Posts tagged: Focusing Partnerships

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING NEWS AND GOODS: Creativity, 12-Step, Art Therapy, Enneagram, Focusing Partnerships

By , October 6, 2008 4:14 pm

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Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

NEWS AND GOODS BELOW: The Many Applications of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening!!!

On Creativity: Writing From The “Felt Sense”

Here is a quote from an author about being guided, not from the logical “all-ready known,” but from the “felt sense,” the “intuitive feel.” The Creative Edge can carry implicit in it “the whole thing,” just waiting to be articulated into words and images that capture and grow forward from it:

“From that point on, the tale ran on its own legs, and turned into something I didn’t expect. It turned into the book it always should have been, a real book, where plot, character, and theme all worked together to make a whole greater than the sum of the parts. It turned out to be about something, beyond itself. It’s a bizarre but wonderful feeling, to arrive dead center of a target you didn’t even know you were aiming for.”

Lois Bujold, Cordelia’s Honor, NY: Baen Publishing, 1996, Afterword, p.479

Focusing-Oriented Art Therapy: Accessing The Body’s Wisdom

There is a wonderful new book in the works which combines Focusing with Art Therapy for the professional therapist, and with artistic creation for the rest of us. Focusing-Oriented Art Therapy :Accessing the Body’s Wisdom and Creative Intelligence by Laury Rappaport, long-time Focusing teacher and professor.

To learn more and pre-order this book visit: www.focusingarts.com/articles.html  
(reviewed by Cornell, The Focusing Connection Newsletter, Aug. 2008)

Bringing Focusing Into The Enneagram

Mary Bast, long-time executive and life coach and expert on using The Enneagram (link to free tests) in coaching, has written an article on using Creative Edge Focusing with various personality types in her August, 2008, e-newsletter:

http://www.breakoutofthebox.com/AugustNews08.pdf  

The Creative Edge by Mary Bast
Out of the Box Coaching Newsletter
Volume 8, Issue 8 August 1, 2008

In our chapter on Fours in Out of the Box: Coaching with the Enneagram, Clarence and I wrote “You’ll establishmore rapport when you witness their pain, show yourempathy, honor their unique way of seeing things, andfocus your questions on how they feel.” We alsosuggested that “Twos respond better to feelback than tofeedback.”

Nonetheless, when concrete results aren’t obvious whilecoaching someone with heightened emotions, I sometimeswonder if I’ve been helpful by simply listeningdeeply, though my clients have assured me suchlistening feels right.
I try not to be too pushy about moving to solutions (otherwise I can become very Three-ish, wanting both results and evidence of my success), but I have often used Focusing as a way to help clients move through their kinesthetic experience of emotional pain and into imagery that has the potential to heal symbolically.

So I’m especially pleased to be in contact with Dr. Kathy McGuire and to learn more about her Creative Edge Focusing —
Among the many free articles at The Creative Edge website, those on grieving have been especially helpful to me when coaching Fours, Twos, and other clients experiencing strong feelings—

I’m also intrigued with her Focused Listening, which combines Gendlin’s Focusing with Carl Roger’s Reflective Listening. In previous newsletters I’ve written about Symbolic Modeling, a right-brain technique where the coach stays within a client’s metaphor landscape without leading the client, by using “clean language”-responses that elicit the client’s own resources to generate healing at a symbolic level. Now that I’ve had almost a full year of practice with Symbolic Modeling, however, I find the methodology somewhat difficult in contrast to the clarity and simplicity of the four basic responses in Focused Listening —

Finally, I am touched by her discussion of “The Focusing Attitude.” After summarizing this attitude as one of empathy, respect, and non-judgmental acceptance, she shares the metaphor used by Fathers Pete Campbell and
Ed McMahon, creators of Bio-Spiritual Focusing, to convey the “Caring, Feeling Presence”:

“Imagine you have found an abandoned infant on the steps of your hospital.
Imagine how you would, through your bodily attention, convey complete
acceptance and love and safety to this infant: “You are totally wanted in this
world and safe with me.” Now, turn this same kind of loving attention toward
your inner experiencing.”

I’m convinced the creative edge of change involves working with metaphors and-lovingly and with trust in our clients’ innate healing capacity-following the trail through kinesthetic, auditory, and visual imagery to those metaphors.

Find the entire article, archives of her monthly e-newsletters, and a wealth of actual examples of applying Coaching to the nine different personality styles of the Enneagram, all at Mary Bast’s wonderful website.

Recovery Focusing: Using Focusing To Work The 12 Steps

Here, as she continues to apply her model for Recovery Focusing in an actual addiction rehab center, Suzanne Noel gives us more wonderful examples of the power of Focusing in reaching even those in the early stages of recovery from addiction.

Suzanne describes the difference between teaching/learning the 12-Steps through an intellectualized “head” approach, vs. using Focusing to take the words of each step deeply down into “bodily felt experiencing,” where experiential “Ahah!”s arise as Focusers make words and images freshly from their own unique inner experiencing. Here is learning at a deep, body/mind level. Suzanne says:

I am continuing to “Focus Into” the Steps at the Rehab and am also putting it into practice by Focusing with a specific partner in Recovery Focusing. In my Recovery Focusing partnership I “hold” the Step in a Focusing way to sense it rather than “think it”. Amazingly powerful!

I will offer you a short glimpse into how I worked Step Two at the rehab last week. (We had already done readings and discussions on this Step in the past, as well as spent time with their sense of Sanity in a session several weeks ago.) This was a new, fresh visit to Step Two. Though I cannot recall much since it was last week, here is a brief description of what I did with the group of Spanish Narcotics Anonymous –most of whom are 18-20 years old (sadly):

Session Title: Our Bottom & Step 2

(First we ground ourselves.)

Here are the invitations I offered them:

Take some time to remember how you were the last few months before coming here. Just be with that a while. Recall a memory, a moment in time, an image of yourself, as how you were during “the worst of all that”.

(Share with Group.)

E. Crying and dirty in the rain, after spending all night on a terrible cocaine high, in which he stole from someone, beat up his friend, etc.

I. The horror of mixing so many drugs at one time — heroin, cocaine, pills — and the paralyzing result of all that, the epileptic-like seizure that resulted.

R. Seeing his two buddies injecting heroine in the back seat of his car, and realizing that this is where he was heading, from snorting heroin to injecting it.

P. A rage in which he destroyed a lot of things in his house.

(There were more people there, but these are the ones I have most clearly in mind.)

Now, remember that though we do have a disease, there is a solution. We can live a better life through the 12 Step Program & Fellowship.

READ STEP TWO:

2 Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Now, take some time to think of a Higher Power.
How is that Higher Power, for you?
Go inside yourself and wait for an image or metaphor or feeling that may come that captures your inside sense of that Power Greater than yourself.
If nothing comes to you, that is normal, and just fine.
(Sometimes one or two may say, “Nothing is coming” but as they stay with it, something suddenly comes and they say: “Oh, I got it!” and are anxious to share.)

(Share with group).

E. Arms opening up the clouds, as if pushing them aside and saying “come to me”.

P. An image of the planet. Earth. And “Nature”.

I. (I can’t recall now, but remember something about a light. This person’s higher power is, in general, a light.)

R. Did not get anything. (He is new and highly distracted.)

Now, think about all that is implied by the word “sanity”.
Invite your body to feel into all that about “sanity”.
How would it feel to be a “sane” person.
How does it feel in your body, especially in your chest and central body area?
Invite an image or metaphor or gesture or a phrase to come to you that captures that. Take your time.

They each had a very meaningful sense of what “sanity” meant to them in that moment.
I can recall how their faces looked, the dignity they were feeling.
Unfortunately, I did not take notes.
The only one I do recall is E. who saw himself on a beach, with a girlfriend, with a diploma from having studied.

(Note: A few have gotten unmistakable “in the body” felt senses, but often they get images. I allow whatever comes to come. I plan on furthering their Focusing by inviting them to check that image with their middle area, to feel it inside, but right now I do not wish to “pressure” or add too much more to what they are already getting.)

I sometimes Clear a Space with the group, especially asking “What is in the way of working this Step?”. Then, we pick one and hold that.

I have asked them to “recall a happy time in their past” so they re-experience a body sense of that memory before going into the “Powerlessness” of Step One.

As a matter of fact, I am glad I followed my sense that it was best to precede work on Step One with a positive sober experience (some of them had to look way back in their past). This allowed me to compare and contrast and to bring them closer to that positive experience at the end of the session.

Focusing into their Powerlessness and unmanageability gave them a disturbing body sense of that — which is actually a good thing in recovery. We do not wish to forget where we came from, but we do wish to have courage to change and hope & faith that there is a “solution”.

It’s exciting work.

Focusing appears to calm them down. There is an intimacy and quietness and sense of wellness when we come together for Focusing. Most of the other classes jangle, are full of distractions.

It is very challenging, especially when new people arrive.
There are many difficulties involved with the environment itself. For my last class, I locked us all into the small kitchen. 🙂

Yes, challenging and difficult, but I feel blessed to be able to share with them my — and their — “experience”, strength, and hope, all of which seem more — hmm — FELT through Focusing!

Thanks again.

Blessings to all.

Suzanne Noel
www.innerwisdoms.com  

Read Suzanne’s article on “Recovery Focusing” at The Creative Edge Focusing (TM) website.

The Power of Focusing Partnership Exchange

At Creative Edge Focusing TM, I place an emphasis upon the power of Focusing Partnerships, Focusing Groups/Teams, and Focusing Communities to transform, not only the Self, but relationships, the workplace, and the local, national, and international community. Here are two articles from Ann Weiser Cornell’s The Focusing Connection newsletter, Sept., 2008) (subscribe here and also find back issues), where people report on the surprising gifts they received when they went from Focusing Alone to Focusing Partnership Exchange:

Some Insight and Reflection on the Role of Companion in Focusing by John Sabbage

I have noticed that Focusing with a companion is not just easier, it is richer, it offers a treasure that is different and seems more whole than Focusing alone. And it is this sense of wholeness that I want to explore —

There is a ceasing of ‘I’ or ‘you’ in this perspective, a kind of acceptance that something is Focusing and something is listening and there is a wondering in me about that whole thing. What is happening here? Two sparks of humanity finding ways to hold within themselves often apparently polar opposites of parts. All the parts of ourselves seek to live forward, to protect and make safe the precious aliveness. Often these seem at the outset to present opposite and sometimes quite painful and conflicting answers to the how of living forward. Yet through the patient questioning and accepting of what a something is not
wanting and what it is wanting, so its desire to live forward into all that Life implies is revealed and felt. As companion, there is a truly wonder-full sense of gratitude and awe to be witness. As though another’s shift in felt sense towards self-acceptance is also my own, and by implication Life’s own.
John Sabbage may be reached at [email protected]

The Power of a Focusing Partnership by Jo Hainsworth

— Focusing is being with someone while they process. In sitting with someone in this way, I’m experiencing how powerful it can be, and it’s proving to be an invitation to me to find within me the ability to be with my own feelings in the same way. As I sat on Skype, simply listening and reflecting back the key content of what my partner was saying, initially I felt disempowered, and wondered how on earth he could possibly resolve the issues he was facing in his life. I just kept on listening and reflecting back, and by the end of the 25 minute session, I had tears come to my eyes as I listened to my partner enthuse about how amazed he was at what he had learned about himself, how the process had unfolded, as someone simply listened to him and reflected back some of what he was saying —

I believe that the Focusing Partnership model is one of the most sustainable
models that can help us to move forward in our lives. After completing a simple
course and learning how to Focus and how to be a Focusing Partner, you can form a partnership with someone that doesn’t cost a cent, and gives you ongoing support to go within and find your own answers for the rest of your life. In this world of high tech, fast moving specialization, it’s a relief to find that we all have the ability to help each other to move forward, not by offering advice or trying to help them to resolve their issues, but by doing something any human can learn to do – shut up and listen!!!! —

Quoting her teacher Suzanne Noel:

“Keeping someone company as they learn Focusing is such an honor for me – it’s like following someone as they journey into their deepest self, a space of not only aliveness, but creativity as well. I only hope more and more people are able to fully experience the power of focusing partnership, this unique relationship with ourselves and with another that redefines authentic intimacy and may be the next evolutionary “carrying forward” of human beingness.”

Jo Hainsworth established the Self Healing Portal last year to get free information out to people to assist them on their healing journey. You can find the SelfHealing Portal at www.selfheal4me.com

The Self-Help Package from Creative Edge Focusing TM, with manual, CDs, and DVD, gives you everything you need to start your own Focusing Partnership and, perhaps, build from there to a Focusing Group or Focusing Community.

The Creative Edge Practice e-group provides active support and advise.

Of course, taking a Level One Listening/Focusing class or workshop from a Certified Focusing Professional in your local area can speed you on your way and also perhaps provide the core group for carrying on as a self-help group.

Subscribe to Cornell’s Focusing Connection newsletter at her website. www.focusingresources.com  . Ann has been publishing it for well over twenty years, for a very reasonable cost, and always with the cutting edge in short articles on Focusing and Listening.

A Poem on The Power of Focusing Partnership Exchange

I have written about the experiences of “agape,” love for the unique Otherness of another person, which arise frequently during Focusing Partnership Exchanges. The boundary between the Focuser and Listener seems to drop as they enter into a space of “We and Something Greater”:

Empathy and Agape: The Creation of Love

Intense spiritual experiences of the love known as Agape also happen regularly through the experience of exchanging Listening/Focusing turns in a Focusing Partnership or Focusing Community. Through the use of Focused Listening,I am able to set aside my own stereotypes and prejudices and really enter into the world of the other person. In these moments of empathy, when the Focuser touches upon her deepest values and most profound truths, as the Listener, I am often moved and touched by the absolute uniqueness, yet universal humanness, of the Other.

In these moments, often with a sheen of tears in our eyes, it seems that the boundaries separating one person from the other drop, and we stand together in a shared, sacred space. I believe this is what is meant by experiencing The Christ Within The Other or Universal Oneness. For me, there is no more sacred experience. (from Creative Edge Website: Spirituality)

In closing for this month, a beautiful poem, again from Suzanne Noel, created out of her “felt sense” as she tries to articulate this sense of participation in Focusing Partnerships:

FALLING FROM HEAVEN

Be quiet for me.
Behold me.

As the quivering sea beholds the silent moon
and transforms her
into dancing rivulets of color.

Move me like that. Just like that.

I will sway
until I sing myself
into my song.

I have been calling for you
since long ago,
long before the fog embraced my shores,
before day and night
were squeezed rigid with noise,
long before
my silence fell into its own silence.

As I behold you now,
I have finally heard you.

Sing your song.

I will sway with you
as you sing yourself into it.

You see,

It really is all about me.
It really is all about you.

We are
luminous and liquid,
together. Falling from Heaven.
The vast space between us
is insignificant
in this clear cool air.

Be quiet for me.
Behold me.

Suzanne Noel
www.innerwisdoms.com  

Tell me what you think at [email protected] or comment on this blog below !

Click here to subscribe to our Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!!

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-E-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

STARTING A LISTENING/FOCUSING SUPPORT GROUP

By , June 3, 2008 10:44 am

FOCUSING PARTNERSHIP: WHAT THE LISTENER DOES

Below, from the manual, Focusing In Community: How To Start A Listening/Focusing Support Group, Chapter Three, is a simple introduction to the Focused Listening skills used by the Listener while the other person in a Partnership Turn is using Intuitive Focusing. The complete Chapter Three download gives very specific instructions for trying out the Four Basic Kinds of Response outlined below:

The following are the most “simple” instructions I could come up with to help people start trying the new way of relating I call “Focused Listening”. The list of Suggested Readings at the end of the Chapter directs you to some other people’s attempts at explaining empathic, or reflective, listening. The exercises at the end of the Chapter enable you to start practicing Listening with a few other people. You will want to come back to the instructions below many times after you start practicing Listening. You may also want to arrange to attend a Listening/Focusing workshop or to have a Listening/ Focusing teacher come to work with your group. Resources are listed in Chapter Eight.

Focused Listening is based on a philosophy which says that, when a person is being unclear on what to do next, or needing help, the best possible thing you can do is to help her find words for the “intuitive feel” of the issue-that being able to symbolize The Creative Edge of confusion or trouble leads to change in that trouble and the possibility for new actions and decisions. Once the person has been able to symbolize in words what is going on inside, solutions and next steps will come from within the person herself. So Focused Listening is used to help the person to find words. The best way to do this is mainly by (In 2007, see the multimedia examples in the Self-Help Package):

1) Helping the person to talk and saying back, either in her own words or in a paraphrase of your own, what you have heard her say.
2) Then she can check these words against the feelings inside, and
3) Try talking again, trying to find better words for those feelings.

Again, you help just by saying back what you have heard her say. It is the process of saying back, and not any advice or opinions or suggestions of your own, which is most powerful as a way of helping the person to find her own words for the experience she is having (as of 2007, see DVD: Listening/Focusing Demonstrations for many examples).

When Listening is successful in helping a person to get words connected with “felt meanings,” the person being listened to has the experience of getting “unstuck”, releasing tension (often tears or anger), and forming some concept for the situations, past and present, which are involved in this feeling in her. She also has the experience of saying feelings which she has been taught to be ashamed of or to fear and of having them received with warm understanding by another person.

 The Listener has the experience of seeing and understanding the other person without distortion and sharing intimately in his or her inner world. This “seeing” can be a powerful almost magical experience which may bring tears of recognition, or empathy.

Listening is best done as a sharing between equals, an exchange of Listening/Focusing turns. Each person has a chance at helping and a chance at finding words for her own troubled place. Two people set aside some time (usually from twenty minutes to an hour for each of them), and sit facing each other and close enough to touch if that kind of support arises in the interaction. First, one person talks while the other listens. Then, for the second hour, it’s done the other way around. Listening turns should feel, not like a dreaded “psychotherapy hour”, but a looked-forward-to chance to get some time for yourself, to go inside and get in touch with yourself.

Here are the four basic types of response a Focused Listener can use:

FOUR BASIC TYPES OF RESPONSE

Pure Reflection (Basic Reflective Listening):

Saying back or paraphrasing what the person has said, with an emphasis
on reflecting the feeling tone: “It sounds like you’re saying —” or
“You are saying — ” or “The important part in there seems to be —”

Asking for more:

Asking the person to say more about words she has already used;
inviting her to go further: “Can you say more about — ” or “What did
you mean by the word ‘jealousy’?”

3. Intuitive Focusing Invitation:

Inviting the listenee to be quiet and “sense into” the “intuitive feel”:
“Can you just sit quietly and pay attention to The Creative Edge?”
“Would it be okay to ‘sit with’ that sense of ‘sadness’ and see what comes?”

4. Personal sharings:

Any responses which are your own thoughts, feelings, or intuitions (to
be used only in turns longer that twenty minutes and to be used
sparingly, followed by a return to reflection of feelings).

Please go to this blog with links at the top for the complete Chapter Three Download , in English and Spanish, for exact instructions in the Four Basic Response, find your first person to practice with, and give Focused Listening a try!

 Order the Self-Help Package to watch actual Focused Listening sessions on DVD. There, you will also find links to free downloads of the Introduction to the manual, in English and Spanish, telling how to find one or more people with whom to start a practice Partnership or Group.

Remember, Intuitive Focusing is often learned more easily in the company of a Focused Listener. Go to Creative Edge Focusing TM at www.cefocusing.com  to find many resources, from self-help groups to Creative Edge Focusing Consultants for individual Coaching or Classes and Workshops.

Tell me what you think at [email protected] or comment on this blog below ! Or email your findings to The Creative Edge Collaborators’ Group. Join at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/creativeedgecollab 

Click here to subscribe to our Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!!

 See blogs under Category: Conflict Resolution in the sidebar 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.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website

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 site of new insights and creative solutions is at the edge of what is already known. This edge, The Creative Edge, holds implicit within it all past and future knowing about the problem, more than could ever be put into words in a linear way 

STARTING A LISTENING/FOCUSING SUPPORT GROUP

By , May 27, 2008 5:02 pm

What The Focuser Does: Focusing While Being Listened To

Focusing Partnerships/Groups/Teams can work as a self-help, peer-based model precisely because the Focuser is “in charge” of their own Focusing Turn. The Focuser is the boss, saying what is and isn’t working for them. The Listener is just a helper, not a “therapist,” a “Coach,” a “Consultant.” The Focuser is in charge of getting what he or she needs out of the Focusing Turn, be it emotional support, exploration of an idea, or another kind of right-brain, creative problem solving. Read below from Chapter Three in Focusing in Community:

“Listening is a two-way process-it involves certain skills of the Focuser as well as the Listener. It is also a process between peers-the Listener will use special skills to help the Focuser find “the intuitive feel,” but there is no assumption that she is an “expert” who can do all the fixing. In fact, the Focuser is in the best position to do the work of finding words for the “intuitive feel” since she is the one experiencing The Creative Edge, she has much more information to go on than the most skilled Listener.

A responsible Focuser does most of the work of staying focused on the “intuitive feel”-the Listener helps where she is able. The Focuser will even tell the Listener how to help: “I need you to say that back”, or “No, I’m getting off on a tangent. Let’s go back to —, “or “There is a crying place here somewhere. Let me be quiet for a minute and get hold of it”. The Focuser is responsible-she doesn’t just sit and talk and expect the Listener to do the work of finding and articulating The Creative Edge.

The main responsibility of the Focuser is Intuitive Focusing-constantly staying in touch with the vague, bodily feeling which is the referent for all the words that are coming, knowing when the words are connecting with the “intuitive feel” and when they are just words. There’s no way that the Listener can do this better than the Focuser-the Listener has no “intuitive feel” of “rightness” to go on (See Chapter Four on “Focusing”)

Finding words for the “intuitive feel” is a mysterious process-at the same time that you know what you are sensing very precisely, because you can feel it, you also don’t have the vaguest notion of what you are sensing, because you have no words for it. A Focusing session is like a precarious kind of search in the dark-holding on to this murky “intuitive sense” at all cost, you carefully try to make words for it, testing the words constantly against the “intuitive feel” until you find the ones that “fit”, that make a difference that you can feel, that allow a “stuck” pattern to release and change.

You can’t engage in this process unless you have an “intuitive feel” to work from, so the Focuser’s most important task is sitting quietly and letting an “intuitive feel” form, or coming in touch with, or becoming aware of, one that is there. You have to start out with The Creative Edge, the “something-that-is-more-than-words”-starting straight into words without pausing to let the “intuitive feel” come doesn’t work.

How do you Focus? Mainly, by sitting quietly, stopping all the externally-directed activity and thinking that goes with being out in the world, and just being still. It is as if the “intuitive sensing” is there all the time and will emerge if you can just get quiet enough to become aware of it. Focusing means asking yourself, quietly, “How am I now?” and listening and waiting for a “right-brain” answer to come, as an “intuitive feel.”

It is the opposite of looking out at the Listener and saying, “Tell me what to do”. It is also the opposite of the inner dialogue which we all have most of the time-a critical stream of messages telling us what we should do or feel. It is simply asking yourself, “How do I feel?” and accepting, without censorship, whatever comes before words.

Focusing is difficult and isn’t learned all at once. Partly you learn how to focus by being listened to, by having the Listener say back what she has heard you say and checking those words against your inner sensing (“No, it’s not quite that. It’s more like —“), and by trying out her suggestions to sense into certain words that seemed important. The following are some additional aspects of being a responsible Focuser (Table 3.3):

TABLE 3.3

HOW TO FOCUS WHILE BEING LISTENED TO

1. Start your turn by sitting quietly for one to three
minutes, turning inwards and finding the “intuitive
feel,” the “something-that-is-more-than-words,”
The Creative Edge of right-brain information

2. When you have an “intuitive feel” for an issue, then
carefully try out some tentative words for it.
Check the Listener’s reflection of your words
against the “intuitive feel” again, and make more
words until you have it just right.

3. When you find words that “fit” the “intuitive sense,”
receive whatever comes, non-judgmentally.
If tears come, be welcoming.
4. If you get lost, just stop talking and Focus again,
looking for the “intuitive feel”

5. When you get to ending places, go back to the
original felt sense and check with it: “Is this
all? Or is there more there to be discovered?”

Now, click here to go to my blog where, at the top, you will find the links to download the complete “Chapter Three: LIstening/Focusing Partnership Exchange” in English or Spanish if you haven’t already done this or order the complete manual or multi-media Self-Help Package in our Store.

In the Chapter, you will find complete detailed instructions for being the Focuser and being the Listener in a Focusing Partnership Exchange and for starting a Focusing Practice Group or Team.

 Finding Your First Person Or Core Group

And just an easy reminder from last week’s lesson, if you haven’t yet taken that first step of finding one person or a small group to start practicing with:

Beginning your Listening/Focusing Practice Group can be as easy as finding one other person to share the Self-Help Package (or with Spanish manual) with. You will have a manual download in English or Spanish giving explicit instructions, two 2-CD sets explaining the basic philosophy and including many Focusing Exercises you can use to begin your meetings, and a two-hour DVD with four different demonstrations of being a Focused Listener while someone else is using Intuitive Focusing. All for the introductory price of $39 US!!!

Not ready to commit to a purchase? You can start by downloading the free PDF file of the Introduction to the manual, in English or Spanish, from the link in the Store, which gives many suggestions for finding people for your practice group.

Tell me what you think at [email protected] or comment on this blog below ! Or email your findings to The Creative Edge Collaborators’ Group. Join at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/creativeedgecollab 

 See blogs under Category: Conflict Resolution in the sidebar 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.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website

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 site of new insights and creative solutions is at the edge of what is already known. This edge, The Creative Edge, holds implicit within it all past and future knowing about the problem, more than could ever be put into words in a linear way 

LISTENING/FOCUSING PRACTICE PARTNERSHIP OR GROUP: BASIC INSTRUCTIONS

By , May 12, 2008 5:23 pm

Starting Your Own Listening/Focusing Partnership or Group

In these weekly Felt Sensing newsletters of this four-week cycle, I will give instruction (including free Chapter downloads from the manual Focusing In Community: Starting A Listening/Focusing Support Group (Focusing en Comunidad) and encouragement for starting your own, local Listening/Focusing Practice Partnership or Group. Click here to read Week One: Starting A Listening/Focusing Practice Group, including links to Free Downloads of “Introduction” from the manual, Focusing in Community, in English and Spanish. This “Introduction” gives many suggestions for finding that one first person to exchange Focusing Partnership and/or how to start a core practice group.

FIRST TEN PRACTICE GROUP SESSIONS

I promised that this week I would give free download of Chapter Three of the manual, Focusing in Community (Focusing en Comunidad), telling you exactly how to do the actual exchange of Listening/Focusing Partnership Exchange: exactly what the Focuser does, and exactly what the Listener does. And here it comes! But, first, I want to present an outline for the First Ten Sessions of a practice group, in case you want to go beyond exchanging turns with one person and build a small group. These appear at the end of Chapter Three, but I wanted to highlight them here so that you could see that this is really, really simple, really possible.

You can do this, start your own self-help group. And, of course, if you want more formal help, you can take a Listening/Focusing Level 1 and 2 Class, learning the basic skills from a Certified Focusing Professional. Links to finding those classes internationally are at the end of this e-newsletter. So, from the end of Chapter Three (after this, you’ll get the link that completely explains the four types of response eluded to here: Pure Reflection, Asking For More, Focusing Invitations, and Personal Sharings):

Instructions for Small Group Practice (The Listening Exchange)

Step 1 :Round-Robin Practice: Start with a small group of people (four to six).

Listening/Focusing Turns: Go around in a circle, one person focusing in and saying something from what she is feeling (an important issue in her life or just how she is feeling right then about being there, doing this sharing), the person to the right of her saying back what she says, the listenee checking these words inside and saying what comes next, the listener reflecting that. Go back and forth in this way about three times. If the listenee seems to have run out of things to say in less than three steps, the listener can try asking her to “say more” about some part of it that seemed important.

AT THIS EARLY STAGE, STICK WHITH “PURE REFLECTIONS” AND “ASKING FOR MORE”

It’s important not to move on to Focusing Invitations and Personal Sharings until everyone is well-practiced at just hearing what the other is saying and at just holding on to a feeling sense and checking words reflected against it.

Feedback: At the end of the turn (about five minutes), first the listenee, and then the listener, say a little about how the experience felt, what felt good, what wasn’t quite right. Other people in the group can comment or give suggestions from the readings, but avoid getting into too much discussion or argument about what happened. The point is to practice, not to get distracted into intellectual conversation (which is all too easy!).

Continue around the circle until everyone has had a turn at both roles. Your group can repeat Step One as often as you like or until you feel ready to move on to Step Two. Step One takes about one-and-one-half hours with four to six people. I would suggest doing it at least three or four times.

Step 2 : Dyads

Pair off in twos and spread out to exchange fifteen minute turns, using just Pure Reflection and Asking For More when the person seems to have run out of things to say. Try out using a Focusing Invitation. Come back together as a group and discuss how it went, where you had trouble, what new things you learned. Consult readings, or memory of things read, for answers to questions. Repeat as often as wanted or needed.

Step 3: Triads

Alternatively, pair off in threes. This is an ideal learning structure, since the third person can act as an observer. Split up the time equally, allowing 10 minute between turns for feedback. Each person takes a turn as listener, listenee, and observer. The observer also keeps time, giving a five-minute warning before the end of a turn.

At the end of a turn, each person gives short feedback, First the listenee says how the turn was for him/her – what was helpful, what could have been different. Then the listener says how it was to be the listener – good feelings from following the others journey, anxiety about remembering, etc. Then, the observer gives feedback, using Table 3.4., Feedback Sheet For Listening Turns, as a guide.

Step 4: Focusing Partnerships

When you feel ready or interested, pair off in twos who will get together sometime during the week to exchange one-half hour turns. In these turns, listeners can try out Focusing Invitations and Personal Sharings as well as Pure Reflection and Asking For More, but always with the emphasis on helping the listenee to stay with her “felt sense,” and make words for it. The listenee needs to be sure to go back to Pure Reflection for several steps after each Personal Sharing or Focusing Invitations.

Step 5: Focusing Group Meetings

When you come together to do Listening/Focusing turns in a small group (set aside two hours), split up the time so that each person will have an equal amount for a listening turn, with five to ten minutes additional in between each turn, for feedback and comments from others besides the two. Take turns keeping time, ending people’s turns on schedule, warning them a minute or two before the end, and moving on to the next turn after limited discussion. Chapter 7.2 gives a format for a group meeting.

Don’t get side-tracked into a lot of discussion with no time for doing. Know that a person can stop at the end of her turn, even if she has been working on heavy feelings. During turns, allow no input from others in the group. At the end of each turn, anyone in the group can say what they saw, ask questions, or offer warm support for the work done.

Option: If there are more than four people, or if each person wants a longer turn, you may decide to split into triads and share turns within these, again dividing time equally and making sure that each person who wants to gets a chance both at listening and being listened to. The third person can serve as an observer, giving feedback at the end of the turns. The following page gives a feedback sheet which you can use as a guide when you are observing listening turns (Table 3.4).

It is also a good idea to begin turns with some short, group Focusing Instructions (Chapter Four gives a thorough introduction to Focusing). The instructions can be read to the whole group by one person. In general, they give everyone a chance to step out of the tensions of the day and to choose an issue or a feeling they would like to work on. Table 3.5 gives some short, pre-listening turn Focusing Instructions.

IF YOU HAVE THE SELF-HELP PACKAGE CDS, INTUITIVE FOCUSING INSTRUCTIONS, YOU CAN ALSO PLAY AN EXERCISE FROM THESE EACH WEEK FOR THE GROUP TO TRY.

AND YOU COULD ALSO USE MY WEEKLY BLOGS OR E-NEWSLETTERS (YOU CAN ALWAYS GO TO THE ARCHIVES FROM WWW.CEFOCUSING.COM, CATEGORY “FREE RESOURCES,” THEN CHOOSE E-NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE OR SIMPLY SUBSCRIBE FROM THE WEBSITE SIDEBAR) AS “LESSONS” FOR PRACTICE OR DISCUSSION AT MEETINGS, IF YOU WANT MORE STRUCTURE.

Once you have established your listening exchanges you should meet to exchange turns once a week for at least ten weeks. Since you will be continuing to read the manual and to learn new skills, you might want to schedule in one-half to one hour of time at your listening exchange for discussion of additional chapters of the manual.

Now, click here to go to my blog where, at the top, you will find the links to download the complete “Chapter Three: Listening/Focusing Partnership Exchange” in English or Spanish if you haven’t already done this or ordered the complete manual or multi-media Self-Help Package in our Store.

Finding Your First Person Or Core Group

And just an easy reminder from last week’s lesson, if you haven’t yet taken that first step of finding one person or a small group to start practicing with:

Beginning your Listening/Focusing Practice Group can be as easy as finding one other person to share the Self-Help Package with. You will have a manual download in English or Spanish giving explicit instructions, two 2-CD sets explaining the basic philosophy and including many Focusing Exercises you can use to begin your meetings, and a two-hour DVD with four different demonstrations of being a Focused Listener while someone else is using Intuitive Focusing. All for the introductory price of $39 US!!!

You can get online support and answers to your questions as you try to proceed in the Creative Edge Practice e-group at http://yahoogroups.com/group/creativeedgepractice  .

Tell me what you think at [email protected] or comment on this blog below ! Or email your findings to The Creative Edge Collaborators’ Group. Join at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/creativeedgecollab 

 See blogs under Category: Conflict Resolution in the sidebar 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.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website

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 site of new insights and creative solutions is at the edge of what is already known. This edge, The Creative Edge, holds implicit within it all past and future knowing about the problem, more than could ever be put into words in a linear way 

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