EFA Networking Meetings

The 2017 EFA Annual Meeting

29 September – 1 October 2017, Padua, Italy

(near the beautiful city of Padua in Northern Italy)

Casa religiosa di ospitalità, Via Santuario 130 – Abano Terme, 35037 Padova – Italia

Tel. – (0039) 049 8669041   Fax – (0039) 049 8639585

Soon we will add here brief descriptions of the outcomes of the 2017 EFA Meeting in Italy.

The great news to come out of it is that there will be
a European Focusing Conference
in Greece next year!

EFA 2017 Participants EFA 2017 participants

Task/Interest Groups

1. European Focusing Conference 2. Teaching Focusing 3. EFA as a Formal Organization 4. EFA Accreditation Programme

Local Committee

Pavlos Zarogiannis (Greece)
Anna Karali (Greece)
Nikos Kypriotakis (Greece)
Patricia Foster (Greece/UK)

European Committee

Edit Selmeczi (Hungary)
Hejo Feuerstein (Germany)
Maria Emanouela Galanti (Italy)
Judy Moore (UK)

Friedgard Blob (Germany)
Eirini Davleri (Greece)
Ria van Hage (Netherlands)
Evi Kladouhou (Greece)
Fiona Parr (UK)
Patricia Foster (Greece/UK) Hejo Feuerstein (Germany)
Maria Emanouela Galanti (Italy)

Taking part in one of these Groups

Registering myself in one of EFA Groups 2017-2018

Steering Group, from Oct 2017

Maria Emanuela Galanti, 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)
Edit Selmeczi (Hungary)
Lucy Van Praag (Italy/UK)
Tine Swyngedouw (Belgium)

EFA General Assembly Notes

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

If you have a proposal you start with a Pink card
Yellow card- I have a question
Dark Blue card- I need a listener
Light blue-I need a pause
Green– I agree with the proposal
Orange– needs more discussion
Red– I disagree

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


1. Feedback from interest groups
2. If and how we can continue next year. Can there be a bigger European gathering next year and who will organise it?
3. How to accredit programmes through EFA (coaching as an example).
4. Website and EFA issues.
5. Steering group. New members?
6. Connect EFA to other European Organisations.

1. Feedback from Interest Groups

The focusing teachers’ group (coordinated by Fiona Parr)
The proposal is to form a teaching group for people who are teaching focusing. That this be open to anyone who is teaching focusing.
They will meet regularly by Zoom.
First meeting in c. 6 weeks will be invited by Fiona.
They will aim to make use of the EFA website.
Practicalities will need to be worked out at a later stage. Zoom can work even for c. 25 people.
The proposal to form this group was voted on and agreed.

Focusing for Social Action and Cultural Change (coordinated by Maria Emanuela Galanti (Meg))
Discussed teaching focusing skills to refugees from Syria and their hosting families and volunteers in two towns in Italy: Rome and Turin. The connection with the Palestine Trauma Center in Gaza Strip and UK is necessary, especially because they have proved that Focusing is effective in releasing the effects of PTSD. Italy and Germany- as the two European countries that have more than others “welcomed” refugees- could work on cooperation in order to establish a best practice (presumably in Italy, if the Palestine Trauma Center applies and wins in a national competition to fund social projects though taxes). Germany (Hejo) is also quite proficient in the use of FOT for supervision of the work of psychologists and younger colleagues who work with refugees.

A second Possibility of working together is on health programmes in the workplaces. Here the aim is also to enable Focusing to take the place of Mindfulness to deal with stress and conflicts.

A third possibility for Focusing as a practice aiming at cultural change is to use platforms and other online connection, such as groups do when they use an EdX platform, e.g. Ulab, We-Space Summits, Presencing.org.

Because this interest group was small and did not meet in the early afternoon as planned, Meg is not taking responsibility for such a group on the EFA website (no sign-up sheet was handed out for this task group). However, she will join the group if someone else does.

Focusing Oriented coaching group (coordinated by Aukje Strandstra)
This group is established and ongoing. General discussion: in “mainstream coaching” there is a lack of experiential concepts and practice; clients feel relieved when coaches offer an experiential space to reconnect with their ongoing own processes. And also for coaches it is more satisfying and efficient to work experientially. We realised that we as Focusers already practice the Experiential approach in our work, and we should make it more explicit and promote this approach in the public domain. One way to do this is to work on the European programme on Focusing-oriented Coaching.

It was decided that webpages will be created for all the groups to continue their work.

2. How do we continue? Can there be a bigger European conference and who will organise it?

Anna Karali proposed that Greece host a European Focusing Conference next year. It will be held in Greece but the aim is that it will be a truly European event organised in honour of Gene Gendlin and as a project of the European Focusing Association. It will take place in May or June 2018 (next year).

The project was warmly welcomed and agreed by all present, including those on Zoom.

There needs to be a task group and there was some discussion about whether or not keynote speakers should come from outside of Europe.

Pat proposed that different countries come up with suggestions.

Maybe involve coaching if needed by team.
Hejo proposed that a group be founded within EFA to support the Greek team.

Next steps- date and location to come from Greek group.

3. How to accredit programmes through EFA

This was proposed by Hejo Feuerstein and discussed in relation to Concept 004 (a separate document, which was handed round at the meeting).

An accreditation committee will be responsible for issuing certificates. Proposes a framework based on what has been considered in relation to the coaching programme (Hejo and Aukje).

A committee will be formed, open to all members, to discuss this.

This is not about legal accreditation, but about accreditation by EFA. It will mean accreditation inside our network.

The language issue was discussed. Many very good trainers do not speak English. The idea is that individuals would take a workshop (e.g. in coaching) and then take it back to their own country to present in their own language- using English as a ‘bridging’ language. It may be that national groups could organise their own translation of material.

Astrid: language is a common issue among focusers in Europe. Need for repetition and going slowly in giving workshops to ensure understanding.

Hejo: most Europeans speak ‘broken English’. Aim of this project is to communicate as well as is possible in English so that the material can then be communicated more fluently in native languages to groups in own country.

Translation might be organised locally, ideally by someone who has some understanding of focusing.

Next step: Hejo proposes a trial and then he and Aukje will report back.

Majority of green cards. Germana needs more time but is happy for the proposal to go ahead.

4. Website and EFA issues

Nikos Kypriotakis is currently in charge of the EFA website (https://efa-focusing.eu). He pointed out that the website has much to offer. You can upload docs, events, etc., but you first need to log in.

The way for new members to register is to email Nikos. He will then register the new person. We have had too many spam users so have had to stop automatic registration.

We also have a Facebook page where things can be posted (https://www.facebook.com/FocusingEurope)

It was suggested that maybe the front page could be added to so that new things can be displayed- and also things that people from outside would be interested in.

Grateful thanks for all his hard work on the website were expressed to Nikos. Thanks were also expressed to Hejo, who organised the current website with his German colleague, Gilbert Seilheimer.

The structure has recently been improved and it is easier to add to it now.

Patricia said that the website should be financed. Partly to boost it and also to pay for support. There was general agreement, but a difficulty is that to finance the website we would need to form a more official organisation.

Hejo: originally a ‘formal’ organisation was proposed for EFA and then it was rejected in Paris. Because with a formal organisation you lose power and energy and have a hierarchy.

Hejo proposes that we have a task group re founding an official organisation, to consider whether or not we need it. We are trying not to compete with other organisations and that is one of the reasons why we have avoided a fee. Maybe donations would be an option.

Discussion about whether or not we want to be a formal organisation. Advantages and disadvantages.

A proposal for the formation of a task group to look at whether or not we want to be a formal organisation was agreed. Hejo proposed that those who want to establish a formal organisation discuss the pros and cons and submit a proposal to the next General Assembly.

5. Steering group

The steering group is currently Hejo, Fiona, Pavlos, Nikos, Judy, Tine– more recently joined by Meg for the purpose of putting this Abanoevent together.

Judy and Fiona want to ease their way out over the next year. Pavlos would like to step down immediately (though he will be involved in the organisation of the Greek conference). Hejo, Nikos and Tine will continue for now, Nikos in a reduced way. He will no longer reply to emails that are sent to the EFA email address, but Judy and Fiona will look out for them instead.

The steering group needs to have an overview of what is going on and to inform other members what is going on.

The current steering group have always regarded themselves as an ‘interim’ steering group. They will continue in this way for another year and invite new members.

Tine: recommends that each task group sends a representative to the steering group.

Possible new members Cornelius, Lucy, Caterina and/or Bruna and Meg (on a rotating basis to represent Italy- maybe, Edit (from Hungary) maybe also Patricia.

Agreed: to write to possible new members and invite them to participate in some of our meetings and to take on some tasks.

6. Connect EFA to other European Organisations

Meg is going to a Culture Action Europe (CAE, web site: http://cultureactioneurope.org) the network of cultural organisations funded by the European Commission under the programme “Creative Europe”. The aim of her participation is to check whether EFA can contribute to CAE goals on a sustainable future and an inclusive Europe. She will report back to the Steering Group


The 2017 EFA Annual Meeting

29 September – 1 October 2017, Padua, Italy

(near the beautiful city of Padua in Northern Italy)

Casa religiosa di ospitalità
Via Santuario 130 – Abano Terme
35037 Padova – Italia

Tel. – (0039) 049 8669041
Fax – (0039) 049 8639585

Link to the venue website

Link to register your interest

What form will the meeting take?

Arrival will be in the afternoon of Friday 29 September 2017.

The meeting starts with an evening meal and there will be a whole group meeting after the meal. There is space for an informal gathering before the evening meal for those who arrive earlier.

We plan to have some time on Saturday as a plenary group and also to allow time for the formation of task and interest groups to carry the work of EFA forward.  It is proposed that the EFA Annual General Assembly take place on the morning of Sunday 1 October.

Topics for workshops to date are:

  • Focusing as a Lifeskill (Sharing our inner and outer process in developing Focusing as Life skill training program. Open discussion and interaction)
  • Symbols that keep us together [Link]
  • Systemic Constellation Focusing, how embodied family’s wisdom is moving (your) life forward?
  • Focusing-oriented coaching
  • Focusing to make sound choices in decision-making

Topics for task / interest groups to date are:

  • Roundtables and opportunities to share ideas
  • How can Focusing translate into social action in Europe?
  • How can we develop our own European university and/or certification without losing our diversity and richness?
  • Discussing the ILC proposal to name new coordinators (the ILC proposal to name new Coordinators,  is to be found at www.focusing.org/ccr ). We invite to this group all Trainers interested in becoming Coordinators.

If you already know what kind of project group you would like, please write us and we will reserve some time and space for you during the meeting.

If there is sufficient interest, it would be possible to make space (either by extending the gathering for one day or including workshop options within the programme) for the option of workshops

Please let us know if you would be interested in offering a workshop.

What are the costs of attending?

Prices for 2 nights accommodation (per person), plus dinner on Friday evening, 3 meals on Saturday and breakfast and lunch on Sunday are as follows:

  • 128 Euros for a single room.
  • 118 Euros for a shared double room. (Please arrange your own share)
  • 112 Euros for a 3-4 person room. (Please arrange your own share)

An additional 1.5 Euros per day will be charged as tax and there will be a further charge for meeting room hire.  The cost of the room we would like to use is 100 Euros a day.  The cost will be divided among participants and the total amount required from each participant will depend on numbers present.


Casa Religiosa di ospitalità, Hotel S.Marco, via Santuario 130, Monteortone (1 km from Abano Terme)

How to get there from Venice Airport San Marco

Follow the link to get to Padova train station 


From Padova Train Station, either:

  1. a) share a taxi (cost: about € 35 for 20 minutes drive) or
  2. b) take the bus A or AT from the square in front of the station (buy the ticket in the kiosk on the train station square): there is one bus  every hour.

Bus from Padova Train Station to Abano Terme

Here you can find a pdf file with information about the bus from Padova Train Station to Abano Terme (M, T, A, AT)

Provisional outline plan

Friday afternoon – Arrivals and informal gathering and meeting, before supper.
After supper on Friday – Meet as a whole group for attunement and connection.


Saturday morning – Meet as a whole group, and identify current topics for exploration and development.
Lunch 1pm


Saturday afternoon – Development of interest groups.
Coffee break, then 2 x 1 and a half hour workshops, running concurrently.
Supper, then party time and relaxation.


Sunday morning – The general assembly, where we make decisions and carry forward action steps that can be developed during the next year.
Lunch 1pm, then leave

Steering group tasks

  • Collect agenda items for the assembly
  • Review vision statement as a guideline
  • Manage the assembly meeting
  • Take minutes

Details about the workshops, interest groups, task groups, etc.


By MEG (Maria Emanuela Galanti)

The workshop has a twofold purpose. It is meant to commemorate  Eugene Gendlin afer 5 months from his death and introduce “symbolizing Focusing,” a “new” way to do Focusing, which Meg describes in the following poem (written when she was in London). This time, quotes from Eugene Gendlin will function as obiects that appeal to our senses, among “leaves, shells, siftstones”,


From a tray we pick up an object that appeals to our senses
a shell, a leaf, a siftstone, a marble, or a giftwrap strip
and then we sit in pairs bringing our undivided attention
to the subtle sensations /or vivid recollections/ that come with it

We pause /we stay with what emerges/ … carefully we choose
our best words to tell the listener how we are affected
(we are not aware that in so doing we have picked up the threads
of a tapestry that had been waiting for long to grow in wise hands)

When we are satisfied that our words match our sensations
we ask our listening partner  to hear the resonating questions
such as “if your sensation was a colour, what color would it be?”
or also “if your sensation was a gesture, what gesture would it be?”

At last we realise, the result of our answers is quite complex:
intricated hierorglyphics we can hold on to as with a secret map
to go back to that path in the wilderness  – not home but close to home
where the yellow of the lemon trees no longer subdues the eyes

and the damp smell of the brushwood tickles with green the nose.

Our heads spin a little / our lungs expand in glory
as one of the possible futures we may want to live
opens up for us as a teenager’s adventure.

Older EFA Meetings

Tübingen May 2016

Read statements from our meeting in Tübingen and see some photographs

Click the button for more details

Tübingen 2016

Athens October 2015

2015 European Focusing Association Networking Meeting in Athens

Click the button for more details

Athens 2015

IFC Cambridge July 2016

European CC Meeting

Notes from EFA meeting 2016

This meeting took place on 18 July 2016, before the 2016 International Focusing Conference, Robinson College, Cambridge (20-24 July)

Topics Discussed

  • Hejo explained that a European group had first been planned in Pforzheim in 2010, with the aim of making focusing better known. The idea was the organisation should not be too ‘tight’, but to help those who want to make focusing-related events happen to connect.
  • It was explained that a temporary steering group (Fiona, Hejo, Pavlos, Judy) had formed in Athens (2015) and that they are responsible for the Vision Statement, with feedback from others.
  • Fiona explained that it would be helpful to use a card system to help in decision-making processes.
  • Questions arose around membership. Suggestions were: anyone who is active in focusing and has had focusing training.
  • Much time was spent discussing and making slight amendments to the Vision Statement.
  • It was decided to present the Vision Statement first to the Co-ordinators’ meeting and then to the whole conference at the final plenary. [The statement was presented to the CCs, but there was no space left for us to present it at the final plenary. But ‘membership sign-up sheets’ were circulated and this has formed the basis of our initial email list.]
  • It was decided that we should meet annually and that an annual gathering (of whatever nature) should include time together, involving different activities and also a ‘business meeting’ (the Annual Assembly)
  • It was decided that membership did not need to be confined to those living in Europe.
  • It was decided that the Steering Group will eventually consist of a core group plus representatives from ‘interest groups’ (e.g. a coaching group, a research/ journal group, a summer school group)

[Information was later sought from the Japanese Focusing Association as to how they operate: all members are equal; they have one annual gathering per year of 2-3 days (which includes an annual general meeting and some workshops); they have one president who is chosen by working group (interest group) leaders and serves for 3 years; they have a subscription which is the equivalent of c. 30 Euros a year.]

EFA Meeting 2014

Focusing Fair in Pforzheim, September

More details will be added soon

Click the button for more details
Meeting 2014

EFA Meetings 2013

at the IFC in Switzerland (in Emmetten), May

European CC Meeting Madrid, October

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Meetings 2013

EFA Meetings 2012

European CC Meeting in London, April

European CC Meeting in Liege, December

More details will be added soon

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Meetings 2012

EFA Meeting 2011

European CC Meeting in Paris, September

More details will be added soon

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Meeting 2011

EFA Meeting 2010

European CC Meeting
at the International Focusing Conference in Pforzheim
May 4-5, 2010

More details will be added soon

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Meeting 2010


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