Posts tagged: Creative Edge Focusing

EMPATHIC OR REFLECTIVE LISTENING: BIOGRAPHY OF CARL ROGERS, CREATOR

By , December 4, 2008 11:27 am

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

WHAT IS CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING ™?

Dr. McGuire’s Creative Edge Focusing (TM), with her core skills Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, is her offshoot after over 30 years as a Listening/Focusing Teacher and Focusing-Oriented Therapist. She places special emphasis on learning through self-help and peer counseling communities and also upon application to daily life, through her Interest Areas, including Creative Edge Organizations, Conscious Relationships, Building Supportive Community, Positive Parenting, Creative Edge Education, Experiencing The Sacred, and Experiential Focusing Therapy. Here she offers the biography of Carl Rogers, first to develop the idea of empathic or reflective listening as the core human response facilitating growth, change, and creativity.

BIOGRAPHY: CARL ROGERS, CREATOR OF EMPATHIC LISTENING (1902-1987)

Empathic Listening

Carl Rogers, creator of Client-Centered Psychotherapy, was the first to develop a theory about how every person has within an “acorn” able to grow into a certain kind of tree, a “blueprint” for a unique life (On Becoming A Person, Houghton Mifflin, 1961). As a therapist in Rochester, NY, in the 1930’s, Rogers followed up on the suggestion from a female co-worker that, if instead of telling clients what to do, the therapist simply reflected back to them what they were saying and encouraged them to continue to look more deeply into their own answers, clients became empowered to find their own solutions and their own unique, personally meaningful path through life. Rogers called this technique “reflective listening” or “empathic listening.”  Learn Dr. McGuire’s simple, self-help version, Focused Listening.

From the 1940’s until his death in 1987, Rogers worked with many others in developing the idea that clients could heal themselves, if only the therapist provided “facilitative conditions” of “empathy,” “congruence,” and “unconditional positive regard.” Like a plant given water, soil, sun, and fertilizer, the person would unfold along his or her own unique path in facilitative conditions. While negative outward situations could stunt the person, like the potato left in a dark cellar, the person would always find a way, through what might look like torturous turns and twists, to reach toward the light. Read Dr. McGuire’s description of this unique, personal, unfolding through Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, Creating At The Edge.

Invention Of Peer Counseling

Rogers was so effective in defining the “therapeutic conditions” for growth that he and his followers became able to teach these skills, especially “empathic reflection,” to non-therapists as well: to physicians, ministers, parents, really anyone at all. Client-Centered Psychotherapy gave birth to the peer counseling movement, the idea that every day people could help each other, as equals, with their personal growth. The Changes model for building supportive community, written up in Dr. McGuire’s manual, Focusing In Community: How To Start A Listening/Focusing Support Group, grew out of this perspective toward peer self-help. Read Dr. McGuire’s applications for home, community, and work, Building Supportive Community and Creative Edge Organizations.

Rogers, Gendlin, and the Discovery of “Focusing”

In the early 1960’s, Rogers and his then-student Eugene Gendlin and others at the University of Chicago undertook a huge and highly regarded research project on therapy with schizophrenics, trying to show that the Rogerian conditions could be as powerful in healing inpatients in a mental hospital as students in university counseling centers. It was during this research that Gendlin fully developed his concept of “experiencing” and the definition of the client’s ability to “focus” upon present experiencing as the crux determining factor in success of psychotherapy, more than any therapist conditions. Gendlin went on to write the self-help book, Focusing (Bantam, 1981, 1984) in order to make this self-help skill of “inner reference” available to everyone. Find many books and articles, teachers and workshops on Focusing at The Focusing Institute website. Learn Dr. McGuire’s version, Intuitive Focusing.

International Conflict Resolution

Rogers went on to extend his methods of “empathic listening” to couples, groups, and global conflicts. Using the simple empathic listening model, during the 1950’s in the United States, he had blacks and whites meet in groups and simply “listen to” each other, getting below stereotypes and prejudices and into their shared humanity. He used the same methods to bring individuals from North and South Ireland together, and for international conflict resolution in Latin America, Europe, Japan, South Africa, and the Soviet Union until his death in 1987. He was a man with a total dedication to working for world peace. See Dr. McGuire’s mini-course on Conflict Resolution.

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-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)

www.cefocusing.com

EXPERIENTIAL FOCUSING: BIOGRAPHY OF CREATOR, EUGENE GENDLIN

By , December 3, 2008 4:06 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

WHAT IS FOCUSING?

Experiential Focusing, or Intuitive Focusing, is a self-help skill for setting aside already-known, left-brain intellectualizations and paying attention to the right-brain, “the bodily felt sense,” the full “intuitive feel” of issues or ideas. Through a series of steps, the Focuser can find exactly the right words/images for capturing this “intuitive knowledge,” this “gut felt-experiencing,” and have an “Ahah!” experience, a moment of paradigm shift when new ideas, solutions, and actions suddenly become clear. Intuitive Focusing can be facilitated by the presence of a Focused Listener. You can learn all about Focusing and Listening/Focusing Partnerships/ Groups/ Teams/ Communities/ Organizations at Creative Edge Focusing (TM). Here I am giving a biography of the Creator of Experiential Focusing, Eugene T. Gendlin.

Existentialism and Phenomenology

Dr. Eugene Gendlin, retired after life-time career at the University of Chicago, now of The Focusing Institute in New York, is the philosopher/psychologist who has most explicitly described the implicit background of human living from which all meaning arises.

While everyone knows about and makes use of this level of “gut feeling” or “intuition” every day, it was the existential and phenomenological philosophers and psychologists who explicitly turned their attention to thoroughly studying this phenomenon – the subtle background of “experiencing” which gives meaning to human living and, from which, new meanings, creative solutions, and personality change can arise. Some of these are Rollo May, Martin Buber, Heidegger, Husserl, Kant, Merleau-Ponty, Nietzsche, Camus.

One story of how Gendlin became interested in “felt experiencing” says that a young Gendlin, while tending to his duties aboard ship in the Navy, realized that he was pondering on the “background feeling” that was left in his body from a dream he had had the night before – at least, as he pondered on this vague feeling, he decided this was where this unclear, vague, but totally present “feeling” had come from. He discovered that, as he continued to ponder upon this feeling, eventually, the whole dream came back to him. So, he thought, the content of the dream was implicit, somehow, in the vague body-sense that was left over. So, we as human beings, could discover or rediscover information by paying attention to this subtle, bodily “intuitive feel” of our life experiences.

It was exactly this kind of experience that intrigued him and which became the basis of his career both as an existential/phenomenological psychologist and a philosopher. In one book, for instance, called Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning( 1962), he outlined seven different ways in which symbols (intellectualizations, behaviors, images, words) and felt meanings (felt experiencing, the felt sense, the “intuitive feel”) interact with each other. These are actual phenomenological events that can be observed if you pay attention to your own inner experiencing of how you find the “meaning” of things. Read them carefully and see if you can find an example of each in your own experience:

Direct reference to felt experiencing: focusing, or directly paying attention to the vague, preverbal, “felt sense” of something; silent pondering;

Recognition: having a, usually speedy and unconscious, bodily-response of “Oh, yes, I know what that means” to a word or other symbol;

Explication: being able to make new words out of the bodily-feel of something, like “the meaning, to me, of that movie I just saw”;

Metaphor: the creation of a new meaning by juxtaposing known symbols in a new way, e.g., saying “The sunset was like a dandelion-puff exploding” creates a completely new meaning in the reader of a poem;

Comprehension: the creation of exactly the right metaphor to capture one’s own immediate felt experiencing, “Ah, that’s exactly it! The feeling I am having is comfortable/comforting, like macaroni and cheese”;

Relevance: the accumulation of previous felt meanings give special meaning to a present event, e.g., an experienced gardener sees a wilted leaf from a different perspective than an inexperienced gardener;

Circumlocution: two people using words to point to an experience that can’t really completely be put into words in such a way that they both know what they are talking about and can get closer by continuing to “circle” the actual phenomenon, which can never be fully described: “It’s like democracy, but not quite…more like citizen participation…” “I know what you mean…it’s like each person being active, not just representatives….” “It’s like a community….”

Whoever would have thought that such distinctions could be made in our inner experiencing, perhaps in the same way that we can name hundreds of colors that we can distinguish between in the outer world?! It was this careful study of inner experiencing, and inner actions, that allowed Gendlin to define the very helpful process called Focusing, which allows everyone to learn to sit at The Creative Edge of felt experiencing, Gendlin’s “felt sense,” and find new meanings and creative solutions.

Client-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapy

In the 1950’s, Gendlin studied psychology at the University of Chicago with Dr. Carl Rogers, creator of Empathic Listening and Client-Centered Therapy. Gendlin also took a degree in Philosophy. Staying on as a faculty member in the Department of Psychology, he created his theory of changes in felt experiencing as the basis of personality change. He was the founder and long-time editor of the journal Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, and Practice.

Gendlin helped to create The Experiencing Scale, a research measure which could accurately predict success in therapy from looking at the client’s own capacity to speak from fresh, ongoing experiencing instead of intellectualizations.

In a large research project, he and others zeroed in on client Focusing as the most important factor in successful therapy. In 1970 he received the “Distinguished Professional Psychologist of the Year” award from the American Psychological Association for his study of client Focusing.

Focusing As A Self-Help Skill

Gendlin went on to define the Focusing skill (Focusing, Bantam, 1981, 1984) as a way of teaching, not only clients, but everyone how to get in touch with the creativity found in felt experiencing. He founded Focusing-Oriented Therapy (Focusing-Oriented Therapy: A Manual of the Experiential Method, Guilford, 1996) as a specific approach for using Focusing to increase client experiencing and thus change in many methods of therapy, regardless of theoretical orientation. You can purchase these and many other books in The Store at www.focusing.org .

Thinking At The Edge (TAE)

In his 80s, Gendlin is still creating new theory and practice. With his Process Model and Philosophy of the Implicit, he has contributed to Post-Modern philosophy. He has created another self-help skill, called Thinking At The Edge (TAE). TAE is a precise method for creating new theory and philosophy out of one’s own “gut sensing” or felt experiencing of something that is meaningful, universal, and profound. Now, everyone can learn to build theory and philosophy by “focusing” upon their own inner experiencing. See The Focusing Institute website, www.focusing.org and the complete Gendlin Online Library for free access to many of Gendlin’s articles.

 As well as a huge Store of books, CDs, and DVDs by a variety of authors, at the Focusing Institute website, under Category: Learning Focusing, you can find Teachers and Classes throughout the world for learning Gendlin’s Focusing skill and its companion, Empathic Listening. You can also join e-discussion groups under Category: Felt Community.

WHAT IS CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING ™?

Dr. McGuire’s Creative Edge Focusing (TM), with her core skills Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, is her offshoot after over 30 years as a Listening/Focusing Teacher and Focusing-Oriented Therapist. She places special emphasis on learning through self-help and peer counseling communities and also upon application to daily life, through her Interest Areas, including Creative Edge Organizations, Conscious Relationships, Building Supportive Community, Positive Parenting, Creative Edge Education, Experiencing The Sacred, and Experiential Focusing Therapy.

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)

www.cefocusing.com

INSTANT “AHAH!” #1: FOCUSING —Find out what is bothering you

By , September 5, 2008 3:38 pm

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

You can download the complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, ten Listening/Focusing exercises for immediate application at home and work, in English or Spanish, from the links to Word files above. 

If you purchase The Self-Help Package multi-media package, instead of just reading, you can listen to the Pre-Focusing and Focusing Instructions directly with Dr. McGuire on audio CD and watch Listening/Focusing demonstrations on the DVD-R. In the Spanish version of the manual, Focusing En Comunidad, you will find many of the Relaxation and Focusing Exercises in Spanish. You will also receive instructions on setting up a Focusing Partnership or Focusing Group to practice the equal exchange of Listening/Focusing turns.

INSTANT “AHAH!” # 1 Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You

Focusing On the Creative Edge

Intuitive Focusing is one-half of the two Core Skills basic to Creative Edge Focusing. Intuitive Focusing can be used any time to find out what is bothering you. Intuitive Focusing involves spending time with the vague, wordless “intuitive sense” that there is something — something you can’t quite put your finger on or put into words — but something definitely determining your behavior or how you feel or the inkling of an idea or solution —

Intuitive Focusing can be used not just for personal problem-solving but for sitting with The Creative Edge of anything: a piece of creative art or writing, an exciting professional problem to solve, a good feeling that has a spiritual edge —see Focusing and Personal Growth, Focusing and Creativity and Focusing and Spirituality described on The Creative Edge Focusing website.

Description of Gendlin’s Six Step Focusing Process

First, I will describe Gendlin’s (Focusing, Bantam, 1981, 1984) process, then I will walk you through some actual instructions below. Here are Gendlin’s six steps for use of this inner, meditation-like problem-solving process in a self-help way:

(1) Clearing a Space: setting aside the jumble of thoughts, opinions, and analysis we all carry in our minds, and making a clear, quiet space inside where something new can come.

(2) Getting a Felt Sense: asking an open-ended question like “What is the feel of this whole thing (issue, situation, problem)?” and, instead of answering with one’s already-known analysis, waiting silently as long as a minute for the subtle, intuitive, “bodily feel” of “the whole thing” to form.

(3) Finding a Handle: carefully looking for some words or an image that begin to capture the “feel of the whole thing,” the Felt Sense, The Creative Edge: “It’s ‘jumpy;'” “It’s scared;” “It’s like the dew of a Spring morning;” “It’s like macaroni and cheese — comforting,” “It’s like jet propulsion! Something new that needs to spring forth!”

(4) Resonating and Checking: taking the Handle words or image and holding them against the Felt Sense, asking “Is this right? Is it ‘jumpy’?, etc. Finding new words or images if needed until there is a sense of “fit”: “Yes, that’s it. Jumpy.”

(5) Asking: asking open-ended questions (questions that don’t have a “Yes” or “No” or otherwise fixed or “closed” answer) like “And what is so hard about that?” or “And why does that have me stuck?” or “What was so beautiful about that moment?” or “And how does this apply to everything else?” and, again, instead of answering with already-known analysis, waiting silently for the whole-body-sense, the Felt Sense, to arise.

At each Asking, the Focuser also goes back to steps (2), (3) and (4) as necessary, waiting for the Felt Sense to form, finding Handle words, Resonating and Checking until there is a sense of “fit”: “Yes, that’s it.” This often physically-felt experience of tension release and easing in the body, this sense of having found the right words, is called a Felt Shift by Dr. Gendlin. Dr. McGuire calls it a Paradigm Shift It can be a small step of “Yes, that’s it” or a larger unfolding, a huge insight, with many pieces of the puzzle suddenly falling into place and a flow of new words and images and possible action steps. Sometimes there is also a flood of tears of acknowledgment and relief or the release of other pent-up emotions. This is an Instant “Ahah!”.

(6) Receiving: at each new step, each Felt Shift, taking a moment to sit with the new “intuitive feel,” simply acknowledging and appreciating your own inner knowing for this new insight. Then, you can start again at step (5), Asking another open-ended question, (“And what is so important about this?”; “And why did that have me stuck?”; “And where does my mother come into all of this?”, etc.). And, again, step (2), waiting for the Felt Sense to form, step (3) finding a Handle, step (4) Resonating and Checking until there is a Felt Shift, a sense of “That’s it!”, another Instant “Ahah!”.

A First Attempt: Find Out What Is Bothering You

Set aside at least 30 minutes for this first attempt. Remember, Focusing is a skill usually taught in 10 two-hour classes or two weekend workshops —so, if it doesn’t work for you immediately, don’t give up! Find a nearby teacher from the Focusing Institute Listings (www.focusing.org  ) or arrange for phone sessions with Dr. McGuire or another Creative Edge Consultant .

But, some people are natural Focusers and just say, “Oh, yes. I’ve been doing this all my life. Now, I can just do it better, more predictably, whenever I want. Give it a try:
(for audio company, purchase Intuitive Focusing Instructions CD as part of our Self-Help Package at www.cefocusing.com  — leave at least one minute of silence between each instruction)

Step One: Clearing A Space (Relaxation exercise in this case)

—Okay — first, just get yourself comfortable — feel the weight of your body on the chair — loosen any clothing that is too tight —
(one minute)
—Spend a moment just noticing your breathing — don’t try to change it — just notice the breath going in — and out —
(one minute)
—Now, notice where you have tension in your body (pause) —
(one minute)
—Now, imagine the tension as a stream of water, draining out of your body through your fingertips and feet (Pause) —
(one minute)
—Let yourself travel inside of your body to a place of peace —
(one minute)

Step Two: Getting A Felt Sense

—Now, bring to mind an incident or a situation that was troublesome for you this week (pause as long as necessary) — Think about it or get a mental image of it —
(one minute)
—Now, try to set aside all of your thoughts about the situation, and just try to bring back the feeling you had in that situation (pause) — not words, but the “intuitive feel” of yourself in that situation —
(one minute)

Step Three: Finding A Handle

—Now, carefully try to find words or an image for that feeling —
(one minute)

Step Four: Resonating and Checking

—Go carefully back and forth between any words and the “intuitive feel of the whole thing” until you find words or an image that are just right for it —
(one minute)

Step Five: Asking

—Now, gently ask yourself, “What is so hard about this situation for me?”, and wait, at least a minute, to see what comes in your wordless intuition, your whole-body sense —
(one minute)
—Again, carefully find words or an image that exactly fit that whole feeling — going back and forth until the symbols are “just right.”
(one minute)
—Now, imagine what the situation would be like if it were perfectly all right
(one minute)
—Now, ask yourself, “What’s in the way of that?” and, again, don’t answer from your head, what you already know, but wait, as long as a minute, for something new to come in the center of your body, more like a wordless intuition or whole-body sense —
(one minute)
—Again, carefully find words or an image for that, “whatever is in the way” —go back and forth until the symbols are “just right.”
(one minute)
—Now, see if you can find some small step you might be able to take to move yourself in a positive direction — again, don’t answer from your head, the already known, but wait as much as a minute for the wordless, intuitive “feel,” the bodily felt sense of an answer to arise —
(one minute)
—Take a moment, again, to carefully find words or an image for this possible next step — go back and forth until the symbols are “just right.”
(one minute)
—Check with your “intuitive feel,” “Is this right? Is this really something I could try doing?” — If your “intuitive feel” says, “Yes (some sense of release, relaxation), I could try that,” then you can stop here.
—If your “felt sense” says “No, I can’t do that” or “That won’t work,” then ask yourself again, “What small step in the positive direction would work?”, again, waiting quietly, as much as a minute for an intuitive answer to arise, then making words or an image for it — going back and forth until the symbols are “just right.”
(one minute)
—Keep going back and forth between the “intuitive feel” and possible words and images as long as you are comfortable, or until you experience “Ahah! That’s it!”.
(one minute or more)

Step Six: Receiving

—Whether a “solution” has arisen or not, appreciate yourself and your body for taking time with this, trusting that pausing to take time is the important thing — solutions can then arise later.
(one minute)

The crux of change is just spending quiet time paying attention to the “intuitive feel.” If no clear next step arises, just remind yourself that at least you have gotten a clearer sense of the problem. Because you have spent quiet, Intuitive Focusing time with the “feel” of “the whole thing,” you have started a process of change. Something new may “pop up” later, as you go about your day.

Want to share your experience, do Focusing online and get an actual Listening Response, ask questions? Join The Creative Edge Practive yahoo e-support group.

Tell me what you think at [email protected] 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)

www.cefocusing.com

INTUITIVE FOCUSING FREE MINI-E-COURSE

By , June 28, 2008 9:09 pm

 Summer E-newsletter Slow-Down/Fall Complete E-Course Starts
 
The e-newsletters are slowing down for a summer rest period! In the Fall, the entire year of e-newsletters will recycle as an e-course, three practice opportunities per week, a walk through the Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual and The Complete Focusing Instruction free downloads, and an interweaving of the Creative Edge Focusing (TM) website materials with the work of others within the Focusing community and also in the larger world.
 
If you are just joining us and have never learned Focusing, probably best to start by reading the introduction to Instant “Ahah!” #1: Focusing — Find Out What Is Bothering You, which lays out Gendlin’s basic six steps of Focusing.
 
SUMMER MINI-FOCUSING E-COURSE
 
Reviewing/Previewing A Variety of Exercises to Strengthen Your Focusing Practice
 
And, here, for old timers and newcomers alike, I will give you a suggested Mini-Course of exercises from The Complete Focusing Instructions and Instant “Ahah!”s free downloads available at www.cefocusing.com under Free Resources, then Articles (or downloaded after signing up for this e-newsletter and for e-support group). The exercises are taken from the e-newsletter archives:
 
Relaxation Exercise: Just Noticing

Relaxation Exercise: “At The Beach”

“Clearing A Space” and Finding Peace

Complete Focusing: “How Am I Today?”

Getting A “Felt Sense”: Finding the “Intuitive Feel” of A Situation

Getting A “Felt Sense”: Unraveling “Situation Pile-Ups and Negative Spirals

Holiday Fun and Stress Relief?: Free Personality Tests and Focusing Reminders

Getting A “Felt Sense”: Creating A Caring, Feeling Presence Inside

 Getting A “Felt Sense”: Caring For Unpleasant Parts of Ourself

Getting A “Felt Sense”: Dealing with Inner Abusers, Inner Critics

Getting A “Felt Sense”: Focusing about Unresolved Interpersonal Situations

Complete Focusing: “Sitting With” The Creative Edge of an Interpersonal Situation

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

INTEREST AREA: CONSCIOUS RELATIONSHIP

By , June 14, 2008 12:27 pm

Interest Areas: Seven Places To Start Practice Groups !!!

The Interest Areas under “Is This You” at The Creative Edge Focusing website (www.cefocusing.com ) give the First Ten Steps you might take to bring the model of Listening/Focusing into seven whole different areas of living: Organizations, Support Groups and Communities, Relationships, Parenting, Education, Spiritual Communities, and Helping Professions (psychotherapy, counselling, medicine, body work, etc.).

I am introducing you to each of these Interest Areas and possible First Steps so that you might start a Listening/Focusing practice group in any of these areas.

INTEREST AREA: CONSCIOUS RELATIONSHIP

Below you will find the Introduction to the Conscious Relationships Interest Area at www.cefocusing.com  . Just as one might undertake an ongoing, disciplined “practice” in yoga or meditation or piano or public speaking, I suggest that we turn the same kind of “conscious, disciplined practice” to our intimate relationships and friendships. Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, the Listening/Focusing Partnership Exchange skills, makes the perfect tool for growing through The Way of Relationship:

The Way of Relationship

Intimate relationships can be seen as a spiritual path, The Way of Relationship. Relationships can be a self-therapy. Relationships will point up your “blind spots” or “shadow sides” more effectively (or shall I say more quickly, anyway!) than psychotherapy.

The Way of Relationship can be practiced between lovers. The experiences of empathy which arise during the exchange of Listening/Focusing turns lead to increased emotional and physical intimacy.

The Way of Relationship can also be practiced between friends or in a spiritual or other community. The experiences of empathy, of individual uniqueness as well as common humanity common in Listening/Focusing Exchanges, can be a spiritual experience of the love called Agape, or Buber’s “I-Thou” vs. “I-It” relationship.

Harville Hendrix’ book, Getting The Love You Want, was an early one stating that it’s okay for your relationship to be “therapy.” We are attracted to people who have the capacity to heal us in some way, to move us on our journey toward wholeness. Hendricks calls it The Imago, a kind of template of the kind of person needed for your healing. Ideally, you will find a person enough like your parent to offer the experiences needed for healing but also capable of going through this healing journey with you . At www.gettingtheloveyouwant.com  , you will find more books and training programs connecting you to a network of people, through Imago Relationships International, who are committed to conscious relationship.

Gay and Kathleen Hendricks’ book, Conscious Loving: The Journey To Co-Commitment, names the bedrock of good relationship as complete, absolute, and utter honesty at all times. This book and their many other books and workshops through the Hendricks Institute, www.hendricks.com  , give many concrete techniques and practices for conscious relationship.

Although there are many wonderful, established programs for Conscious Relationship such as the two above, Intuitive Focusing, as aided by Focused Listening, is the missing link in almost every program, the one thing that is usually not taught but makes all the difference in terms of whether people actually succeed in the programs or not.

Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, used in Focusing Partnerships and Interpersonal Focusing, are the bedrock self-help skills which provide a way through. They help you to stick with it when buttons get pushed. They tell you how to mine the treasure in “confrontations.” These are really confrontations with your own shadow side– the parts of yourself you can’t see – the positive aspects you devalue as well as negative aspects you do not want to accept.

The goal for everyone is “wholeness,” the integration of positive and negative shadow aspects, and we choose friends and partners who will push us toward wholeness.

Love Relationships

Perhaps there is no more important place for the use of Empathic Listening and Experiential Focusing skills than in love relationships.

When we “fall in love,” we are drawn to something in the Other that intrigues and fascinates us—CLICK HERE TO GO TO INTEREST AREA: CONSCIOUS RELATIONSHIP AT OUR WEBSITE AND READ ON, INCLUDING FIND THE FIRST TEN STEPS FOR BRINGING LISTENING/FOCUSING INTO INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS AND FRIENDSHIPS.

Go to Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete Mini-Course on increasing emotional and sexual intimacy.

Tell me what you think at [email protected] or comment on this blog below !

Click here to subscribe to our Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!!

 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.

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

“I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT MY DAY”: RE-EVALUATION CO-COUNSELING

By , April 2, 2008 2:06 pm

 “I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT MY DAY!”

“I hate my job! I hate my life!”

 

Many people feel like they hate their job, and will say, when asked to participate in “Sharing Your Day”: “I hate my job! The last thing I want to do when I get home is talk about it!” and go off for a drink and TV, or some other diversion, something that helps them avoid talking about their day.

 

I think it is obvious that this is a big problem, not only in terms of increasing intimacy, but also in terms of the health and happiness of that person, as well as the relationship.

 

If a person is that unhappy in their job, then something needs to be done about it. And perhaps the first step on that path is to begin talking, begin “Sharing Your Day” with their partner. Through talking, without interruption or judgment, something new can happen, a new possible action step arise.

 

Talking without being interrupted allows automatic access to The Creative Edge, the “intuitive feel” from which new possibilities can arise. So, painful though it may seem, the first step to a new, happier life can be the simple “Sharing Your Day.”

 

Re-evaluation Co-Counseling: Just Telling Your Story Is Healing

 

In a form of peer counseling called Reevaluation Co-Counseling (click this link to find lots of information on actually trying out “RC”  http://www.rc.org/), the main “intervention”is simply “Warm, caring, non-judgmental attention.” The two people sit close enough so that they can hold hands. The Listener simply looks into the Speaker’s eyes with “warm, caring, non-judgmental attention.” Each person took an equal turn as Speaker and Listener, anywhere from 20 minutes to one hour turns.

 

The Speaker starts with their earliest memories and just tells the story of their life, looking into the Listener’s eyes. As they tell their memories, the Speaker welcomes and allows any manifestation of emotion or tension discharge. In the founder, Harvey Jackin’s, list of forms of discharge, are shaking as a discharge of fear, laughing as a discharge of light fear (embarrassment, shame), yawning as a discharge of boredom, crying as a discharge of hurt and pain.  For the first several months (or perhaps the first year?!), this is all that was done. The Speaker tells their memories over and over, as long as more emotions are being discharged. New memories arise and are healed through emotional discharge. Listeners eventually also learn other “interventions” to help Speakers get out of stuck patterns and into emotional discharge, but “warm, caring, non-judgmental attention” is the main one.

 

See if you can start “Sharing Your Day.” Nonjudgmental listening, no interruptions is key! If you and your partner want to add holding hands and looking into each others’ eyes, give it a try. Read up on RC at http://www.rc.org and try out these simple peer counseling skills.

 

If either partner’s pain is so great that “Sharing Your Day” is absolutely not possible, then professional help can be sought. Click here to read about Focusing-Oriented Therapy (FOT).  Visit The Focusing Institute under Learning Focusing to find both  FOTs and Focusing Teachers who can help you get started in the geographical search section under Learning Focusing.

 

“How Do I Find A Life Partner?”

 

In the original Changes group, any person could have a “team” of Listening/Focusing peer helpers to help them solve a difficult life problem or write a book, whatever. I had a “team” to meet with me and plan how I was going to find a life-partner.

 

And we carried out the plan: with my team’s support, I presented on Listening/Focusing at the Association For Humanistic Psychology in Chicago that year, and I also went to a presentation that Eugene Gendlin, creator of Focusing,  was doing there. The idea: maximize the statistical probability of finding a Focusing-Oriented person to relate to. And, at the Gendlin presentation, I saw him. And, at my presentation, I met his friend. And —eventually, I married him, even though he lived in Canada —

 

So, I thought, “How about a Focusing Singles Network—- something like ‘speed dating,’ where you get to meet a lot of people, a few minutes each, but, of course, we could just use the Changes meeting format: Check In (introduction of self), then, perhaps, a Round Robin of short listening/focusing turns — well, really, just Check -In might be sufficient?” , just each person saying a little by way of introduction.

 

Anyway, someone could organize it FOR A FEE or for fun and run it as a phone free conference call or locally…I know, it might sound crazy, but, really, finding a Focusing-Oriented significant other, when you are Introverted like many of us, can be really difficult   —-  of course, this model could be developed locally, or regionally (would be ideal to have them in different languages, in different countries). Anyway, this is the seed of an idea.

 

Also, likely there might be a separate Focusing Gay Singles Network, or maybe address this issue in the introductions? I know for many gays it is difficult to somehow find out who in a group is also gay…a lot of difficult undercover work unless this is addressed directly somehow.

 

Lori Ketover is also starting to use a Focusing Support Group model to introduce small groups of people to each other by phone in order to find partners for Focusing Partnership through the Focusing Institute Focusing Partnership program — just hearing someone’s voice, seeing how they do listening/focusing, seems to really help some people match up.  So, why not extend this idea to more conscious matching up of Focusing Singles? 

 

Otherwise, my best advice to find a Focusing-oriented life-partner is to attend Focusing workshops, conferences, presentations, in your area and internationally, do presentations, participate on e-lists — I started an interesting long-distance relationship when I met someone at a Focusing International in Chicago, and he lived in California, me in Oregon.

 

Although, I met my present life-partner through the persistent efforts of a friend who was a business professor — and kept introducing me to business professors — and I have taught him Listening/Focusing since we married.

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 

FROM INCREASED INTIMACY TO INCREASED SEXUALITY

By , March 31, 2008 2:31 pm

Setting Up “Dates” To Insure Opportunity
 
Instant “Ahah!” # 8: “Sharing Your Day” (link to blog with exercise) will increase intimacy, sensuality, the desire for sexual closeness. However, even in the best of relationships, keeping sexuality alive seems to be aided by “making dates,” setting up specific times as protected space for sexual intimacy.
 
Remember, within a set up time, you can be as spontaneous as you want. Some people may find a certain routine creates a ritual “Sacred Space,” for others it may be important that “anything can happen.” However, once the early romance is over, and especially when jobs and children and chores and TV can gobble up all available time, it is important to set up “dates” (just like when you were first getting to know each other) which guarantee an opportunity for sexual intimacy to arise.
 
The longer couples go without having sex, the harder it can become to bridge that gap. And having sex really does increase intimacy for some people, rather than the other way around (increased intimacy increasing sexual desire). So, many couples find that aiming for two to three sexual encounters per week, along with daily”Sharing Your Day,” can be optimum for keeping the sexual channel open in the midst of busy lives.
 
Even including lighting candles, starting music, doing massage to increase sensuality, 45 minutes to an hour can be plenty of time for a wonderful sexual encounter. In the beginning, it may be important to allow more time to take away pressure. But having a wonderful, memorable “date” takes little enough time that couples can make a commitment to fit that time into their schedules.
 
Erotic Equality: Untangling Sexual Desire
 
So, one partner might say, “Two to three times a week! But I hardly ever feel like having sex!” and the other might say, “Two or three times a week! That is nowhere near enough times to meet my need!” And upon this difference in sexual desire many relationships have foundered.
 
Here are some possible solutions. They are based in the ideas of equality and negotiation basic to the entire Creative Edge Focusing model. However, for some people, they may break sexual taboos, so, if you are uncomfortable with these suggestions, feel free to stop reading! These are all links to Dr. McGuire’s blogs:
 
Erotic Massage To Increase Desire

Self-Satisfaction To Equalize Desire

Learning Self-Satisfaction

Sensitivity To Issues Of Sexual Abuse

Increasing Intimacy With Sexy Board Games

Please read entire blog entries on Conflict Resolution and Relationships in order to place Intimacy and Sensuality/Sexuality within the broader range of self-help skills of Empathic Listening and Intuitive Focusing and Interpersonal Focusing which are taught at Creative Edge Focusing (TM), www.cefocusing.com .

 Intimacy comes from clear, open communication, and Listening/Focusing skills allow that communication. See Conscious Relationship Interest Area on the website for a full introduction to Dr. McGuire’s model for The Way of Relationship.

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 

INSTANT INTIMACY: SHARING YOUR DAY, FINDING YOUR PARTNER FASCINATING!

By , March 29, 2008 4:05 pm

Catch up on this cycle: Instant Intimacy Introduction Week One blog
 
Kathy’s Experiences:
 
So, this week my husband and I shared every day, using Instant “Ahah!” #8, as we always do. We shared in front of the fireplace, or by candle light, in the hottub, etc. We had a glass of wine, 20-40 minutes usually, shorter when we had spent the day together anyway. One night we had more wine, more conversation, and ended up in passionate love-making (this in addition to our “planned dates” for love making, a concept which I will introduce in next week’s e-newsletter).
 
Mind you, we have a 17-year old handicapped daughter who needs almost constant supervision. We put her on the treadmill or sat her down with her meal or set up a good movie. We used to do this with two children at home, one a teen with ADHD needing constant homework supervision. We still did it.
 
My husband gets up at 5:30AM to get my daughter to the bus, commutes an hour to and from a very responsible job, gets home around 5PM, we usually start sharing by 6PM, before dinner. He looks forward to it even more than I. We’ve been doing it for over 10 years (I had been divorced once, he twice. I said, “If we don’t do this, we will likely get divorced. He believed me.)
 
I know all about his job: the assessment committee he chairs, peer review evaluations, the Faculty Senate, the new dean and new department chair, faculty leaving and being hired, interpersonal dynamics among staff, his own plans for retiring, the courses he designs and runs, his 200 students and how their personal concerns enter into his teaching.
 
Mind you, he is a professor of business and, when we began, I actually had a prejudice against business, finding it “meaningless.”
 
I also know a lot about how wood twists if not used right away, why he uses screws instead of nails when making decks, the ins and outs of various light bulb choices, how many trips to the home center it takes to find just the right piece to fix a toilet or dripping sink, etc.
 
I also know all about the many “bells and whistles” on his new car,
his excitement about them, what he is learning from reading the manual, what he learns from reading lots of manuals for cars, boats, computers, etc., which we have. I never read manuals.
 
Actually, there were years when I thought his day was too boring, that he should be a “deeper person” like me, be doing something more “meaningful.” (He is a Sensor on the MBTI, very tied to present reality through the five senses, an ISTJ Guardian, a Beaver; I am an Intuitive, tied to the sixth sense, an INFJ Idealist, a Dolphin. See Personality Tests at Creative Edge Focusing so you and your partner can take them). Then, I began to tackle my own inferior Sensing, learning how to deal with accomplishing things in reality. As I became more “boring” myself, I gained more respect for his way. And he learns about “intuition” from me.
 
He reminds me of intimate moments we have had which come back to him. He catches me up on his family in Holland and Oregon, interactions with our daughter’s teachers and other staff. He tells me how beautiful I am.  Etc.
 
Actually, I just thought it would be quite difficult for him or anyone else doing “Sharing Your Day” to be having an affair and not telling, or to be keeping other secrets. We look into each other’s eyes while sharing.
 
Don’t most affairs happen because the Other Person “listens to me,” “finds me interesting, special,” as well as more sex? Let’s think of  “Sharing Your Day,” and the increased intimacy leading to more sexuality it provides, as “Anti-Affair Innoculation”!
 
I’d be interested to know what my husband would tell you about me from our “Sharing Your Day.”: my night-time dreams, hypochondri -ical body sensitivities, the interpersonal interactions in the 10 organizations I belong to and 10 e-discussion lists, my website marketing learnings and hassles and problems, the battles I am fighting to make the world a better place (there are always several), my worries about our son’s little family, where I went shopping and what I bought, my gardening endeavors, etc., etc.
 
If you aren’t already, please get to know your significant other in this intimate way. Sensuous and sexual intimacy will follow.
 
Use what we are learning in the Interpersonal Focusing series in this cycle (see recent blogs under Conflict Resolution), as well as the Complete Focusing Session on Articulating Positive Experiences to help you if you are “stuck.” And Instant “Ahah!” #1 to work on “What is in the way?” in terms of finding a partner or getting your existing relationship back on track.
 
INSTANT INTIMACY, FINDING PARTNERS, DEEPENING SENSUALITY : The “Sharing Your Day” Exercise Itself
 
This four weeks, the exercise is to be done between committed partners, friends, family members. It is a basis for keeping intimacy alive in long-term relationships. I will also share what I know about how this intimate sharing can carry over into increased sensuality/sexuality.
 
But I will also teach what I know about finding a Focusing-Oriented partner.
 
Here is the basic exercise. It is extremely simple. Perhaps you are already doing this with your significant other. Perhaps all you have to say is “Let’s try this,” and you and your partner will make it happen. However, perhaps it will seem impossible to get from where you are now to this kind of sharing. Or maybe you don’t even have a significant other. We will spend four weeks working on overcoming these obstacles! For today, read with your significant other, if you have one, and start practicing as many days of the week as you can.
 
If you don’t have a significant other, or you can’t imagine bringing this idea up with yours, you can begin using Instant “Ahah!” #1, Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You  to explore the “felt sense” of this whole issue for you, look at “What is in the way—?”,” and look for a  possible first step:
 
 
Instant “Ahah!” # 8 :Sharing Your Day : Instant  Intimacy
 
© Kathleen McGuire, Ph.D., 2007
Creative Edge Focusing ™
www.cefocusing.com
 
Time = Love
 
     With your significant other: Every day, and I mean religiously, set aside about 40 minutes to sit down and “share your day.” Get a drink or a snack or go in the hot tub -an uninterrupted space away from other family members. It might only take 20 minutes, but it is ideal to have plenty of time available.
 
     At a separate time, you can also do this with your children, each person having an uninterrupted turn.
 
Just Warm, Silent Attention: No Interruptions, No Criticism
 
      Each person gets to talk without interruption, refreshing in his/her own mind and describing to the other the events of the day, usually in chronological order, often starting with the night before: anxieties, dreams. The speaker gets to share every event of the day which rises to consciousness, no matter how trivial it seems. This can easily take about twenty minutes
 
     The other person simply listens quietly, not saying a word (Well, maybe an occasional “Wow!” or “How interesting!” or “Oh, no!” or “Yikes!”).
 
    Then, when the first speaker is done, it is the other person’s turn – same deal: No interruptions, no opinions, no judgments.
 
No Problem Solving
 
     And no problem solving. At least initially, save problem solving for another time, or do it before or after.  Too easily, problem solving can eat up the sharing space, and intimacy is lost. Problem solving can also bring up conflicts, not wanted in this sharing space. And fear of problem solving can make people dread sharing time, instead of looking forward to this peaceful, intimate lull in a busy day.
 
Intimacy = Sharing
 
     That’s it!!!  You will thoroughly understand what your significant other does all day, the frustrations, the tedium, the other people in his or her world, the small joys, the conflicts, the stresses, the successes, the low points, the high points.  And each person will feel that their life is valid and valuable, no matter how trivial or repetitious it may seem to be.
 
     Over time, you will get to know each other intimately, and this intimacy will carry over into other areas of your shared life. Intimacy increases sensuality and sexuality between partners. Intimacy also leads children to turn to their parents when needing help.
 
     Instant “Ahah!” s 2 and 3 show how to use both passive and active listening for problem solving. But, here, you are using passive listening simply to let your partner or child be the center of attention. At the same time, the speaker becomes the “center of attention” to him- or her-self, taking the time to fully receive his or her day.

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 

INSTANT INTIMACY, FINDING PARTNERS, DEEPENING SENSUALITY

By , March 28, 2008 1:38 pm

Instant “Ahah!” #8: Instant Intimacy: Sharing Your Day 
 
This four weeks, the exercise is to be done between committed partners, friends, family members. It is a basis for keeping intimacy alive in long-term relationships. I will also share what I know about how this intimate sharing can carry over into increased sensuality/sexuality.
 
But I will also teach what I know about finding a Focusing-Oriented partner.
 
Here is the basic exercise. It is extremely simple. Perhaps you are already doing this with your significant other. Perhaps all you have to say is “Let’s try this,” and you and your partner will make it happen. However, perhaps it will seem impossible to get from where you are now to this kind of sharing. Or maybe you don’t even have a significant other. We will spend four weeks working on overcoming these obstacles! For today, read with your significant other, if you have one, and start practicing as many days of the week as you can.
 
If you don’t have a significant other, or you can’t imagine bringing this idea up with yours, you can begin using Instant “Ahah!” #1, Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You  to explore the “felt sense” of this whole issue for you, look at “What is in the way—?”,” and look for a  possible first step:
 
 
instant “ahah!” 8
 
Sharing Your Day : Instant  Intimacy
 
© Kathleen McGuire, Ph.D., 2007
Creative Edge Focusing ™
www.cefocusing.com
 
Time = Love
 
     With your significant other: Every day, and I mean religiously, set aside about 40 minutes to sit down and “share your day.” Get a drink or a snack or go in the hot tub -an uninterrupted space away from other family members. It might only take 20 minutes, but it is ideal to have plenty of time available.
 
     At a separate time, you can also do this with your children, each person having an uninterrupted turn.
 
Just Warm, Silent Attention: No Interruptions, No Criticism
 
      Each person gets to talk without interruption, refreshing in his/her own mind and describing to the other the events of the day, usually in chronological order, often starting with the night before: anxieties, dreams. The speaker gets to share every event of the day which rises to consciousness, no matter how trivial it seems. This can easily take about twenty minutes
 
     The other person simply listens quietly, not saying a word (Well, maybe an occasional “Wow!” or “How interesting!” or “Oh, no!” or “Yikes!”).
 
    Then, when the first speaker is done, it is the other person’s turn – same deal: No interruptions, no opinions, no judgments.
 
No Problem Solving
 
     And no problem solving. At least initially, save problem solving for another time, or do it before or after.  Too easily, problem solving can eat up the sharing space, and intimacy is lost. Problem solving can also bring up conflicts, not wanted in this sharing space. And fear of problem solving can make people dread sharing time, instead of looking forward to this peaceful, intimate lull in a busy day.
 
Intimacy = Sharing
 
     That’s it!!!  You will thoroughly understand what your significant other does all day, the frustrations, the tedium, the other people in his or her world, the small joys, the conflicts, the stresses, the successes, the low points, the high points.  And each person will feel that their life is valid and valuable, no matter how trivial or repetitious it may seem to be.
 
     Over time, you will get to know each other intimately, and this intimacy will carry over into other areas of your shared life. Intimacy increases sensuality and sexuality between partners. Intimacy also leads children to turn to their parents when needing help.
 
     Instant “Ahah!” s 2 and 3 show how to use both passive and active listening for problem solving. But, here, you are using passive listening simply to let your partner or child be the center of attention. At the same time, the speaker becomes the “center of attention” to him- or her-self, taking the time to fully receive his or her day.

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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