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Changes Groups

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As a service to the international focusing community, The Focusing Institute provides this space for the posting of dates and times of ongoing "Changes" groups. Changes groups meet to share Focusing either with or without a facilitator. The International Focusing Institute does not monitor, and is not responsible or accountable for the following groups. However, individuals listed as Certified Trainers have been certified by the Focusing Institute to be highly competent Focusing teachers. 

Are you holding a Changes group that you would like listed here? Email our webmaster with the particulars.

Please also visit our Bulletin Board page which lists Focusing-related workshops not offered by the Institute.  For  information on Institute workshops, please refer to our Workshops page.

Changes Groups Or Listening/Focusing Communities

Kathleen McGuire-Bouwman

In the early 1970’s, when Eugene Gendlin was trying to define Focusing as a skill that could be taught to everyone, students of Gendlin’s and others got together to form a crisis hotline and supportive community where everyone was invited to learn the basic Focusing and Experiential Listening skills. The basic training took place in small groups, and, even after the initial training, many people enjoyed meeting for the exchange of listening/focusing turns as peer counselors in a small group format. The first such group was called “Changes,” and such Listening/Focusing communities have continued to be called Changes groups.

The Focusing in Community: How To Start A Listening/Focusing Support Group Manual, and its Spanish translation Focusing en Comunidad, both available from The International Focusing Institute website, tell how to find potential members and to start a Changes Group, the basic Listening/Focusing skills and the exchange of equal peer-counseling turns, and the use of the Listening/Focusing skills to resolve any interpersonal conflicts or group decisions that come up.

Read more... (text displayed below)

CHANGES GROUPS: Safe Companioning in Community by Suzanne L. Noël, B.A., CFT, CFC

More Articles on Focusing Communities

Some Group Experiences

Virtual Phone Meetings

ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD: VIRTUAL CHANGES GROUP - 90 minute sessions meet by phone/Skype connection. Open to all interested individuals. Use of the MaestroConference technology allows us to gather all together for a brief attunement, followed by time in either Focusing partnerships (dyads/triads) for experienced Focusers or a facilitated group-listening experience for beginners, then re-gathering for a brief sharing of experiences. Please check or email for schedule details and registration info.

In Person Meetings

AUSTRALIA, EAST BURWOOD, VICTORIA: Changes groups. Saturday afternoons, monthly. These groups are very relaxed and informal and provide an opportunity to be amongst other people who are interested in Focusing as well as to do some Focusing in partnership.  The meetings usually last for about 2 - 2½ hours.  There is always coffee/tea and a biscuit.  Everyone contributes a few dollars to cover the cost of the venue and refreshment. Contact Andrea Pelletier on 0412 871137 or

AUSTRALIA, MELBOURNE, VICTORIA: A Changes group is held in Mont Albert, Melbourne Vic. on the first Monday of the month from 7.30 till 9.30pm. Ring Maureen Ireland (03) 9899 2053 or email

AUSTRALIA, MELBOURNE, VICTORIA: Changes group meets on the first Monday of every month from 7PM to 9PM at the Abbotsford convent. 1 St Heliers st Abbotsford. All focusers welcome. Introductory classes run throughout the year. Contact Ruth Cunningham 0413 469050 or Jo Kennedy 0418141870

AUSTRALIA, SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES: A Changes Group meets on the first Saturday of each month in The Crypt at St Patrick's Catholic Church, 141 Harrington St, The Rocks, from 10:00am to 12:30pm. All focusers welcome. Contact Merilyn Mayhew 0409 310 613,, or Sue Burrell, 0407 104 133,

CANADA, MONTREAL, QC: NVC and Focusing Changes group en francais. Tuesday evenings from 7-9 once a month on 21 février, 20 mars, 16 avril, 15 mai, 12 juin 2012. Contact Gina Cenciose

CANADA, MONTREAL, QC: Changes group, en francais. Marine de Freminville, 514-341-9596.

CANADA, EAST END TORONTO, ON: Changes Group.  Every first and third Tuesday of the month from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. Lucy Bowers, a Certifying Coordinator with The International Focusing Institute hosts a Changes Group at her home. For details call 416 690 4862 or email

CANADA, TORONTO, ON: Changes group meets once a month from 6-7:30pm on Wednesday. Trainers, and seasoned Focuser's are welcome. We meet, have a brief tune-in, then break up in some configuration (dyads or triads) for Focusing time, and generally re-convene together at about 7:50pm. Bala Jaison, 416-482-6689.

COSTA RICA, SANTA ANA:  West Side Changes Meetings in Santa Ana, usually the third Sunday of each month, at 1:30 p.m. at Cooperativa Las Cabañas. Contact Suzanne Noel at

GERMANY, MUNICH: Monthly Changes GroupWednesday evening, from 6:00 pm to 8.30 pm. BOZM - Burnout Center Munich, Nymphenburgerstr.36, 80335 Munich. These groups are open for people interested in practicing Focusing and Thinking at the Edge. People new to Focusing can partner with experienced Focusers; resources for further instructions are provided. To get information about meeting dates subscribe to our newsletter: Contact: Heinke Deloch, Focusing Coordinator, +49(0)8092.8632057,

INDONESIA, BALI: Ongoing Focusing groups. Lyly Rojas De Knaus, Tromol Pos #204, Kantor Pos Dan Giro, Ubud, Gianyar 80571 Bali. Fax: 62-361-975115.

UK, DEVON: Monthly Focusing practice group. We meet at 9.45 to 1pm on a Saturday morning in Liverton, near Bovey Tracey. Participants need to have a basic knowledge of Focusing and listening. Contact Fiona;, or phone +44 (0)1626 821110 if you wish to attend or would be interested in learning Focusing.

UNITED STATES, BEND, OR: Changes Group. Free, monthly group, meets Sunday afternoons 4pm-6pm at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Central Oregon- 61980 Skyline Ranch Rd, Bend, OR 97703. Co-facilitated by Steven Biesmann and Tara Breitenbucher, both Certified Focusing Trainers, who also provide introductory and training workshops for those wanting more instruction in Focusing. This group will welcome people of various levels of experience with Focusing - from those who have been Focusing for years, to those who have minimal practice with it and are interested in learning more. There will be time for a short group discussion around the Focusing process after exchanges. People new to Focusing will be invited to observe, and resources for further instruction will be provided. RSVP with Steven Biesmann 541-410-9039 (, or Tara Breitenbucher 541-905-0500 ( and check the Focusing In Community Facebook webpage for monthly schedule at:

UNITED STATES, CHICAGO, IL (Western Suburbs): Changes group meets every two weeks on Sunday afternoons in Glen Ellyn. Contact Jack Hatfield at 630 375 0881 or

UNITED STATES, CHESAPEAKE, DE: Changes Group held in our home in Wilmington, Delaware. We plan to meet every second Sunday of the month and we welcome your energy and input. Please let me know if you are coming and if you need directions. Our address is 1907 West Ninth Street, Wilmington, DE. Phone number: (302) 777-3111   email:

UNITED STATES, CORVALLIS, OR: Focusing group. We meet in the home of a member... mostly in my home as teacher/ leader. We meet twice a month, on 2nd and 4th Sunday afternoons right now for 2 hours, from 3 - 5 PM. We include people who have learned Focusing already, not people new to it. Anyone can come who has focusing already. I remind the group by e- mail sent to all the people in our Corvallis area who have had a Focusing workshop with me, or have sought me out, having learned Focusing already. There are maybe 15 people the notices go out to in the Corvallis, Salem area. Contact person: Nina Joy Lawrence, 541-745-5377

meets first and third Monday evenings of every month. Patricia Pierce. 214-596-7784.

UNITED STATES, EUGENE, OR: Changes group meets bi-weekly. Linda Prier. 541-345-9672.

UNITED STATES, HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA: Twice monthly Focusing practice group, trainer-led.  Diana Marder, Ph.D. 16168 Beach Blvd, Huntington Beach. 714-843-1109.

UNITED STATES, MARINETTE, WI: Changes group meets Sunday evenings at 5 P.M. at St. James Lutheran rectory. Jim Van Doren, 414-498-3810.

UNITED STATES, NEW ORLEANS, LA: Changes group in downtown New Orleans meets every Thursday night from 7-9PM at Magazine Perks Coffee Shop. Anne Redelfs.

UNITED STATES, NEW YORK, NY: West Side 'Changes' Group generally meets once a month to practice Focusing on a Sunday evening, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at West 86th Street. The only pre-condition is that you have some experience as a Focuser and as a Listening companion. There is no charge and no pre-set agenda. Everybody is fully supported to Focus in their own way. The meeting opens with a group attunement and we close by sharing some freshly revealed aspect of the process. Call 917 595 6884 or email If you sign up to New York Metro Focusing at you will automatically receive notice of our meetings and will also be able to access forward calendar dates.

UNITED STATES, NEW YORK, NY: Changes group for focusers. NEW MEMBERS WELCOME! Our changes group welcomes new members. We meet one Friday each month from 6:15pm-8:30pm in the Union Square area. The group is free of charge and is open to anyone interested in focusing. We have been meeting regularly for over 25 years. For further information, please contact Marsha Lipshitz, 212-734-9004 or email

UNITED STATES, OAK PARK, IL: Changes group meets Tuesday evenings. Bebe Simon, 708-524-1114.

UNITED STATES, OCONTO, WI: Changes group has meets Wednesdays at 5 P.M. in the Oconto Memorial Hospital second floor conference room. Jim Van Doren, 414-498-3810.

UNITED STATES, WESTCHESTER, NY:  Westchester Changes Group meets one Sunday a month, 10am-noon, at the home of Rob Parker and Betty McCorkle. Contact person Ruth Rosenblum: 914-450-5776 and Betty McCorkle: 914-946-9321 People should call for meeting schedule.

UNITED STATES, WILMINGTON, DE: Changes Group meeting every second Sunday of the month, 2pm to 5pm. Open to focusing practitioners and students. Those who have no experience in Focusing will need a brief introductory training. Call Martha Garland or Dale Lantz (302) 777-3111 or email:

UNITED STATES, WOODBURY, NY: Changes Group meeting for experienced focusers. For more information, please contact: Lori Ketover, LMSW, Long Island Focusing Center, Woodbury, NY, (516)692-0613

SWITZERLAND: Changes groups can be found at

Articles on Focusing Communities

Teaching Focusing and Focusing Communities: Our Way of Teaching Which Resulted In 17 Focusing Communities  by Mako Hikasa

Tips for building and continuing a Focusing Community  (Work book appendix for above article in Japanese)  by Mako Hikasa

Some Group Experiences

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