European Focusing Association (EFA)
Vision Statement and Invitation (Version July 19, 2016)
Drafted by Fiona Parr (GB), Hejo Feuerstein (D), Judy Moore (GB), Pavlos Zaragonis (GR)
Presented and discussed at the European Coordinators’ Meeting July 18, 2016
EFA is a European network for Focusers, Focusing professionals and Focusing practitioners, who wish to develop Focusing and the Experiential Approach through collaboration, openness and mutual support.
The Association embraces diversity and multiplicity. All members share the common ground of Focusing. It does not favour any particular understanding of Focusing.
The aim of EFA is to provide a European-wide network for those Focusers and Focusing Professionals engaged in research and practice who:
- have a commitment to the primary importance of the philosophy of Focusing, its attitude and ethics.
- recognize the centrality of the ‘felt sense’ in their practice.
- embody in their work those Focusing attitudes as first postulated by Eugene Gendlin.
- have an openness to the future development of Focusing in the light of research and evolving practice.
EFA has the following goals:
- To promote continuing dialogue and good practice between the European Focusers and Focusing Professionals.
- To be a network for exploring different ways of teaching, researching and using Focusing.
- To provide ongoing support and professional development opportunities to individuals trained in Focusing and to European local and national Focusing organizations.
- To promote the Focusing paradigm, to support and encourage scientific study in all fields of application.
- To engage in socio-political processes to ensure the continued contribution of Focusing in health, social insurance, education, academic contexts, etc.
- To foster the exchange of research, theory and practice among a variety of language groups.
- To make use of our intercultural diversity, to learn from one another, to improve the practice of Focusing and the Experiential Approach.
- To develop training programmes that are appropriate to the multi-cultural and multi-lingual European context.
- To validate and accredit/recognise European Focusing-oriented training programmes.
- To work together closely and to exchange ideas with other European and world associations and institutions.
III. How does EFA operate?
EFA will be carried forward by a steering group, which will include representatives of specific task groups.
EFA aims to make sure that the workings of the association are in harmony with the processes of Focusing itself. Structures and task groups evolve as the need arises (e.g. a training group, an Internet group). Membership of these groups is on a rotational basis, ideally representing European diversity by the multinational composition of its members.
An eventual need for paid administration and for the support of web-based resources is recognized. This will mean the eventual payment of a subscription once the organization is firmly established.
EFA will discuss development of the Association at an annual meeting, the General Assembly, to be held in Europe. This meeting will also facilitate the formation of project groups that can be continued through web meetings.
Specific interest groups will organize events throughout the year to demonstrate and develop new directions in Focusing. We will make use of Internet options (e.g. the European Focusing Website, Facebook) to share information and to promote training programmes and workshops.
All members of the Association may attend the General Assembly. Members who are unable to attend in person, can have their views taken into account.
They can use email or other online means to communicate their views. We make all our decisions by consensus.
V. Principles and ethics
Each small group, including the steering group, follows the following principles:
- All members have equal say in how the group is run.
- All members have equal access to information.
- All members consult with their inner sense of an issue to help find a way forward.
- All members undertake to listen to their own felt sense and to the felt senses of others when reaching decisions.
The multi-national and multi-lingual nature of the organization and the fact that different individuals are likely to come together in different permutations means that there needs to be a commitment not to ‘reinvent the wheel’ or undo the work of previous groups, while respecting the groundwork provided through the work of others.
EFA accepts that working with Focusing can never be reduced to rules and regulations or detailed criteria and standards. Instead we will have guidelines and principles to be developed in detail at a later stage. Each person has the freedom to develop their work in ways that feel right with their inner felt sense and to develop their work according to their sense of responsibility for the content and process of their teaching or professional practice.