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Polyvagal-Informed Focusing Teacher Training

Polyvagal-Informed Focusing Teacher Training




Cost: $


CE's Available:


Jan Winhall, MSW, RSW, FOT

Nancy Falls, Ed.D., RP, Certified FSPM Facilitator

Samantha Chase, M.S.W, Certified FSPM Facilitator

"The Focusing Teacher Training was eye-opening to me. To learn strategies how to make the Felt Sense available for people who are newly introduced to Focusing helped me in my practice with clients and in my own Focusing experience. It deepened my understanding of the 6 steps and the philosophy behind them, and I am truly grateful for the knowledge I received." -Elizabeth, former student

Course Overview

Participants in this course will learn how to teach polyvagal-informed focusing, based on Jan Winhall’s Felt Sense Polyvagal Model. Specific tools and strategies will be shared so that you will feel confident in teaching focusing and the basics of the FSPM. You will receive detailed and interactive material on teaching the Felt Sense Polyvagal Model in any group or individual settings.

By reflecting on learning principles, group process, and program development, participants will be prepared to integrate FSPM into any setting. Topics to be examined include how to teach the basics of Polyvagal Theory, interoception, neuroception, co-regulation, the 6-fs, felt-sense, focusing attitude, establishing focusing partnerships, the experiencing scale, and more. In this course, participants will learn specific strategies and resources to build safety while working with blocks, and inner critics.

This course is for anyone interested in teaching polyvagal-informed focusing in a variety of settings.

What participants can expect:

▪ To learn how to teach Felt Sense Polyvagal Model, including Polyvagal Informed Focusing (PIF), to others in a group or individual setting

▪ To receive resources, tips and strategies that can be adapted and used within their unique communities / specific populations

▪ To share and learn from others as active participants in monthly sessions

▪ To gain a greater awareness of themselves, especially as teachers, through self-exploration and focusing partnerships

What participants will commit to:

▪ To attend all six monthly 2 hour on-line sessions inclusive of lecture and participation small group breakouts (arrangements can be made for a maximum of 1 make-up session. Sessions will be recorded.)

▪ To maintain a focusing partnership meeting bi-weekly (12h total) throughout the course.

▪ To complete three assignments, including video recordings of themselves teaching, which directly contributes to completion of this certificate and the development of their plan to integrate FSPM.

Upon completion of all three courses, participants qualify to become Felt Sense Polyvagal Model Facilitators:

(1) Focusing Trainer Certification from The International Focusing Institute

(2) A certificate of completion from Polyvagal Institute

Completion of this training will equip Facilitators to lead addiction groups based on the FSPM. Where possible leading a breakout group for three sessions in the FSPM Certificate Coursewill enhance your learning.

Certified FSPM Facilitator™

You are eligible to become a Felt Sense Polyvagal Model Facilitator once you have completed all the following requirements:

1) Felt Sense Polyvagal Model Certificate course, including 100% live class attendance, completion of all process recordings, and completion of course materials

2) Embodied Assessment Treatment Tool & Practice Lab course, including 100% attendance, completion of process recordings, and completion of course materials

3) Polyvagal-Informed Focusing Teacher Training, including 100% attendance, completion of process recordings, completion of course materials, and receipt of the Focusing Trainer Certification.


▪ Completion of Felt Sense Polyvagal Model: A Certificate for Treating Trauma and Addiction, including the Focusing Proficiency Award.

▪ Required Reading:

o Treating Trauma and Addiction with the Felt Sense Polyvagal Model, by Jan Winhall, Routledge, 2021

o Focusing, by Eugene T. Genglin, Bantam Dell, 1978

o Revolutionizing Addiction Treatment with The Felt Sense Polyvagal Model, Co- Authored with Dr. Stephen Porges in International Body Psychotherapy Journal, July 2022.

Students will have access to the course for 300 days from the registration date."



▪ Class time: monthly on-line sessions 2 hrs x 6 months = 12 hours

▪ Bi-Weekly Focusing partnerships 2x/mos x 6 months = 12 hours

Estimated level of effort total = 24 hours


The intention is to condense the course so as to fit within the parameters of the Practice lab. Monthly two-hour sessions will be arranged. It is hoped to have the Focusing Trainer Certification sessions on the same day and time as the Practice lab on Thursdays.

Every second Thursday of the month from 12:00pm noon to 2:00pm EST (US & Canada)

Draft course outline (subject to change)

Class 1 - April 11, 2024

▪ Defining and teaching Polyvagal Informed Focusing: Interoception and neuroception

Class 2 - May 9, 2024

▪ Presence: knowing yourself, your participants (learning theory) and creating the safe space

No class in June due to Polyvagal Institute's 2024 International Gathering in Potsdam, Germany.

Class 3 - July 11, 2024

▪ Teaching two essential components: Felt Sense and Focusing Attitude

▪ Role of 5 Lessons of Polyvagal Theory in Teaching (safety, interoception, neuroception, social engagement, co-regulations)

Class 4 - August 8, 2024

▪ Teaching How to Focus: the six steps

▪ Process suggestions and tracking the felt sense (Experiencing Scale)

Class 5 - September 12, 2024

▪ Teaching listening - listening to the body, the relational felt sense, group process and intervening to maintain safety

▪ Notice state, type of listening, stay and presence/embodied listening

Class 6 - October 10, 2024

▪ Taking Polyvagal-Informed Focusing into your setting

▪ Critic spectrum, strategies to manage the critic, working with blocks and resistance

▪ Focusing forward, reflections, and closing.


▪ Each session will be 2 hours on-line through the Zoom platform

▪ Each session begins with an attunement / centering / clearing space. Participants will have an opportunity to practice delivering the opening.

▪ Each session will include a theoretical teaching. The teaching component will highlight the skill, theory and application. Participants will gather and create a toolbox of resources and teaching strategies.

▪ Each session will include an experiential component where participants can practice the skills through demonstrations and group exercises. Practices can continue with your focusing partner.

▪ Each session will have a closing exercise to round off the sessions, summarize the learning, and identify the home practice. The session will conclude with a grounding exercise as we move to the rest of our day.



Recommended Audience

Clinicians, coaches, bodyworkers, and other healthcare providers. Prerequisite: completion of Felt Sense Polyvagal Model: A Certificate for Treating Trauma and Addiction, including the Focusing Proficiency Award.

CE's and/or Certificate of Completion Available

Please contact us if you need help gathering materials for petitioning CEs with your professional board.
  • What is the attendance policy for a course?
    Live/Hybrid courses: While specific course policies may vary, we typically allow one absence for a live or hybrid course and require watching the recording and sometimes submitting a reflection for the missed session. If a participant is absent for more than the permissible number of live sessions, they may not be eligible for a certificate. Self-paced courses: In short, not applicable. Attendance does not apply to self-paced as they are designed to be consumed when the student is willing and able to take the course. All material is pre-recorded content, reading, or individual assignments.
  • How are live sessions held?
    Live sessions are held via Zoom. Zoom links are available inside the course content and in email reminders sent to enrollees.
  • What if I am unable to attend a live session?
    We upload recordings of our live sessions within 72 hours. (Please see the attendance policy above.)
  • How can I tell what time the live session will be in my local time zone?
    We typically provide live session start times in the four time zones of the continental United States. To convert live session times to your local timezone, please visit
  • Where can I find the course material?
    Thinkific is our learning management system. Upon enrolling in a course, you will receive an invite email to the course in Thinkific, where you can find all of the course materials and links.
  • Is this course accredited?
    The course page will list any continuing education credits (CEs) or other professional benefits that might be available for the course (and any applicable restrictions). If none are listed, then none are available.
  • How do I reset my password to Thinkific?
    You can reset your password by going to and clicking “Forgot Password?” link below the password field. You will then enter the email address you used when creating your account to receive a one-time password reset link. Use the instructions in that email to complete your password reset. If you have any other technical questions, feel free to reach out to us at
  • Is there closed captioning?
    Yes. Most pre-recorded content is hosted in Vimeo, which has closed captioning. If you come across a video that does not have closed captioning, please send us a message at
  • In which currency are your prices listed in?
    Our prices are listed in USD (United States Dollars). Your credit card or bank statement will likely reflect the price in your local currency.
  • Will I be charged sales tax?
    If you are located in the US or Canada, you will be charged sales tax on the cost of your course.
  • Are there scholarships available?
    Yes, PVI offers scholarships for all of our courses on a rolling basis. You can apply for a scholarship at
  • Are there group discounts?
    Yes. For groups of five or more participants, a 15% discount is available for each participant.
  • What is your refund policy?
    30 day money back guarantee for all of our courses (from date of purchase for self-paced courses and from date of first live session for live courses). Please reach out to us at if you'd like to inquire about a refund.
  • Can I purchase a gift certificate for PVI courses?
    Give the gift of learning! Yes, Polyvagal Institute offers digital gift certificates that arrive by email, and can be used towards any of our courses. Gift certificates are a simple way to share polyvagal insight and knowledge that stems from a better understanding of the human experience. Purchase a gift certificate now!


Jan Winhall, MSW, RSW, FOT

Jan Winhall, M.S.W. F.O.T. is an author, teacher and seasoned trauma and addiction psychotherapist. She is an Educational Partner and Course Developer with the Polyvagal Institute where she created a comprehensive training program based on her book Treating Trauma and Addiction with the Felt Sense Polyvagal Model, Routledge 2021. She is an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Toronto and a Certifying Co-Ordinator with the International Focusing Institute. Jan is a Focusing Oriented Therapist and Co-Director of the Borden Street Clinic where she supervises graduate students. She is currently working on a workbook based on her book that is due out next year with Norton.

Jan Winhall, MSW, RSW, FOT

Nancy Falls, Ed.D., RP, Certified FSPM Facilitator

Nancy Falls, Ed.D., RP, Certified FSPM Facilitator

Nancy Falls, Ed.D., RP is a Certifying Coordinator with The International Focusing Institute. She is a Focusing Oriented psychotherapist in private practice with over 30 years of experience working with children, youth and adults who have experienced trauma and resulting coping strategies such as addictions. Nancy and Jan trained with Gendlin many years ago and have often taught together. She has published in the area of developing presence. She is a FSPM Facilitator.

Samantha Chase, M.S.W, Certified FSPM Facilitator

Certified FSPM Facilitator, Samantha Chase, trained with the inaugural cohort of this course and will co-instruct. Samantha Chase, M.S.W. is a certified Focusing Trainer with The International Focusing Institute (TIFI), a Felt Sense Polyvagal Model Facilitator, and a passionate mental health advocate and clinician. Following several years of work in community mental health services, she now operates a private practice working with trauma and addiction. She has presented internationally on the Felt Sense Polyvagal Model in the areas of trauma and addiction. Sam is currently training with Jan to become a Focusing Oriented Therapist. She assists Jan in many international trainings.

Samantha Chase, M.S.W, Certified FSPM Facilitator


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