Human Potential Institute - ICF-Accredited Life Coach Training

Focusing in Coaching

A Online Professional Training - 32 ICF CCEUS


If you are a Coach and committed to being at the cutting edge of science-based coaching skills—our Focusing in Coaching training is for you.

Focusing is a way of being with felt-sense — our internal energetic/sensory experience.

Rather than trying to fix, change or understand our experience, in Focusing we allow the experience to unfold and inform us.

The Consequence?

Meaningful, Spontaneous Shifts in Awareness and Insight.

Resolution of Unhealthy Patterns of Thinking & Behaving

Experiential Wholeness. Higher Levels of Wellbeing.

Focusing has already made a significant contribution to the field of psychotherapy. It is about to do the same for Coaching.

We’ve partnered with leading international Focusing teacher, Charlotte Howarth to teach you how to integrate this science-based process into your coaching and life.

The HPI Focusing in Coaching Training

consists of

8 modules





8 live calls

AND 8 buddy calls

Takes 16 WEEKS

to complete

5 things you'll gain by taking Focusing in Coaching

train with Charlotte Howarth1

train with Charlotte Howarth

Leading trainer, psychotherapist and organizational Coach Charlotte Howorth LCSW will teach you this extraordinary technique for transformation.

And also with Rod Francis2

And also with Rod Francis

Rod is the Emergent Coach Training program creator, co-creator of Human Potential Coaching and Head of Faculty & lead teacher at the Human Potential Institute.

Earn 32 ICF CCEUs for the training3

Earn 32 ICF CCEUs for the training

Supercharge your coaching skill set while earning valuable CCEU or ACSTH units towards your credentialing or for re-credentialing with the ICF.

Earn a certificate of attendance4

Earn a certificate of attendance

Following successful completion you will receive a certificate, and you may upgrade & join any other sections of the Emergent program if you decide to certify as an Emergent Coach.

Join an amazing change community5

Join an amazing change community

Become part of an incredible global community of over 1500 trainees, Coaches, life-activists & mission-oriented change-makers & create impact.

The Focusing in Coaching program is part of our International Coach Federation (ICF) PCC-level Emergent Coach Training program, and taken alone provides 32 (ICF) ACSTH units. The Emergent Coach Training program offers 88.5 ACSTH in total.

What will I learn on the Focusing in Coaching program?

Focusing in Coaching begins May 5th, 2020

It takes 16 weeks to complete and will gain 32 ICF ACSTH (or CCEUs).


Tues May 5th, Class 1—Intro to Focusing: 9am LA/12pm NY Time
Tues May 19th, Class 2—Resonant Reflection: 9am LA/12pm NY Time
Tues June 9th, Class 3—Making a ‘Something’: 9am LA/12pm NY Time
Tues June 23rd, Class 4—Making Contact: 9am LA/12pm NY Time
Tues July 7th, Class 5—Deepening Contact: 9am LA/12pm NY Time
Tues July 21st, Class 6—Shift Questions: 9am LA/12pm NY Time
Tues Aug 4th, Class 7—Working with Parts: 9am LA/12pm NY Time
Tues Aug 11th, Class 8—Integrating: 9am LA/12pm NY Time

Please click the boxes below to discover more about each module of this extraordinary program.

Focusing in Coaching—Overview

Focusing in Coaching begins May 5th, 2020

‘Our brains and our bodies know far more than is normally available to us. We are conscious of only a fragment of what we deeply know. The central nervous system perceives and processes a great body of information that is stored outside the range of everyday awareness. Focusing is at once richly complex and surprisingly simple. It is mental and kinesthetic, mysterious in its capacity to summon buried wisdom, holistic in its respect for the ‘felt sense’ of a problem. An effective method in itself, it is also valuable in conjunction with a variety of psychotherapies, with biofeedback, with meditation, to unblock the creative process and define problems. In short, focusing works for any kind of ‘stuckness’.’

—Marilyn Ferguson, forward to Focusing by Eugene Gendlin

Toward the end of the 1970s, the (now late) Prof. Eugene Gendlin launched a book, simply titled Focusing into a somewhat overflowing self-help market. Focusing as a process however, was not some fancy new self-help gimmick. It was the culmination of years of dedicated research borne initially out of studies Gendlin had conducted with the eminent psychologist Carl Rodgers, aiming to uncover the key factor/s which predicted success in client-centered talk therapy. Put simply: Why some Clients change via conversations and others don’t. What they discovered is a rather simple yet defining trait which was that it was not what Clients talk about but how they talk that mattered. And that how was a reflection on how they related to their own inner felt experience—their felt sense of a topic. The book became a best seller in its day though over time Focusing has seemingly become something of a niche practice. Nonetheless, its potential to radically and instantly impact on Client and Coach (or therapist) alike, to us, makes it a vital skill for any Coach wishing to effortlessly and powerfully bring their and their Client’s full selves to the change process.

Throughout these 7 modules you’ll be guided through the key steps of this extraordinary skill, and be shown how to seamlessly integrate this into your coaching sessions. The program is delivered by leading Focusing trainer and psychotherapist Charlotte Howorth LWSS and Rod Francis. The Focusing in Coaching program is the second part of the Emergent Coach Training program and is comprised of a series of seven 2.5-hour live classes which occur every two weeks, seven 2-hour Buddy calls to integrate and practice the learning, supplemented by our online learning content.

Module 1: Introduction to Focusing

As a way of beginning, this first module is largely devoted to setting up the program and giving a general overview of Focusing and Eugene Gendlin’s perspectives and work. We’ll also peer into some of the underpinning research which led to the creation of Focusing.

On top of this we’ll begin exploring the 6 steps of Focusing and gaining an understanding (both conceptual and experiential) of what a felt sense is. Gendlin is himself quoted as saying,

‘A felt sense is not a mental experience but a physical one. Physical. A bodily awareness of a situation or person or event. An internal aura that encompasses everything you feel and know about a given subject at a given time—encompasses it and communicates it to you all at once, rather than detail by detail.’

So it is a directly embodied experience—though important to note it’s not simply a physical quirk. This is the somatic marker of the unconscious material and a potential doorway to something remarkable. A way of working directly with the implicit unconscious.

This module will include:

  • An overview of the research that led to the creation of Focusing.
  • An overview of the 6 key steps of Focusing—Clearing a space; Contacting Felt Sense; Getting a Handle; Resonating; Asking; Receiving.
  • A direct, experiential and conceptual understanding of what a felt sense is.
  • Alongside some contextualizing content in the learning platform, all of the components will be taught and guided via direct experience and practice in the live class.

Module 2: Resonant Reflection

In this module we explore the concept that what we are made of is interaction and how that informs the Focusing approach.  We will cover the central importance of the Focusing attitude and Presence.

Here you’ll get to understand the concepts of ‘handle’ and ‘fire engine words’—those words and phrases that come from ‘the underneath’ (the implicit, inner, embodied unconscious).  As we slow down and resonantly reflect these words and phrases it serves several functions including making the edge between the conscious and unconscious more permeable and fluid bringing the ‘more’.  It is precisely this kind of reflection which invites the ‘more’ from the underneath.

While there will be some material to help with the conceptual learning, much will be covered in the live class with your direct experience. In these there will be:

  • Guided exercises where they take turns to listen and focus.
  • Opportunities to work through the focusing steps.
  • Experience how to find a handle, or fire engine word.
  • Learn how resonantly reflect back the focuser’s words and how to finely tune the reflection to exactly resonate with the focuser’s felt sense.

Module 3: Making a ‘Something’

In this module we cover how to make a ‘something’ when we resonantly reflect either the crux of someone’s content, or their fire engine words/phrases, or the crux of a point they are trying to make that is emerging from the soft implicit ‘underneath’.

You will discover how making a ‘something’ invites more, and keeps you on the fluid edge by pointing to the ‘something’ that is emerging there.  Making a ‘something’ also does not fix, label, or confine what it emerging so it can keep morphing and unfolding as it invites more.  Eg.: ‘Oh there is something jittery there…’  ‘What makes ‘it’ so painful and dull…?’

Working in this way also allows Client to hold, keep company with, and have their experience and process, rather than being either too identified with it, or too distant from it. It keeps the process at the right distance for the meaning to emerge.

In this module you will explore and gain:

  • Greater mastery in choosing appropriate words and asking appropriate questions.
  • Skill in how to differentiate between emotions, thoughts, felt sense and understand how this relates to a Focusing approach and change process.
  • How to engage Focusing as a profound perspective shift. We learn how to help the Client to disidentify from their experience as perspective shift & yet to still enable them to keep company with their ‘issue’ in order that they might be able to view it differently from their habitual way of seeing.
  • Further learning on the power of resonant language to potentiate embodied shifts.

Module 4: Making Contact

Here we touch on the concept of ‘The Critic’ that often comes in Focusing and you will learn powerful strategies to recognize and work with it.  The Critic often appears when we touch this profoundly vulnerable level in ourselves—it need to be addressed and skillfully!

You will further explore the concept of finding the right distance from your experience, plus the metaphors and archetypes we use to describe this level in ourselves (eg. the little one, the wise one, the sun emerging over the horizon line, the shy creature in  the woods etc.). You will also learn many kinds of suggestions that can be made to clients to facilitate this process of making contact.

It’s here we also introduce you to the concept of the radical pause and the ‘saying hello to’, or acknowledging your ‘something’. Plus this module you will learn the 12 Avenues into the Felt Sense (i.e. words, images, movement, sound etc.) each of which offer powerful routes to explore and bring something different to the Focusing.

The key areas are:

  • How to work effectively with a critical voice.
  • Keeping appropriate distance and pacing.
  • The skillful use of metaphor, archetype and rich language.
  • Learning & facilitated experience of the 12 avenues (Physical, Emotional; Location/Shape, Sound, Posture/movement, Relevance from past, Metaphor/Simile, Imagery, Internal Dialogue, Felt sense, Internal conflict)
  • The importance of keeping the felt sense of an experience company and importantly how to do so.

Module 5: Deepening Contact

Now that we have learned how to expose our ‘something’—have established an appropriate distance and space from it, have welcomed (‘said hello’) and are maintaining the inter-relationship (keeping it company)—we can finally now drop into ‘its’ perspective. In doing so we get to know and fully experience how that is for us as a Focuser, feel into the relationship we have with ‘it’, as well as sense deeply what that relationship needs. What is it requiring or asking of us in the moment? This process is subtle yet entirely trainable and the results are simply astonishing.

The renowned scientist Prof. Antonio Damasio saliently wrote in his book Descartes Error that: ‘… feelings are the sensors for the match or lack thereof between nature and circumstance … They serve as internal guides … And feelings are neither intangible nor elusive. Contrary to traditional scientific opinion, feelings are just as cognitive as other precepts. They are the result of a most curious physiological arrangement that has turned the brain into the body’s captive audience.’

While to some it may seem pretty unusual (if not downright wacky!) to attempt the type of internalized communication and deep listening that the Focusing steps ask of us—equally that this type of work can understandably raise the hackles of the more skeptical among us—the weight of evidence (both experiential and empirical) in favor of this form of inquiry as a transformative applied pathway continues to mount. Gendlin’s three American Psychological Association awards and his Viktor Frankl award for his contribution to psychology and psychotherapy alone speak volumes, as does the mounting body of data appearing from the field of cognitive science we’ve explored in Emergent 1.

From a coaching point of view it might be said that we’re learning to use the felt sense directly as a perspective shift as we move into ‘its’ view while also recognizing ‘ours’. Doing so allows the Focuser to expand the field of possibility as it does create the conditions for this implicit material to become known and form into meaning and symbol. By symbol we mean clearly articulated concepts.

We’ll also be exploring parts (aspects of persona)— many of them either disowned or simply unknown— as further supports for greater insight and breaththrough. As well we will cover the area of of powerful prompts (or as Coaches we might call them powerful questions) which can help facilitate this emerging process—in making the implicit explicit.

Areas for exploration and learning will be:

• Using the felt sense as a perspective shift and to reveal underlying and unseen aspects of self.

• How to skillfully access intuition & gut feeling for both Coach and Client.

• The nature of parts or aspects of persona including what we might call disowned or unknown parts. The latter often being described as one’s shadow.

• How to invite/catalyze meaning & insight via the felt sense and deep listening.

• The importance of deep listening and the Focusing frame of attention and how these qualities support embodied learning,

Module 6: Shift Questions

In the previous modules we have already touched on a number of suggestions and prompts that help us with slowing down, encouraging the Focusing attitude, making contact, deepening contact, and so on. In this module we will begin by reflecting on and consolidating all of that learning as well as taking time to ensure it has all truly landed.

Once we’ve created sufficient parity and embodied the learning to this point, we’ll turn to the key focus of this module which is the topic of shift questions and how we might skillfully engage these. While shift questions might be employed in all types of scenarios, one of the most creative and impactful uses in Focusing is when a process feels stuck or has plateaued.

What is a shift question? One which is open, evokes discovery, insight, clarity and creates shift. Sound familiar? They should do. As we’re sure you’re aware, in the field of coaching we would call these powerful questions, and as an already qualified Coach this area of work should not be unfamiliar to you at all.

Naturally, there’s some nuance as to how we employ these in order that they remain truly effective and
fit for purpose. For example, we need to guard if we’re simply attempting to force a solution rather than establishing the conditions for it to emerge. Nonetheless, a judicious and appropriate shift question can help loosen the constriction and grease the wheels of the Client’s (or Focuser’s) process.

The key difference here compared to most conventional coaching methodologies will be the non-conscious space from which we are attempting to elicit the response. Any trained Human Potential Coach will immediately recognize this type of move from our embodied, Presence-centered coaching methodology. We’ll spend some time in the live call practicing this type of conversational framework, however it’s important to note that this area of work is facilitated via the embodiment of all of the skills we’ve been developing up to this point. Hence why we begin there (consolidating and embodying the learning) with this module.

The key learning points in this module will be:

  • Understanding both conceptually and experientially what constitutes Shift/ Powerful questions and how to ‘allow’ and frame them appropriately in Presence.
  • Paying deep attention to the client & tracking their energetics (vocal, somatic etc.).
  • Sensing when the Client is stuck or plateaued— when to allow more space and when to introduce a shift question.
  • How to effectively reflect their energetics to create awareness and shifts.
  • Knowing when the question has ‘landed’ & created shift.

Module 7: Working with Parts

In this module we will explore the concept of parts and dissociation and how these show up in sessions. There are many models which allow us to see our persona as a collation of many different parts or selves. Internal Family Systems, Voice Dialogue and so on have a variety of ways of explicating and then working with these aspects of self and here you will learn a Focusing approach to bring forth and work constructively with these as a way to support our Clients in service of their greatest insight, healing, creativity and change.

These parts are always present and particularly noticeable when decisions and directions are being made, and particularly when we sense a block to moving forward. As such, learning to work with parts can be particularly transformative and beneficial for clients experiencing challenge at such moments.

Some of the key learning points in this module will be:

  • How to identify part conflicts and how to work effectively with them.
  • How to engage with these areas when there’s a sense of being stuck and how to engage focusing in order to assist the Client to create solutions.
  • Further reflection on parts as perspectives of persona and how to work effectively with them to create shifts of awareness.

Module 8: Integrating

“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”

― Albert Einstein

And for us, Einstein may as well have said that ‘the point is to embody’. With all learning must come a period of integration. In such deep learning as is on offer in the Emergent program this will mean on one level integrating this into your very being. To fully embody the learning and what is exposed throughout this period of experiential learning into your way of being. Much is revealed to us about our own process when engaging in this type of learning and for it to be appropriately assimilated this requires us to process and then make space to allow the new one to emerge.

On a professional level, work such as Focusing requires some additional understanding and skill to successfully integrate it into a competencies-based coaching model which is why we emphasize the need to fully embody the learning and process first. To be effective means we don’t simply know a bunch of techniques and concepts. While the Emergent model has distinct learning components and structure, if one is to apply these analytically they will land pretty flat. Our capacity to successfully apply this methodology is directly linked to our own degree of embodied learning and development—to how we live, act, breathe and be as Emergent Coaches and beings. The program is designed to support you in this, and this integration phase of the module is a vital part of this process.

In this final module we will be supporting you in being able to seamlessly integrate Focusing into your coaching. In doing so, we will also be looking at how a session incorporating Focusing or a Focusing approach will also embody the PCC markers.

Please note: As this is an advanced level training program it is designed for already certified and/or credentialed Coaches. You should be fully conversant with the ICF or equivalent (ACC, EMCC etc.) core competencies of coaching in order to gain by joining this offer. You may be required to submit proof of certification and/or training upon registration. If you have any doubts or questions, please email us directly: [email protected].


How do I know if I qualify to join?

If you are already a certified Human Potential Coach you can automatically enter this program.

If you are not a certified Human Potential Coach then you should be an already trained Coach and have a good working knowledge of the ICF coaching competencies (or similar ie. Association for Coaching, EMCC etc.) and/or credentialed at ACC level. You do not have to be an ACC but it is assumed that you have been trained to this level.

If you are still unclear about whether or not you qualify or would benefit from this program please email us at [email protected] for further information or to speak to an Admissions Coach.

How does Focusing in Coaching relate to Emergent Coach Training?

Focusing in Coaching is the second part of the Emergent Coaching program. That is a complete ICF PCC-level Coach training program designed for already trained Coaches who wish to learn a revolutionary new way to coach and to upgrade their skillset to that level. If you’ve elected to join the masterclass, then you will already have the Emergent Coaching guide which will outline the full offer. Otherwise please click here to go to the Emergent Coaching page for further information.

Can I use this to join the Emergent certification program?

Yes you can. That program has been constructed in order that each module is a discrete learning opportunity yet all the sections inform each other and together create an entire program. While it’s great if you can take them in order, we appreciate that this is not always how it will work.

Can I just take an Emergent Coaching module?

You can select to take an individual Emergent Coaching course component (eg. Emergent 1, 2 or 3) or buy the entire program as a single package. The choice is yours. Naturally, taking the entire program will cost less than taking the individual modules.

It isn’t, however, possible to take individual elements of each of those components.

You can request the CCEUs for an individual course for an additional administrative and certificate issuance fee of $175.

What happens if I miss a class?

Participants can miss a maximum of 1 class per course and if they do, must submit a missed call form within two weeks of the missed class. Forms and instructions on how to submit will be shared with you once you’ve registered and paid for your tuition.

Classes missed beyond this limit (1/module) will mean we cannot issue certification/CCEUs for the module. That said we understand that sometime life throws us curve balls and we will work with you to create solutions if they do. Some of these options may incur extra fees.

How many hours per week will I need to commit?

This will clearly vary depending on each module however it will require approximately 5-6 hours per week including platform, classes, Buddy work, coaching, associated practices and reading. 

How many units will I gain for credentialing?

The Focusing in Coaching will gain you ICF ACSTH (or CCEU) units. The entire Emergent program will earn 88.5 ICF ACSTH (or CCEU) units.

Will I get listed on your website?

Listing on our Find-A-Coach page is only for those Coaches who’ve certified on one of our full Coach Training programs.

What is your refund policy?

If you withdraw from the Emergent Coach Training program, the following policy will decide whether you are entitled to a refund or not. Your eligibility to receive a refund is entirely dependent upon when you make the request.

  • If you apply for a refund 31+ days before the commencement date of your first Emergent Coach Training course, a full refund will be provided (minus a $250 non-refundable registration fee and any financial transaction costs e.g. PayPal,card or bank transfer fees).
  • If you apply within 30 days of your Emergent Coach Training course commencing, there is no refund. As such, once the program has commenced there is also no refund.


Approved Coach Specific Training Hours ACTO - Association of Coach Training Organizations