Posts tagged: Focusing-Oriented Therapy

INTUITIVE FOCUSING: THE ONE MINUTE PAUSE — REFLECTING, NOT REACTING

By , April 10, 2009 5:02 pm
Self-Reflection

Self-Reflection

We like to think of ourselves as free. But, most of the time, we are actually simply reacting to the stimuli around us. Something happens, and we REACT. We do not usually STOP, even for a moment, to REFLECT upon what is happening. We are not “free” but quite controlled by the situations around us. And, most importantly, we are also controlled by the residue left by our past experiences in similar situations.

Human beings have the special capacity to be self-reflective. We are able to take a step back and look at what we are doing, ponder, “Why am I acting like this in this situation?”, and change our future actions. But too seldom do we take this “one minute pause”  before reacting. 

The capacity for self-reflection becomes urgently important when our “reactions” are not serving us well. It is then that we seek psychotherapy or other help — to figure out why we act as we do and how we might act differently.

True change comes from INSIDE and cannot be given as advice by another. Change from advice is short-term. Through self-reflection, change becomes lasting.  Internal patterns change, like a kaleidoscope turning. THEN new thoughts, emotions, and action steps become possible.

Before a crisis leads to therapy, self-reflection can be learned as the simple self-help skill, Intuitive Focusing. Based upon Eugene Gendlin’s six-step Focusing process (Focusing, Bantam, 1981, 1984), Intuitive Focusing is the disciplined “practice” of self-reflection. Intuitive Focusing makes productive use of the PAUSE for self-reflection.

During the pause, the Focuser turns inward and pays attention to the “intuitive feel,” the “something-more-than-words”  which underlies thoughts, behaviors, actions. During this quiet inner attention, the Focuser looks for words or images that are “just right” in capturing the “intuitive feel.” When “just right” symbolizations are found, the “bodily-felt sense” opens and shifts, is carried forward to new understandings. The kaleidoscope turns, and a whole new pattern of possibilities arises.

The PRISMS/S PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS begins with the PAUSE and goes through the Intuitive Focusing steps needed for paradigm shifts, for the kaleidoscope to turn.

While Intuitive Focusing can be practiced alone, the quiet time for self-reflection can be greatly facilitated by the company of a Focused Listener. The Focused Listener says back the Focusers words, with special attention to the “feeling tone,” the “something more than words.” In a Focusing Community, people take turns as the Focuser and Listener, helping each other with problem solving.

Experiential Focusing Therapy also places emphasis upon teaching this self-help skill of productive self-reflection, so that clients can continue to solve their own problems throughout their life.

For application in business settings, see my article, “Creative Edge Organizations: Businesses and Organizations As A ‘Kind’ Of Focusing Community” from The Folio: Thirtieth Anniversity Tribute edition at The Focusing Institute, www.focusing.org .

You can learn all about Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening with the many resources listed 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

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

INTEREST AREA: EXPERIENTIAL FOCUSING THERAPY

By , June 25, 2008 9:38 am

INTEREST AREAS: SEVEN DIFFERENT PLACES TO START LISTENING/FOCUSING 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.).

In the e-newsletters, 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. See BLOGS BELOW THIS ONE IN ARCHIVES FOR JUNE, 2008

Week One Interest Area: Creative Edge Organizations,
Week Two Interest Area: The Way of Relationship,
Week Three Interest Area: Building Community — Support Groups Everywhere,
Week Four Interest Area: Creative Edge Education —Every Gift Awakened (Especially for ADHD) .

INTEREST AREA: EXPERIENTIAL FOCUSING THERAPY (FOT)

Experiential (EXP) Focusing Therapy is Dr. McGuire’s version of Gendlin’s Focusing-Oriented Therapy (Gendlin, E.T. Focusing-Oriented Therapy: A Manual of the Experiential Method, Guilford, 1996).The core skills of Experiential Focusing Therapy, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening,integrate into all other approaches to counseling and therapy, including body-centered work, spiritual direction, and medical interviews as well as psychotherapy.

The counselor keeps his/her attention upon the client/patient’s Creative Edge, the “intuitive feel” from which new solutions and creative ideas can arise. S/he also pays attention to the Relational Edge (term created by Glenn Fleisch), her own experience of the interactional “intuitive feel” created between herself and the client.

The counselor uses Focused Listening, including Focusing Invitations, to encourage Intuitive Focusing by the client. However, the counselor can also incorporate all other techniques which might enable the client/patient to step out of fixed, static patterns. This can include body work, Gestalt and other experiential interventions, psychoanalytic and Self Psychology, interpretations of the therapeutic relationship, cognitive/behavioral analysis, Emotion-Focused Therapy, whatever the counselor has in his or her tool bag.

But the goal of interventions is always the same: allowing the client/patient to experience and pay attention to the “intuitive feel” underlying “stuck” patterns, the Creative Edge of change, and to articulate Paradigm Shifts out of this fresh, felt experiencing, using the PRISMS/S Problem Solving Method.

The following articles indicate Dr. McGuire’s specific emphases (you can find them all at www.cefocusing.com under Free Resources: Articles, http://cefocusing.com/freedownloads/index.php:

Affect in Focusing and Experiential Therapy (PDF)
Focusing Inner Child work With Abused Clients (PDF)
Caring Confrontation In Experiential Therapy (PDF)
The “sheen of tears”(“Being Touched and Being Moved” (PDF) as an indicator of areas of profound personal meaning as well as of possible unresolved childhood issues
Experiential Focusing as a method of brief therapy (PDF) and brief therapy from a humanistic standpoint (PDF)
Psychotherapy training through peer counseling (PDF)
Integrating Listening/Focusing moments into medical interviews (PDF), throughout hospitals, and other helping/counseling situations

 For a short description of Experiential Focusing Therapy, see PDF download Experiential Focusing Therapy
See also:
Experiential Focusing Therapy: For Clients
Experiential Focusing Therapy: For Therapists

All Helping Professionals Can “Experientialize” Their Work

Helping professionals include all whose work focus is on helping other human beings, rather than creating solely material or intellectual products. Helping professionals include dentists, physicians, psychologists, social workers, counselors, teachers, nurses, medical technicians, chiropractors, acupuncturists, holistic health practitioners, massage therapists, etc.

Helping professionals can integrate the basic Focused Listening and Intuitive Focusing skills into their work in many ways. They can use them to aid patients and clients, for their own personal growth, and for burnout prevention, an important area for all helping professionals. See More on Focusing and Helping Professionals.

Purchase Dr. McGuire’s manaul, The Experiential Dimension In Therapy.

Ten First Steps To Take To Add Focusing and Listening To Healing

Go to Interest Area: Experiential Focusing Therapy and scroll to the bottom to find the Ten First Steps To Take  to bring Focusing into therapy practice and other helping professions.

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.

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

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

REFLECTIVE LISTENING: WHEN IS A REFLECTION “RIGHT”?

By , December 6, 2007 3:01 pm

This is my favorite question ever!  What is “right” in terms of a Listening Response, a Reflection? I’d love it if everyone would jump in with their answer to this question, regardless of teaching experience or just experience! 
 
For me, the only “right” that really matters is when the client/Focuser says, “Yes. That is exactly right. That fits” with sighs, tension release, other signs that this is the body’s response: “Yes. That is right. It captures the ‘feel of it all’ completely.” 
 
The point or goal of Focusing Turns, or Focusing-Oriented Therapy (FOT) IS to empower the Focuser to gain confidence and skill in allowing answers and next steps to come from within their own experiencing of their own unique situation. 

IT IS MORE IMPORTANT TO EMPOWER THE CLIENT TO TRUST THEIR OWN JUDGMENT THAN TO CONVINCE THEM OF SOMETHING THAT MAY BE THEORETICALLY “CORRECT.”
 
Carl Rogers was so emphatic about this empowering that he would do NOTHING but reflect, not wanting to give the client any temptation to rely upon him as “expert” rather than their own inner experiencing and problem solving.
 
So, if a reflection/interpretation/evocative technique does not “fit” in the moment, does not touch the Focuser’s present felt experiencing in a way that allows carrying-forward, new next steps from inside, to unfold, draws the Focuser out into discussion, disagreement, or argument with the Listener — then, it is not “right” in this moment — although it may become “right” at a later point when the Focuser has moved forward to a new felt Edge that can take it in in a resonating way—
 
Most everything else, I guess, is helpful or unhelpful!  Helpful can be getting it “wrong” in a way that helps the Focuser say more what “it” is like: “No, it’s not that. It’s more like this—” (This can happen even when the Listener says back exactly the Focuser’s words, seemingly perfectly “right”!).
 
Helpful is always going back, after any intervention, especially one that seemed “wrong” in terms of getting the Focuser off the track of felt-sensing, into confusion or arguing or theorizing with the Listener instead of continuing to pay attention to finding words or images for, the present “felt sense.”
 
My articles Caring Confrontation and Focusing Inner Child Work With Abused Clients (free PDF downloads from www.cefocusing.com )trace my attempts to grapple with this issue, of how hard to press, how often to come back to, a “felt experiencing” I have in relation to the client which I think is “Correct” in some way but they say is not “Right.”
 
This is such a great question, I would invite everyone to jump in with their own answer, their own way of saying what is “right” in terms of a Listening Response.

Learn more about Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening and Experiential Focusing Therapy at Creative Edge Focusing’s website, filled with free downloads on creativity, spirituality, collaborative thinking, parenting, innovation in business, and many other aspects of application of Focusing and Listening skills at home, at work, in your community, and globally.

See actual demonstrations of Listening/Focusing in our Self-Help package, a manual in English or Spanish, four CDs of Focusing Instructions, and a DVD with four demonstrations of actual listening/focusing sessions — everything you need to start your own Listening/Focusing Partnership or Support Group or to incorporate these basic self-help skills into existing support groups.

In the side bar at Creative Edge Focusing, subscribe to our free e-newsletter for weekly reminders to practice Relaxation and Focusing exercises and join our free yahoo group, Creative Edge Practice, for ongoing demonstrations, practice, and support.

Find classes/workshops/phone coaching in our Listings section or Coaching/Classes/Consulting with Dr. McGuire

Dr. Kathy McGuire

Creative Edge Focusing

www.cefocusing.com

Sharing Your Day: Instant Intimacy

By , December 2, 2007 2:54 pm

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.

     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, including sexuality between partners and children turning to their parents when needing help.

Find this exercise as #8, p. 27, in the Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, (Ajas Instantaneos en espanol) free download at Creative Edge Focusing website. There, in the sidebar, you can subscribe to our e-newsletter, for weekly advice and e-reminders to try out the exercises.

Need more help getting agreement with your significant other to move into more intimate sharing? You can try Interpersonal Focusing phone sessions with Dr. McGuire or find a Focusing-Oriented Therapist  in your area through listings at The Focusing Institute

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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