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Posts tagged: Active Listening

Gendlin’s Focusing Teleclass April, 2010

By , March 25, 2010 11:14 am

Level 2 Focusing Training
Advanced Listening & Beginning Guiding/Facilitation

 4 Sundays: April 11 through May 2:  10 am – 12:30 pm EDT (4 – 6:30 pm European daylight time)

Have you taken Level One Focusing training?

Are you ready to take the next step in your learning?

Or perhaps you want to continue, yet feel you haven’t yet quite grasped the material taught in Level One….

This is a great opportunity to continue to deepen your Focusing skills, in a small group, from the comfort and convenience of your own home or office. Level Two Focusing Training begins with a review of the basics of Focusing covered in Level One.

The essence of the course is learning to be an increasingly facilitative companion to the Focusing process for yourself and for others. In this course you will enhance your skills in Focusing, both with a partner and by yourself. You will learn important advanced empathic listening (reflection) techniques that can be extremely helpful in deepening the Focuser’s ability to stay with what is there for them.

Some feedback received from students:

“I learned such an amazing amount in such a short time and it happened so naturally, organically, I have to say in such a focusing kind of way. As if I’d turn around and go, WOW, I learned so much! When/how did that happen?Almost seemed effortless!”
And:

“You’re so good at creating a space where people almost instantly feel relaxed. Comfortable. People walk in so stressed .and soon feel comfortable. Even in a roomful of complete strangers.
You are so present and accepting of whatever comes up. You are a unique, exceptional teacher.”

About the Trainer  Ruth Hirsch MSW, MPH, CMT is a Certified Focusing Trainer & Coordinator based in Jerusalem. For 20 years she has maintained a private practice in which she works with people individually and in groups. In her individual work, she specializes in balancing and bringing peace and insight to body, mind, heart and spirit.  In her teaching, she delights in sharing Focusing with others as an individual life-enhancing practice, and as an adjunct to enhance the work of other healing professions.General Info  This course is limited to a maximum of 6 participants.  Largely experiential, the training is taught in a clear, compassionate, enjoyable manner.

Registration fees include tuition and a 100 page e-manual. The fee is $275, payable by credit card through PayPal, or by US check. (Space permitting, those who have already taken the course and would like to review may do so for half price.) To register, or for more information, please contact Ruth directly at ruth@ruthhirsch.com

RUTH HIRSCH  MSW, MPH, CMTFocusing Trainer  & Certifying CoordinatorU.S.   510.868.0885 www.ruthhirsch.com

Focusing and Architecture: Designing From The Inside Out

By , December 14, 2009 7:17 pm

In The Not So Big House and Creating The Not So Big House books, Sarah Susanka (amazon link) advocates leaving the vaulted-ceiling mansions that have become the hallmark of house design and returning to designing houses that are specifically tailored to the very personal and unique needs of the homeowner who will live in the architect-designed home. Quality replaces quantity; intimate detailing replaces square footage.

Recently, as my husband and I hired an architect and began the schematic design process for our future retirement home, I found myself in the midst of an “archetypal” battle. I see it as defined by the clash of “masculine” vs. “feminine,” “Thinking vs. Feeling” modes of being, based upon psychiatrist C.G. Jung’s descriptions and psychological tests such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Keirsey Temperament Sorter (see “Jung, MBTI, and Experiential Theory”  for explanations and Creative Edge Focusing Personality Tests for links for some free versions of these tests).

My husband and I had agreed, after seeing the book New Minimalist Houses (this is Amazon link for great bargain price, $50 reduced to $15!), that Minimalist could describe the kind of house we wanted — lots of glass/concrete/steel, as little as possible between us and the surrounding nature of our 20-acre forest on a ridge. But, it turned out, this was about all we agreed on!

Mind you, both the architect and my husband are feminist, egalitarian, good listeners. And I am a Ph.D. scholar.Yet, there was something about this opportunity to design from a blank slate that engaged all of us in visions to which we desperately wanted to cling, making it almost impossible to “hear from” the opposing view .

The architect followed a method he is known for, going to the home site, hiking for hours, sitting for hours if needed, until he came up with an inspiration for the design of the house, knowing some about us but a lot about the site and location. He ended up discovering a totally different and much better site location for the house, in our twenty acres of forest, and offering creative and striking designs for a one- and two-story version of our house.

The architect’s proposed one-story design was much like The Air House in the Minimalist book — a long rectangle of glass, spread along the ridge, with views and light from North and South. My husband fell in love with it, as it let light enter every room from both north and south.

Okay, I thought, I can live with that, but I want the Guest Area/Project Room/Full Bath closer to the rest of the house, not across a breezeway, I said. I said the Garage and Shop can go across the breezeway. I knew that, at a distance, I would not use the space for Projects, and it would be empty, wasted square footage except when Guests came.

I also wanted the Full Bath to be shared with the two Studies at that end of the house, so that the three spaces, Guest/Project, Study, Study could function as bedrooms, if our future aging needs or future buyers needed such a constellation. I thought my husband would be happy with the striking southern views and light he could have from his shop. And he was okay with this compromise.

And here the epic struggle began. The architect would come back with his original design, saying “the house” needs the Guest/Project/Bath across the courtyard, or “there needs to be a living space across the courtyard to balance the design.” I would counter with “I” need them on this side of the courtyard, so they can function together as three bedrooms, if needed.

And yet his design would come back again, modified some but still with Project/Guest/Bath at a distance from the rest of the house (given geographical distance, we were communicating by email, not ideal!). Finally I said, “You keep trying to ISOLATE this space, and I am trying to CONNECT it.”

I also mentioned casually to my husband that I would like a Front Porch, where I could sit and watch nature go by, and where visitors could find a sheltered entry.

Reading Susanka, I also found some confirmation for my wish for some bay windows to serve as alcoves at the edges of the minimalist open floor plan. I was afraid that flat, rectangular expanses of glass wall would not “draw us in” to the view, would seem cold and distant.

And my husband, usually very mild-mannered,  freaked out: “No! No bumps! The house is to be sleek, sleek, not full of bumps and lumps.”

It seemed to me that each of them, husband and architect, were quite comfortable with accommodating the needs of the residents to the needs of the design, the conceptual needs of “the house.” They could look at a floor plan and fall in love with it.

I however, could not imagine living, feeling alive, in a house that was like a shell laid over and against my actual living, constraining me into a particular shape.

Through an epic struggle coming close to divorce and firing of the architect, we have come to an understanding, a compromise which I call “cozy minimalism,” incorporating Susanka’s sensitivity to the human longing for enclosed, sheltered “alcoves” at the edges of open floor plan spaces with the flying visions, open spaces, and angles of minimalism.

We are entering a period of design where the architect will mainly LISTEN as my husband and I articulate our intuitive sense of our own wants and needs, and then come up with creative, unique ideas and methods for incorporating, aned compromising, those needs.

Out of this new dialogue, already a possible “roof garden” and “sunroom/breakfast nook” alcove have arisen to soften The Air House into an individualized home, yet keep the soaring aspects of the architect’s inspiration.

For more on The Not So Big concept, designing from “the inside out,” from careful attention to the unique needs of the homeowner, see the Susanka books cited above.

For more on learning to Listen To Yourself through Intuitive Focusing and Listen to Another through Focused Listening, see the many resources and free downloads below.

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads: 

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out    “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

 

 

 

FOCUSING AND CHILDREN: PRESERVING AND RECLAIMING TRANSPARENCY

By , May 30, 2009 4:12 pm

Toddlers, before learning words, can be so transparent, their whole body beaming out their emotions and needs.

First trips to the park, 16-months old, my steadily-walking toddler grandson simply sits down, in shock and awe, many times as he sees other people his size, all kinds of dogs, people stretched out on the grass. He simply cannot stand up and take in all this new information at the same time.

Almost choking on a piece of orange, as soon as recovered from the emotional upset, he “asks” (by pointing) for another piece of orange. He tastes it, chews it carefully, a quizzical look on his face. He simply MUST determine what went wrong, master this scary and unexpected experience.

First day in day care, he carries his jacket with him all day long, beaming out “I am reminding myself of home, I am holding on to home, I will be going home.”

Uneasy about leaving his home with Dad and Great-Grandparents to spend the day with me, he insists upon taking Great-Grandpa’s hats, and wearing them for hours.

As we develop more cognitively, our capacity to “symbolize” intervenes between our sheer emotional experiences and what we “choose” to express.

But, still, at age seven, I could read my son’s inner experience from outer symbols. Adopted at birth, having just received his first letter and photo of his birthmom, showing her with her “new” family, husband and child, he runs from the room angrily. I find him in his room a little later, where he has unravelled several hundred feet of fishing line from the spool, creating a huge tangle all around him (this image brings tears to me now, 15 years later). Using Roger’s Empathic Listening, I can reflect him to himself: “Seems like you are feeling all tangled up inside.”

As we get older and older, and through painful life experiences saying “Don’t show yourself here. Don’t cry. Don’t show fear. Don’t even show awe and joy,” we lose “touch” with ourselves, with that transparency, so that we cannot even name our own experience to ourselves, much less authentically express it to others.

Gendlin’s Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and McGuire’s Intuitive Focusing can help you refind and reclaim your inner experiencing, allowing you to find the clarity needed to move forward in life situations

Using Intuitive Focusing and Empathic, Reflective, Focused Listening with children can help them stay in tune with themselves and be able to express their inner experience, their emotions, wants, needs, creative ideas. See The Children’s Corner at The Focusing Institute.

Read a book review of Stapert and Verleifde’s Focusing With Children: The Art of Communication with Children At School and Home , UK: PCCS Books, 2008 and order the book from The Focusing Institute bookstore or from Amazon.

Also see Edwin M. McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance for stories of taking a Focusing attitude with children, and McMahon’s The Little Bird Who Found Herself, a colorful and simple story book for children (and adults) about “sitting with” instead of “running away from” feelings and other felt-sensing in the body.

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out    “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

CREATIVE EDGE LISTENING: ACTIVE, EMPATHIC, FOCUSED LISTENING ALLOWS CREATIVITY TO EMERGE

By , April 11, 2009 2:30 pm
Listening for More Than Words

Listening for More Than Words

Creative Edge Listening goes beyond active or empathic listening, where the goal is communication. In Creative Edge Listening, the Listener is actively helping the speaker to pay attention to and to articulate The Creative Edge, the right-brain, “something-more-than-words” from which truly new solutions,  ideas, innovations, and action steps can come.

Also called Focused Listening, in Creative Edge Listening, the Listener pays attention to nuances that the speaker may not be aware of, the “something-more”  behind surface communications. The Creative Edge Listener uses Focusing Invitations to invite the speaker to sit quietly for a moment and “sense into”  The Creative Edge underlying surface words: “You keep mentioning ‘consumer interface.’ Could you say more about what you mean by this?” “Would it be okay to  sit quietly for a moment and ‘sense into’ this ‘gut instinct’  you are having — let new words come directly from it?”

Creative Edge Listening is most powerful when the speaker has also learned Creative Edge Focusing. Also known as Intuitive Focusing, in Creative Edge Focusing, the speaker, known as the Focuser, even goes as far as closing his/her eyes in order to give full attention to the “not-yet-known” which comes as subtle nuances, intuitions, gut instincts, The Creative Edge.

The Focuser learns to look carefully for exactly the right words or images to capture these “bodily-felt” nuances, the true hotbed of creativity and new solutions. When words and images are finally found that are “just right: in capturing The Creative Edge, the speaker experiences an “Ahah!”, a paradigm shift. The Gestalt changes. The kaleidoscope turns, and new possibilities become clear.

Creative Edge Focusing and Creative Edge Listening can be used for problem solving at home and at work, alone, in parenting and relationships, during interpersonal conflict, and in group or community decision making situations. The Creative Edge Pyramid describes applications from Focusing Alone to Creative Edge Organizations.

For application in business settings, see my article, “Creative Edge Organizations: Businesses and Organizations As A ‘Kind’ Of Focusing Community” from The Folio: Thirtieth Anniversity Tribute edition at The Focusing Institute, www.focusing.org .

You can learn all about Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening with the many resources listed below:

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out    “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

INTUITIVE FOCUSING: THE ONE MINUTE PAUSE — REFLECTING, NOT REACTING

By , April 10, 2009 5:02 pm
Self-Reflection

Self-Reflection

We like to think of ourselves as free. But, most of the time, we are actually simply reacting to the stimuli around us. Something happens, and we REACT. We do not usually STOP, even for a moment, to REFLECT upon what is happening. We are not “free” but quite controlled by the situations around us. And, most importantly, we are also controlled by the residue left by our past experiences in similar situations.

Human beings have the special capacity to be self-reflective. We are able to take a step back and look at what we are doing, ponder, “Why am I acting like this in this situation?”, and change our future actions. But too seldom do we take this “one minute pause”  before reacting. 

The capacity for self-reflection becomes urgently important when our “reactions” are not serving us well. It is then that we seek psychotherapy or other help — to figure out why we act as we do and how we might act differently.

True change comes from INSIDE and cannot be given as advice by another. Change from advice is short-term. Through self-reflection, change becomes lasting.  Internal patterns change, like a kaleidoscope turning. THEN new thoughts, emotions, and action steps become possible.

Before a crisis leads to therapy, self-reflection can be learned as the simple self-help skill, Intuitive Focusing. Based upon Eugene Gendlin’s six-step Focusing process (Focusing, Bantam, 1981, 1984), Intuitive Focusing is the disciplined “practice” of self-reflection. Intuitive Focusing makes productive use of the PAUSE for self-reflection.

During the pause, the Focuser turns inward and pays attention to the “intuitive feel,” the “something-more-than-words”  which underlies thoughts, behaviors, actions. During this quiet inner attention, the Focuser looks for words or images that are “just right” in capturing the “intuitive feel.” When “just right” symbolizations are found, the “bodily-felt sense” opens and shifts, is carried forward to new understandings. The kaleidoscope turns, and a whole new pattern of possibilities arises.

The PRISMS/S PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS begins with the PAUSE and goes through the Intuitive Focusing steps needed for paradigm shifts, for the kaleidoscope to turn.

While Intuitive Focusing can be practiced alone, the quiet time for self-reflection can be greatly facilitated by the company of a Focused Listener. The Focused Listener says back the Focusers words, with special attention to the “feeling tone,” the “something more than words.” In a Focusing Community, people take turns as the Focuser and Listener, helping each other with problem solving.

Experiential Focusing Therapy also places emphasis upon teaching this self-help skill of productive self-reflection, so that clients can continue to solve their own problems throughout their life.

For application in business settings, see my article, “Creative Edge Organizations: Businesses and Organizations As A ‘Kind’ Of Focusing Community” from The Folio: Thirtieth Anniversity Tribute edition at The Focusing Institute, www.focusing.org .

You can learn all about Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening with the many resources listed below:

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out    “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

CONFLICT RESOLUTION IN BUSINESSES: TEACHING INTERPERSONAL FOCUSING

By , March 16, 2009 2:31 pm

Creative Edge Organizations, using The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid  for application at all levels,  incorporate Interpersonal Focusing for conflict resolution as well as Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening to facilitate creative, innovative problem solving. Interpersonal Focusing can take place in a separate session or right during the flow of a Collaborative Edge Decision Making (CEDM) meeting. But how do you teach Interpersonal Focusing in an actual business or organization, if there are no conflicts evident? How do you introduce it without the stress of a full-blown conflict?

Interpersonal Focusing can involve the use of a Third Person Listening Facilitator mediating between the two people in conflict. Download the entire Interpersonal Focusing Chapter from Focusing In Community: How To Start A Listening/Focusing Support Group. Order the complete manual and multimedia Self-Help Package .

From a Certified Focusing Professional bringing the CEDM model, and Creative Edge Pyramid, into two businesses:

“Can I ask you a question? I have tried to teach the same group that was so happy about CEDM, your Interpersonal Focusing, when people disagree about something. They find it hard to practice the method, without two people really having an argument. Do you have any suggestion how to “train” this skill, listening to another that you have an argument with?

Because the people I teach, they say something like “No, I could never listen in a Focusing way when I am mad at someone”. Maybe just practicing focusing is the best?”

My response: The question is a good one: how do you teach Interpersonal Focusing when there is no conflict going on?

  1. Sometimes I have worked instead on even when one person in the group has strong positive feelings about someone else, like “Wishing I could be like you,” “Thinking you are so self-confident,” etc.  Even hearing this kind of positive information about oneself can be difficult to hear and provide a good exercise in Focused Listening to emotional material.
  2. And you can decide to have a discussion about a topic likely to bring up some conflict. E.g., it is not difficult to find two people who have differing views about politics, for instance, or any other controversial topic.
  3. If this is a group that works together, there can also be a fear of uncovering any negative feelings or interpersonal conflicts, so saying “Oh, we don’t have any of those.” Maybe done the road they would feel safer.
  4. Usually, when I have an ongoing 10-week group, I look for small conflicts we can practice on, as simple as whether we should invite new members, or whether we should have tea and snacks.
  5. Also, if I see a conflict happening, I drop the lesson for the day and practice Interpersonal Focusing right then instead.
  6. You could also have a Focuser work on their feelings about someone outside of the group that makes them really, really mad — so, as Listener, people could at least have the experience of Listening to someone who might be really angry, but it would be less threatening than working on their problems with each other. I think this is a great idea! Getting people used to being around anger when it is not directed at them, getting them used to just reflecting it.

But, you are correct, the more people practice Focusing, in the sense of “owning” their own internal reactions, and Listening, being able to set aside one’s own reactions and really “hear” another, the more these skills will be available when a conflict arises— 

For more on dealing with anger, see  my “yelling at the wall” component in the Passive Listening Turns model  and my Active Listening Turns short article.

Five Minute Grieving might be helpful (what to do if a patient, client, friend, colleague starts crying) and bring up interesting discussion about the role of emotion in business settings.

These are all Instant “Ahah!”s in the sidebar of my website homepage and also in the free download, Instant Ahah Mini-Manual, which you can find below.

Especially in businesses whose work is helping and supporting and healing others, it is important to find a way to nurture those who are trying to help others. That, to me, has always been the great gift of teaching Listening/Focusing to staff — that they can choose to use it to support each other as well!

See my article, “Creative Edge Organizations: Businesses and Organizations As A ‘Kind’ Of Focusing Community” from The Folio: Thirtieth Anniversity Tribute edition at The Focusing Institute, www.focusing.org .

You can learn all about Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening with the many resources listed below:

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out    “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

THE CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING PYRAMID IN BUSINESS SETTINGS: FOCUSING, LISTENING, AND COLLABORATIVE EDGE MEETINGS

By , March 15, 2009 6:07 pm

In the Creative Edge Focusing (TM) model, The Creative Edge is the bodily-felt, intuitive “something-more-than-words” that anyone can find if they simply pause, for at least a minute, paying attention in the center of their body for the “intuitive feel,” the “bodily-felt sense” of any issue or idea or problem to form.

The PRISMS/S Focusing Process  shows how Intuitive Focusing, often coupled with Focused Listening, can allow this non-linear, right-brain, intuitive knowing to unfold.

The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid shows how these simple self-help skills of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening can be incorporated into all levels within a company or organization, as well as for stress relief, conflict resolution, and emotional problem solving at home:

Focusing Alone for Personal Growth
Focusing Partnership for Ongoing Creativity
Interpersonal Focusing for Conflict Resolution
Focusing Group/Team for Innovative Problem Solving
Collaborative Edge Focusing Decision Making for Win/Win  Meetings
Focusing Community To Facilitate Diversity and Mutual Support
Creative Edge Organization To Motivate People For Collaborative Action

Creative Edge Organizations  benefit from the innovation, creativity, commitment, and collegiality which come when each person is engaged at their own Creative Edge and sharing and supporting Creative Edge exploration in others. Read Creating At The Edge: The Culture of Creativity

Here is feedback from a Certified Focusing Professional teaching Listening, Focusing, and Collaborative Edge Decision Making (CEDM) in two companies:

“I am teaching two small companies focusing and I also have workshops and individual sessions for everyone interested. I have also done a few talks on focusing, and I want to develop that more. I want to develop everything more!!!
 
I just want to tell you that the people at the companies, were really amazed about your method for decision making. I translated it all and made sheets for them to work with and it all went so well. We have done it twice in two different groups, and the next two weeks we will try it again.

Afterwards one woman said: “I feel like I have a lot of energy after the meeting, usually I am all tired and out of energy.”

Another one said: “I am a slow person, and have often been told, just hurry and pick the word and say what you want. But I don’t feel like doing that, it just makes me feel so stressed. I rather just stay quiet.” And she really enjoyed this kind of meeting.

I could “feel” the stress disappear when everybody understood that they were going to have their piece of the time for saying what they wanted.

And when I told them that they all had the same responsibility for creating a meaningful meeting, it sort of started twinkling in their eyes.

Most amazing of all was that the ones that volunteered for the timekeeping both times we did this, were two people that usually have a hard time being on time (according to the others in the group). Strange, isn’t it?

And more:

“Thank you for the links you gave me here. I am thinking about translating both “5 minutes of grieving” and “Active Listening: Short-Circuit Angry Confrontations”, they are so good, and the people I work with do need something very “resolute” to get started with Focusing in their daily work … there is really a need for a tool that is respectful and very human. (that’s a need everywhere of course!)”

“The staff that I am teaching Focusing are more and more getting it in to their daily routines. They all say: When we start the morning with some Focusing, there is a calm feeling throughout the day! No matter how much stress they are facing.

So now they are trying, at least in one of the companies, to have at least 10 minutes each in the morning, just Listening to what is inside them right now. And at least once a week they do a longer Listening/Focusing turn two and two. And their meetings have really changed!”

See my article, “Creative Edge Organizations: Businesses and Organizations As A ‘Kind’ Of Focusing Community” from The Folio: Thirtieth Anniversity Tribute edition at The Focusing Institute, www.focusing.org .

You can learn all about Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening with the many resources listed below:

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out    “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

INTUITIVE FOCUSING: THE GIFT IN EMOTIONAL DEPRESSION, ECONOMIC RECESSION, AND OTHER TIMES OF “IMPRISONMENT”

By , March 13, 2009 12:03 pm

Times of grief, depression, economic recession, imprisonment, in the external world or internally self-imposed, can give the time needed to go deeply, “fish up” new energies and creativities from the bottom feeders, and come out renewed.

Intuitive Focusing, especially in the company of Focused Listening from an empathic friend or support group, is a simple self-help tool for doing this fishing, providing predictable steps for “Ahah!” experiences, at home, work, and in the community, while avoiding getting drowned in the process!

A friend posted this on the Focusing Discussion e-list (subscribe at www.focusing.org under “Felt Community”) and, with his permission, I share it with you:

“(A blog about innovation prompts the following thoughts, which takes form together with what comes for me)

On reflecting on these dark and unprecedented times, amidst gathering clouds and raging storms… it occurs that our predicament is not without parallel (I do not mean 1929), and that it is only that we have not just yet recognised the edges of our cell. By way of locating ourselves, a we-ing of us in this, an Eskimo proverb says that in the storm is the time to fish…

So I’d like to tell you a story… but first, what are the similarities in the lives of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela? Each made a personal and social contribution to equality that was far-reaching, upset a status quo, and has sustained beyond their lives. Each recognised the energy of truth and non-violence. And each spent a lot of time in jail, and each found it to be productive time for reflecting and writing, re-editing and re-imagining the world as-it-was-known.

Ibn Al-Haitham is less known but no different. Ab? Al? al-Hasan ibn ibn al-Haytham (also known as Al hazen) is considered as the first ‘scientist’, a pioneer of the scientific method and a ‘father’ of optics. He headed a project to regulate the flow of the Nile in Egypt. Once he decided it was impossible, he escaped severe punishment from the Fatimid caliph in Cairo only by pretending to be mad. So instead of a death sentence, he was kept under house arrest until Hakim’s death in 1021.

There, in-house (as more than a few of us are about to be), he spent his time experimenting with light and physics, and made the discovery of light travelling in a straight line (instead of light beaming out of eyes as it was known) by making holes in the prison’s wall and seeing how buildings outside were depicted upside down on the other wall. Ibn al-Haitham gave the first clear description, illustration, and correct analysis of the camera obscura. The word ‘camera’ comes from the Arabic (qamara), which means dark or private room.

During this time in prison, he wrote the influential Book of Optics and scores of other important treatises on physics, medicine, science and mathematics problems (among which he explored the squaring of the circle). More than 200 works he wrote on all these topics, and in particular published a seven-volume treatise on optics which had great celebrity and influenced western thought, notably that of Bacon and Kepler. His time in prison gave him time to open himself to new theories, and elaborate the gift of a deeper science of optics some 6 centuries before Isaac Newton’s studies.

So in thinking about  ‘our time in prison’, and considering the evolving impacts that the decline-of-empire inevitably bring, this might also just be our opportunity to explore new ways of being-before-doing in a global self-righting-and-redistribution. Seeking new ways to see and know, even when the images are unfamiliar, upsidedown, senseless, or without a pattern that can be quickly picked.

Not a story directly related to Focusing, but when I hear ‘try Focusing with anything’, I want also to try it with contemporary apprehension, with uncertainty and suburban dread, with this wintering and these icy currents, with what works at all anywhere in this we-ing across the world, in our qamaras and private connections, in my living, seeking wild hybridisations and simpler, quieter approaches – much like in remembering how to fish… in a storm.
Mmm … what might that feel like…”

My friend includes a link to a beautiful short video, A Father’s Tools and The Tears of Things, by Tim Wilson, who includes many more “deep fishing” videos at www.personamedia.com .

You can learn all about Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening with the many resources listed below:

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out    “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

COLLABORATIVE EDGE SEXUALITY: TANTRA FOR BUSY COUPLES BOOK

By , March 9, 2009 11:30 am

Here is a book of interest to those seeking greater intimacy through the gentle combination of sexuality and spirituality found in Tantra, with a recommendation from internationally-known Focusing Teacher, Ann Weiser Cornell:
~~~~~~~~~~
Diana Daffner
BOOK: www.TantraforBusyCouples.com (Hunter House, March, 2009)

“As a lifelong advocate of how body awareness can bring us into connection with the present moment, I was delighted to encounter this book. With charming anecdotes and refreshing clarity, the Daffners offer a practical guide to that most elusive of states: true intimacy. Highly recommended! “–Ann Weiser Cornell, Ph.D.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Daffner’s also offer educational Intimacy Retreats:

www.IntimacyRetreats.com
941 349-6804
Florida

And Diana offers a CD audio experience guiding you and your lover to greater intimacy: http://www.intimacyretreats.com/lessons2.htm

Diana also participates in Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s e-course (three e-newsletters a week teaching skills of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening as applied to personal growth, creativity, spirituality, intimacy, conflict resolution, and creative problem solving at home and at work) and writes:

Dear Kathy,
 
I’ve been meaning to write to thank you for your emails. They are so rich with information and guidance. An impressive body of material. That this one referred to “intimacy” of course caught my attention!
 
~ Diana

You can subscribe to the e-course at the link below and also find links to our Mini-Course on Intimate Relationship, which includes lessons on Sharing Your Day, Equalizing Sexual Desire, Erotic Massage, Tantric Sexuality, and Sacred Spot Massage.

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out    “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

FOCUSING AND BUSINESS: BUILDING COMMUNITY AT WORK

By , January 30, 2009 12:14 pm

In Creative Edge Organizations, everyone learns Intuitive Focusing ( PDF: Focusing Intuitivo: Destreza Basica) to access the intuitive, right-brain Creative Edge of their thinking and problem solving, and everyone learns Focused Listening ( PDF: Destreza Basica: Escucha Focalizada)to help others articulate from the Creative Edge and to hear deeply the views of another instead of arguing.

The exchange of Listening/Focusing Partnership turns leads, not only to creative, innovative problem solving, but also to feelings of “buy in,” “loyalty,” and “collegiality.” The workplace becomes a community,  encouraging diversity and creativity rather than competition and backbiting.

Here is part of my recent article “Creative Edge Organizations: Businesses and Organizations As A ‘Kind’ Of Focusing Community“:

“— Businesses and Organizations ARE Communities

 

Doing my own Thinking At The Edge (TAE) process, I realized that businesses and organizations ARE communities. By their nature, coworkers are “trapped” in a face-to-face, interdependent situation which they cannot leave.

 

Some absolute essentials for workers:

 

• learning to work out their interpersonal conflicts

• having a successful model for making and implementing group decisions

• having a model for creative, innovative thinking and problem solving and for

 communication between themselves and their clients.

• For co-workers: the ability to work in teams, tolerate their diversity, and make

 the most of their “differing gifts.”

 

Businesses cannot afford the constant turnover and need for retraining that comes from irresolvable conflicts.

 

 The model I developed for Focusing Communities, articulated in the Focusing in Community manual (1981, 2007), included all of these things: not just Focusing Alone for creative problem solving, but also Focusing Partnerships in the context of Focusing Groups or Teams, Interpersonal Focusing for resolving conflicts, and Collaborative Focusing-Oriented Decision Making for task-oriented groups. Here was a “package” of skills and methods that could be brought into businesses and organizations.

 

At about this time, I gathered up some books at a kiosk at the Northwest Regional Airport near Bentonville, Arkansas — home of mega-business giant WalMart. Everyone who is a vendor for WalMart passes through that airport, so it seemed to me that the books sold there would be cutting edge —” 

 

Read the entire article “Creative Edge Organizations: Businesses and Organizations As A ‘Kind’ Of Focusing Community in the 30th Anniversary Tribute Focusing Folio online at The Focusing Institute.

 

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

 

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! Today’s blog is part of the year-long e-course offered through the Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter.

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

 

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