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Inner Relationship Focusing
Training

WHAT IS INNER RELATIONSHIP FOCUSING

Inner Relationship Focusing is a process of self-awareness and emotional healing developed by Ann Weiser Cornell and Barbara McGavin. It is a popular development of Focusing which is taught and used worldwide. It is a process that gives immediate priority to creating an empathic and compassionate relationship with whatever experience or aspect of ourselves we encounter in our inner world.

In Focusing we pay attention to and explore the "felt sense", a meaningful bodily sense that is freshly formed about any situation we experience. In order for a felt sense to form we need to have a friendly, open and calm inner attitude. With Inner Relationship Focusing we learn how to access this attitude.

The basic concept of Inner Relationship Focusing is "Self-in-Presence". Presence is the natural state of the Self characterized by calmness, curiosity, interest, compassion and the ability to act in mature and balanced ways. However, through our life experiences we have all developed various aspects or parts of the self that we identify with. When we are identified with a partial self we are no longer in Self-in-Presence. With Inner Relationship Focusing we learn how to access Self-in-Presence and relate to the different partial selves through this process.

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THE INNER RELATIONSHIP FOCUSING TRAINING PROGRAM

The Inner Relationship Focusing training consists of four levels. Each level gradually builds on the knowledge and skills needed for someone to practice either on their own or with another person in a collaborative Focusing relationship.

First you learn the basic stages of the Focusing process so that you can guide yourself and accompany another focuser (level 1). You learn how to listen to a focuser and help them deepen their Focusing process (level 2). You gradually learn how to guide a focuser through the process (level 3) and how to deal with difficulties that may arise with different types of processes and different parts of the self (level 4).

By completing the program you will have learned a powerful process of self-awareness, emotional healing and personal growth that you can practice on your own or (better) with an equal Focusing partner whenever you need it!

Who can participate

The training is appropriate for anyone who is interested in learning to connect more deeply with themselves and their experience and to cultivate a meaningful relationship with themselves characterized by empathy, acceptance and compassion.

Professionally, Inner Relationship Focusing can be used by psychotherapists, counsellors, coaches and other mental health professionals in combination with other methods. Inner Relationship Focusing can help professionals enhance the quality of their presence by developing the authenticity, precise empathic attunement and openness that will help them understand and help their clients more effectively. They can also become more aware of their clients' subtle mental and emotional processes so that they can better facilitate them. At the same time, Focusing equips them to help their clients get in direct contact with their experience in the here and now.


Structure

The training is primarily experiential. In addition to brief presentations of the concepts, during the workshops there will be demonstrations of Focusing sessions, practice in pairs or small groups, discussion and processing of the participants' experiences.

Language of the training: Greek

 

Important: Between monthly meetings you will exchange Focusing sessions with the people you practiced with during the course. This is an important part of the program and is essential in order to get the full benefits of Focusing. Meetings with your Focusing partner need not take more than an hour a week in total.

 

The training takes place online via zoom.

Registration

To register please fill in this form. In order to reserve your place you need to pay the individual workshop fee in full. Due to the experiential nature of the program the number of places is limited.

For more information you may contact us here, at info@hieft.gr or 6944964300.

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Trainer

Agathi Lakioti, Ph.D.

Agathi Lakioti, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and works privately as a psychotherapist, supervisor, and trainer. She studied psychology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, and received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Panteion University and her MSc in Person-Centred Counselling and Psychotherapy from the University of Strathclyde. She teaches counselling and psychotherapy, Positive Psychology and research methodology at undergraduate and postgraduate level and has been a trainer and supervisor in the Person-Centred approach for over 15 years. She is a certified EFT therapist and supervisor by the International Society of Emotion-Focused Therapy. She is also a certified Focusing trainer by The International Focusing Institute. Finding out the effectiveness of EFT in her practice and acknowledging the professional and personal growth she has experienced through the training and application of this approach, she decided in 2021 to found the Hellenic Institute of Emotion-Focused Therapy (HiEFT) and bring this approach in Greece.

Inner Relationship Focusing helped me to feel strong and optimistic again during a very difficult time in my life. It has given me a new perspective on myself and my relationship with myself. This new approach has made me feel bigger than my problems and that I am so much more than my shame, anger or sadness. Still, through the process of it I feel more able to tolerate the loneliness of everyday life without getting stuck in it, thanks to the curiosity that emerges about life and what new things it can bring. The presence of the trainer full of warmth, sensitivity and understanding reinforces to the fullest the acceptance of whatever aspect of the self we may have encountered during the training and beyond. I would recommend this trip as a gift to people I care about and those who want to love themselves and life.

                                                                                                                                                                       Dimitris Mougios

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAM LEVELS

Level 1: Encountering the Inner Relationship

Level 1 is a good introduction to Inner Relationship Focusing. In this workshop you will learn the basic steps of the process so that you can practice it either on your own or with a companion. You will develop the knowledge and skills to be able to guide yourself through a Focusing process and to accompany another focuser on their own process.

Specifically at level 1 you will learn:

  • What Focusing is and how it was developed

  • What is Inner Relationship Focusing

  • The internal environment that facilitates change: Presence, Self-in-Presence and the language of Presence

  • What is a felt sense and how felt senses contain more than what we already know

  • The structure of a collaborative Focusing relationship

Skills you will acquire:

  • How to describe what you feel in your body without judging, labeling or mentally interpreting it

  • How to cultivate an inner environment of calm, open awareness full of curiosity, and what to do if you can't

  • How to find the felt sense of an issue you are facing

  • How to create an inner relationship with what you feel so that change comes naturally and spontaneously

  • How to deepen the relationship with what you encounter within yourself

  • How to be present, pay attention and respond to the focuser

  • How to use Focusing in everyday life

Level 1 is for people who have no experience with Focusing or Inner Relationship Focusing or have a little experience and want to deepen and broaden their understanding and skills of Focusing and listening.

 

Level 1 is a prerequisite for the other levels.

Level 2: Accompanying the Inner Relationship

At this level you learn how to be a supportive companion in a Focusing process, either your own or someone else's. We emphasize Presence, experiencing the qualities of Presence as they occur in the Focusing partnership and learning how the partner can support the Presence of the Focuser. We also spend time with the "edge" and symbolization and we learn how the Focusing partner can help the focuser stay on an edge. In Level 2 you will also learn advanced listening techniques.

Specifically at level 2 you will learn:

  • How empathy allows the natural process of change to happen

  • That the best environment for change is to be with "what is" with ourselves or another person

  • How going slower is the best way to go deeper

  • What are the qualities that cultivate the inner relationship - and which ones hinder it?

Skills you will acquire:

  • How to stay with an unclear "edge" without breaking away or analyzing what it means

  • How to go slow and feel in the body

  • How to give a "lead-in" if the focuser needs it

  • How to notice when you are identified with an emotion or a part

  • How to dis-identify from parts and relate to them through Self-in-Presence

  • How to listen empathically and support the process of Focusing

  • How to allow what exists to be as it is

Level 3: Supporting the Inner Relationship

At this level you learn how to gracefully guide your partner - and yourself - through each stage of the Focusing process. You learn the typical shape of a Focusing session and why some interventions are right at the beginning of the session but not later, how each stage prepares for the next, and how to tell when to return to an earlier stage. You also learn how to integrate reflecting and guiding and other ways to support the Focusing process.

 

Specifically at level 3 you will learn:

  • Why the beginning and ending of a Focusing session is important

  • The five stages of the general sequence of a Focusing session

  • The difference between "reflection" and "reminding"

  • Why it is important to add "cushions" to reminders

  • What is Close and Distant Process

Skills you will acquire:

  • How to start a Focusing session in three different ways

  • How to end a Focusing session in a way that honors the process and allows a transition back to the "open eye" state

  • How to become aware of your own self-guiding as a Focuser

  • How to empathically tune in to another person's Focusing process

  • How to ask for and give a "reminder"

  • Ηow to sense when you are in a Close Process and when you are in a Distant Process

  • How to use reminders to support the Close Process

  • How to use reminders to support the Distant Process 

Level 4: Facilitating the Inner Relationship

In the last workship of the Focusing Training Program we learn how to deal with various difficulties that may arise in the process. In this stage you learn how to help with conflicting parts, with exiled parts and with the inner criticizing process. You experience the principle of radical acceptance of everything and how it applies to any process you encounter.

 

Specifically at level 4 you will learn:

  • What it means to have a Feeling About a Feeling

  • Why identification with the Feeling About the Feeling is one of the main reasons the process is not moving forward

  • The ways in which the inner critical part called "Protector" appears

  • What is the process of Not Wanting and how it can lead to the transformation of a Protector from "critic" to "ally"

  • Why it is important to take time to stay with enjoyable sensations in a Focusing session

  • The different entries or "avenues" into Focusing, including physical sensations, images, emotions and stories

 

Skills you will acquire:

  • How to recognise when the focuser has a Feeling About a Feeling and how to respond when this happens

  • How to give appropriate reminders when the focuser perceives two "somethings"

  • How to recognise and interact with a protective part

  • How to invite the parts that are worried, afraid, sad or angry to communicate what they are Not Wanting to happen to you

  • How to use reminders to invite a focuser to stay longer with enjoyable sensations

  • How to Invite a Focuser into present time body awareness

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