INTEREST AREA: Building Supportive Community – Ten First Steps

By , October 31, 2007 12:38 pm

Community: Core Creative Edge Focusing ™ Concepts

  • Sharing from The Creative Edge creates feelings of empathy, a deep understanding of the validity of the other person’s unique point of view
  • Sharing from The Creative Edge also creates feelings of connection, a deep understanding that, underneath our uniqueness, we share a common humanity
  • The Focusing Partnership method creates a sense of community and shared humanity similar to the Greek concept of the love called Agape, the Christian love of The Christ Within each person, and the compassion of the Buddha for the Universal Oneness underlying everything
  • This Agape is the glue which binds us into a human community, providing the motivation for overcoming conflict at all levels in society
  • This creation of Agape, creation of love, can happen when the Focusing Partnership method is used for the purpose of building Focusing Groups/Teams  or Focusing Communities, or it can arise in Creative Edge Organizations as Focusing Groups/Teams do problem-solving toward a common goal
  • Call it “buy-in,” “commitment,” “loyalty,” “full engagement,” but an essential by-product of shared creativity and collaboration is a sense of being deeply connected to other people and working toward a common goal
  • The creation of Community has benefits for conflict resolution within interpersonal relationships but also within organizations and at the national and  international level      (See Creating At The Edge/Culture of Creativity at for full underlying concepts of Creative Edge Focusing™ )

Building Supportive Community

The Building Supportive Community Project brings the Creative Edge Focusing ™  Model, with its two Core Skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, and seven Applied Methods of The Creative Edge Pyramid, into existing support groups and communities, as well as starting new Focusing Communities.

Some applications are 12-Step Groups, Support Groups, Community Mental Health , Religious and Spiritual Communities,  Hospitals , Prisons , Schools , Conflict Resolution, Participatory Democracy ,  and Collaborative Work Groups and Collectives. See (PDF file) Focusing and Twelve Step by Steve Crawford , and  Recovery Focusing by Suzanne Noel at for an integration of Gendlin’s Focusing theory and the 12-Steps.

Community means a felt-experience of interconnection and mutual support as well as the capacity to work together toward a common cause. In a community everyone can belong, respected for their uniqueness or their role but working toward the common good.  For community to work, people need ways to respect and to capitalize on differences and to resolve interpersonal conflicts.

Community can be built starting with people who initially come together for mutual emotional support, as in a support group. That experience of sharing can build outward into an actual community which can organize toward a common goal, for instance, advocacy.

Or, community can be built starting with people who initially come together to accomplish a shared goal, as in a grass-roots campaign or a non-profit or for-profit organization. The good feelings created through collaboration can end up having also created feelings of mutual care and supportive community.  

Dr. McGuire’s  manual, Focusing In Community: How To Start A Listening/Focusing Support Group (in Spanish, Focusing en Comunidad: Como Empezar un Grupo de Apoyo de Escocha Y Focusing)teaches the basic skills needed.  Audio and video tapes and phone sessions and workshops enhance this learning.  The Creative Edge e-discussion/support group connects you with other people throughout the world who belong to Focusing Communities (join from the sidebar at .

The above is excerpted from Creative Edge Focusing’s website. Continue reading about Building Supportive Community in both Support Groups and Task-Oriented Groups at

You can also read the following articles:

  • The Focusing Community at
  • Changes: A Peer Counseling Model for Community Mental Health at
  • Listening and Focusing In Supportive Community at
  • Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

    Creative Edge Focusing TM

    Leave a Reply

    Panorama Theme by Themocracy