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27th Nov 2023

2023 EFA Gathering in Bassano del Grappa, Italy

EFA-Gatherings past

Annual Gathering
at Bassano del Grappa in northern Italy
25 – 29 October 2023


host us from Wednesday evening until Sunday lunchtime.
The venue is lovely. You can see more information here: https://www.villangaransangiuseppe.it



Occasionally we plan to eat out together in the old historical centre of Bassano.

Everyone felt free to come to the café/bar area by 6:00pm to meet and greet. Later, between 8:00pm and 9:00pm, we all gathered for welcoming,
basic practical matters, and first personal interactions.
The next morning by 9:00/9:30am all participants introduced themselves and shared ideas about their wishes and offers. We then created our program together.
For anyone who wanted to arrive earlier and/or stay longer, it could be arranged.

HAPPENINGS: the days were filled with workshops, sharing, interest and home groups, partnership time,
making music, singing and enjoying nature and connecting…


Accommodation and Meals are paid directly to the hotel by each participant.
For the Meeting Rooms we calculated everybody’s contributions for the cost of the two meeting rooms
based on an estimated minimum number of 20 participants, so €65 Euro is paid by each participant
in addition to the cost of the bedroom. Any surplus is to be used for EFA projects.

EFA gathering communication platform
We have an active communication platform, where can be seen who is coming and let people know who will join.
You can see what ideas already exist, and you can post your envisioned workshop, wishes and discussion ideas;
and connect for travel plans, etc.

The primary purpose of Annual EFA Gatherings is for European Focusers to connect and inspire each other,
and to create European work relationships. Those from other parts of the world are still welcome to join us.

Some inspirations from EFA gathering in Bassano del Grappa 2023

  • Touched deeply by the flowing kindness in our gathering. By
  • The meeting was a thoroughly enjoyable experience: the medieval town of Bassano, the splendid villa
    and its grounds, and the stimulation of conversations with focusers from euro countries and beyond.
    There’s nothing that compares with these international gatherings of focusing people,
    there’s a good-heartedness amongst us that the rest of the world could learn from!
    I look forward to the next meeting.
    By Peter Afford
  • Thank you for a wonderful gathering. It was so lovely to be back in Bassano again, reconnecting to people
    I met last year, and forming some new relationships too.
    I truly appreciate the hard work and efforts that go into making such an event, by the steering group and others involved.
    I also at no point underestimate the contribution of those who speak English when they might be more comfortable,
    and feel more themselves, speaking their mother tongue. I am very grateful to you, and would welcome
    continuing to explore opportunities for a gathering that is inclusive and equitable in language terms –
    and the introduction to a cross-lingual focusing method was very hopeful.
    The daily morning Qi Gong groups helped me to settle myself and connect me to myself, others and the very special place
    that we were in. I so appreciated the opportunity to combine spending time with other Focusers, and also enjoying
    the landscape and the town on my own, responding to my sense of what I needed.
    By Lucy Hyde

There was nice feedback in our Nov 1st, once-a-month Members’ meeting.
Here are some key phrases of what people experienced at the 2023 Gathering.

It worked so well because of:

  • Singing on Saturday
  • Familiar people who met last year and nice to have new people coming
  • Familiar venue and people felt comfortable and relaxed being there
  • Taken good care of by the people working at the Villa, and the ethos of the Villa
  • Nature around us
  • Nice weather
  • Careful preparation from the steering group
  • Nice balance between workshops and input < > and personal processing time in the home groups and partnership Focusing

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27th Nov 2023

2022 EFA gathering in Bassano del Grappa, Italy

EFA-Gatherings past

What has touched you in this gathering, or what is important for you to take away with you, or a significant moment.

‘Everyone is bringing something more, something very special, in this gathering. I’m really celebrating all this, that is happening.’

‘The significant moment for me was witnessing the process of decision-making about how to go on, decision-making that was led in such a Focusing way, and that really touched me.’

‘I’m taking with me a sense of belonging; meaningful connections with a common language and a common human horizon.’

‘ I felt connected with my self and with the others too, with strangers from myself and also with an old part of me. I am grateful.’

‘I came with doubts about my physical fitness, which really interfered with my being present in the group – and now I am glad that I did it, and felt connected to other members.’

‘Great Focusing Constellation about what is behind this so-called upcoming Fascism in Europe. Nice group. Good luck.’

‘This was a great journey towards our European Focusing spirit. And we made this journey in an experiential way, all together, with all openness.’

‘It was like a good home, where you can be free to express yourself every way you need to do it in that moment, knowing that your “relatives” will be there for you.’

‘An amazing and challenging space for co-creation and togetherness. Huge gratefulness. The venue is very special and supportive. I hope to join here again.’

‘Here we are on the way ….. from our inner living forward energy towards each other. Creating a space where connecting and relating happen, and shared leadership can grow.’


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27th Nov 2023

2018 EFA 1st Conference in Loutraki, Greece

EFA-Gatherings past

EFA General Assembly Notes

[Decisions, again, were made according to the ‘card system’, explained by Fiona Parr:

When there is a general showing of green cards the proposal can go ahead.]

Agenda Items

3 Priority Items (agreed by the whole group by green card)
  1. HeidiThe next event to be organised by EFA
  2. MiaThe European website
  3. Steering group(Tine’s email read out about the need for the Steering group to take time to process how it has worked/ hasn’t worked before new members join it)

[Other items from participants for which there was no time]
Hejo– A European publication
Lucy– process put in place for supporting people when conflicts arise
Hejo– English: how can we reach the people who’re not comfortable with speaking English?

Steering group Items

  • Online workshops
  • The next General Assembly
  • The next European conference
  • Collaboration with Person-Centred groups]

Before the agenda items:

Hejo gave the background to EFA:
EFA began in 2009 and was formed by a group of coordinators with the aim of fostering collaboration and support amongst European Focusers. We have been EFA since Cambridge (2016) after a Vision Statement had been prepared and approved there. We need to consider what kind of organisation should we be? The underlying question is: what do we need to make Focusing great again? EFA is a networking organisation that has no legal status.

Agenda Items

  1. The next event to be organised by EFA

Pavlos- We should have a European conference happen every two years when there is no international conference. (majority Green card- two red cards- not agreed). It was pointed out that the international conference maynot happen in a predictable way (i.e. it may not happen every two years).
Heidi- Regardless of what happens with the International conference there should be an EFA conference every second year and we should have a more informal gathering every year in between. And the General Assembly should be part of that. (only green cards- agreed)

  1. Website

Mia- The website is a most important resource for Focusers in Europe. It’s very democratic. Anyone can access it and no one is excluded. She proposes that what we have written for the conference and the conference videos can be posted there. There can be discussion groups there. Online translations could also be made available- we could post our own papers and translations. To be based in Europe but everyone welcome to access it. We need a good webmaster who needs to be paid.
Paula- the world needs to learn from the brilliant minds in Europe.
Nikos- you need to register for the website and create an account.
Pavlos- importance of all of this in terms of promoting collaboration.
Hejo- agrees that we should have online workshops and encourage online collaboration. Maybe the website could include Zoom. Maybe webinars should be paid for.
Pat (Foster)- reinforced Mia’s proposal with a proposal from the steering group re the website. We have funds from the conference. From the proceeds of the first EFA conference all expenses incurred and Nikos’s time since 2015 should be reimbursed and all remaining funds should go to fund the website (including Nikos’s time/ that of any other webmaster for the future). The webmaster should make all decisions regarding the website. (only green cardsall points in this paragraph agreed)
Meg- webinars should be free.
Mia- what is offered on the website should be information rather than advertising. We could simply add links.
Nikos- at the moment people do post workshops (i.e. do advertise there).
Ruth- at the moment she offers workshops through TIFI and a third of the fees go to TIFI. Could the funds go to EFA? (Pat- we can’t take money because in Greece we cannot take funds.)

It was also proposed that an extra 20 Euros be added to any future conference fee to continue to fund the website. (green cards- agreed)

Nikos- asked the Assembly to please subscribe to the EFA website and we can discuss this website issue there and all other issues.

3. Steering Group
The steering group is not a Board, but it takes decisions.

Hejo- the aim is to listen to others. Who should be on the steering group? Up to now it’s been who turned up. Need to create a balance between being structured and unstructured.
Mia- likes the fact that it is informal. Has respect for people who are actually willing to ‘do’ things.
Christiane- Who will go on?
Nikos- being on the steering group means to ‘create’, to do things, planning.
Fiona- has been here since Athens 2015 and wants to step down, but would like to help with the transition to integrate new people into the group.
Judy- also here from Athens 2015 wants to step down from the group in its present form, but would like to help with a transition and to process the learning from the group. Also happy to continue to work on certain aspects (e.g. English texts for the website, etc.). Referred also to Tine’s email that recommends ‘a pause’ for us to look at how the steering group has functioned/ not functioned and what it needs to go forward.

Possible new members:

  • Ruth Hirsch put herself forward
  • Another suggestion was that it should involve people representing interest groups

Mia– proposed that we use the European website for people to nominate themselves/ offer themselves, saying what they can offer or bring to the steering group and for the community to comment and agree who should be on the steering group. This would give a stronger mandate for the person who puts themselves forward to replace leaving members. (green cards-agreed)

Hanspeter– proposes that there is a report on the activity of the steering group every year, to be presented at the AGM (green cards- agreed)

Steering Group, from May 2018

Caterina Carta and Bruna Blandino (Italy) (in a rotating manner)
Hejo Feuerstein (Germany)
Patricia Foster (UK/Greece)
Cornelius Gehrig (Germany)
Nikos Kypriotakis (Greece)
Judy Moore (UK)
Fiona Parr (UK)
Lucy Van Praag (Italy/UK)
Tine Swyngedouw (Belgium)

and anyone who will “apply” for it (via the EFA website)


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