yoga On Duck Pond in Stone Ridge, NY. Donna brings energy, humor and attentiveness to her teaching. Her classes are infused with a Focusing and Feldenkrais orientation that have a therapeutic effect. Donna returns this year to offer her popular before-breakfast yoga class. From last year: "Donna is curious about each person in the room so she can support everyone's practice and growth. Each yoga class feels fresh and alive. I always leave her classes feeling more open, spacious and present in my body/mind."

Donna BlankDonna Blank, MS, Wholebody Focusing Trainer, Feldenkrais Practitioner® and Trainer, and Laban Movement Analyst, is delighted to lead Feldenkrais® Awareness Through Movement® sessions each late afternoon after our Focusing classes.

Donna studied directly with Moshe Feldenkrais and has taught the work to people of all ages and backgrounds for 35 years, as well as teaching internationally in training programs. She continues to mentor with Kevin McEvenue and has infused her Feldenkrais teaching with the depth and breadth that Wholebody Focusing brings.

Awareness Through Movement sessions invite us to discover freedom from tension, more natural ease of action, and relaxed embodied presence. We will develop awareness of both our habits of self-organization and new, more enlivening possibilities of moving and being. This exploratory process brings more freedom, lightness and aliveness to our bodies and our whole selves.

The classes are gentle and suited for everyone!

The Morning Courses

Watch Ann describe
her morning course

Ann Weiser Cornell: Learning Focusing by Enhancing the Inner Relationship
In this morning course you will learn Focusing step-by-step following the Inner Relationship method of teaching Focusing. In this method there is an emphasis on ease and flow in learning Focusing, feeling safe and confident while building up fundamental skills, with practice in partnership sessions from the very first day.

Focusing is an inner relationship. You are learning to listen respectfully to something inside you that points to your wisdom, your energy, your forward direction. You are also learning to have a new relationship with your emotions, a relationship of calm acceptance and interested curiosity.

Watch Nada describe
her morning course

Nada Lou: Learning Focusing by Exploring the Body’s Search for Spirit In this morning course you will learn Focusing step-by-step following the BioSpiritual method of teaching Focusing. In this method there is an emphasis on developing Caring - Feeling - Presence, which can help you to be in a gentle contact with all your life issues. You will be learning Focusing from a perspective of spiritual awareness so that you feel supported in cultivating new ways of prayer or whatever you would like to call it. 

Often people who discover Focusing quickly associate it with spirituality-related practices like meditation, prayer, worship, mindfulness, synchronicity and intuition. There is a spirit dimension in body that can be explored through felt sensing in Focusing.

Watch Greg describe
his morning course

Greg Madison: Grounded in a Sense of Self while Working with Another. Practicing Focusing-Oriented Therapy, Counseling, Spiritual Direction or Coaching etc. 
Focusing invites us to connect with our unfolding human experience. Focusing-oriented helping professionals need to develop the sensitivity of being deeply connected to self and deeply connected with the client at the same time. We develop the extra muscle of being guided by the felt sense of self, our felt sensing of the other, and our sensitivity to the concrete feeling of our being-together in order to ground our practice in an experiential dimension. This group is open to anyone who would like to explore the integration of this Focusing sensitivity into their work with clients.

Watch Kevin describe
his morning course

Kevin McEvenue: Learn the Basics of Wholebody Focusing From the Ground Up.
Wholebody Focusing is a very natural process that invites the power of human consciousness to awaken the body’s innate wisdom, a knowing that is at the heart of every one of us. Being physically grounded and connected to something beyond ourselves seems to offer the safety and containment we need to deepen that experience of ourselves that Focusing invites.

In this workshop you will explore the basic elements of Wholebody Focusing, namely, Grounded Presence, the heart and soul of Wholebody Focusing and the awakening of Inner-Directed Movement that has a mind all its own that seems to come directly from the body itself as an action step.

Watch René describe
his morning course

René Veugelers: “Life wants to live” – Exploring the Vitality of Our Process
Being with ourselves in a Focusing way is about contacting the vitality and life forward energy which is always inside all of us. Sometimes we can feel that this energy is just under the surface and sometimes it remains hidden – more implicit. This course is about (re)discovering our connection with this energy within, including topics like: Inner and outer safety and boundaries, your bodily wisdom, and authentic movement. We’ll do a series of exercises for getting in touch with our subtle inner responses: using art materials, inner child work, non-verbal expression and movement, working with symbols and our sense of rightness.

About choosing a morning course:
The Focusing Institute Summer School welcomes people of all levels of experience with Focusing. All of our morning courses are open to beginners as well as experienced people. To make your choice among the courses, read the descriptions carefully and sense what would be right for you. The two courses entitled “Learning Focusing” will concentrate on teaching the Focusing process itself, but the essence of Focusing will be present in all the courses. The reason we ask you to choose a morning course when you first register is that some courses do fill up.

The Afternoon Workshops

The Art of Facilitative Language – for Healing Professionals and Focusing Partners – Ann Weiser Cornell

Being-at-home and Not Being-at-home in the World – Greg Madison

Dreams Open Doors to Focusing – Nada Lou

FISS as an Instance of Focusing in Community – Greg Madison

Focusing for Generative Thinking (TAE): Tapping your Untapped Genius – Nada Lou

Focusing with Children: Connecting with Vitality – René Veugelers

Focusing with children:  When your child says “NO” – René Veugelers

From the Outside In: Exploring Your Personal Collage – René Veugelers

The Power of Storytelling - Let the Story Tell Itself! – Kevin McEvenue

Releasing Your Blocks to Being Your Full Expressive Self – Ann Weiser Cornell

Wholebody Focusing – Kevin McEvenue

The Worlds of Focusing – Ann Weiser Cornell and Nada Lou


Registration extended to August 11, 2015
We encourage you to call 845-480-5111 with any last minute questions.


Situated in the historic Hudson Highlands overlooking the Hudson River, the Garrison Institute occupies a large, newly-renovated monastery surrounded by tranquil forests and fields.

Check-in / Check-out/ Extra intro session on Friday

Workshop check-in: Friday, Aug 14, 1-6pm. Dinner 6pm, first group meeting after dinner. Intro session Friday at 3:30pm for those interested - please check in between 1-2:30pm.
Workshop check-out - Thursday, Aug 20, Morning will be last group meeting, then workshop concludes with lunch.


Any changes to your room and board choice should be emailed to rita@focusing.org. A $25 processing fee will be charged.


$150 administrative fee for cancellation. After June 12 all fees are nonrefundable except in unavoidable emergency.


Early Early bird: $820 until January 31, 2015 ($1540 for 2 people)
Early bird: $845 – Feb 1, through June 11, 2015 ($1590 for 2 people)
$895 from June 12 to August 11, 2015 when registration closes ($1690 for 2 people)

Room and Board

Prices include room and 3 meals a day plus coffee and tea between meals and use of all facilities
Double $810
Single $905
Dorm style $690 - Limited availability. 3-4 to a room. These rooms are on the 4th Floor.
Commuter Fee: Includes Meals and Facilities Use $510 - Sorry, no discount can be given for meals not taken.
If you are registering for two people, please enter the second person's information in the special instructions field on the last page of the order process.

Special Tuition Discounts

REGISTER TOGETHER: When two people register together, each person's fee is reduced by $50 (combined savings of $100). If you are registering together with a friend, please give the friend's name, address, phone number and e-mail in the special instructions box on the last order page.

PAST ATTENDEES: Past Focusing Institute Summer School attendees, as our Thank You for 10 great years of FISS, take $100 off if you register by Jan 31, 2015 and $50 if you register thereafter

Focusing Institute Members who have paid their 2015 dues get $25 off the tuition price. Please select the appropriate tuition option if this applies to you.  If your 2015 dues are unpaid, they will be charged when the order is processed.


Garrison Institute is 50 miles north of New York City by car, and just over an hour from Grand Central station in New York City by commuter train. You'll receive directions for driving or arriving by plane and train when you register.


All workshops will be taught in English. A person attending in order to translate may receive some or all fees reduced depending on the number of people needing translation.

Food at the Garrison Institute

Questions and More Information

Questions, please contact Elizabeth Cantor: elizabeth@focusing.org or (845) 480-5111

Payment Plans

We are pleased to offer payment plans at no additional fee. Please call Elizabeth at 845-480-5111 to discuss an option that will work for you.


If you are registering together with a friend, please give the friend's name, address, phone number and e-mail in the special instructions box on the last order page.

If you choose the membership discount, if your 2015 dues are unpaid, you will be charged now.

You must select an option from EVERY category below or the order process will not proceed!

Product Code: W-150814-FS



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The International Focusing Institute  |  15 N. Mill St., Nyack, NY 10960, USA  |  Tel: +1 (845) 480-5111  |  Fax: +1 (845) 704-0461
All contents copyright 2019 by The International Focusing Institute   info@focusing.org