By , May 7, 2008 5:16 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 Group.

Most people learn Intuitive Focusing more easily in the presence of a Focused Listener, an outside, non-judgemental “witness.” The Listener can use Pure Reflection to help you hear and resonate/check your own words against your “felt sense,” and Focusing Invitations to remind you to slow down, be quiet, and sense into the “bodily feel,” the Creative Edge. Only then can you let new words and images arise from that wealth of non-linear, right-brain information.The Listener can help you spot the many voices of your Inner Critic, Wounded Child, and other aspects of your experiencing.

I can think of no better way than a weekly group meeting to support you in developing “the habit of felt sensing,” a life style of paying attention to and spending time articulating the wealth of mind/body wisdom that comes every day as The Creative Edge. This “intuitive feel” of your situations, relationships, and creative problem solving contains the possibility of the Paradigm Shifts leading to the most innovative problem solving, the most lasting personal change.Not only will your group learn Listening and Focusing skills, but also you will reap the benefits of “bonding” that come from sharing your inner journey with another.

Finding Your First Person Or Core Group

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!!!  Click here to explore this option in our Store.

Not ready to commit to a purchase? You can start by downloading the free PDF files, in English or Spanish of the Introduction to the manual which you will also find at the link above.  The Introductory Chapter gives many suggestions for finding people for your practice group. And next week you can download Chapter Three, explicit instructions for the first ten meetings of your Listening/Focusing exchange, here at this blog.

You can start just with one best friend or colleague who is already a great listener.
You can take the skills into an existing support group or work team.
You can do a presentation to the kind of people you would like in your group (counselors, church members, business colleagues, couples, parents, artists — your own peer group!). Or
You can take a Listening/Focusing Class from a Certified Focusing Professional and then carry on as a self-help practice group.

Here are the first pages of the Introduction to inspire you to action! You really can start your own group:


Free sample excerpt of manual by Dr. Kathy McGuire, Creative Edge Focusing TM,  , part of The Self-Help Package available in The Store :


1. How to Use the Manual

The manual has been written so that any individual can

· sit down and read the manual;
· find a friend or two who will also read it and practice the skills in Part Two; and
· build a supportive community for himself.

However, the manual can also be used by professionals:

as the basis for a course in community mental health or counseling skills
as an aid in beginning supportive communities in a variety of settings.

It can be used by professionals and non-professionals alike who want to build non-hierarchical and emotionally supportive work environments for themselves.

The peer counseling model for community offered here also insures a further step toward intimacy to groups who are already meeting some needs through mutual support.The manual is based on thirty years of experience with groups in many contexts and is the best solution I have found to the difficulties of living, meeting and working collectively.

The manual teaches peer counseling skills of empathic listening and experiential focusing and tells how to use these skills to provide emotional support, to work through interpersonal conflicts, and to arrive at consensual, cooperative decisions. It tells how to build a peer counseling community, be it as small as four close friends or one open to anyone in a larger community who wants to come.

In a peer counseling community, there is no distinction made between helper and helpee. Everyone learns the core skills, Focused Listening and Intuitive Focusing. Participants exchange counseling turns as equals: I listen to you while you use Focusing on some concern of yours; then you listen to me while I use Focusing on my concern.

The depth of intimacy generated during the exchange of empathic listening turns grows into a feeling of connectedness and mutual regard which soon blossoms into a supportive community: a throughout the week network of friendships and mutually supporting relationships extending into all aspects of participants” life and work.

The manual should be useful to:

· helping professionals who bring people together for mutual support in a variety of settings, including churches, schools, prisons, halfway houses, community mental health centers, senior citizen centers, 12-Step organizations, hospitals;
· paraprofessionals who offer peer counseling through hotlines, crisis centers, student centers;
· self-help and support groups who want to deepen their level of sharing and commitment;
· businesses, non-profit organizations, and political groups who want to incorporate “the intuitive feel,” The Creative Edge, for innovative problem solving;
· those living in spiritual and other residential communities;
· individuals who are looking for their own solution to isolation and loneliness.

The skills described in the manual, and the theory behind them, can be easily comprehended and practiced by any individual or group of individuals who want to create a more intimate and healing environment for themselves.

Every person should have the skills to respond to emotional crisis, to be in touch with and to share his own inner experiencing, to resolve interpersonal conflicts, and to make decisions without conflict. The need for such skills arises constantly in everyday life: in marriage, friendship, the relationship between employer and employee, any attempt of people to meet or work together.

When such skills remain the province of mental health professionals alone, there is a general mystification which leads individuals to feel dependent upon mental health practitioners and, in the most damaging way, to perceive themselves as not responsible for their feelings and actions and their effects upon other people.

I hope through this manual to give confidence and skills to those wishing to understand the psychological and interpersonal phenomena which arise in everyday friendship and work and thereby to empower individuals.I have received some of my own best mental health care and mental health training in support groups and peer counseling groups. I have come to see the core skills of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening as the basis of “human literacy,” skills of “emotional and social intelligence.”



It is my hope that, before the end of this four-week cycle, you will have found at least one other person to practice Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening with as the beginning of your own local practice group. The manual chapter gives many suggestions about how to find your first one or more people, how to present the idea, how to demonstrate the skills.

BUT ONLY YOU CAN TAKE THAT FIRST STEP OF FINDING SOMEONE, JUST THAT ONE, FIRST PERSON. From then on, you and your partner can support each other in enlarging the group, if you want.

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 ! Or email your findings to The Creative Edge Collaborators’ Group. Join at 

 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)

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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  4. JoanF says:


    Not what I was looking for, but great site. Thanks….

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