Posts tagged: Changes Group

MINI-FOCUSED LISTENING E-COURSE

By , July 15, 2008 10:02 pm

Reviewing/Previewing A Variety of Exercises to Strengthen Your Focused Listening Practice
 
And, here, for old timers and newcomers alike, I will give you a suggested Mini-Course of Focused Listening exercises. The exercises are taken from the Creative Edge Focusing website , the “Instant Ahah!s” Mini-Manual (download in English or Spanish from links below) and the e-newsletter archives:
 
1. Focused Listening Described: Four Basic Responses

2. Active Listening examples: Short-Circuit Angry Confrontations
 
3. Passive Listening exercise: Stop Arguments with Partners, Children, Co- workers

4. An Angry Person Is A Hurting Person

 5. Can Passive Listening Save the World?

6. Five-Minute Grieving: What To Do When Someone Starts Crying

7. Listening/Focusing-Oriented Group Decision Making Meetings

8. Verbal Abuse vs. Interpersonal Focusing Protocol
 
Starting Your Own Listening/Focusing Partnership or Group
 
In the weekly Felt Sensing newsletters of the last four-week cycle, I  gave 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.
 
See Week One: Starting A Listening/Focusing Practice Group if you haven’t already downloaded the free Introduction to the Self-Help manual, Focusing In Community, which tells you many ways to find a first person for a Listening/Focusing Partnership and to expand into a core self-help practice group.
 
Week Two: Basic Listening/Focusing Partnership Exchange to find links to download Chapter Three, complete instructions for the first ten sessions of your practice groups (English and Spanish versions).
 
Week Three: The Focuser Is In Charge
 to learn exactly what the Focuser does while being Listening To
 
Week Four: What The Listener Does to see the Four Basic Types of Response used by the Listener in a Focusing Partnership turn.
 
Spend the summer finding a Focusing Partner and building up a Focusing Practice Group!!!!!

ADDITIONAL HELP IN TAKING THAT FIRST STEP TO START YOUR LISTENING/FOCUSING PRACTICE PARTNERSHIP OR GROUP
 
CLICK HERE TO VIEW A COMPLETE DESCRIPTION AND TO CONSIDER PURCHASING THE ENTIRE SELF-HELP PACKAGE ,WITH MULTI-MEDIA SUPPORT.
 
It is my hope that, before the end of the summer, 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 gives many suggestions about how to find your first one or more people, how to present the idea, how to demonstrate the skills. It also includes Chapters on Why Supportive Community?, The Meaning of Feelings, Focusing Partnership Exchange, Focusing Alone, Interpersonal Focusing, and Collaborative Decision Making.
 
An additional 2 two-CD sets describe applications to Personal Transformation, Relationships, and Parenting, Men and Tears, and a two-hour DVD shows four actual demonstration Listening/Focusing Sessions.
 
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 http://yahoogroups.com/group/creativeedgepractice .

 comment on this blog below !

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads: 

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) 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 (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

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)

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 

STARTING A LISTENING/FOCUSING SUPPORT GROUP

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:

FOCUSING IN COMMUNITY: Introduction

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

INTRODUCTION

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.”

CLICK HERE FOR A LINK AT CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING WHERE YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE ENTIRE “INTRODUCTION,” IN ENGLISH OR SPANISH, AS A FREE PDF FILE.

AND/OR CLICK HERE TO VIEW A COMPLETE DESCRIPTION AND TO CONSIDER PURCHASING THE ENTIRE SELF-HELP PACKAGE FOR $39 (OR MANUAL DOWNLOAD ALONE FOR $5), WITH MULTI-MEDIA SUPPORT.

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 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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