♦ Online Focusing Practitioner Training Programme

The British Focusing Association (BFA) Practitioner Training Programme enables you to work professionally with Focusing, incorporating Focusing into individual therapeutic, counselling or coaching work you are already doing.
The training includes three training modules, spread throughout the year, specialist advanced trainings, and you assist on the basic course as an advanced student.
There is also home study and written work, as well as individual Focusing sessions with your Mentors. The whole training will probably take you about a year to eighteen months.

You can start the training when you want, and join the training modules with other trainees when they become available.

♦ About The Training

A Focusing Practitioner has the ability to introduce Focusing to someone who has never known it before. They are worthy of being trusted to be a Companion to sensitive growing places in a person. They represent the entire field of Focusing, since they may be the only source of someone’s experience with Focusing. These are some of the reasons why this training is worth a serious commitment of time, money and personal transformation for those who want to be a Focusing Practitioner.

A key component of the course is to support your growth as a person as well as a Practitioner of Focusing. BFA is also committed to allowing only fully qualified people to become Focusing Practitioners. Skills and experience are the key requisites for people to become Focusing Practitioners.

There is a requirement of a minimum of two years regular Focusing practise in total, before you can be considered ready to be a Practitioner. The basis of this requirement is the need for experience.
It is a flexible course, taking into account prior learning and areas of personal interest. Acceptance on the programme is by interview.

The difference between a Practitioner and a Teacher:
A Focusing Practitioner is authorised to offer private guided Focusing sessions to the public for a fee.
A Focusing Teacher is authorised in addition to offer workshops teaching Focusing to the public for a fee.

Prerequisite criteria:
Completion of the British Focusing Association (BFA) Certificate in Focusing Skills (or equivalent).
Initial Self and Primary Mentor Assessment (SPA) session.
Agreement by your Primary Mentor.
Enrolment is through personal application and informal conversation. 

It usually takes about a year to eighteen months from the time you begin learning Focusing for you to feel comfortable and accomplished in these skills and ready to move on to beginning training as a Practitioner. Workshops completed elsewhere may be taken into consideration as part of admissions or course requirements through negotiation with the Primary Mentor.

Limitations of Focusing Practitioner accreditation/recognition:

  • This training and qualification is only to offer Focusing sessions to people on the understanding that it is not therapy that you are offering, but support in a self-help process. It does not qualify a person to offer Focusing in a therapeutic or counselling setting. The responsibilities of the Focuser and the limitations of your remit must be clearly indicated to the client.
  • Should you wish to offer Focusing in a therapeutic context, you are responsible for your own professional standing as a therapist or counsellor independently of this training or of the BFA.
  • This programme is not currently accredited through a nationally recognised awarding body. It is offered through BFA and recognised by The International Focusing Institute in New York.
  • If you are a practitioner in another field, on successfully completing this course, you may call yourself a ‘Focus-oriented……’

♦ Learning Outcomes

  • Listening/reflecting skills.
  • Guiding skills.
  • Relationship with clients.
  • Ethics.
  • Professionalism.
  • General knowledge/understanding of Focusing.
  • Exploration of the use of Focusing in an area of personal interest (e.g. counselling, creativity).
  • Self-employment skills.

♦ Contents of The Practitioner Training Programme

  • Module 1 – Introducing Someone to Focusing
    Prepare to work with a new person, who has never experienced Focusing before, and learn how to guide a first session.
  • Module 2 – Get Support for your Work
    Increase your competency as a Focusing Practitioner and nourish your own development.
  • Module 3 – Introducing Someone to Focusing – Follow-up
    Present a session with a person new to Focusing. We will explore these sessions together.

Additional Contents

  • Repeating the BFA Certificate course workshops as a participant, with extra time afterwards for feedback and questions.
    You will be asked to assist by being part of small groups where you will support the participants in Focusing and listening turns.
    At the end of each day of the workshop we will take about half an hour to debrief from the workshop.
    This will also be time for you to briefly bring up any other issues from the training programme that wants attention.
  • Practitioner support and training course.
  • Exploring one of the following options:
     Wholebody Focusing, Thinking at the Edge (TAE), Focusing and Dreams, Focusing and The Transformation Game.
  • Attendance on a workshop given by another Focusing teacher in order to see another version of Focusing and how it is presented.
    This may be with BFA accrediting mentors Barbara McGavin, Rob Foxcroft, Peter Afford, Kay Hoffmann or Peter Gill, or any other experienced and recognised Focusing teacher.

These courses come to about 10, altogether. Previous experience will be taken into account.

Home study

  • An ongoing practice of Focusing with a partner or peer group, and alone.
  • Keeping a personal (private) Focusing journal and a record of your learning.
  • Background reading of Eugene Gendlin’s and others’ writings, to increase your knowledge of the theoretical basis, and practical applications of Focusing.
  • Guiding about 50 Focusing sessions with friends and other volunteers, and sending me reports of these sessions.
  • Providing three 20-minute audio recordings, with transcript and notes (at least 2 months between) and having the tapes and notes reviewed by me.
  • A practical project you undertake in a specific area of Focusing.
  • Writing two papers of between 2000 and 5000 words each:
  • A report describing the practical project;
  • A theoretical paper about some aspect of the Focusing process: 3000 to 5000 words.


  • Attending at least three hour-long Self and Mentor assessment sessions with your primary mentor (SPA).
  • Having about 12 guided Focusing sessions with your primary mentor.
  • Having guided Focusing and consultation sessions with your secondary mentor approximately every four months.
  • Informal consultations can happen any time by phone or email.

♦ Assessment

A key element of the training process is “self-assessment,” when you will have the opportunity to review and evaluate your progress and sense into it in a Focusing way. There will be at least three self-assessment sessions with your mentor(s). You may if you wish invite other people to be present as well.
The first session will be at the start of your training, after you have been accepted into the programme. 
The second session will be in the middle of your training and the third session as a completion.
During the first consultation session, after your initial SPA, you might want to set up your personal learning plan. We can review your plan as you progress.

The format of a self-assessment session is that you Focus on issues of your training, such as “How am I feeling now about Focusing?” “What are my strengths?” “Where do I need to grow?” “What support do I need?”
The mentor listens to your Focusing (and guides if you ask). Then the mentors respond from their felt senses in a Focusing way.
A consensus process between you and your two mentors determines the completion of your training doing the final SPA. The primary judge of your readiness is you, and your felt sense.

Self-Directed Personal Learning Plan
This is a process of self-directed learning in which you take responsibility for the timing and direction of your work. You can approach me about entering the Practitioner Programme when you feel ready. If, after a 1 hour initial Self and Mentor Assessment session, I agree that you are ready to begin the Training Programme, you create a Personal Learning Plan which includes some or all of the elements listed above. My role as your mentor includes helping you to set your own goals and meet the learning outcomes within an agreed time frame.

♦ Primary and Secondary Mentors

You will have the support and guidance of two people: a Primary Mentor and a Supporting Mentor. I would be your Primary Mentor. The other person should be either a BFA recognised Focusing Teacher or an Institute certified Focusing Trainer. The task of the Primary Mentor is to support your process of training with regular consultations. The Primary Mentor will be in touch with you once a month, to see how you are doing. The task of the Supporting Mentor is to support your process of training with consultations as requested, and to support your relationship with the Primary Mentor.

If you and either mentor encounter issues between you that need to be worked out, the other mentor will support the working out of the issues by listening to you both, and with other interactive techniques.

♦ Internship

Part of the training process is a period of internship, during which a trainee will guide a certain number of clients, up to about 50 hours in total. Although this is a part of the training, it is also real Focusing experiences for these new people that need to be recognised and honoured. This will commence when the trainee and trainer agree. The trainee can charge a reduced fee, probably a third to half the standard session fee. There may be an initial period where the trainee will charge for expenses only.

♦ BFA Recognition

To receive recognition by BFA (The British Focusing Association) the trainee needs to have a self and peer assessment session with their mentor at which consensus is reached that the trainee is ready to facilitate Focusing sessions professionally.
You may then join the BFA as a Focusing Practitioner.

♦ The Focusing Institute Recognition

When you receive BFA recognition, you may attend the ‘Weeklong’ training at The Focusing Institute (sometimes held in November) where you will receive your Focusing Professional certification. If you don’t want to attend, you can get your certificate by paying a fee to the Institute. You can join the Institute at any time during your training, as a Trainer-in-Training.

♦ Who is the Practitioner Programme for?

If you have completed the BFA Certificate in Focusing Skills, or equivalent. Enrolment is through personal application and informal conversation.

♦ Why join the Practitioner Programme?

Joining the Practitioner Programme enables you to work professionally with Focusing, incorporating Focusing into individual therapeutic, counselling or coaching work you are already doing. The Practitioner Programme encourages and supports trainees to introduce Focusing to new people on an individual basis.

And you deepen your journey with Focusing, as a means of continuing your own personal development and growth. You may find at the end of the Certificate course, that it’s just a beginning. You begin to see how much more Focusing has to offer, and you want to continue exploring with the support of a qualified mentor.

You may want to take the Practitioner Programme as a prerequisite for going on to the Teacher Training Programme, which enables Focusers to teach Focusing professionally to groups.

♦ Cost of the Programme

Payable in instalments.

To find out more, give me a call on 01626 821110, or 07799 027332.

Fiona Parr is a BFA Recognised Focusing Mentor and TIFI Certifying Coordinator.