- Focusing Oriented counselling
- Inner relationship Focusing
- Children Focusing
I am a BACP-registered Child and Adult Counsellor offering Focusing-Oriented Therapy. I also provide workshops and training in Focusing which carries certification from either the International Focusing Institute (TIFI) or from the British Focusing Association (BFA).
What services do I offer?
One-to-one guided Focusing sessions - by phone, online or in-person
One-to-one Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy/ Counselling - by phone, online or in-person
Workshops on Children's Focusing / Creative Focusing (Focusing using practical resources)
BFA Focusing Skills Course (60 hours)
Focusing-Oriented Therapy training (60 hours) for qualified counsellors and psychotherapists who are registered with a professional body, and who have completed a substantial introduction course in Focusing, e.g. a BFA Focusing Skills Course, a TIFI Proficiency in Focusing Partnership course, the UEA Focusing module on the PGDiploma course, or equivalent.
My background in Focusing
Long before I was introduced to Focusing I practised mindfulness meditation. I studied Religious Studies for my first degree and was fascinated by Indian religions and their philosophies and practises. Meditation transformed my life back then.
Later, I took a job in a school where I was responsible for additional learning support for a group of children with special educational needs. I created a meditation group for these children and designed some outcome measures to see if it made a difference to them.
Each day we came together in a circle and sensed in to how we were feeling. The children sensing into how they were feeling just happened to be one of the outcome measures I had designed (I knew nothing about Focusing at this point). The child then gave their feeling a 'score' and wrote it down. Then we had a meditation together and afterwards the children drew their experience of the meditation. We shared experiences in the group and each child had their experience heard and acknowledged. At the end of the session the children once again sensed into how they were feeling now, and gave that a score.
Some of their pictures surprised me - I expected to see hearts and flowers and smiley faces but often what the children drew were images that were far from happy and light. Despite being rather perplexed at some of their drawings, the good news was that the children were making noticeable improvements in their concentration, behaviour and self-esteem. However, not understanding these drawings at the time and feeling unsure about my competence in this area I decided to bring the meditation group to a close (much to the disappointment of the children who loved these sessions). The memory of these children and the experiences they shared, and the progress they made, touched me and stayed with me.
Many years later whilst on my counselling training course at the University of East Anglia I was thrilled to discover Focusing and had a Eureka moment when I suddenly realised I had inadvertently been doing Focusing with these children. Suddenly their pictures and the improvements in their wellbeing fell into place and made sense.
Inspired, I set out on my Focusing path to once again be able to bring Focusing to children and others. I studied Focusing at the University of East Anglia (UEA) as part of my counselling training and completed a small research study of Focusing with Children in School for my MA. I went on to study Focusing-Oriented Therapy further with Dr Greg Madison at the London Focusing Institute.
My passion for Focusing with children, took me to the Netherlands twice to complete my Children's Focusing Training with Réne Veugelers and Harriet Teeuw.
I now work in a Focusing way with individual children and adults in my private counselling practice, and give workshops to therapists and mental health professionals working with children (and/or adults). Previously I have worked at the University of East Anglia as a Personal Development Group Facilitator on the PGDipCounselling course where I delivered group Focusing sessions for the counselling trainees. I also co-tutored on the Post-Graduate Certificate in Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy course at the UEA before it closed down. I have worked for my local CAMHS tier 2 service delivering focusing-based counselling to children aged 4-11, and am commissioned to deliver training in focusing using body maps to the clinicians there.
I have spoken at conferences on Focusing with Children - one for BACP CYP/families conference (2020) and one for the International Conference on Children's Spirituality (2012).
Recently I have become a Coordinator-in-Training with the International Focusing Institute and will provide certifying training courses under the supervision of my Mentoring Coordinator, Dr Judy Moore.
For me personally, throughout my adult life since learning Focusing, I have been enormously grateful for it. It has been the thing that has helped me get through life's challenges. Being able to attune to what is going on in the body, to listen to it, give it space, and attend to it absolutely creates a movement forward, a shift in awareness and self-compassion. I have a passion to pass on this wonderful skill/ process to others.
Focusing Coordinator-in-Training (International Focusing Institute)
Certificate: Focusing-Oriented Therapy (International Focusing Institute)
Certificate: Focusing Trainer (International Focusing Institute)
Certificate: Children Focusing Trainer (International Focusing Institute)
BFA Focusing Practitioner
MA Person-Centred Counselling (University of East Anglia)
PG Dip Person-Centred Counselling (University of East Anglia)
PG Cert Person-Centred Counselling (University of East Anglia)
BA (hons) Religious Studies (Kings College London)
PQ Dip Counselling Children and Adolescents (Iron Mill College)
How do I practice?
Sara’s a fantastic therapist, she introduced me to focusing which was new to me. I really enjoyed the sessions and felt much stronger about managing the things in my life that were so difficult at that time.
Thank you Sara, you have helped me to overcome so much and start believing in myself!
Sara has delivered a series of children’s focusing workshops for our charity, which supports children's mental health. From the outset, Sara’s flexibility and responsiveness to the needs of the service were infallible. Sara has a clear passion for and comprehensive understanding of this technique, alongside a friendly and patient delivery manner that allowed all staff to fully engage in the sessions. Sara offered a holistic service – from sourcing and collation of resources to offering ongoing support for staff through regular practice group sessions. Focusing has become a key part of the services intervention toolkit, with staff feedback positively identifying the outcomes from use with children. We would like to thank Sara for her insight and support.
Toni Bentley, Operations Manager, Ormiston Families, Point 1
Very relaxed, outlines and content were clear from the beginning.
Very hands on training. Sara was very good. She made the workshop fun and I will definitely be using this process in my practice.
C.F Senior practitioner
I liked the pace, time to talk and ask questions. I loved the content of the course, the theory behind it and the practice. Can’t wait to try it out. It was brilliant. Thank you Sara!
G.H Senior Practitioner
The experiential part of the workshop was empowering and fab learning content. Presentation was informative and not dull! Another workshop please!
Clear, sensitive, compassionate, informed, passionate delivery of powerful material. [What I liked about the workshop:] To experience the process first hand, to be supported to navigate difficult feelings to a place of resolution. The containment and sensitivity in which the workshop was delivered. I would happily have extended the day and had more time to process the experience.
Relaxed and calm atmosphere, lots of practical engagement, theory and practice - appreciated the equal amounts, very engaging trainer - it’s been lovely to learn from you.
J.W Senior Practitioner
Fascinating subject I hadn’t explored previously. I enjoyed the experiential elements which backed up the theory. Sara was very knowledgable and engaging. She made me feel comfortable about asking questions. An interesting way of working with children.