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FOAT® Training Program: Certification
2023 - 2026

The FOAT® Training program can lead to the following certifications:

  • Certified FOAT® Practitioner or FOAT® Facilitator

  • Certified Focusing Trainer (Professional or Therapist): Specialization in FOAT®

Certified FOAT® Practitioner or FOAT® Facilitator

Granted by the Focusing and Expressive Arts (FOAT) Institute


Becoming certified as a FOAT® Practitioner or Facilitator acknowledges your advanced training and experience to work with others. Certified FOAT® Practitioners and Facilitators receive the same foundational and intermediate levels of training (Levels 1 - 3). In Level 4, trainees receive supervision that is specific to their application of FOAT– thus, supporting the pathway toward Practitioner or Facilitator.


The primary difference between the two pathways is the educational requirement. Practitioners must have a Master’s or Doctoral degree in the arts therapies or counseling fields. The Facilitator pathway is for anyone interested in applying FOAT in other fields or for personal enrichment. See below for clarification:


  • Certified FOAT® Practitioner: Must have a Master’s or Doctoral degree in the arts therapy field and/or credentialed by one of the arts therapies professions (ATR-BC, REAT, R-DMT, MT-BC, etc.); or clinical/counseling psychology, social work, marriage, and family therapy, or a related field in mental health with additional 50 hours of expressive arts training.


  • Certified FOAT® Facilitator: For those interested in using Focusing and the expressive arts for personal and/or professional application, such as in education, coaching, body-work, mindfulness and meditation training, spiritual direction, business, leadership, etc.


If you are a Certified FOAT® Facilitator and later meet the FOAT® Practitioner educational requirements, you can apply for a title change. Please prepare documentation of your licenses and contact the Training Director ( for information about how to apply for a title change.

Requirements for Certification

Both pathways require:

  1. Completing all competencies and requirements for FOAT Levels 1 through 4.

  2. At least 50 hours of documented expressive arts learning/training. These hours can be gained through in-person/online courses or workshops, and may be prior to or during the FOAT® Training Program.

  3. Prior to approval, you will have a Certification Review:

    • Submit documents: degrees, transcripts, certifications

    • Submit documentation (list or transcripts) showing 50 hours expressive arts learning/training

    • Schedule meeting with the Training Director (to take place after the conclusion of Level 4)

    • Pay review fee ($200. USD)

  4. Sign and commit to abiding by the ethics and guidelines of FOAT®


Certified Focusing Trainer (Professional or Therapist): Specialization in FOAT®

Granted by The International Focusing Institute (TIFI)


This certification is open to Certified FOAT® Pactitioners or Facilitators who wish to teach others. The purpose of this certification is to recognize the depth and competence in Focusing that you obtain through the FOAT® Training Program, along with your specialization in integrating the expressive arts with Focusing. 


TIFI offers three certifications at the Trainer level: Certified Focusing Trainer; Certified Focusing Professional; and Certified Focusing-Oriented Therapist (FOT). See TIFI website for the meaning of each certification. Because the FOAT® Training Program includes the integration of the expressive arts with Focusing, TIFI grants all the three certifications along with the designation, “Specialization in FOAT®.”

Requirements and Process for Certification

After being Certified as a FOAT® Pracitioner or Facilitator, you must:

  1. Complete all competencies and requirements for Level 5.

  2. Successful completion of Certification Review with the Training Director. See additional fees page for associated costs.

  3. Upon approval by the Training Director, you will be reccomended for Certification to The International Focusing Institute. You must pay your certification fee to The International Focusing Institute (TIFI).  See the TIFI's Certification page for more details.

What is a Certified FOAT® Practitioner/Facilitator?

Each level will have its own individual registration through our FOAT Online School. The registrations for each level will open a few months prior to their start date.

  • Introduction to Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts (FOAT®)

    • Currently: Open Enrollment For Self-Study

    • Live Course held on March 6, 2023; Enrollment period from January - March 2023

  • Level 1: Foundations and Approaches of Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts (FOAT®)

    • Enrollment period from June - September 2023

    • Course held September 18, 2023 - December 18, 2023

  • Level 2: FOAT Facilitation and Partnership Skills

    • Enrollment period TBA

    • Course held January 29, 2024 - June 3, 2024

  • Level 3: Advanced FOAT Practice Skills and Applications

    • Enrollment period TBA

    • Course held September 9, 2024 - March 10, 2025

  • Level 4: FOAT Practicum and Supervision

    • Enrollment period TBA

    • Course held May 5, 2025 - November 17, 2025

  • Level 5: FOAT Train-the-Trainer

    • Enrollment period TBA

    • Course held February 23 - July 27, 2026


Who are the creators and faculty of this program?

Laury Rappaport, Ph.D., LMFT, ATR-BC, REAT, is the creator of the FOAT® Training Program. She pioneered and developed the theory and practices of Focusing-Oriented Art Therapy (FOAT®) and Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts (FOAT®)– based on 40 years of clinical, community, wellness, and organizational applications.


The FOAT Faculty for this program are all Certified FOAT® Practitioners (FOAT Institute) and Certified Focusing Trainers: Specialization in FOAT® (TIFI):

  • Laury Rappaport, Ph.D., MFT, REAT, ATR-BC

  • Doreen Meister, MA, LMFT

  • Grace Brillantes-Evangelista, Ph.D., RPsy, CSCLP

  • Lynn Pollock, MA, LMHC, REAT

  • Marise Lariviere, LMFT, ATR


Additional Certified FOAT® Practitioner/Facilitators and Certified Focusing Trainers (Professionals or Therapists): Specialization in FOAT® may join the Training Program as assistant faculty or FOAT® Coaches. To learn more about them, visit our Certified FOATs page.

If I want to take the training, do I have to take all of the levels?

No! Our trainings are designed so that you can progress through each level based on your interests. After successfully completing each level, you may decide whether or not you'd like to continue to the next. We trust that your felt sense will guide you to take the levels of training and/or certification that feel right.

Focus Train
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