Focusing Self-Help Therapy Video Demo Gendlin's Focusing

Intuitive Focusing is the gentle process of sitting with the preverbal, intuitive “feel” of a situation or a problem, setting aside already-known assumptions, and looking for words or images which exactly “fit” this unconscious Edge. Dr. McGuire calls this “intuitive feel” The Creative Edge, the seedbed of all that is creative and new.

Intuitive Focusing can be used for every kind of personal growth: grieving, psychotherapy, health, creative expression, spirituality, and dream work, to name a few.

When Eugene Gendlin created Focusing  (Bantam, 1981), he gave every day people a self-help tool for doing personal growth work that, before then, was only done in psychotherapy. His Focusing technique is simple and powerful, yet gentle and harmless, and, once learned in a few easy sessions, can be used for life, free of charge.

The Unconscious = The Creative Edge Focusing

From Unconscious To Conscious  = Wholeness Through Focusing

What Gendlin discovered is that the “unconscious,” which Freud saw as the reservoir of all problematic behaviors, is right here in our present awareness. A professional therapist is not needed to “dredge it up.” The unconscious that is ready to become the next step of personal growth exists as the intuitive “feel” of the next steps in any situation or problem. Gendlin called this the “felt sense.” Dr. McGuire calls it The Creative Edge to emphasize that it is from these “intuitions” that new, creative solutions emerge.

The miracle of The Creative Edge is that, as a preverbal, intuitive “feel,” it includes all of our past knowledge about a situation or creative problem, our present experiencing, and our future imaginings or “next steps.”

Intuitive Focusing is the exactly right self-help skill for paying attention to the Creative Edge, the intuitive “feel” of solutions and next steps, and bringing them to consciousness.

And working at the Creative Edge need not be painful. In fact, in successful Focusing, there is usually a release of tension and confusion as the unconscious becomes conscious in a moment of “Ahah! Oh, yes. That’s what it is!!!”

Gendlin called this a “felt shift.” Dr. McGuire calls it a Paradigm Shift. The kaleidoscope has turned, and everything looks different. New possibilities emerge.

The aspects of ourselves that cause us trouble or blockage in the world are the unconscious aspects of ourselves. Often, these are parts of our Self that were hurt and lost or disowned because of childhood events that indicated that these parts were unwelcome. So, they went underground. This can include creative and powerful parts of our selves as well as hurt and wounded parts. All of them need to be brought back into the whole Self for maximum functioning and happiness.

Find a Mini-Course on  Internal Conflict Resolution by clicking here .

Focusing Upon Your Unique Personal Blue Print

When we were born, we already had an intact blueprint for our own unique life. Through Intuitive Focusing, we are recovering complete access to that blueprint. At the bottom line, personal growth implies adding things on to your Self. The mystery of personal growth is that you are not just adding on new skills, new areas of mastery.

Through Intuitive Focusing, you are recovering aspects that are already part of you. This is a paradox. You are growing into a larger, more conscious, and, therefore, more effective version of the Self you were when you were born and also which you are meant to become.

Focused Listening Video Demo Listening/Focusing Session

Listening To Yourself or Focused Listening From Another

You can learn to practice Focusing on your own, anytime, any place when you encounter a difficult, blocked situation or when you have a murky, unclear Edge about a situation or problem. But many people find it easier, especially when initially learning Focusing, to have an outside person, a Focused Listener, help them find the right words or image for The Creative Edge by reflecting, or saying back, the Focuser’s words.

Then, the Focuser can check the words against The Creative Edge and ask himself, “ Hmmmm….Is that it?.....Is it really hurt….?” and create better words or images to capture the “intuitive feel.” The Listener can also give Focusing Invitations, suggesting that the Focuser go more deeply into certain words or images. This helpful skill, Focused Listening, is the other Core Skill of the PRISMS/S Focusing Process  

Free Listening/Focusing Exchange Through Peer Counseling Groups

You can receive Focused Listening for personal growth from a Focusing-Oriented Therapist, a Focusing Trainer or Creative Edge Consultant. But you can also receive Focused Listening help for free, in a peer counseling Focusing Partnership, Focusing Group/Team  or Focusing Community.

You can find Focusing Trainers throughout the world who offer workshops or weekly classes in Listening and Focusing in the Free Resources section . Often, people from a class or workshop continue on in their own, self-help Focusing Group or Community after the class ends.

After you have had three sessions of training with a Creative Edge Focusing Consultant or Focusing Trainer, you can join a list of people internationally looking for a Focusing Partner for the free exchange of Listening/Focusing turns as peer counselors.

You might also find an existing Focusing Community, called a Changes Group, in a location near you.

Using our Self-Help Package, with ongoing tips, feedback, and support from our Instant “Ahah!”s e-newsletter and Creative Edge e-discussion/support group, you can start your own Focusing Partnership, Focusing Group, or Focusing Community. You can learn how to start a Focusing Community for the free exchange of Listening/Focusing turns, or how to integrate the Listening/Focusing Exchange into existing support groups.

Click on the icons in the sidebar to sign up for the Instant “Ahah!s” e-newsletter, join the Creative Edge e-discussion/support group, and to purchase the Self-Help package.

Click on the Free Phone Consult to let Dr. McGuire steer you in the right direction in terms of next steps in your own Listening/Focusing training.


“Two Sides” to Almost Every Issue!!!

Intuitive Focusing, central to the PRISMS/S Focusing Process ,  is exactly a process for sitting down with conflicting parts of yourself and getting a conversation going which can end in conflict resolution and finding a new way out, a Paradigm Shift.

Frequently, if you are following the Intuitive Focusing protocol, you will get to a point where your articulation of The Creative Edge gets to a conflict inside of yourself:

  1. “And on the one hand there is this…and on the other hand there is this other thing” or
  2.  “Part of me wants to go forward, but part of me is holding back” or
  3.  “It seems so clear that I want to do this, but, for some reason, I’m not doing it” or
  4.  “As soon as I move in this direction, a critical voice jumps out and says, ‘No, you don’t want to do that!”

At this point, you can spend careful Focusing time with first one side of the conflict, and then the other side, finding the intuitive “feel,” the Creative Edge, of one side, setting aside all your already-known solutions, and just sitting with, then carefully making words and images for, that Creative Edge….”It’s something about…”,  “This part wants me to….”  “It wishes it could….” “On this side there is this important thing…”

Then, after a time, you can switch to the other side of the conflict – this may stand as another separate “part” or “side” of the issue (“The part that is holding me back,” “The part that can’t do that…” “The reasons why not…”), but it may also be just a need to sense into “Whatever is holding me back…”  “Some kind of critical voice…” “Just this feeling of stuckness, that there is some other side to it….” Either way, you can begin the same Focusing process, setting aside the already-known, finding and sitting with the Creative Edge, carefully finding words and images that are “just right” in capturing it.

Ideally, at some time in this process, the two sides will begin to “cross” each other. You’ll discover, for instance, that “the Critical voice” is actually a vulnerable child part trying to protect you from getting hurt, that the one side was afraid of something that the other side knows is not really a problem, that the one side can help the other side to get over some fearful aspect of the situation .

Sometimes, the new, win/win solution will not arrive right as you are spending Focusing time with the two sides.  The important ingredient in fermenting change is just “sitting with” the unclear, murky “intuitive feel,” giving quiet Intuitive Focusing attention to The Creative Edge.

The more you can do this, just Pause to pay attention to the “intuitive feel,” the more you are activating the Self-Righting tendency, (Self-Organizing Tendency), and, eventually, during a Focusing turn or some other time, a Paradigm Shift will occur and new solutions and action possibilities will arise.

Mini-Focusing Course From Dr. McGuire’s Blogs

(Each link takes you to a short blog including actual exercises you can try)

The Focusing Attitude: Caring Feeling Presence Inside
Focusing Attitude: Caring For Unpleasant Parts of Ourselves
Focusing: Dealing With Inner Critics, Inner Abusers
Complete Focusing Session: “How Am I Today?”
Noticing Critics and Conflicts Inside
Focusing: Healing Your Aloneness With Inner Nurturing
Complete Focusing Session: “How Am I Today” With Inner Nurturing


Want to learn more about Focused Listening and Intuitive Focusing?

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These materials are offered purely as self-help skills. In providing them, Dr. McGuire is not engaged in rendering psychological, financial, legal, or other professional services. If expert assistance or counseling is needed, the services of a competent professional should be sought.