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Previous Training Overview


The following page is for our old training program outline. There have been significant changes made for our new FOAT® Training Program. This page exists for comparison purposes only.

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Focusing and Expressive Arts Institute

Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts (FOAT®) Training 

Live Teleconference + Residential Intensive Program

1-6 overview

Levels 1 - 6 Curriculum Overview

The Focusing and Expressive Arts (FOAT) Institute provides introductory, intermediate and advanced trainings in FOAT® (Levels 1 - 6) leading to: 1. Certification as a FOAT® Practitioner or Facilitator (granted by the FOAT Institute) and 2. Certified Focusing Trainer with a specialization in FOAT® (granted by The International Focusing Institute).

Trainings are tailored for 3 applications:  1. Clinical: psychotherapeutic applications (e.g. art therapy, expressive arts, psychology, counseling, marriage and family therapy, social work, etc.);  2. Non-clinical applications, such as coaching, bodywork professions, community, organizational, and ministry/spiritual settings; and 3. Self-care, personal growth, and wellbeing.

Levels 1 + 2 can be taken either just as a teleconference or as a certificate course.  To receive a Certificate of Completion for the various levels, additional practice exercises must be completed and reviewed by faculty.  Trainees find the practice exercises meaningful and helpful in learning FOAT® in a deeper manner, leading to greater skillfulness.

Each level must be completed before proceeding to the next level.  After the completion of Level 2, you may apply to the certification program to become a Certified FOAT® Practitioner or Facilitator. Certified FOAT® Practitioners and Facilitators may apply to become a Certified Focusing Trainer: Specialization in FOAT®.

Note: Feel free to review the FOAT® Pricing Overview for general pricing (prices are subject to change).

I. Foundation Trainings: Levels 1 + 2

Level 1: Approaches to Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts

  • Introduction to Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts

  • Focusing Basics (may be waived with experience and permission of instructor)

  • FOAT® Fundamentals and Approaches

  • Theme-Directed FOAT®

  • Clearing a Space with Expressive Arts


Certificate track includes additional requirements:

  • Completion of practice with documentation

  • Review of documentation by Faculty

  • FOAT® Coaching with Advanced Trainee


Level 2:  Foundational FOAT® Skills and Practices

  • FOAT® and Compassionate Listening

  • FOAT®  FOAT® Partner Practice I

    • ​FOAT® Check-In; Blocks to FOAT®

  • FOAT®  Partner Practice​ II

    • Working on an Issue

  • FOAT®  Partner Practice III

    • Inner Critic


Certificate track includes additional requirements:

  • Completion of practice with documentation

  • Review of documentation by Faculty

  • FOAT® Coaching with Advanced Trainee

  • One supervision session with Dr. Laury Rappaport or Faculty


II. Intermediate Trainings:  Levels 3 + 4

  • Level 3: Advanced Practice Skills and Supervision

  • Level 4: Applications of Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts (FOAT®)


III. YEAR 2: Advanced Training: Levels 5 + 6 leading to Certification

  • Level 5: Advanced FOAT® Training and Supervision

  • Level 6: Train-the Trainer Course



  1. To become certified, you need to take an Ethics and Expressive Arts course (at least 6 hours) if you have not taken ethics in your other studies or trainings. You can take an online course through the Trauma Informed Practice and Expressive Arts Institute:

  2. Prior to Certification, you need to document 50 hours of learning through Expressive Arts Courses. This can be attained prior to or during the FOAT® Training. Courses may be taken at other training Institutes, conferences, CEU, or academic programs. If you need to take additional courses, the fee will be based on the program that offers them.


Levels 1 - 6 Course Descriptions

I. Foundation Training: Levels 1 + 2

        Level 1 Courses:

1. Introduction to FOAT®

This course provides an introduction to Focusing-oriented expressive arts (FOAT®) including: the history and development of FOAT®; a brief overview and evidence-based research of Eugene Gendlin’s Focusing; overview of expressive arts; introduction to core Focusing and FOAT® concepts: Foundational FOAT® principles, Focusing attitude, felt sense, symbol, felt shift, and the basic FOAT® step—accessing a felt sense and expressing it through the expressive arts.


2. Focusing Basics

This course provides an overview of Eugene Gendlin’s development of Focusing, history, and main concepts: classic 6-steps, Focusing Attitude, felt sense, symbol (handle), resonating, asking, and receiving. Overview of various Focusing approaches.

3. FOAT® Fundamentals and Approaches

This course provides an introduction to core FOAT® practices and skills and an overview of the main FOAT® approaches: Basic FOAT® Step; Theme-Directed FOAT®; Clearing a Space with the Arts; and Working on an Issue (applications to self-help and problem-solving, Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy Process, community and organizations). Didactic with experiential practice of Focusing and at least two of the main FOAT® approaches.


4. Theme-Directed FOAT®

This training will address the use of a Theme-Directed FOAT® approach that can be applied with groups, individuals, couples, and families in a variety of settings and contexts, including: psychotherapy, counseling, education, organizations, spirituality and meditation, etc. Mindfulness practice with FOAT® as a Theme-Directed approach will be included. Didactic and experiential.

5. Clearing a Space with Expressive Arts

This course introduces you to Eugene Gendlin's "Clearing a Space" and how it has been adapted by Laury Rappaport to create four approaches to Clearing a Space with the Arts: non-directive, directive, concrete, and hybrid.


       Level 2 Courses: FOAT® Foundational Skills and Practice

       Prerequisites: Completion of Level 1 or permission of Training Director


6. FOAT® and Compassionate Listening


This training teaches the fundamental skill of pairing compassionate listening with Focusing and the expressive arts processes. Compassionate listening helps to cultivate safety, deeper understanding, and is essential for the moment-to-moment processing of working with Focusing and the expressive arts. The training will include a listening demonstration followed by experiential practice in dyads.


7 - 9: FOAT® Partnership Practice: The following 3 courses include didactic material, demonstration and partnership practice:


  1. FOAT® Check-In and Blocks to FOAT®

  2. Working on an Issue

  3. Inner Critic

II. Intermediate Training: Levels 3 + 4 FOAT®

To learn FOAT® at its depth, it is necessary to attend a residential component. Levels 3 + 4  are combined and occur at the Focusing and Expressive Arts Institute in Santa Rosa, CA (1 hour north of San Francisco in beautiful wine country). It is possible that Levels 3 + 4 may be able to be conducted in your area if there are a number of participants from that area in the training. Please contact us for information in setting this up.

       Level 3 FOAT®

10. Advanced Practice Skills and Supervision

The content of Level 3 includes the development and competency in presence, Focusing skills, Focusing Attitude, experiential listening, self-guiding, guiding others, the basic methods and three approaches of FOAT®. Participants work in partnerships and trios with FOAT® coaching, supervision and feedback for gaining competence.

       Level 4 FOAT®

11. Applications of Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts (FOAT®)

The content of Level 4 includes clinical and non-clinical applications to the trainee’s interests (e.g. psychotherapy, coaching, bodywork, spirituality, etc.). Trainees continue refining competency in Focusing skills, presence and the Focusing Attitude, experiential listening, expressive arts, and guiding (self-guiding and guiding others) and adapting the processes for areas of interest. Training occurs with FOAT® coaching, supervision and feedback as trainees begin applying FOAT® to their areas of interest.

III. Advanced Training and Certification: Levels 5  + 6


Level 5 begins advanced supervision and practice in FOAT®. After completing Level 5 and additional requirements, you may apply to become a Certified FOAT® Practitioner or Facilitator.  Certification is granted by the Focusing and Expressive Arts Institute ( (Note: Certification is competency based. Completion of FOAT® Training Supervision Group does not guarantee certification).  


Level 5: Advanced FOAT® Training and Supervision

  • Advanced Supervision Course in Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts  



Certification as FOAT® Practitioner and Facilitator

Granted by the Focusing and Expressive Arts Institute

Requirements for Certified FOAT®  Practitioner and Facilitator:

There are two training tracks: Practitioner and Facilitator


  • Certified FOAT® Practitioner: must have a either 1). Master’s degree in the arts therapy field and/or credentialed by one of the arts therapies professions (ATR, REAT, R-DMT, MT-BC, etc.); or 2). 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:  Coaching, consulting, education, artists, body-workers, bachelor’s degree social work, psychology, etc. Must have 50 hours expressive arts training.


Requirements for Certification as FOAT® Practitioner or Facilitator:


I. Training

  1. Completion of FOAT® Levels 1-5 or equivalent.

  2. Completion, with documentation, of 50 hours training in expressive arts outside of FOAT® (Can be through conferences, courses, from before or during FOAT® training.

  3. To become certified, you need to take an Ethics and Expressive Arts course (at least 6 hours) if you have not taken ethics in your other studies or trainings. You can take an online course through the Trauma Informed Practice and Expressive Arts Institute:

  4. Readings:  Complete required readings on Focusing and FOAT® as well as additional readings based on your interests.

  5. Other Focusing training resources:  become familiar with various Focusing and expressive arts websites, approaches, videos, DVDs, and/or audiotapes of other Focusing Trainers.  (See resource list).


2. Practice

  • Solo FOAT® (specified in Level 1)

  • Partnership and Trio Practice:  (specified in Levels 2-5).

  • Practicum (50 hours): includes practicum within training group + application outside of training group. Trainee may begin practicum with permission of FOAT® Trainer during any part of training program. Must be in FOAT® supervision with FOAT® Coach or supervisor.


3. Supervision

  • Supervision:  Group supervision (15 hours) plus minimum of 2 hours individual supervision with Dr. Laury Rappaport ($125. US).

  • FOAT® Coaching:  FOAT® coaching is with advanced FOAT® Practitioners/Facilitators. Arrangement and hours are dependent on availability. (Hours specified on Levels 1-6).


4. Documentation and Projects Demonstrating Proficiency of FOAT® from training practice

  1. Completion of FOAT® written documentation demonstrating specific Solo FOAT® sessions (specified in Level 1).

  2. Completion of  FOAT® partner and trio sessions with written documentation (specified in Levels 2-5).

  3. Demonstrated competence of “FOAT® Skills and Competencies” (reviewed with Laury in supervision)

  4. Documentation of education and training: submit copy of degree, transcripts, any certifications or licenses you may have.

  5. Documentation of 50 hours of expressive arts training: may be obtained through academic courses, continuing education, workshops, conferences, etc. outside of FOAT® training.


5. Final Evaluation demonstrating FOAT® Competency

  1. Videotaped or live observation of FOAT® session (working on an issue)—no longer than 50 minutes. It does not need to be with a client.  It can be a with a FOAT® partner. We can send you a Zoom link to record the session. Be sure you have permission/consent to show it to the group (see handout).
  2. Summary  (5-8 pages):

  • How has the Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts Training impacted your life personally and professionally? (2-4 pages)

  • How would you describe Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts? (1/2- 1 page)

  • What benefits do you think FOAT® offers?  (1/2-1 page)

  • Do you suggest any cautions in using FOAT® (1/2-1 page)

  • How do you plan to carry FOAT® in your life?

  • Add in anything else that is important for you to share.


6. How to apply for Certification as a FOAT® Practitioner or Facilitator

    After completing the above requirements, please submit:

  1. Review the Checklist for completion of requirements

  2. Be sure you have submitted the documentation for all solo, partner and trio FOAT® practice sessions.

  3. Send the following to:

    • Video of FOAT® session

    • Summary paper

    • Degrees, transcripts, certification documents (showing your degree, licenses, credentials, etc.)

    • Documentation of 50 hours of expressive arts training

    • Documentation of ethics course


Trainer Certification

Focusing Trainer: Specialization in Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts

Recommended by Dr. Laury Rappaport, Certifying Focusing Coordinator and Certified by

The International Focusing Institute (





1.    Prerequisite:  Certification as FOAT® Practitioner or Certified FOAT® Facilitator with the Focusing and Expressive Arts



2.   Level 6 FOAT®: Train-the Trainer FOAT® for Teaching Focusing and FOAT®


3.   Individual FOAT® Supervision with Dr. Laury Rappaport: minimum of 1 session


3.   Assist with FOAT® Trainings:  Can be video teleconferences and/or in-person.


4.   Design an Introduction to FOAT® Course (or a course related to an in-service or other application that you plan to do).

       a.     Include outline of content; timing; exercises; didactic theory; examples

       b.    Include basic teachings of Focusing and FOAT®


5.     Offer Introductory level FOAT®  class, workshop, or in-service. It doesn’t have to be called “Introduction to Focusing-

         Oriented Expressive Arts but needs to have FOAT® content as part of it.

         a.     provide videotape for Laury’s review. (You will let participants know it is for your own

                 certification as a Focusing Trainer review- that it will not be used for other purposes). Need to have permission and                          signed release forms from participants.

         b.    Provide course evaluations to participants and give to Laury


6.     FOAT® Partnership. Maintain FOAT® Partnership at least 2x month. Can be Focusing, listening, and/or with expressive arts.


7.     You will need to become a Trainee member of The Focusing Institute. The current cost is $35-75.  depending on your country. Please read the following materials about Certification as a Focusing Trainer and visit The Focusing Institute website: click here.


*Certification will occur when the competencies are met and both Coordinator and Trainee are in agreement of readiness. There is a one time fee for certification that is payable to The Focusing Institute plus yearly membership dues.


You may use one of the following titles based on your background and credentials:

Certified Focusing Trainer, Certified Focusing Professional, or Focusing-Oriented Therapist with a specialization in Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts (FOAT®).

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