Posts tagged: Experiential 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

EXPERIENCING THE SACRED 2: SPIRITUALITY AND RELIGION

By , May 17, 2008 10:19 am

EXPERIENCING THE SACRED

Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening can be used purposefully to “attend to,” “sit with,” “articulate” the “intuitive feel” of spiritual experiences. But more importantly, the practice of Listening/Focusing opens our eyes to seeing the Sacred around us by encouraging attention to those moments when the Sacred enters our lives.If you have just joined us, click here to read the rest of last week’s first e-newsletter introducing this cycle, Instant Ahah # 10: Experiencing the Sacred Week One

Spirituality Is Different than Religion

Elfie Hinterkopf, in her book Integrating Spirituality into Counseling: Using the Experiential Focusing Method (available in The Store at www.focusing.org  ), makes the following distinction:

 “It is important to distinguish spirituality from religiousness — in this book religiousness will be used to mean adherence to the beliefs and practices of an organized church or religious institution (Shafranske and Malony, 1990). Spirituality will be used to refer to a unique, personally meaningful experience (Shafranske and Gorsuch, 1984). Although spirituality may be positively related to specific forms of religiousness, spirituality is not necessarily reliant upon any given form or appearance of religion.”

And:

“The spiritual experience is one of bodily felt release, more life energy, feeling more fully present, a sense of feeling larger and being able to reach out to more parts of oneself, to more people, and to more of life (Campbell and McMahon, 1985).”

Notice that Hinterkopf is not at all diminishing the experience of being “religious,” of following the practices of an organized religion. She is saying that this other thing, this “spiritual experience” can happen within those formal confines and also separately.

Hinterkopf’s work has helped people to overcome those times when organized religion, for whatever reason, has dampened their access to the actual bodily-felt experience of The Sacred in the world. She shows how to use Gendlin’s Focusing in a counseling setting to help people explore their past histories of experience with religion as well as to find and articulate the present, bodily-felt experience of spirituality through the kind of growth experiences possible through Focusing.

Our purpose here is to enrich your spiritual experience in relation to any symbols or belief systems.

Exercise: Focusing on Spirituality: Experiencing The Sacred

Click here to go to last week’s blog with the actual Focusing Exercise

RESOURCES

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 ! 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 

Learning Focusing, Listening, and Focusing Partnership Exchange

By , March 6, 2008 1:33 pm

Capitulo Tres: El Intercambio de Escucha

Chapter Three: Listening/Focusing Exchange

Click links for free downloads of word file of manual chapter

 

THE LISTENING/FOCUSING EXCHANGE

The basic, core model for interpersonal forms of Gendlin’s Focusing is the Focusing Partnership: the equal exchange of turns between peer counselors. One person uses Focusing to pay attention to the murky “intuitive feel,” the “felt sense” of an issue or problem needing solving. The other person responds with Empathic Listening, simply trying to “say back” or “reflect” the words of the Focuser, with emphasis upon the “feeling tone” and the murky, unclear Edge. The Listener might also give Focusing Invitations to help the Focuser go more deeply into the “felt sense” of the issue. 

Then, after the designated time is up, the two share feedback about being the Focuser and being the Listener in that turn, then switch roles. The first Focuser now becomes the Listener, and the initial Listener becomes the Focuser, for an equal period of time.

 

THE FOCUSING PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM

 

Gendlin’s international Focusing Institute offers a Focusing Partnership program, a way in which people can form Focusing Partnerships for face-to-face or phone Focusing Partnership sessions world-wide. Those with no initial Listening/Focusing training can participate in two paid training sessions in numerous languages and by phone. Then they can join the Focusing Partnership pool. Click here to find all about the Focusing Partnership Program at The Focusing Institute website.

 

SELF-HELP MANUAL TEACHING FOCUSING PARTNERSHIP

I have taught Focusing Partnership, which I have called the Listening/Focusing Exchange for thirty years, since my own initial experience of Focusing Partnership in the original Changes Listening/Focusing Community in Chicago starting in 1968. My manual, Focusing In Community: How To Start A Listening/Focusing Support Group (Focusing En  Comunidad: Como Empezar Un Grupo De Apoyo De Escucha Y Focusing) includes thorough instructions in how to do Focusing Partnerships and how to include them within a Focusing Group/Team/Community. 

Download the complete Chapter Three: The Listening/Focusing Exchange (Capitulo Tres: El Intercambio de Escucha) from the manual to begin exploring these wonderful self-help tools. Use the links at the 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

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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