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FOAT® Training Program: Course Descriptions
2023 - 2026

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 (Professional or Therapist): Specialization in FOAT® (granted by The International Focusing Institute; click here for additional information). 

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