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Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts (FOAT®)
Training Program

  
2023 - 2026

Training Description

The Focusing and Expressive Arts Institute provides introductory, foundational, intermediate, and advanced levels of FOAT leading to: 

  1. Certification as a FOAT® Practitioner or FOAT® Facilitator (granted by the FOAT Institute)

  2. Certification as a Focusing Trainer: Specialization in FOAT® (granted by The International Focusing Institute)

 

Trainings are tailored to 2 applications:

  • Clinical: Psychotherapeutic applications (e.g. art therapy, expressive arts, psychology, counseling, marriage and family therapy, social work, etc.)

  • Non-clinical: Such as coaching, body-work professions, community, organizational, ministry/spiritual, self-care, health, personal growth, and wellbeing

 

Training Sequence

The FOAT® Training Program begins with introductory courses that provide an overview of the main theory and practices of FOAT– and help you to see if you are interested in further training. Our trainings are designed so that you can progress through them 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.

Note: Progression through each level and certification is competency-based. A Certificate of Completion is granted after the successful completion of each level.

 

Introductory FOAT® Training:

 

The following courses may be substituted for the Introduction to FOAT® course, with permission of the Training Director (click here to email):

  • Workshops and courses presented at conferences

  • FOAT® Tools I and II (Live Zoom participation) 

Note: Introduction to FOAT® provides more theoretical material and case examples than the FOAT® Tools Series. If you are interested in Certification, we recommend taking the Introduction to FOAT® course for these additional components. 

 

Foundational FOAT® Training:

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

 

  • Level 2: FOAT Facilitation and Partnership Skills 

After successfully completing the competencies and requirements for Level 2, trainees will be eligible for the “Proficiency in Focusing Partnership Award” (granted by The International Focusing Institute– requires additional TIFI membership and processing fees). Click here for full award information.

 

Intermediate FOAT® Training:

  • Level 3: Advanced FOAT Practice Skills and Applications

 

Advanced FOAT® Training and Certification:

Note: Prior to Certification as a FOAT® Practitioner or FOAT® Facilitator, you need to document 50 hours of Expressive Arts learning. This can be attained through in-person/online courses or workshops, and may be prior to or during the FOAT® Training Program.

 

  • Level 4: FOAT Practicum and Supervision

Successful completion of Level 4 and competence evaluation leads to Certification as a FOAT® Practitioner or FOAT® Facilitator (granted by the Focusing and Expressive Arts Institute). 

 

  • Level 5: FOAT Train-the-Trainer

Successful completion of Level 5 and competence evaluation leads to Certification as a Focusing Trainer (Therapist or Professional): Specialization in FOAT® (granted by The International Focusing Institute; click here for additional information).

T. Description
T. Sequence
Course Descriptions

FOAT® Training Program: Course Descriptions

I.   Introductory FOAT® Training 

Introduction to Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts (FOAT®)

This course provides an introduction to Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts (FOAT®) including its history and development, foundational principles, and main theoretical and practice approaches. Based on Eugene Gendlin’s evidence-based Focusing, this training workshop includes learning the main concepts of Focusing Attitude, felt sense, symbol/handle, and felt shift. 

The course demonstrates user-friendly expressive arts methods for expressing a felt sense and defines the following main approaches– FOAT Check-in, Theme-Directed FOAT, Clearing a Space with Arts, and Working on an Issue. Didactic presentations, experiential practice exercises and examples provide a rich, varied format for learning. 

 

The following courses may be substituted for the Introduction to Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts (FOAT®) course, with permission of the Training Director (click here to email). 

  • Workshops and courses presented at conferences

  • FOAT® Tools I and II (Live Zoom participation) 

Note: Introduction to FOAT® provides more theoretical material and case examples than the FOAT® Tools Series. If you are interested in Certification, we recommend taking the Introduction to FOAT® course for these additional components.

II.   Foundational FOAT® Training

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

Prerequisite: Completion of Introduction to FOAT® or permission of Training Director

Level 1 provides an overview of the history, foundational principles, main FOAT approaches, and essential concepts and practices of Gendlin’s Focusing. Training includes didactic material, video, readings, demonstrations, experiential practice, and group supervision to learn the foundations of FOAT including: Focusing Attitude, Self-Focusing, Theme-Directed FOAT, Clearing a Space with Arts, FOAT Check-in, Working on an Issue, along with arts and verbal reflections. Level 1 emphasizes learning the foundational practices for oneself, along with beginning partnership skills of presence, witnessing and listening reflections. 

 

Level 2: FOAT Facilitation and Partnership Skills 

Prerequisite: Completion of Level 1 or permission of Training Director

Level 2 provides the foundational skills for facilitating others in FOAT experiences. A core practice within the Focusing and FOAT communities is the Partnership. Trainees will rotate partners to practice the fundamental FOAT exercises learned in Level 1. Challenges and blocks to FOAT/Focusing will be addressed, including working with the inner critic. Emphasis in Level 2 is on building your skillfulness to work with others, including deepening into presence, felt sense, compassion, and embodied, creative wisdom. The training includes didactic material, video, readings, demonstrations, experiential practice, and individual and group supervision. 

  

After successfully completing the competencies and requirements for Level 2, trainees will be eligible for the “Proficiency in Focusing Partnership Award” (granted by The International Focusing Institute– requires additional TIFI membership and processing fees). Click here for full award information. 

III.   Intermediate FOAT® Training

Level 3: Advanced FOAT Practice Skills and Applications

Prerequisite: Completion of Level 2 and Competence Evaluation

In Level 3, the emphasis is on deepening skillfulness in both individual and group facilitation, and learning to apply FOAT to working with different populations and needs. FOAT Trios are integrated into the learning structure, offering greater opportunity for witnessing others facilitating FOAT and receiving FOAT-Oriented feedback to enhance competence. Guest presenters are included in Level 3 to offer a broader view of integrating Focusing and the expressive arts. Trainees collaborate to develop a FOAT group protocol that they then lead the training group in.

IV.   Advanced FOAT® Training and Certification

Level 4: FOAT Practicum and Supervision

Prerequisite: Completion of Level 3 and Competence Evaluation

Level 4 provides advanced training and supervision in FOAT. In this course, trainees apply FOAT to an area of interest that they have. The course includes creating a practicum experience (which can be a place of work, volunteer, or something new) and receiving individual and group supervision to support trainees in adapting FOAT to their interests. In addition, trainees learn about FOAT-Oriented Peer Supervision to support each other and develop additional skills in facilitation and presence. Level 4 culminates with a final project demonstrating the application of FOAT to the trainee’s interests.  

 

After successfully completing the competencies and requirements for Level 4, trainees may apply to become Certified as a FOAT® Practitioner or FOAT® Facilitator (granted by the Focusing and Expressive Arts Institute). Prior to Certification as a FOAT® Practitioner or FOAT® Facilitator, you need to document 50 hours of Expressive Arts learning. This can be attained through in-person/online courses or workshops, and may be prior to or during the FOAT® Training Program.

 

Level 5: FOAT Train-the-Trainer

Prerequisite: Completion of Level 4 and Competence Evaluation

Level 5 provides training in how to teach an introductory level FOAT workshop, including teaching Focusing, and listening skills. Trainees will learn how to teach: ARTS-Focusing and FOCUSING-Arts, Introduction to FOAT, Theme-Directed FOAT, Self-Focusing, Compassionate Listening, FOAT Check-in, Clearing a Space with Arts, Working with Steps, and Working on an Issue. Trainees will develop and offer a FOAT introductory workshop based on their interests. The course includes didactic presentations; individual, group, and peer supervision; practice exercises for teaching FOAT; partnership practice; and a final presentation of the teaching project. 

 

After successfully completing the competencies and requirements for Level 5, trainees may apply to become a Certified Focusing Trainer: Specialization in FOAT® (granted by The International Focusing Institute; click here for additional information). 

Faculty

FOAT® Training Program: Faculty

All faculty for this program are Certified FOAT® Practitioners (FOAT Institute)

and Certified Focusing Trainers: Specialization in FOAT® (TIFI).

Lead Faculty and Trainer

Laury Rappaport, Ph.D., LMFT, ATR-BC, REAT, pioneered the development of Focusing-Oriented Art Therapy (FOAT®) and Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts (FOAT®). She is the Founder/Director of the FOAT Institute, and a Certifying Coordinator, Focusing-Oriented Therapist, and Trainer with The International Focusing Institute. In addition, Laury is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (CA), Board Certified Art Therapist with the American Art Therapy Association, and Registered Expressive Arts Therapist with the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association. She is the author of Focusing-Oriented Art Therapy: Accessing the Body’s Wisdom and Creative Intelligence, editor/author of Mindfulness and the Arts Therapies: Theory and Practice, and has published numerous other works. Through the Focusing and Expressive Arts Institute, Laury has brought training programs nationally and internationally throughout the world, including at the University of Hong Kong, University of Guatemala, and in Japan.

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Doreen Meister, MA, LMFT, is a Certified Focusing Trainer: Specialization in FOAT® (TIFI),  Certified Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts (FOAT®) Practitioner (FOAT Institute), and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist - specializing in creative arts expression, existential contemplative psychotherapy, mindfulness, and developmental trauma. For over 15 years, she has been helping adults connect with their own natural, authentic resources to develop resilience, regulation, self-compassion and authenticity. She has a private practice in Oakland, California working virtually with individuals and groups. Her specialty areas of training include: FOAT®, guided imagery, somatic touch for resilience and regulation, self-inquiry and existential humanistic contemplative psychotherapy.  In addition, Doreen has over 20 years mediation experience in non-dual traditions and expresses her creativity through jewelry design.

Grace Brillantes-Evangelista, Ph.D., RPsy, CSCLP, is a Clinical Psychologist, Professor, Expressive Arts-Based Practitioner, Clinical Supervisor, Consultant, Trainer, and Workshop Facilitator in the Philippines. Grace is a Certified Focusing Trainer: Specialization in FOAT® (TIFI) and Certified Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts (FOAT®) Practitioner (FOAT Institute). Grace has been practicing in the field for over 20 years. She is also the Executive Director of the Integrative Lifestyle And Well-being (ILAW) Center and has served as the Chair of the Department of Psychology at Miriam College. Her work and research include arts-based psychosocial interventions for different communities, mindfulness and FOAT interventions, family and human development, mental health and wellbeing, psychological assessment, child abuse, disaster psychology and resilience, internal displacement, street families, and cyberpsychology. Grace is appreciated for cultivating attunement, inner composure, and resilience among her clients.

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Lynn Pollock, MA, LMHC, REAT, is an Expressive Arts Therapist in private practice in Massachusetts. Her clinical work includes over 14 years of experience working in community-based services with children and their families, and in her private practice she specializes in working with adults who struggle with mood, anxiety, trauma, and adjustment issues. Lynn received her Master’s degree from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Massachusetts. She is a Certified Focusing Trainer: Specialization in FOAT® (TIFI) and Certified FOAT® Practitioner (FOAT Institute).  She is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) and is fascinated by the intersection between EMDR and focusing. She has also recently co-produced a series of training videos, Creative Inspirations from the Field: Staying Engaged with the Arts.

Marise Lariviere, LMFT, ATR, received her Master’s degree in Art Therapy and Marriage and Family Therapy from Notre Dame de Namur University in California. She is a Certified Focusing Trainer: Specialization in FOAT® (TIFI), a Certified Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts (FOAT®) Practitioner (FOAT Institute), and a Registered Art Therapist with the American Art Therapy Association. Marise’s passion for the visual arts inspired her to acquire artistic skills in a variety of media and to experience the profound value of art for self-expression. She now uses the expressive arts to help others access their own inner knowing for positive growth and healing through a wide range of mindful creative experiences. Marise is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California and Quebec, Canada. 

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FOAT® Training Program: Group Meeting Dates

 

The meetings on the table below are currently scheduled from 3:00pm - 6:30pm Pacific Time.

These dates are for UTC -11 to +0. For other time zones: Click here for a time zone converter

Dates in Yellow indicate Daylight Saving Time (PDT). All other dates are in Standard Time (PST).

Please Note: Each level of the FOAT® Training Program (Levels 1 - 5) consists of scheduled group meetings that include didactic, experiential practice exercises, group mentoring, and supervision. For this training series, participants must attend 90% of the group meetings per level (exceptions may be made for extenuating circumstances with approval from the Training Director).

 

We are aware that it may be difficult to attend this training series based on time zone differences and work schedules. It is our goal to offer FOAT Levels 1 - 5 Trainings at different times in the future. It may be possible to arrange individualized FOAT Training if you are interested. Please email us at office@focusingarts.com if you would like to explore individualized FOAT Training or if you would like a FOAT Training in your time zone.

Group Meeting Dates
Costs

FOAT® Training Program: Costs

All costs and fees are shown in USD - US Dollar.

  

Partial scholarships and work-study available based on financial need. 

Contact office@focusingarts.com for application.

Additional Fees

$125. *

Outside Supervision with Focusing and/or expressive arts supervisors from our provided list of professionals who agreed to this fee per session (2 sessions required).  If you choose an independent supervisor, this fee may vary.

Certification Review Fees

$200

Level 4: Review for Certification as a FOAT® Practitioner or FOAT® Facilitator (granted by the Focusing and Expressive Arts Institute).

$200

Level 5: Review for Certification as a Focusing Trainer (Therapist or Professional): Specialization in FOAT® (granted by The International Focusing Institute; click here for additional TIFI membership and Certification fees).

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