Two-Day Masterclass "Deepening experiential presence through Inner Relationship Focusing" with Agathi Lakioti, Ph.D., assisted by Dr. phil. Emma Schmied-Smith

Focusing is not only a specific task within EFT, but also “the experiential foundation of EFT” (Lakioti, 2022), a process that can help both therapists and clients cultivate their presence and deepen their experience. It is a skill that can be taught to clients and help them profit from other interventions (Gendlin, 1996). Specifically, it can help clients access and deepen their experience and facilitate other EFT tasks such as chair work. But for therapists to be able to teach and use that process with their clients, it is important to first learn and experience it by themselves. That way they can develop the necessary trust in their clients’ experiencing process.
Inner Relationship Focusing (as developed by Ann Weiser Cornell and Barbara McGavin, 2002) is a method that helps people engage in a compassionate and accepting relationship with their experience, without being identified with specific aspects of their experience (parts), becoming overwhelmed with certain experiences or cut off from others.
Inner Relationship Focusing is a great way for therapists to cultivate their own presence both as a means of self-care and as a means of improving their capacity to be present and empathic with their clients – this being, from a humanistic standpoint, the key to successful therapy.


Participants will learn the basic stages of Inner Relationship Focusing, how to apply these to their own experience whilst being accompanied by a companion, and also how to accompany another person’s focusing process.

This content will be taught by a mixture of theoretical inputs (with reference to the application of the IRF skills in EFT practice), demonstrations and practice in dyads.

Having completed the workshop (equivalent to level 1 of the Inner Relationship Focusing Training Program) participants will be equipped to start applying Inner Relationship Focusing processes in their emotion-focused therapies with their clients. They will also qualify for subsequent level 2 training, which involves weekly practicing of focusing in dyads and several 2-3hour workshops (spread over the course of 4 months), where participants can deepen and broaden their focusing skills and receive guidance on how to manage the most common focusing problems that arise. This is, of course, an optional sequel course, but a great way of continuously cultivating therapeutic presence and self-care as a therapist.

Target Group

This 2-day masterclass is aimed at therapists with experience in EFT, who are interested in further developing their capacity for deepening experience in themselves and others.


The course will be held in English. However, there will be a German-speaking assistant present during the entire course.


Ph. D. Agathi  Lakioti

Agathi Lakioti, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist/ psychotherapist and the founder and clinical director of the Hellenic Institute of Emotion-Focused Therapy (HiEFT) in Athens, Greece. She is a certified EFT therapist and supervisor, and a certified Focusing trainer and Focusing-Oriented Therapist by the International Focusing Institute. She studied psychology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and received her PhD in clinical psychology from Panteion University of Athens and her MSc in Person-Centred Counselling and Psychotherapy from the University of Strathclyde. Agathi teaches Inner Relationship Focusing classes and counselling and psychotherapy, Positive Psychology, and research methodology courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level. She has also been a trainer and supervisor in the Person-Centred approach for over 15 years. Agathi has been trained and certified in Inner Relationship Focusing by Ann Weiser Cornell and Barbara McGavin. She is especially interested in integrating Emotion-Focused Therapy and Inner Relationship Focusing and she is currently participating in several projects for that purpose. One of them is a qualitative study investigating the use of Focusing by experienced EFT therapists. Agathi is also working on the development of an advanced curriculum for the integration of IRF in therapy.


Dr. phil. Emma Smith

Emma Schmied-Smith studied psychology at the University of Bern and received her doctorate under Prof. Klaus Grawe. After a postdoctoral year at King's College London, she completed integrative cognitive-behavioral therapy training at the University of Bern and has completed several advanced trainings in Emotion-Focused Therapy and Inner Relationship Focusing since 2009. She works as a psychotherapist in private practice in Bern and is a lecturer and supervisor in postgraduate psychotherapy continuing education at the University of Bern and at the Swiss Institute for Emotion-Focused Therapy. She isEFT certified international EFT trainer. Emma Schmied-Smith is also on the board of IEFT Switzerland.

Practical Information

Course Dates

28th - 29th June, 2024 (Friday, Saturday)


9:15am - 5:00pm CET


German, English




380 CHF




Recognition is according to the guidelines of the respective professional society.


The Masterclass will be accredited as a level 1, the sequel to this Masterclass as a level 2, as recognized by the International Focusing Institute and by Ann Weiser Cornell.

Cancellation policy

Cancellation of the binding registration by the participant is possible up to 90 days before the start of the course. In this case, only the administrative costs (CHF 50.-) will be charged. In case of withdrawal of the registration less than 90 days before the beginning of the course, the full amount of the course will be charged.


If you have questions, we gladly help you


Two-Day Masterclass "Deepening experiential presence through Inner Relationship Focusing" with Agathi Lakioti, Ph.D., assisted by Dr. phil. Emma Schmied-Smith


Registration deadline: 04.06.2024
The number of participants is limited. The course will only take place if there are enough registrations.
The registration deadline for this course has passed, online registration is no longer possible.