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Our Trainers

Beth Mahler, LCSW, CFT, FOT

Beth is an Internationally recognized Certifying Coordinator for The International Focusing Institute.  Beth integrates a creative process into her teaching which helps people to discover their own embodied sense of the Focusing experience.  Inviting her students into a deep exploration at a pace that is slow, steady, and grounded in a full bodied mindfully aware practice.  Beth has over 20 years experience as a Clinical Social Worker in hospitals, schools, and mental health clinical settings, which also informs her caring presence as curious beings embark on learning this practice.  Energized by learning and growing, I continually enrich my own contemplative practices in yoga, meditation, chakra and energy fields of study.  


Offerings include:  

* Group workshops, retreats, and 2 Year Focusing Trainings

*Individual guided Focusing sessions by Zoom and in person

*Individual, Marital, and Family Therapy 

*Free Changes meetings offer a place to practice Focusing in a supported environment facilitated by the NJ Focusing Trainers team

An integrative experience uniquely tailored for your needs.  For more information, contact or

cell: 201-214-7898

Jocelyn Jacks Kahn, CFT

This is how I see my role as a Focusing guide: At those times when you're having trouble finding your way forward in a difficult, stagnant area of your life, I help you reconnect with the larger Life that holds and guides you moment-by-moment through helping you reconnect with the core aliveness of your own body.


The essence of what I do as a Focusing guide is to help you stay with your own bodily experience long enough to allow it to unfold into life-forward movement.


I was certified as a Focusing Trainer and Guide by The International Focusing Institute in 2010. The main Focusing traditions I have been trained in are Inner Relationship Focusing and Wholebody Focusing. I am also certified as an instructor of Judith Blackstone’s Realization Process, a practice of embodied nonduality that I find to be a beautiful and useful complement to Focusing.


If you’d like more information, please visit my website at or contact me via email at

Maria Skoufas, CFT

Maria Skoufas is a Certified Focusing Trainer. She completed her two year program with Beth Mahler and wants to assist others in revealing the treasures that lie within through focusing. She currently works as a Client Support Manager for a telecommunications company; facilitating communication and connection for her business clients. 

Helen Bearisto, r.c.

Helen Beairsto, r.c. is a Cenacle Sister who has been a trained facilitator, through the Biospiritual Focusing Institute. She offers series and/or weekend trainings in Level 1 (which is learning the process) and Level 2 (which is refining the skill of companioning others.) She has found the process helpful to those on directed retreats, receiving spiritual direction, and as the format of the directed retreat. She offers weekend preached retreats using this process. Helen has facilitated ongoing Companioning groups where those who have learned both levels can meet and accompany each other; this offers a sacred space and a way of building community. She welcomes persons of all faiths to the process as it is not limited to any religion, though she does use the lense of Christian Spirituality. She offers the potentials of the process as a part of the Ignatian prayer process in connecting the dynamics of the “felt sense” with the “sentir” in prayer. Helen is also a professional in the field of clinical social work though she teaches the process as a way of companioning and not as therapy for non-licensed professionals.

Yoshimi Shimuzu, LMHC
CFT, FOT, 臨床心理士(日本)

Yoshimi Shimizu is a Certified Focusing Trainer and Therapist, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in NY State and Japanese-Licensed Clinical Psychologist. She has worked internationally with adult individuals with social anxiety, self-criticism and judgement, traumas and acculturation/bicultural issues. She started to learn Focusing in 2011 and was certified in 2014. She found Focusing to be a process of feeling and touching her sense of being alive, which enables her to find her inner safety, a power of self-healing and self-trust. She values providing a safe space so a focuser can make a process at their own pace. Sessions can be provided in Japanese and English. For more information, please visit my work website or contact


Rachel Alexander, Esq.,

Rachel Alexander, Esq., FOP*, CFT is a focusing-oriented family law attorney and mediator, in New York and New Jersey, specializing in divorce and separation.

After completing her two-year training in Focus Oriented Therapy in New York City with Charlotte Howorth, LCSW through the Focusing Institute, Rachel was certified as a Focusing Oriented Professional and Certified Focusing Trainer. Ms. Alexander continues her studies in focusing with leading focusing professionals including Ann Weiser Cornell and Lynn Preston.  Rachel is active in the Northern and Central New Jersey and New York City focusing communities.  This spring 2018 she will begin providing courses and workshops in focusing. 

By integrating the focusing model into divorce mediation, Rachel invites clients to interact with one another while maintaining inner awareness.  In this new kind of conversation, clients can explore options which resonate authentically with each of them. 

As a professional divorce mediator and family law attorney, Ms. Alexander is acquainted with the adversarial litigation system and fully understands the destructive effects and exorbitant costs to clients subjected to the rigors of a contested divorce.  She is committed to protecting clients from the emotional, psychological, economic, and even physical toll that an adversarial divorce can take. Read more...

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