Our Beginnings

The Focalizing Institute originated from a retreat held in 1985 by psychologist Michael Picucci at the Villa Veritas Foundation. Michael had worked with Villa Veritas for years when organizers approached him to lead a healing retreat for 50 people that included among other subjects, a focus on sex and spirituality. Seldom a focus of his at the time, the workshop was overwhelmingly well received and Michael's approach to recovery and sexuality sparked a flurry of invites to run workshops all over the Northeast at centers like Kirpalu, Omega, Crossroads Antigua and more. 

1985 - 1999

Emerging in parallel with these workshops, a group of individuals who were in attendance at the original Villa Veritas event established weekly meetings in New York City. Inspired by Michael's process and their personal journeys of healing in community within AA and 12-Step programs, the group gained momentum and began attracting attendees that were not affiliated with addiction recovery programs.

2000 - 2008

In the 2000s, a synthesis of Dr. Picucci's work occurred. The Institute began to approach their initiatives around healing addiction, ritual and sex as a single through-line. The board and members of the community had all come to witness that our challenges have more in common than they have differences.

With this new understanding the Institute focused on how it could translate the healing experience they were witnessing in workshops into books and resources that could reach others outside of the events. It's at this time that the 15+ years of healing experiences were clarified and the process given a new name: Focalizing. 

2009 - Present

Starting around 2009, the Focalizing Institute began to witness a new wave of excitement in Focalizing from young members of the millennial generation. These individuals, supported by the elder leadership of the previous decades, stepped forward to learn, teach and lead the Institute's initiatives. By 2014, the Institute's board had transitioned to be primarily made up of this millennial group. United in a passion for healing and self discovery, the current board brings experience from the fields of education, engineering, advertising, psychology, business, technology, social media, the healing arts and more. Our collective draws strength from the harmony of ideas shared between our veteran Institute members and the energy of our new leadership.

At the Institute, we feel we've only dipped our toe into the potential of what is possible with Focalizing. The story of this modality and organization is as much unwritten as it is written.