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Message from the Children’s Focusing Corner

By Marta Stapert, Coordinator, Netherlands, Surinam. Marta also coordinates The Children’s Focusing Corner for The Focusing Institute.

This work supports our two goals of bringing focusing to underdeveloped areas and expanding the application of focusing and children.

This message is to give an account of our work in Romania. First we want to thank Focusers from different parts of the world who gave a contribution to make the work possible. I would like to inform you about the expantion of the program. I also would like to ask again for your help to make it possible to bring Focusing in Romania still further. The Focusing Institute has contributed $1,000 so that we have been able to start the next training, but we will need help to complete it. And a lot of interested professional children-workers are on the waiting list !

Bringing Focusing into economically underdeveloped countries is not easy. The participants pay $1.50; yes, you read it right--one and a half dollar for each day of training. For them it is a fortune, and they spare/save it from their family’s mouths, in spite of their having University educations and working in Universities, schools and hospitals. Trainees often have to miss training sessions because of other duties. They come late, because they had to wait more than two hours for a doctor’s appointment. They often are very tired. In one group someone comes by train 700 km!. But they are wonderfully hospitable and make a lot out of a few materials.

In 2001 we started training in Focusing Oriented Children Psychotherapy FOCP. This training is for those who have already completed a University program. The trainees are psychologists, speech teachers, movement teachers, psycho-paedagogists. All of them speak English. Yesterday we celebrated the certification of nine Child Focusing Psychotherapists after 160 hours training in five parts. They have completed Focusing partnerships and written reports about their practice with children. Five participants will continue training to become Focusing trainers, so they can give training to teachers and parents, and also educate new FOCP colleagues.

We have formed two foreign teams to come to Romania to do the training. Eszter Kováts and Ágnes Pálfiné Kováts, TFI Coordinators from Hungary, are training one new group of 24 participants in the same town and another group of 15 participants in a town in West-Romania. This month, Madeleine Walder Binder and Klaus Katscher from Germany will start another group. And still more participants are on waiting lists in Cluj Napoca, as well as in other towns throughout the country.

The organizing Institute, Epsiona, is establishing a Romanian Focusing Association, so Focusing will be an accredited program of the Union for Psychotherapy, a high qualification. As an Association they will have the legal form for fundraising. Because of the accreditations, the whole of Romania is eager for more Child Focusing Psychotherapy training. In the meantime, travel expenses for our three training teams are funded by the Children’s Focusing Corner, and when it is empty we pay for ourselves. The participants pay for our lodging, food and taxi. We don’t get paid for our work. However, we hope the structural change will allow us to get funding.

With the help of a Swiss private fund, one of our Focusing trainees is able to continue the work in the Baby-Hospital. Mari Orbán is doing lovely work there with the babies as well as with the caretakers by involving them in an open, listening, communicating attitude with the babies. The babies look happier with her attention.

The participants tell touching stories about their experiences with children. But they also express how valuable it is for them to become connected to themselves, with self-governing and self-responsibility, instead of being obedient to whatever authority. The ability to pause and say ‘no’ and check inside is a big struggle, with old fears coming up. Being respectful to each other is new in a country where dictatorship was the main way and under the surface still is. Focusing gives not only hope but also tools for a better democratic future. That is why bringing Focusing to those countries which try to change old ways of being ruled, is so important and lifesaving, world-saving for all of us.

Please help us continue our program by sending your donation to:
The Focusing Institute, Children’s Focusing Corner
MasterCard / Visa / AmEx: Card number and Expiration date with signature
Check or money order (in US currency drawn on a US bank) to The Focusing Institute
Only in Euro: Inz. Children’s Focusing Corner
M.Stapert-Wezelenburg, Schardam 9, NL1476NA SCHARDAM
Bankaccount Rabo 356926249
Bankaddress: Rabobank Purmerend e.O. Postbus 6, NL 1440 AA PURMEREND, Netherlands


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This page was last modified on 11 April 2008