Joan Lavendar

Dr. Joan Lavender

Certified Focusing-Oriented Therapist

Personal Statement

I have been involved with Focusing since the 1970s, when I met Gene Gendlin in New York and began learning Focusing. It has stayed with me through my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, my PostDoc Fellowship in psychotherapy process research and even my Institute trainings in contemporary forms of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy! Finally, we are a point in time where Focusing philosophy, Self Psychology, Relational Psychotherapy and advances in cognitive science, attachment theory, chaos theory and intersubjectivity theory have caught up with the genius of Gene’s thought. I am one of the founders of Lynn Preston’s Focusing Oriented Relational Psychotherapy program. So all this makes me a psychotherapist who works with focusing and with the direct responsive relationship with the client as well. I am currently working on a website that speaks to the history and method of this integration. I am a lively therapist with clinical courage and a droll sense of humor. I live and practice in New York City.


Office: 250 West 90 Street, New York, NY, USA

Public Contact Details:

telephone: 212-866-0461



Languages: English, slow Spanish

Professional Details:

Professional memberships with licensing or registering bodies:

New York State, Connecticut licenses.

Member, Women’s Mental Health Consortium

Ex-Member, American Psychological Association

Certificate in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy, New York, New York

Certified Focusing Oriented Psychotherapist

Academic and training qualifications:

Past PostDoctoral Fellow, State University of New York in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Graduate, Doctoral Program, Widener Graduate School in Clinical Psychology, Chester, Pa.

Graduate, Hunter College M.S. Program in Dance Movement Therapy


Therapeutic services:

Individual psychotherapy/counselling, Individual Focusing sessions (guided Focusing,Focusing-Oriented Coaching, Conflict Mediation,Online/Skype sessions, Telephone sessions, Group or family therapy

Areas of special interest or advanced training:

I love to provide supervision to all kinds of psychotherapists. I also enjoy working with small and community size groups. I have taught focusing skills to a broad range of populations. I write and publish on focusing oriented relational psychotherapy. And of course my main commitment is to working with people with all kinds of issues in this approach.


I offer individual sessions for people to learn Focusing (open to the public), I offer training in Focusing-oriented Therapy (for professionals), I offer training for organizations and teams,Consultation and Supervision for psychotherapists

Details of these and any other services:


A good therapist knows that relating to someone solely in terms of his or her symptoms or diagnosis can never speak to the uniqueness of any individual. A solid therapist can help even if you think you should “just get over it”, and “put the past behind you”. A skilled therapist not only recommends that you get more in touch with yourself, but shows you how to do this. Your therapist should convey a sense of comfort, thoughtfulness and responsiveness, no matter what you share with them, from the first to the final session.

I’m a clinical psychologist with thirty years experience, working with people to create less painful, more satisfying, balanced and interesting lives.

Recently I have begun to help large community groups to speak about the political situation in the U.S. From a focusing and listening perspective.

I would be interested in hearing from others regarding a need for this work.


Recent Publications (5 years or less):

Lavender, J. (2104) One Therapist’s Travel Log. In Beyond the Talking Cure: Advances in Focusing Oriented Therapy, Jessica Kingsley London.  

Lavender, J. (2011) The Phenomenology of the Relational Void: Probabilities and Possibilities. In Willock, B., Bohm, L. C. , Coleman Curtis, R. (Eds) Loneliness and Longing: Conscious and Unconscious Aspects. Routledge Mental Health, London.

Lavender, J. (2010) Some Thoughts on Focusing and Aging: Losses and Gains, The Focusing Folio, A Journal for Focusing and Experiential Therapy, Vol 22.

Recent Presentations

Community NOT Chaos, Focusing Oriented Relational Psychotherapy, 1/8/17, New York

The Felt Sense of YOU in Communities, New York Metro Focusing, 12/16 New York

Range of Resonance, Study Group Leader (10 hour workshop) on a model of supervision, 3rd International Focusing Oriented Psychotherapy Conference, Stonypoint, New York

Eating Disorders and related Co-morbidities: The Treatment Team, Parts I and II, Center for the Study of Anorexia and Bulimia, The Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy. Webinar, 2013

Eating Disorders: The Treatment Team: Continuity of Care, Continuity of Self, Center for the Study of Anorexia and Bulimia, The Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy. Webinar, 2012

Experientializing Envy – a Lived Relational Experience . Joan Lavender assisted by Judith Cobb, Susan Deisroth, Naomi Glicken, and Sharron Kaplan February 2013

Entering a New Territory: A Focusing Exploration of Aging, A Focusing Conversation, Joan Lavender assisted by NYMF Staff, September, 2012 


*I give permission for my information to be listed, and for people to contact me using this information