Glenn Fleisch, Ph.D., MFT
Focusing Oriented Therapist, Wholebody Focusing Trainer
Focusing Oriented Therapist, Wholebody Focusing Trainer
Glenn is a licensed psychotherapist in California, in private practice for over 35 years. His main orientation is as a Focusing-oriented therapist, an approach that emphasizes body awareness of feelings, energy, patterns and inner aspects of ourselves. He has developed Wholebody Focusing as a somatic-relational-experiential process of letting the body come alive and show us the way toward healing, and recovering its spirit. In addition to his therapy practice, Glenn has written extensively on the theory and practice of Wholebody Focusing, and the body’s recovery of spirit (its natal life-force).
My work has gone through many evolutions over the past 35 years as a practicing psychotherapist and Wholebody Focusing teacher. My training and personal experiences are very diverse: humanistic/existential psychology and philosophy; East-West integration; psychoanalytic therapy; somatic therapy; and drama therapy—in addition to my training and work with various leaders in Focusing, WBF and FOT (see below). My principle interest as a therapist is in helping clients awaken and reconnect with the life-force and vital energy of the body- to restore wholeness as an embodied being. It is through a deeper and fuller awareness of the body’s inner life, that we can allow the body’s spirit to come alive and guide us on the journey toward healing and growth. Each client and each situation is a challenge, calling me to be present and engaged moment to moment, using the whole body as an ‘instrument’ of somatic sensitivity and resonant attunement with whatever needs attention.
For me, Focusing is the practice of body felt connection with myself and with my clients (or students), inviting and sensing the emergence of life-energy. The shift to working with the whole body has opened new vistas for transformation in therapy- including awareness of and focusing on movement, gesture, posture, energy and tonality. As we invite the body to come alive, the energies and feelings trapped within our patterns and symptoms can be felt, embodied and restored to awareness. The awakening of the body’s energy begins the journey of opening to more life- and recovering our natural spirit. Traumas and conditioning often result in a loss of contact with the body and its spirit. Thus I have discovered that most of our physical/emotional/behavioral patterns are formed to either protect (hide) or indirectly express the life-force. Wholebody Focusing is the embodied practice of restoring the connection with our living body, returning to renew and reclaim those parts of the spirit that had to be renounced or disconnected during times of stress and trauma. We are truly lead by the body- its energy, felt sensing and life-force (spirit) show us the way.
This work has awakened my spirit, enlivened my life-energy and freed up creative expression and interaction. I see this as soul-work, using creative imagination and sensitive awareness to embody scenarios that heal the wounded or broken aspects of ourselves. For me, it is a natural extension and evolution of Focusing and FOT, i.e. opening the therapy space to allow for more life-energy, and opportunities to play out new interactions in a safe and supportive container. I see this work as guided by the soma, the spirit of the living body to show us the way forward, often by bringing to awareness the felt self and its world (scenes) where its spirit and energy have been stuck.
Academic and training qualifications:
Ph.D. (2000) Clinical Psychology, Center for Psychological Studies, Albany, California
M.Ed. (1973) Counselor Education Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
B.S. (1971) Psychology major Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, New York
Professional memberships with licensing or registering bodies:
Board of Behavioral Sciences- Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (MFT) # MFC 12608
California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists (CAMFT)
Certified Trainer & Certifying Coordinator of WBF: The Focusing Institute
Existential philosophy & therapy – Peter Koestenbaum
Seminars on Merleau-Ponty & Heidegger – David Michael Levin
Psychoanalytic therapy for personality disorders – Masterson Institute
Inner Relationship Focusing – Ann Weiser Cornell
Focusing training: Interactive Focusing – Janet Klein
Focusing and Body-Centered Work – Neil Freidman
Wholebody Focusing – Kevin McEvenue
Areas of special interest or advanced training:
Train with Glenn:
Details of these and any other services:
My primary focus is WBF training for personal growth and professional development I now offer online WBF seminars via Zoom. We have completed two series of 4 Modules each- with each Module consisting of 4 two-hour classes. The next series will be starting in January, 2018. I also offer advanced online WBF training seminars for those who have taken previous seminar series or in-person workshops. There are two tracks toward Certification as either a WBF trainer or a WBF therapist (see Certification requirements). I will be having a separate Module for licensed therapists and other body-oriented/ helping professionals.
I also offer individual WBF sessions for people interested in learning the process through direct personal experiencing and for personal healing. There will also be in-person workshops and retreats, mainly held in the San Francisco Bay Area. If there is sufficient interest in another locale, I can arrange weekend retreats/workshops in other areas as well. Just let me know if you would like me to offer something in your area.
Finally, I do supervision and consultation for psychotherapists interested in integrating Focusing into their practice- and help with facilitating movement when stuck with clients who manifest very entrenched and repetitive patterns (structure-bound process).
“Right in their hands: how gestures imply the body’s next steps in Focusing-oriented therapy”(2009) Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies, Volume 8, Number 3, p. 173-188.
“Wholebody Focusing-oriented therapy: four avenues of wholebody felt sensing for transforming symptoms of complex trauma” (2010) (paper for USABP conference).
“Co-Presencing in Wholebody Focusing-oriented therapy: carrying forward blocked process and structure-bound states through interactive engagement” (2011) The Focusing Connection XXVIII (1), p. 1-4.
“Quantum consciousness: an explanatory model for life-forward movement in Wholebody Focusing, parts 1 & 2” (2012), co-authored with Karen Whalen. Folio: Journal of Focusing-oriented and Experiential Psychotherapy, 23, No. 1.
“A Transformational Focusing Experience: The Power of Engaging from One’s Embodied Presence: A Tribute to Neil Friedman” (2013). Folio: Journal of Focusing and Experiential Therapy, 24, No.1.
“Transformational Focusing: theatre of the living body as vehicle for personal/communal healing,” (2014), co-authored with Doralee Grindler Katonah. In Greg Madison (ed.) Emerging practice in Focusing-oriented Therapy Innovative Theories and Applications. (Vol.2). London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
“The body’s recovery of spirit: transforming life-stances and releasing bound energy: threshold events in Wholebody Focusing-oriented therapy” (2015). The Folio, 26, #1.
“Focusing-oriented therapy: how the body leads the way at the edge of impasse” (2016). in Person-centred & Experiential therapies: Contemporary Approaches & Issues in Practice. Wilkens, P. (Ed.). London: Sage Publications.