Category: CEF news and goods


By , December 20, 2008 1:59 pm

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual


Creative Edge Focusing ( ) 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 ( ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources. Meet some of them below as we give suggestions for surviving and enjoying the holidays.


Got some extra time on your hands? Family and friends to entertain? You could spend some time in the Individual Differences: Personality Tests section at Creative Edge Focusing’s website. You’ll find websites offering free and fun versions of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Keirsey Temperament Sorter, Enneagram, Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences, and info on EQ, the business version of Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence. Play around with several tests. Compare among family members. Of course, these are free versions, for fun. It is more important to think about yourself and others from a variety of perspectives, “shake up” fixed images, than to put anyone in a “box.”


Unfortunately, the holidays can also stir up alcohol addiction and codependency as families gather. See Recovery Focusing by Suzanne Noel for a gentle combination of Focusing with the 12-Step Programs.


The holidays can also include some grieving for what or who is missing. Take the opportunity to use these moments to discover“The Meaning in Tears” and to allow yourself to notice “Being Touched and Being Moved: The Spiritual Value of Tears” . Try out the simple Five Minute Grieving: What To Do If A Friend, Colleague, Loved One Starts Crying” .


For four weeks, we practice one Instant “Ahah!,”, one Relaxation Exercise, and one Getting A Felt Sense Exercise, with e-reminders and tips each week. Our purpose:Helping you incorporate Listening and Focusing into your everyday life.  Subscribe here.


You might want to try Instant “Ahah!” #8 Sharing Your Day: Instant Intimacy as a simple way to get and stay connected with your significant other, regardless of surrounding turmoil. Here is a mini-course on Intimacy and Sexuality if you want to spend special time over the holidays.

You might want to try Instant “Ahah!” #9 Focusing on Creativity: From Blocks To Predictable “Ahah!”s or #10 Focusing on Spirituality: Being Touched and Being Moved. Read about Focusing and Creativity and Focusing and Spirituality

E-Newsletter Archives Now Available!

Anyone can also access the e-newsletter archives from the Free Resources submenu at Creative Edge Focusing.


The Creative Edge Practice e-group for actual practice and demonstrations of Listening/Focusing is becoming a wonderful place for tender reflection, space for Focusing any time of day or night (knowing it may be some hours before you get a response), with the knowledge of a warm, Listening space out there, and interesting discussions about what we learn during the turns.

Please join us if you want company over the break! See instructions below.

Two E-Groups, Creative Edge Practice and Creative Edge Collaboration

In order to increase safety, and hopefully participation, there are now two separate Yahoo e-groups.

Creative Edge Practice is a closed group, where people can feel safe for the vulnerability of sharing Focusing experiences and responding to others with Focused Listening responses. The only requirement: a willingness to introduce yourself upon entry into the group, so everyone knows who is in the group. Further active participation is welcomed but not required.

Creative Edge Collaboration is an open group for discussion and networking around projects related to the spread of listening/focusing to various audiences and throughout the world.

You can visit the homepage of each by clicking on the link and join from there as well. You can choose “emails only” and do not have to start a yahoo account, although accounts are free.


If you order the Self-Help Package, you can use the Intuitive Focusing CD to follow Dr. McGuire as she speaks these exercises and view four actual Listening/Focusing Partnership sessions on DVD.


Happy holiday, trusting in the wisdom of your body!

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)


By , November 24, 2008 5:10 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual 

Focusing Out In The World: Interpersonal, Group, Community, AND Organizational models
There is an explosion of interest within those practicing Focusing as an inner problem solving technique toward bringing Focusing, and its companion, Listening, out into the world. How does Gendlin’s Focusing look when it moves from a largely internal practice to an interpersonal, group, community, organizational model?
This e-newsletter addresses some models developing directly out of Focusing and Gendlin’s Philosophy of the Implicit,, as well as other models that integrate well with and are enriched by a Focusing-Oriented perspective.
Central to my own Creative Edge Focusing ™ model for innovation, Creative Edge Organizations, is the awareness that, through the careful integration of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening at all levels, every individual can be engaged at the Creative Edge of their personal passion while contributing to the overall goals of the organization. Read all about it 
“Motivation = Engagement : Apathy Is The Enemy!
Central to the Creative Edge Focusing ™ model is finding the “One Small Thing” which will allow every individual to take that first step toward involvement in civil action or corporate “buy in.” Find several examples from business and social action and try the “One Small Thing” exercise.
“If you view an angry person as a hurting person, you are well on the way toward an empathic, or Listening, way of dealing with interpersonal conflict.  When a person is screaming with anger, she is saying “I perceive you as treading on one of my essential needs, and I am hurting”. 
If, through Focused Listening, you are able to help the person to a more direct expression of her vulnerability and need, it is likely that your own defensive reaction will change to what is called “relational empathy”:  even though you are in conflict with the person because she is keeping you from getting your basic needs met, you will be able to see it as it looks to her, to acknowledge the legitimacy of her need, and to care deeply for her in that. 
Then a resolution of the conflict can arise as an attempt to find a way in which both of you can get your needs met, rather than as a defensive competition to see who can “win” or be proven “right”—
So begins  my own Chapter on Interpersonal Focusing in the Focusing In Community manual, available as an immediate download in English and Spanish, and as part of the multi-media Self-Help Package at Creative Edge Focusing(TM). 
You can also find the Interpersonal Focusing Chapter as a free download, using links at the top of the page of the linked blog.
Also, for a thorough introduction to internal and external conflict resolution, see my section on Conflict Resolution at the Creative Edge Focusing website.
“What is the purpose or intention of Interactive Focusing?
Most simply said, the purpose or intention of Interactive Focusing is to allow you to touch into your direct experience in the presence of another person and through your direct experience in the safe, empathic, accepting and compassionate environment which you create together to become aware of and to share your inner truths thereby building bonds of intimacy.”
So states Janet Klein’s introduction to the website for the self-help skill called Interactive Focusing, created by Janet and Mary McGuire.
See the website for free downloads of manuals for using their protocol.
On the Focusing Discussion List of The Focusing Institute,  (subscribe under category “Felt Community,” then “Discussion Lists”, and access the recent archives), there has been an outpouring of collaborative thinking about the “crossing” between Focusing and Marshall Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication methods. Many Focusers have also been involved with Rosenburg’s model since the 1970’s and 80’s, and they are writing passionately about their experiences of contrast, comparison, and complementarity between the two models.
There seems to be agreement that, while Gendlin’s Focusers have been the masters of articulating the inner landscape for the last 30 years, Rosenberg and his followers have been masters of articulating the interpersonal communication styles which either alienate us from each other or maximize true “meeting” and understanding.
Here is a quote from The Center For Non-Violent Communication website:
“The Center for Nonviolent Communication
A global organization helping people connect compassionately with themselves and one another through Nonviolent Communication language, created by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.

What is Nonviolent Communication?
Imagine connecting with the human spirit, in each person, in any situation.
Imagine interacting with others in a way that allows everyone’s needs to be equally valued.
Imagine creating organizations and life-serving systems responsive to our needs and the needs of our environment.

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) helps connect us with what is alive in ourselves and in others moment-to-moment, with what we or others could do to make life more wonderful, and with an awareness of what gets in the way of natural giving and receiving.
NVC language strengthens our ability to inspire compassion from others and respond compassionately to others and ourselves. NVC guides us to reframe how we express ourselves, how we hear others and resolve conflicts by focusing our consciousness on what we are observing, feeling, needing, and requesting.
Nonviolent Communication Language: It awakens empathy and honesty, and is sometimes described as “the language of the heart.”
You will find many instructional materials and resources at the website, including lists of words capturing Feelings and Needs. Print out these two lists to expand your communication capacity greatly!
To join the Focusing and NVC collaboration group, sign up for a free Google account, log in, and then request to join the Online NVC and Focusing group .
My own method for Collaborative Decision Making Meetings uses structures which prohibit interruptions, moderate turn-taking, and encourage Focused Listening and Intuitive Focusing to resolve interpersonal conflict and group-level polarization. Leadership tasks are rotated so that all group members learn to run efficient, creative meetings. Here is a description from The Creative Edge Focusing website:
Coordinated Collaboration: The Best of Consensus and Hierarchy 
“Here are some Task-Roles  and Impasse Resolution Procedures , for use when a group has a limited time to make decisions. This model can also be used, as Coordinated Collaboration, as a way of gathering information and input, in work groups where there is a boss, a Project Manager, or a Coordinator who will make the final decisions.

As with all the Applied Methods of Creative Edge Focusing ™, the procedures create quiet, protected moments where participants can pay attention to the “intuitive feel,” The Creative Edge, and create innovative ideas and solutions.
The tasks can be rotated in a “shared leadership” model, where appropriate, each person on the team learning the various skills. Or, for instance, on the Board of a Corporation or Non-Profit Organization, the formal Chairperson might serve as the agenda keeper more regularly.”
Find the entire Collaborative Edge protocol for immediate use in decision making groups, and download a longer article explaining the model, with handouts for groups in English  and in Spanish .
Rosa Zubizaretta, , combines her knowledge of Listening and Focusing with Jim Rough’s Dynamic Facilitation and other models for encouraging group participants to contribute from their Creative Edge with trust in the “self-organizing” capacity of groups. Her website is packed with Resources for a variety of transformational methods both for “At Work” and “In The Community.”
In facilitating creativity and conflict resolution in groups and organizations, the DF facilitator uses a form of active listening to draw out every group participant, encouraging speaking from the “felt sense” or “intuitive feel” as well as fully expressing emotions and divergent thinking. Miraculously, when participants are enabled to express themselves fully and really listen to each other, convergent solutions eventually arise.
Here is a quote from her introduction to the role and skills of the DF facilitator:
In Dynamic Facilitation, the main role of the facilitator is to listen deeply, and to create a space where each participant can be deeply heard. To do so, he or she takes a very active and consistent role in supporting the emotional safety, unique perspective, and creative contribution of each participant.
As mentioned earlier, the facilitator is NOT leading the group through any prescribed series of steps. Instead, he or she is very involved on the “micro-level,” providing empathy, respect, and support for each participant’s contribution.”
You can find many links to resources and  Rosa’s  free manual for the DF procedure, in English and Spanish.
Motivation, Passion, Creativity, “Buy In,” Esprit De Corps
Open-Space Technology, , is another modality which encourages maximum possibility and responsibility for each participant in group problem solving and creativity/innovation situations. Learn all about the approach at this extensive website. It combines well with Focusing in that each person is encouraged to act out of their alive, present “felt sense” of their creativity.  Here is a quote from the website: 
Rarely, if ever, have the Peoples of this planet had greater need for Peace and High Performance. Peace so that we may freely pursue the fulfillment of our potential. And High Performance for ourselves and our organizations so that our pursuit may be accomplished with energy and finesse.
The twenty year natural experiment with Open Space Technology has demonstrated that both Peace and High Performance are attainable. Hugely conflicted groups have found ways to respectfully deal with each other as they discovered workable solutions for their issues. Complex projects have been brought to fruition in breathtakingly short times, a clear example of High Performance.
Many people have viewed the results as counterintuitive, unbelievable, even magic. The results continue, however, in thousands of instances and 135 countries. But the “magic” is not Open Space Technology, but rather the force that underlies it — the power of self organization. You are invited to explore that primal power for purposes of peace making and enabling High Performance.”
And thanks to Simon for a quote from Harrison Owen (attributed as the developer of OST):
“We know that when Spirit is present in a group of people, wonderful things can happen. We also know that when Spirit is somehow absent or flagging, no amount of money in the bank, technology in the backroom, or executive talent on the roster makes much difference – nothing really seems to go right.
Of course there are times when precise statements about the quality and
nature of Spirit are important, but in the work-a-day world, it is usually
sufficient to acknowledge the presence of Spirit, by whatever name. Call it
what you like – team spirit, esprit de corps, Great Spirit of the Cosmos – sooner or later they all connect. I think. But the critical thing is to acknowledge Spirit  when we meet, and somehow summon it again when it is absent.”
Read the whole article.
Francesca Castaldi has written an article which grew out her experience at the first Movement At The Edge Event and other experiences about how the “felt-sense” of each participant can be kept alive in creating “person-centered democracy” in group settings. She states:
” Most professional gatherings are organized around content and leave little creativity for process-structure. Professional conferences also tend to foster our caution in presenting new ideas: we privilege what we know well and what we have tested with our experience, knowing that our reputation is at stake and a solid knowing “needs” to be upheld. Often it is only well-recognized celebrities in the profession who can afford the risk of presenting their work-in-process–the edge of their knowing, the exciting new hints and ideas that they are nurturing.
We as a community of Focusers have developed the ability to follow the edge of our knowing, to let it emerge in the actual moment and be responsive to our living: we have learned to support a subtle process of explicating that which is still incipient, tentative at first, still forming, and still vulnerable to overwriting by stronger impulses and habits.
Recognizing the power of the Focusing process and of Focusing partnership for protecting this incipient process of creation and explication can help us make room for Focusing in larger meetings and gatherings.
An understanding of the creative/creating process involved in any project can further help us see the place of Focusing in professional gatherings. Below I present what I consider essential phases in the realization of any project, and the ways in which our use or understanding of the Focusing process can help us in choosing process-structures that best support such phases.”
Read the whole article .
MEETING AT THE EDGE: FOCUSING AND BODY-WORK/MOVEMENT EVENT, Sept 22-26, 2009   Boldern Center, Maennedorf, near Zurich, Switzerland.
This will be the second MAE event. The first was celebrated as a model for collaboration, community building, and warm sharing among those interested in the intersection, or “crossing,” of Focusing with Body-Work and Movement. 
Here is the MAE website’s description of the structure of this workshop:
“Workshop structure

Our main objective in this residential workshop is to create an environment that is explorative, creative, and collaborative.  Rather than privileging presentations of already well established techniques, attitudes, concepts, or methods we are wanting to foster an encounter that supports the exploration of what is at the edge of your knowing, rich in fecundity and possibilities even when tentative and subtle.
The atmosphere of deep listening and open support that we will create as a group of diverse professionals generates its own creative energy.  We have found that when the program of the workshop is set well ahead of time, this creative energy does not have a chance to bring its fruits, as it remains “squished” into an already set structure and at most can leak out in breaks between presentations.

We intend to give central stage to the excitement and inspiration that takes place at the moment of our actual meeting and that is fully responsive to our living.  We have thus created a process-structure that can support a full spectrum of interactions and be responsive to the different needs we may have as individuals in our professional journeys.

We invite you to nurture a sense of a project-something meaningful to you in your work-before coming to Boldern, noticing what in you wants to be shared in the setting we are providing.  By not formally sending in a presentation proposal you will be able to be responsive to the transformation that may occur before our meeting, and then sense freshly into the whole as we meet.”
Follow the link to the website for all information and an introduction to the special format and “culture” of these events.

I hope the above methods contribute to a dialogue on “How can we structure groups and organizations such that each individual can stay connected with their internal passion and creativity while collaborating toward a common goal?”

Tell me what you think at 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)

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

By , October 6, 2008 4:14 pm

Free Downloads:

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:  
(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:  

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.


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  

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

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

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.  . 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:


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  

Tell me what you think at 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)


By , August 20, 2008 2:17 pm

“Ajas” Instantaneos       Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

 Focusing-Oriented Children’s Book

The Little Bird Who Found Herself, by Ed McMahon (Co-Founder of BioSpiritual Focusing, ) a truly Focusing-Oriented children’s book (although adults will find comfort, too). Instead of being told what to do or what to feel, Little Bird is encouraged to stop and “sit with” her feelings, seeing what message and action steps unfold from inside of herself. Whimsical and colorful illustrations. See Amazon link  for reviews and to order.

Business and Education Applications of Focusing!

Here’s a copy of an email I sent to the Focusing-And Coaching e-discussion list (join this and other Focusing-Oriented Discussion Lists at Focusing Institute website :

If you haven’t, get Staying In Focus: The Focusing Institute Newsletter, Vol. Viii, No.2, Applications of Focusing, May, 2008 (you get it by being a member of The Focusing Institute, ) .

Catherine Johnson, almost lone Focusing Teacher in South Africa,  writes an experience of bringing Focusing to business people through a business school, what she learned about presenting Focusing to more Sensing people, and also how she learned that, in business settings, you had better “own” your materials or someone else will claim them (hence the rampant use of Trademarking in Business settings). 

Edgardo Riveros, Coordinator, Chile writes about his 30-year long career of teaching Focusing and Focusing-Oriented Therapy in respected university programs, and the many books he has written over that career. And he describes his newest endeavor, “Well, Adolfo Ibanez University is known as the top business school in Chile, although it offers other courses as well. Beginning in August, I will teach a course for engineers and entrepreneurs called “Organizational Focusing.” Already 40 people have enrolled, so there will be two sections: Organizational and Clinical Focusing…In Clinical Focusing….I plan to stress how the felt sense, by experiencing new meaning, crosses the ‘frozen wholes’ where issues get stuck, and creates a mutation of content.” 

“In Organizational Focusing, we will cover the contextual felt sense, or the felt sense in a current situation. We will teach Focusing with another person, such as selecting or firing employees (This leads to a different kind of interview); Focusing on a vision for the future, or goal-setting for leaders; decision making of all kinds; how to select issues when clearing a space; coaching with the experiential dimension of Focusing; and TAE.”

Satoko Tokumaru, Focuser, Japan, writes “Applying TAE to University Composition Classes.” She has taught over 1500 college compostion students using Focusing and TAE in Japan. She has broken TAE steps down into totally user-friendly short exercises that students majoring in Physical Education can use to create from TAE experiences. Physical Education majors writing poems out of their unique TAE experiences, learning a new way of “being with” their whole-body sensing, instead of only their physical body. A complete TAE course that could be used in any high school or college composition setting. Hopefully, Satoko will give us a complete translation of the course in English.

Social Media, Businesses As “Communities,” The Next Step

Well, I’m writing an article on businesses/organizations as a “kind of” Focusing Community, and have this as a heavy emphasis on my website: that bringing in elements of mutual support and even “bonding” and “love” (call it “buy in,” “loyalty”, etc.) through Focusing Partnerships/Groups/Teams and Interpersonal Focusing for conflict resolution is compatible with business/organizational needs of increasing motivation and creativity/innovation and decreasing turnover and absenteeism.

I got a lot of my impetus from Conlin, M. (2006) Champions of innovation. Business Week, June 19, 2006, special IN insert, pp. 17-26.  A great article about “VPs of Innovation,” many of them women, breaking down barriers, increasing collaboration within companies and between companies and outside experts and consumers  — in huge, famous companies.

 And, in the June 2, 2008, Business Week, another confirmation. The Cover Story “Beyond Blogs: What Business Needs To Know,” showed that, in the three years since a Cover Story on blogs as basic tools for businesses, emphasis had moved from blogs to “social media” like MySpace, FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn — interactive internet communities where consumers can interact directly with companies.

Now, for me as an Introvert, the idea of joining a “social network” is appalling. One of my acquaintances added me to her Linked In network, and suddenly I was receiving daily requests for “your favorite recipe,” etc. I was horrified!!!!

However, the marketing guru/website planner for many of us, Robert Middleton (  ), recently invited all his customers to join his “social networks,” because HIS marketing guru had recommended he get involved (I’m thinking SHE read the Business Week article, which likely will become a “self-fulfilling prophecy” , e.g., social media, if not on their way alone, will get a boost from the article/cover story saying they are the next step!!!

And, the next step, even more exciting for me. Asked for his response to this new article, blogging-giant Jeff Jarvis, BuzzMachine, states:

“Next, I think, Business Week’s readers will see that social media are changing their fundamental relationship with customers to be less about serving and more about collaborating. No, I don’t mean that every product will be the product of a committee. But customers who want to talk will, and smart companaies will not just listen but will engage them in decisions. This will have an impact not just on PR and image but on product design, marketing, sales, customer service — the whole company. Three years from now, I predict Business Week’s Cover won’t be about blogs or tools but about companies as communities.” (p.50)”

And there it is, folks, the title of my article: Businesses as Communities, and, for us, Businesses as “a kind of” Focusing Community. See Interest Area: Creative Edge Organizations at Creative Edge Focusing (TM) website. 

Focusing Recovery for 12-Step Programs

With her permission, I copy Suzanne Noel’s email to the Focusing Discussion List about her recent applications of her new method, Recovery Focusing, in an actual Addiction Rehabilitation Center in Costa Rica. The examples are rich and sacred:

Hi everyone.

As some of you may know, I have been working at a Rehab here in Costa Rica for three weeks. I am doing a class titled “Recovery Focusing” as well as integrating Focusing into my Step groups (as well as doing Relapse Prevention and a few other courses).

I wish to say that the power of Focusing is working in early recovery.:-) Ta TA!!

People are getting both in-the-body Felt Senses as well as “images” that capture their experience. My sense of it is that they are really getting a personal, private, experiential knowing of the Steps (or what’s in the way). I sense their “respect” of the process by their eagerness to DO Focusing.


A few days ago, R. got an image of his addict self smoking crack on a bench, crying. Smoking and crying at the same time. He noticed his “recovered” self was bigger and stronger and that what the addict self on the bench needed was “support”. He was pleased that they were looking at each other. Today, he got a felt sense of a very deep, deep,deep hole near his heart. Not big he said, but very deep. The worst of it was how deep it was. He noticed that there was a lot of dirt around it, but nothing with which to move the dirt into the hole. He said he needed a shovel. Some kind of shovel to fill up the Hole. The shovel for him was a sponsor and a willingness to work the Program.

I., a Heroin addict, got a sense of the Third Step (Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to our Higher Power) as lights flickering on and off in a room, until finally the light remained on. (He has previously had a felt sense of falling, falling into the black hole in the middle of his chest, a great emptiness.) He got the insight that though he may lose contact with his Higher Power (lights out at times) that eventually the light would remain on.

These are only two examples.

I also think the listening is very powerful for them. The reflective listening is quite special to them and one can palpably feel their…contentment…with being  “heard”. Addiction is a disease of isolation and disconnection, so Focusing is really appropriate to its “healing”.  They are connecting to themselves as well as to each other (and, as I wrote in another list, their Higher Self/Higher Power) and one can almost see the awe in their faces as we share “what came”.

Truly sacred space. I am so pleased.

Today, one of them came up to me at the end of the day and said how they had been discussing my peacefulness among themselves last night, and how they all felt that they could FEEL IT,  my serenity, and how much they wanted to have what I have. I was so touched. (The Program is all about one person wanting what the others have — “sobriety” — and then going to “any lengths” to get it. No promotion, just attraction.)

I myself have been quite in touch with my inner sense of serenity lately– a type of grounded serenity. I  know this serenity is the DIRECT RESULT of all the Focusing I have been doing these last two years. The processing I have done in a Focusing way has unblocked the blocked energies inside me so to speak, so that now there is primarily a sense of well-being inside. I know what he means when he says they can sense my peacefulness. I sense it as well. 🙂

[Oh, yes, I still get “restless, irritable, and discontent” (as we say in the Program). But, through Focusing, I am now able to be with these in a way that leads back to serenity and contentment.]

I feel so, so very honored to be able to “pass it on” to others.

The staff now is curious, and the director mentioned my doing something with the staff as well. 🙂 I must say, the bottom-up way this is happening is quite satisfying to me.

Someday, Recovery Focusing may be part of what is offered in Alcohol and Drug Addiction treatment centers. The ripples are spreading out, as I now have a  Recovery Focusing partnership with someone who runs a rehab in another part of the planet. The Twelve Steps and Focusing are indeed meeting and liking each other. Very Powerful.

Love and blessings to all,

Suzanne L. Noël, CFT

Insight & Recovery Focusing

Apdo 154-6100

Colón, San Jose, Costa Rica

Tel. 2-249-4038; Mobile 8-372-0347

Read Suzanne’s article, “Recovery Focusing”  and another by Steve Crawford on “Experiential Focusing and 12-Step Programs” .

Alice Miller Website and Reader Response

Learn about, or revisit, Alice Miller’s revolutionary work breaking the culture silence around acknowledging the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of children and adults. Visit Miller’s website at and note the Reader Response link. There, you can see how reader’s respond to Miller’s groundbreaking work (first broken in the 1980’s!), and how Miller responds to these Readers.

More on Focusing, Finding The Gems Inside Ourselves and Others

A friend sent me this parable. It came at a time when I was finding it hard to accept the behavior of a family member.  I know not where it came from, but I pass it on to you:

“A man was exploring caves by the Seashore.  In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It was like someone had rolled clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake. They didn’t look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of the cave with him.  

As he strolled along the beach, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could. He thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls and it cracked open on a rock — Inside was a beautiful, precious stone!

Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls.  Each contained a similar treasure.  He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the 20 or so clay balls he had left. 

Then it struck him. He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves.  Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he had just thrown it away!

It’s like that with people.   We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel.  It doesn’t look like much from the outside.  It isn’t always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it. We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy.  But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person.

There is a treasure in each and every one of us.  If we take the time to get to  know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He sees  them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine  forth.

May we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown away a fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay. May we see the people in our world as God sees them.

I am so blessed by the gems of friendship I have with you. Thank you for looking beyond my clay  vessel.”

Listening and Focusing are a way to find our own gems inside our clay vessels and to find these gems in others, valuing our intuitions, “gut feelings,” stuckness and depression, negative feelings like jealousy, anger, our creative and spiritual “inklings” and ideas, our co-workers, family, friends, even when they irritate us — rather than throwing them out without opening the shells.

Please forward this e-newsletter to any friends, family, trainees, colleagues who might benefit from either the e-course or CEF News and Goods e-newsletter. This Fall is a great time for newcomers to join. They can subscribe at   and immediately download our Instant “Ahah!”s Mini-Manual. Just hit “Forward” down near your “Send” option, then choose anyone you want from your email address book! Take this small step to help bring Listening/Focusing into the world!


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

Tell me what you think at 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)

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