FORP in Cape Town, South Africa

The FOT Program

Cape Town 2 Year Focusing Oriented Therapy Training
First training: 2007-2008
Current training: 2009-2010

This training is the result of a collaboration between Lynn Preston and the Focusing Institute in New York and Catherine Johnson in Cape Town.

In March 2006, Lynn Preston conducted a workshop in Cape Town. It was so successful that almost every person who attended signed up for the 2-year training program. The 2007/2008 course of 12 psychotherapists was the first ever distance-learning based, international training in Focusing oriented therapy. It relied predominantly on technology such as Skype and conference calling, supplemented by visiting teacher workshops and in-person support by Catherine Johnson.

Lynn co-directed the first training with Robert Lee. She will co-direct the second (2009-2010) with Catherine Johnson.

The course is intended as a substantial and intensive training. The content and pacing promotes trainees immersing themselves in the Focusing orientation and benefitting significantly from the learning process in all areas of their lives.

The first year of the training centres around advanced Focusing Partnership learning and practice. The 2007 course was taught by Robert Lee (via conference call) and the 2009 course is being taught in-person by Catherine Johnson, supported by individual Skype coaching with Suzanne Noel in Costa Rica.

The second year concentrates on the integration of a Relational Focusing orientation into the therapy practice of the trainees, with the bulk of the online teaching done by Lynn Preston, supplemented in 2008 by classes with Greg Madison.

The entire learning process is supported by individual supervision of the students over the full 2 year period, conducted mainly by members of Lynn Preston’s advanced FORP group. Visiting trainers for the first training included Charlotte Howorth and Jude Cobb from the FORP faculty in New York, Glenn Fleisch from California and Mical Sikemma from the Netherlands. In addition, the trainees come together in person in Cape Town on a monthly basis for Focusing oriented discussions of case work and psychotherapy papers.

Graduates of the first training have described it as an invaluable transformative experience, both for their work as therapists and for themselves as people. This group still meets regularly to extend the project of integrating Focusing further and more deeply into their work. Many of the members of the group have ongoing Focusing partnerships and several have continued their supervision.

The second training is half-way through its first year, with eight trainees. Together, the members of these two groups constitute a small but significant enclave for Focusing oriented therapy in Cape Town, South Africa. We look forward to the growth of this group through its ongoing connection with Lynn Preston and her FORP faculty in New York.

Catherine Johnson
Co-Director of FOT Training

Catherine Johnson is an experienced psychotherapist who has been working in private practice for 14 years with both individuals and couples.

Since 2004, she has been closely involved with Focusing, and currently represents the Focusing Institute in South Africa. An accredited Focusing trainer and Focusing Oriented Therapist, Catherine is registered with the Focusing Institute as a coordinator in Training. Together with Lynn Preston, Catherine’s mentor, she co-directs the Focusing Oriented Therapy (FOT) training in Cape Town. This project is hugely important to her, as she relishes teaching advanced Focusing Partnership to the eight therapists registered for the 2nd edition of the 2 year training.

Catherine trains and supervises psychologists and counselors in the application of Focusing to their work and runs Focusing workshops for the general public. Together with a student of hers, she is developing an application of TAE (Thinking At The Edge, Focusing’s “sister-practice”) within a business context. She, along with two colleagues, is exploring the application of Wholebody Focusing to psychotherapy.

“Focusing and meditation have been powerful vehicles for change in my life over the past six years. My work with clients draws deeply on this well of non-judgmental, compassionate attitude, and attunement to the felt-sense dimension of our experiencing of ourselves and our ongoing interaction in the therapy room.”

Cape Town FOT 2007/2008 Graduates

Cathy Aaron

Andrew Carlyle

Sue Cornfield

Brenda Cowley

Margie le Roux

Louise Mina

Pat Oliver

Ingrid Owens

Nolene Seris

Jenny Twiggs

Jenny Wessels

Cape Town FOT 2009/2010 Students

Lulu Brasler

Max Cullinan

Belinda Derman

Jenny Gray

Anya Mendel

Lesley Miles

Peter Powis

Pam Wernich