British Focusing Association certificate in focusing skills
Focusing is a special way of listening to your inner self allowing for deeper insights and understandings.
The certificate is designed with the intention of gently reinforcing and furthering your development as focuser and companion, you do not need to have had any experience to start. Learning in a group setting can be fun whilst also enhancing personal growth. Counsellors and therapists can consider the possibility of bringing focusing to their own practice and how this might be implemented.
10 days divided into five two day workshops or levels.
Each level builds upon previous learning, and includes focusing practice, theory and discussion. Between each level we suggest that you practice focusing in pairs. This can be by phone, Skype or face to face. We will give you our contact details so that you can be in touch with us if any questions arise.
There will be refreshments provided during breaks and you will be given folders with reading materials and exercises.
Levels one - five
Since we are continuously updating our workshops and taking account of participants' feedback there might be some changes to the content below.
Learning to sense inwards is at the basis of focusing. During level one the emphasis is upon noticing messages that your body gives you and accepting everything that you become aware of. Focusing is very natural and gentle and at the same time you might find that working at this level is powerful and revealing. Throughout the training there will be opportunities to share in the group, and to work with your own process. There will be a mixture of focusing theory, discussion and practice.
Participants practice focusing in pairs, taking turns to focus and to companion each other. Exercises are designed to support working at a deeper level. At the same time you are always in charge of your session and each person is encouraged to work at their own pace.
Topics include Gene Gendlin’s six focusing steps, and self-in-presence developed by Ann Weiser Cornell and Barbara Mc Gavin. Being self-in-presence can help you to experience your emotions without becoming overwhelmed by them. During level two we will look at examples of focusing with pain and ailments. There will also be an introduction to wholebody focusing and the work of Kevin McEvenue.
Exploring the stages of a focusing session in more detail including suggestions that can help the focuser to listen inwards with acceptance, empathy and compassion. We also look at focusing language and its benefits at each stage. There will be group discussions, experiential work in pairs and wholebody focusing exercises.
Level four is an opportunity to explore challenges which you might encounter as focuser and companion. There will also be a topic on understanding and working with the inner critic. This is an inner voice that you might have noticed, perhaps it criticises your actions, maybe it tells you that you are not capable enough to try something new. On the second day we look at symbols and images including focusing with dreams and Gene Gendlin’s methods. Participants will be invited to work with their own dream in a group exercise.
During level five we explore trauma from a focusing perspective and we work with action blocks. An action block is something within you that prevents you from doing what you want to do. Examples are eating a healthy diet, writing an article or book and changing your job.
As you approach the end of the certificate training we look towards your next steps as a focuser and companion. We will provide information about further training and useful websites. There will be time for each person to review their own process and an opportunity for therapists and counsellors to consider incorporating focusing within their own practice. This is our final workshop as a group and we will take time for an ending.
Certificate dates for 2016
Level one – Feb 8th and 9th
Level two – March 7th and 8th
Level three – April 11th and 12th
Level four – May 9th and 10th
Level five – June 6th and 7th
About Paula Newman
The Certificate is taught by Paula Newman and Elizabeth Smith. We are both registered teachers with the British Focusing Association (BFA) and experienced counsellors and supervisors accredited by the BACP. We aim to create a friendly and supportive atmosphere for your learning.