Let’s transform the conversation on humanitarian work

Begin with deep listening. Honor local knowledge and wisdom.

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We offer trainings to humanitarian organizations, community leaders and other individuals in how to use deep listening to nurture flourishing communities.


We identify and welcome emerging community leaders into a mutually supportive network.

Free Webinars

We offer free webinars that offer a space of support and deep listening.

Dear friends,

This is the 10th year since Melinda and Pat co-created Focusing Initiatives International, and the impact we have had is beyond our wildest imagination.

And now we are seeking others to help us.

We have reached tens of thousands of people, all over the world, to use community wellness and focusing tools to help them deal with their trauma and crisis.

Our work has helped communities in Liberia (Ebola), in Chacala – a Mexican fishing village (at-risk children), in Japan (tsunami), in Turkey (earthquake), in Afghanistan (underground schools for girls), in the USA (Afghan Women’s Empowerment Program for refugees, IFOT), in Lebanon (deadly explosion), in Uganda (storytelling program for at-risk refugee children and community elders), in Pakistan (child laborers and illiteracy, and teaching university psychology students), and many more. We are reaching even more countries and communities now, as we expand our use of online technologies to train, mentor, and support local leaders.

Our trainings are designed to help communities identify their own needs and strengths and develop their own solutions. We offer listening, conversation, and transformation in a way that honors their cultural knowledge and wisdom.

Providing universal access to our services has always been a key value. When a community in need reaches out to us, we respond without asking for compensation, because most don’t have the ability to pay for services. Funding for our organization is limited and we have survived through donations and small grants.

As Pat and Melinda are in their late 60’s and Anna is 80,  we are well aware that for this organization to continue and grow we need to think about passing the baton and mentoring the next generation. Forward thinking creative folks are needed to keep Focusing Initiatives International sustainable.

We are happy to welcome people who are seeking to make an impact, living and experiencing a truly rich career path and journey. If this speaks to you, please contact one of us.

Melinda Darer
Pat Omidian
Anna Willman

Latest News and Resources

Lessons from a Group Facilitator

An Interview with Anna Willman, in conversation with Dana Hercbergs I met Anna in 2021 through the Focusing community and occasionally attended her weekly Saturday Listening Space, an online peer support group.  Her facilitation style melds her own grounded attention with her wonderful sense of […]

Afghan women refugees find their voice

Our “Circle of Care” is assisting two Afghan families (two men, two women, and three children under the age of three) in Western Massachusetts. The women are home with the children all the time while the husbands are working. Over the last year, we had […]

Creating Space for Community

Each of us lives in community. Our family is our first one. In Focusing, we learn to create a space of radical acceptance for our inner community. FII is now offering a series of bi-monthly gatherings “Creating Space for Community”, to explore concepts around inner/outer community […]

My Fear is My Friend

We have learned a lot about fear these past few years.  It’s a very powerful reaction that comes from many different directions and in many forms. The pandemic, storms, droughts, climate change, political unrest, wars… Of course we are justified in being afraid. Fear is […]

Our Psychosocial Support Courses are now Self-paced and Online

Finally, we did it!  We converted our in-person and online webinar coursesfor Psychosocial Support and Community Wellness (PSSCW) and Psychological First Aid into self-paced (work at your own speed) courses that you can access from any device.  These courses bring together many of my favorite […]