The Postgraduate Certificate in Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy has been designed for qualified counsellors and psychotherapists who wish to extend their expertise into the area of focusing-oriented and experiential psychotherapy.
This programme (60 credits at Masters Level) provides experiential training and a grounding in the theory of focusing-oriented therapy. There is a growing interest world-wide in this form of psychotherapy, but opportunities for training have until now been very limited.
A basic knowledge and understanding of person-centred therapy is assumed, but the course is also open to practitioners who have trained in other traditions, and who wish to integrate the focusing/experiential dimension into their own practice.
Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy derives from the work of Eugene Gendlin, a close colleague of Carl Rogers. It is a form of therapy which belongs in the humanistic tradition, and more specifically within the tradition of client-centred and experiential psychotherapy. It has deep roots in both client-centred therapy and in phenomenology. The central emphasis is on the experiencing process of the client and on ways in which the therapist can help the client to relate to their experiencing of their situation. Focusing is a naturally occurring process which can be cultivated by training and then incorporated into work with clients. A central theme of focusing-oriented therapy is that any therapeutic procedure is likely to be more effective if conducted in a manner which constantly relates that procedure to the client’s immediate experiencing, that is, if the procedure is ‘focusing-oriented’.
Aims of the Course
The Postgraduate Certificate in Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy course is intended:
- to familiarise students with the distinctive thinking and procedures of focusing-oriented psychotherapy
- to enable students to incorporate these procedures into their own therapy practice
- to provide an historical understanding of the development of the focusing-oriented approach in relation to the development of other schools of therapy
- to enable students to relate the experiential approach to the different ‘schools’ of psychotherapy as traditionally conceived
- to enable students to make use of focusing in their own personal and professional development
The teaching input for this part of the Course will take place over six weekends between September and May. The weekends will involve approximately twelve hours input, six hours each on Saturdays and Sundays. The sessions will include both theoretical input and experiential learning. Participants will be expected to work in focusing partnerships in the period between sessions (such partnerships may be conducted by telephone, if necessary).
Experiential working with specific processes
This part of the course is designed to develop more specific skills in focusing-oriented therapy:
- working with the ‘inner critic’
- working with conflicts and experiential suppression
- experientialised versions of the empty chair and two-chair techniques
- experientialised working with cognitive-behavioural procedures
- working with dreams
- lectures and seminars
- group discussion, involving issues taken from students’ own work and from the literature
- reading and discussion of selected material from the literature
- role-plays to illustrate applications of the principles
- intensive work in focusing partnerships, and the bringing of this back to the whole group
- use of audio and video demonstrations by experienced practitioners
- use of audio and video recordings of practice sessions
Assessment will be based on three written assignments, two of which will involve audio or video recordings of focusing sessions with colleagues or clients, while the third will be a theoretical essay. The first two assignments will involve transcripts of sessions, and detailed analysis of process together with its relationship to relevant theory.
Focusing Institute Certification
The Focusing Institute in New York certifies the Course as leading to their Certificate as a Focusing Trainer. This certificate will be awarded subject to satisfactory completion of the unit, and payment of the appropriate fee.
Award of Postgraduate Certificate
The Postgraduate Certificate will be awarded subject to satisfactory completion of the course. The Board of Examiners will consider assignments and attendance in reaching their decision.
Students who do not achieve a pass standard at the Board of Examiners may be given an opportunity to be reassessed on one occasion only.
An External Examiner to the Course will be appointed who holds a senior position in the field of counselling and psychotherapy education.
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Last updated December 17, 2015