Dr. Leslie Ellis



Focusing Institute Certifying Coordinator

Certified Focusing-Oriented Therapist

Certified Focusing Trainer


Personal Statement

I have been a practicing therapist for more than 15 years and have always used focusing as part of my work. I find it to be one of the most gentle, yet effective ways to help clients move forward in their lives, no matter how stuck they may feel initially. I work with clients who suffer from anxiety, depression and the effects of trauma. In so many cases, paying attention to how the body holds these challenges is the key to releasing them.
I have become such a believer in focusing-oriented therapy that I have been teaching the method to other therapists in the Vancouver area for the past 5 years. I run a two-year program that leads to certification with The Focusing Institute. My courses cover working with trauma and dreams, as well as experiential practice in deep listening and empathic attunement.
I recently completed a PhD in clinical psychology with a somatic specialization. I conducted research into the use of focusing-oriented dreamwork (FOD) for refugees with PTSD. In the process, I developed a specific focusing-oriented method for working with nightmares, and a theory about the relationship between the threat response and nightmare content. I have written book chapters and journal articles about focusing and dreams.


Office 1: 901-675 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC

Office 2: 200-1460 Main Street, North Vancouver, BC

Public Contact Details:

telephone: 604-787-6430

website: http://focus-in.org/

email: lae@telus.net

Languages: English

Professional Details:

Professional memberships with licensing or registering bodies:

Registered Clinical Counsellor in BC
Coordinator, The Focusing Institute

Academic and training qualifications:

PhD, Clinical Psychology, Somatic Specialization, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
MA, Counselling Psychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute


Therapeutic services:

o  Individual psychotherapy/counselling
o  Individual Focusing sessions (guided Focusing, not ongoing therapy)
o  Online/Skype sessions
o  Telephone sessions

Areas of special interest or advanced training:

I have a special interest in working with complex trauma using focusing.
I also specialize in working with dreams, including PTSD nightmares


o I offer training in Focusing-oriented Therapy (for professionals)

o  Consultation and Supervision for psychotherapists, psychologists, counsellors

Details of these and any other services:

I offer training in focusing-oriented therapy to students and practitioners in the mental health professions. I have also done many invited talks and conference presentations on focusing for work with dreams and/or trauma, both in Vancouver and worldwide.
Currently I am offering three-module dreamwork intensive beginning in New York in May 2015.
I provide ongoing supervision for psychotherapists who are students of focusing-oriented therapy.


Recent Publications (5 years or less):

Focusing-Oriented Dreamwork in Clinical Practice. Book Chapter in Working with Dreams and PTSD Nightmares: 14 Approaches for Psychotherapists and Counselors, Lewis, J. (Ed.)., Praeger (forthcoming).

The Inner Journey: Focusing and Jung in The Folio: Journal of Focusing and Experiential Therapy, 25(1), 2014.

Living the dream: Evolving approaches to focusing-oriented and embodied dream work. Book chapter in Madison G. (Ed.), Advances in Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2014.

Experiential Focusing-Oriented Dream Work as a Doorway to Deeper Congruence, in Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies Journal, 12(3), 1-14, 2013. This article explores common ground between Carl Jung, Eugene Gendlin and Carl Rogers in approaching the dream, and includes clinical examples.

The Attuned Brain: Crossings in Focusing-Oriented Therapy and Neuroscience. The Folio, A Journal for Focusing and Experiential Therapy, 23(1), 2012.

A New Understanding of Grieving, in Insights into Clinical Counselling, The BC Clinical Counsellors’ Magazine, February, 2011.

Focusing: A Way to Deepen Experiencing for More Effective Psychotherapy, in Insights into Clinical Counselling, The BC Clinical Counsellors’ Magazine, April 2010.