Posts tagged: Interactive Focusing


By , November 24, 2008 5:10 pm

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Focusing Out In The World: Interpersonal, Group, Community, AND Organizational models
There is an explosion of interest within those practicing Focusing as an inner problem solving technique toward bringing Focusing, and its companion, Listening, out into the world. How does Gendlin’s Focusing look when it moves from a largely internal practice to an interpersonal, group, community, organizational model?
This e-newsletter addresses some models developing directly out of Focusing and Gendlin’s Philosophy of the Implicit,, as well as other models that integrate well with and are enriched by a Focusing-Oriented perspective.
Central to my own Creative Edge Focusing ™ model for innovation, Creative Edge Organizations, is the awareness that, through the careful integration of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening at all levels, every individual can be engaged at the Creative Edge of their personal passion while contributing to the overall goals of the organization. Read all about it 
“Motivation = Engagement : Apathy Is The Enemy!
Central to the Creative Edge Focusing ™ model is finding the “One Small Thing” which will allow every individual to take that first step toward involvement in civil action or corporate “buy in.” Find several examples from business and social action and try the “One Small Thing” exercise.
“If you view an angry person as a hurting person, you are well on the way toward an empathic, or Listening, way of dealing with interpersonal conflict.  When a person is screaming with anger, she is saying “I perceive you as treading on one of my essential needs, and I am hurting”. 
If, through Focused Listening, you are able to help the person to a more direct expression of her vulnerability and need, it is likely that your own defensive reaction will change to what is called “relational empathy”:  even though you are in conflict with the person because she is keeping you from getting your basic needs met, you will be able to see it as it looks to her, to acknowledge the legitimacy of her need, and to care deeply for her in that. 
Then a resolution of the conflict can arise as an attempt to find a way in which both of you can get your needs met, rather than as a defensive competition to see who can “win” or be proven “right”—
So begins  my own Chapter on Interpersonal Focusing in the Focusing In Community manual, available as an immediate download in English and Spanish, and as part of the multi-media Self-Help Package at Creative Edge Focusing(TM). 
You can also find the Interpersonal Focusing Chapter as a free download, using links at the top of the page of the linked blog.
Also, for a thorough introduction to internal and external conflict resolution, see my section on Conflict Resolution at the Creative Edge Focusing website.
“What is the purpose or intention of Interactive Focusing?
Most simply said, the purpose or intention of Interactive Focusing is to allow you to touch into your direct experience in the presence of another person and through your direct experience in the safe, empathic, accepting and compassionate environment which you create together to become aware of and to share your inner truths thereby building bonds of intimacy.”
So states Janet Klein’s introduction to the website for the self-help skill called Interactive Focusing, created by Janet and Mary McGuire.
See the website for free downloads of manuals for using their protocol.
On the Focusing Discussion List of The Focusing Institute,  (subscribe under category “Felt Community,” then “Discussion Lists”, and access the recent archives), there has been an outpouring of collaborative thinking about the “crossing” between Focusing and Marshall Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication methods. Many Focusers have also been involved with Rosenburg’s model since the 1970’s and 80’s, and they are writing passionately about their experiences of contrast, comparison, and complementarity between the two models.
There seems to be agreement that, while Gendlin’s Focusers have been the masters of articulating the inner landscape for the last 30 years, Rosenberg and his followers have been masters of articulating the interpersonal communication styles which either alienate us from each other or maximize true “meeting” and understanding.
Here is a quote from The Center For Non-Violent Communication website:
“The Center for Nonviolent Communication
A global organization helping people connect compassionately with themselves and one another through Nonviolent Communication language, created by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.

What is Nonviolent Communication?
Imagine connecting with the human spirit, in each person, in any situation.
Imagine interacting with others in a way that allows everyone’s needs to be equally valued.
Imagine creating organizations and life-serving systems responsive to our needs and the needs of our environment.

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) helps connect us with what is alive in ourselves and in others moment-to-moment, with what we or others could do to make life more wonderful, and with an awareness of what gets in the way of natural giving and receiving.
NVC language strengthens our ability to inspire compassion from others and respond compassionately to others and ourselves. NVC guides us to reframe how we express ourselves, how we hear others and resolve conflicts by focusing our consciousness on what we are observing, feeling, needing, and requesting.
Nonviolent Communication Language: It awakens empathy and honesty, and is sometimes described as “the language of the heart.”
You will find many instructional materials and resources at the website, including lists of words capturing Feelings and Needs. Print out these two lists to expand your communication capacity greatly!
To join the Focusing and NVC collaboration group, sign up for a free Google account, log in, and then request to join the Online NVC and Focusing group .
My own method for Collaborative Decision Making Meetings uses structures which prohibit interruptions, moderate turn-taking, and encourage Focused Listening and Intuitive Focusing to resolve interpersonal conflict and group-level polarization. Leadership tasks are rotated so that all group members learn to run efficient, creative meetings. Here is a description from The Creative Edge Focusing website:
Coordinated Collaboration: The Best of Consensus and Hierarchy 
“Here are some Task-Roles  and Impasse Resolution Procedures , for use when a group has a limited time to make decisions. This model can also be used, as Coordinated Collaboration, as a way of gathering information and input, in work groups where there is a boss, a Project Manager, or a Coordinator who will make the final decisions.

As with all the Applied Methods of Creative Edge Focusing ™, the procedures create quiet, protected moments where participants can pay attention to the “intuitive feel,” The Creative Edge, and create innovative ideas and solutions.
The tasks can be rotated in a “shared leadership” model, where appropriate, each person on the team learning the various skills. Or, for instance, on the Board of a Corporation or Non-Profit Organization, the formal Chairperson might serve as the agenda keeper more regularly.”
Find the entire Collaborative Edge protocol for immediate use in decision making groups, and download a longer article explaining the model, with handouts for groups in English  and in Spanish .
Rosa Zubizaretta, , combines her knowledge of Listening and Focusing with Jim Rough’s Dynamic Facilitation and other models for encouraging group participants to contribute from their Creative Edge with trust in the “self-organizing” capacity of groups. Her website is packed with Resources for a variety of transformational methods both for “At Work” and “In The Community.”
In facilitating creativity and conflict resolution in groups and organizations, the DF facilitator uses a form of active listening to draw out every group participant, encouraging speaking from the “felt sense” or “intuitive feel” as well as fully expressing emotions and divergent thinking. Miraculously, when participants are enabled to express themselves fully and really listen to each other, convergent solutions eventually arise.
Here is a quote from her introduction to the role and skills of the DF facilitator:
In Dynamic Facilitation, the main role of the facilitator is to listen deeply, and to create a space where each participant can be deeply heard. To do so, he or she takes a very active and consistent role in supporting the emotional safety, unique perspective, and creative contribution of each participant.
As mentioned earlier, the facilitator is NOT leading the group through any prescribed series of steps. Instead, he or she is very involved on the “micro-level,” providing empathy, respect, and support for each participant’s contribution.”
You can find many links to resources and  Rosa’s  free manual for the DF procedure, in English and Spanish.
Motivation, Passion, Creativity, “Buy In,” Esprit De Corps
Open-Space Technology, , is another modality which encourages maximum possibility and responsibility for each participant in group problem solving and creativity/innovation situations. Learn all about the approach at this extensive website. It combines well with Focusing in that each person is encouraged to act out of their alive, present “felt sense” of their creativity.  Here is a quote from the website: 
Rarely, if ever, have the Peoples of this planet had greater need for Peace and High Performance. Peace so that we may freely pursue the fulfillment of our potential. And High Performance for ourselves and our organizations so that our pursuit may be accomplished with energy and finesse.
The twenty year natural experiment with Open Space Technology has demonstrated that both Peace and High Performance are attainable. Hugely conflicted groups have found ways to respectfully deal with each other as they discovered workable solutions for their issues. Complex projects have been brought to fruition in breathtakingly short times, a clear example of High Performance.
Many people have viewed the results as counterintuitive, unbelievable, even magic. The results continue, however, in thousands of instances and 135 countries. But the “magic” is not Open Space Technology, but rather the force that underlies it — the power of self organization. You are invited to explore that primal power for purposes of peace making and enabling High Performance.”
And thanks to Simon for a quote from Harrison Owen (attributed as the developer of OST):
“We know that when Spirit is present in a group of people, wonderful things can happen. We also know that when Spirit is somehow absent or flagging, no amount of money in the bank, technology in the backroom, or executive talent on the roster makes much difference – nothing really seems to go right.
Of course there are times when precise statements about the quality and
nature of Spirit are important, but in the work-a-day world, it is usually
sufficient to acknowledge the presence of Spirit, by whatever name. Call it
what you like – team spirit, esprit de corps, Great Spirit of the Cosmos – sooner or later they all connect. I think. But the critical thing is to acknowledge Spirit  when we meet, and somehow summon it again when it is absent.”
Read the whole article.
Francesca Castaldi has written an article which grew out her experience at the first Movement At The Edge Event and other experiences about how the “felt-sense” of each participant can be kept alive in creating “person-centered democracy” in group settings. She states:
” Most professional gatherings are organized around content and leave little creativity for process-structure. Professional conferences also tend to foster our caution in presenting new ideas: we privilege what we know well and what we have tested with our experience, knowing that our reputation is at stake and a solid knowing “needs” to be upheld. Often it is only well-recognized celebrities in the profession who can afford the risk of presenting their work-in-process–the edge of their knowing, the exciting new hints and ideas that they are nurturing.
We as a community of Focusers have developed the ability to follow the edge of our knowing, to let it emerge in the actual moment and be responsive to our living: we have learned to support a subtle process of explicating that which is still incipient, tentative at first, still forming, and still vulnerable to overwriting by stronger impulses and habits.
Recognizing the power of the Focusing process and of Focusing partnership for protecting this incipient process of creation and explication can help us make room for Focusing in larger meetings and gatherings.
An understanding of the creative/creating process involved in any project can further help us see the place of Focusing in professional gatherings. Below I present what I consider essential phases in the realization of any project, and the ways in which our use or understanding of the Focusing process can help us in choosing process-structures that best support such phases.”
Read the whole article .
MEETING AT THE EDGE: FOCUSING AND BODY-WORK/MOVEMENT EVENT, Sept 22-26, 2009   Boldern Center, Maennedorf, near Zurich, Switzerland.
This will be the second MAE event. The first was celebrated as a model for collaboration, community building, and warm sharing among those interested in the intersection, or “crossing,” of Focusing with Body-Work and Movement. 
Here is the MAE website’s description of the structure of this workshop:
“Workshop structure

Our main objective in this residential workshop is to create an environment that is explorative, creative, and collaborative.  Rather than privileging presentations of already well established techniques, attitudes, concepts, or methods we are wanting to foster an encounter that supports the exploration of what is at the edge of your knowing, rich in fecundity and possibilities even when tentative and subtle.
The atmosphere of deep listening and open support that we will create as a group of diverse professionals generates its own creative energy.  We have found that when the program of the workshop is set well ahead of time, this creative energy does not have a chance to bring its fruits, as it remains “squished” into an already set structure and at most can leak out in breaks between presentations.

We intend to give central stage to the excitement and inspiration that takes place at the moment of our actual meeting and that is fully responsive to our living.  We have thus created a process-structure that can support a full spectrum of interactions and be responsive to the different needs we may have as individuals in our professional journeys.

We invite you to nurture a sense of a project-something meaningful to you in your work-before coming to Boldern, noticing what in you wants to be shared in the setting we are providing.  By not formally sending in a presentation proposal you will be able to be responsive to the transformation that may occur before our meeting, and then sense freshly into the whole as we meet.”
Follow the link to the website for all information and an introduction to the special format and “culture” of these events.

I hope the above methods contribute to a dialogue on “How can we structure groups and organizations such that each individual can stay connected with their internal passion and creativity while collaborating toward a common goal?”

Tell me what you think at 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)


By , April 25, 2008 2:48 pm


Differences So Vast You Can’t Imagine

People are so different in their basic personality and learning styles, talents, and goals that you simply cannot understand anyone deeply without using the Focused Listening skill.

However, personality differences are actually so great that it can be as if the other person sees the world in a completely different way. Even Focused or Empathic Listening may not be enough for you to grasp how different the other person is from you.

At Creative Edge Focusing ™ , we use a variety of personality tests and measures of individual difference  like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or The Enneagram to make this point about individual differences and uniqueness. We are more interested in getting people to consider the depth and range of individual differences than we are allied with any one measure.

When you really become embattled with someone who is widely different from you, you believe that the person must be from a different planet. They must be crazy. They are evil.  All you know is that they are not like you – and that they are not okay. They represent a threat to how you see the world, and you have to get rid of them. This misunderstanding about deep personality differences, or basic differences in ways-of- seeing- the- world, is the root of much violence in this world.

Almost everyone has had such a clash, for instance the stereotypical clash between masculine and feminine, between Thinker and Feeler, between the responsible Ant and the playful Grasshopper as portrayed in numerous films. These clashes are violent. They destroy relationships, families, students, and business relationships.

In the weeks of this cycle, you will find descriptions of some of our favorite measures of individual differences  and links to online tests and more complete descriptions. We suggest that you try out lots of different measures and even several different versions of the same measure, building an “intuitive sense” of your own personality and style rather than rigidly forcing yourself into a pigeon hole, and also trying out various approaches to understanding your family, friends, and colleagues.

Below, you’ll find descriptions and links for the MBTI and the Keirsey Temperament Sorter. The MBTI is meant to be given by certified professionals expert in its administration and interpretation (although there are self-scoring versions available). The Keirsey is a user-friendly, less professional version based upon the same Jungian theory.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) : Differing Gifts

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), widely used in business and education, is one way to understand the “differing gifts” of each individual. Based upon psychiatrist Carl Jung’s theory, The MBTI measures two orientations (Introversion vs. Extroversion; Judging vs. Perceiving), and four psychological functions (Sensing vs. iNtuition ; Thinking vs. Feeling).

Scoring creates 16 distinct personality types, each described with four letters (INFJ; ESTP; ENTJ, etc.). However, there are further complexities. For instance, in each type, two of the four functions are introverted; two are extroverted . You need a chart to figure that out (click here to find a chart, along with Dr. McGuire’s summaries, in her article, “Jung, MBTI, and Experiential Theory. For more on masculine and feminine, Thinking and Feeling, according to Jung, Gilligan, and Gendlin, see McGuire’sThe Body As A Source Of Knowledge ).

The MBTI has been administered to millions in education and business settings, and individuals are surprised to recognize themselves in the personality descriptions. Much research has also shown that MBTI personality types accurately predict career choices (Myers, Gifts Differing, Consulting Psychologists Press, 1980, link to Even more importantly, the MBTI is widely used in business for personnel decisions and to develop teams that are balanced in terms of contributions from different personality types.

Personality Differences Are Vast, Inexplicable

At a workshop, the trainers had all the Introverts sit at a table together for lunch, and all of the Extroverts at a different table.  The Introverts ran out of things to say and excused themselves quickly, needing time to gather energy by taking a walk alone or taking a nap or meditating or reading quietly before the next session.

The Extroverts filled up every silence, competing for turns to talk rather than listening to each other. They could have talked forever, gathering energy from the interaction regardless of whether they understood each other.

The Association for Personality Types ( ) makes it clear that the MBTI should be administered by a trained professional who can appropriately explain and interpret test scores. However, for an informal idea of your Jungian personality type, we can suggest the following websites. Take several different versions of the tests for greater clarity:

The Keirsey Temperament Sorter: Four Basic Temperaments

Keirsey and Bates (Please Understand Me, Prometheus Nemesis, 1984) trace how, since earliest written reports, humans have continuously defined each other into four types, basically “fire, water, air, and earth” in many different versions.

Please Understand Me  (link to includes a self-administered test derived from the Myers Briggs (MBTI) which produces the same 16 personality types marked by four letters (INFJ, ENFJ, ESTJ, etc.) as the MBTI. The book also includes excellent descriptions of learning, leadership, and relationship styles of the various types. This book is an excellent bargain, since it includes a test equivalent to the Myers Briggs plus user-friendly theory for about $15.

The description of the SP learning style, and its clash with the traditional SJ orientation of the majority of school administrators and teachers, provides a positive way of understanding children diagnosed as “ADHD” and their clash with traditional education.

In Please Understand Me II  (link to (Prometheus Nemesis, 1998) Keirsey further develops  his own typology of the four basic “temperaments,” which he calls, after Plato’s categories, Artisans (The Fox), Guardians (The Beaver), Idealists (The Dolphin), and Rationals (The Owl). He discusses forms of intelligence, social roles, self-image, values, and interests of each temperament. His book includes the original MBTI-like test and a new one for his four temperaments. It also has chapters on Mating, Parenting, and Leading according to the different temperaments.

Keirsey, in describing the SP learner as his Artisan, provides a further positive description of the hands-on, active learning style of those called “ADHD” and “ADD” in our educational systems. His descriptions validate the many positive attributes of this “learning and personality style” which can be capitalized upon rather than denigrated. See Dr. McGuire’s article, “Don’t Fight ‘Em, Join ‘Em: A Community-Wide Intervention for ADHD, School Failure, and Juvenile Delinquency for more.

Best bargain: buy Please Understand Me and get the test as well as useful information about the sixteen types. You can use the test over and over again with friends and family.

You can take a brief Four Temperaments test online for free, to discover if you are an Artisan, Guardian, Idealist, or Rational,  but, in order to also get your one of the sixteen Jungian-based types and a full report, you will be asked to pay a small charge. Keirsey’s website contains lots of interesting information, for instance, his ratings of personality types of US Presidents and other famous people:  (short, free quiz; small charge for longer report)

Exercise for the week:  visit the websites and take several versions of these tests, with friends and family and coworkers if possible, discussing varying personality styles discovered.

See blog Interpersonal Focusing and Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication and use the links at the top to download Dr. McGuire’s Chapter Five: Interpersonal Focusing, in English and Spanish, with complete instructions for using the Interpersonal Focusing method (from her self-help manual Focusing in Community (Focusing en Comunidad).

See blogs under Category: Conflict Resolution in the sidebar to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

The site of new insights and creative solutions is at the edge of what is already known. This edge, The Creative Edge, holds implicit within it all past and future knowing about the problem, more than could ever be put into words in a linear way 


By , April 7, 2008 11:56 am

Interactive Focusing: The Double Empathic “Golden Moment”


For four weeks, we practice an actual exercise in three different categories: An Instant “Ahah!” to integrate into your every day life at work and at home, a Felt Sensing exercise to practice this step of Focusing, and a Complete Focusing Session. Actually doing the exercise which  arrives in each e-newsletter insures that you can call upon these new skills when needed!If you just joined us, you can “catch up” on this cycle, which is starting Week Four, by reading archived e-newsletters

Week One Instant Ahah! # 7: Sharing Your Day = Instant Intimacy and

MORE Interpersonal Focusing: The Third-Person Facilitator , plus

Week Two Sharing Your Day: Finding Your Partner Fascinating and

Interpersonal: The One Minute Apology plus

Week Three Increasing Sexual Intimacy and

Interpersonal: Group Conflict — DF vs. CEDM and

Week Four Instant Ahah!#7: “I Don’t Want To Share My Day!” and Re-Evaluation Co-Counseling

If you want to learn more about past teaching/exercises related to Interpersonal Focusing to resolve conflicts, see

Interpersonal Felt Sensing: This flower is beautiful TO ME Week 1,  

Interpersonal Felt Sensing Exercise,

Interpersonal: Non-Violent Communication Week 2 ,

Interpersonal: Verbal Abuse Vs. Focusing Protocol Week 3 , and Interpersonal: Myth of Dominance and Focusing Protocol Week 4 .



“What is the purpose or intention of Interactive Focusing?
Most simply said, the purpose or intention of Interactive Focusing is to allow you to touch into your direct experience in the presence of another person and through your direct experience in the safe, empathic, accepting and compassionate environment which you create together to become aware of and to share your inner truths thereby building bonds of intimacy.”


So states Janet Klein’s introduction to the website for the self-help skill called Interactive Focusing, , created by Janet and Mary McGuire.


And further:


“Interactive Focusing
Interactive Focusing develops directly from intrapersonal and transactional Focusing. Interactive Focusing requires that the participants get in touch with an unclear issue that is carried in their bodysense. It requires that there is a listener using reflective responding as their listening modality. But it further requires that the full experience is one that is created jointly and dependent on a balanced participation by both. Because it is a mutual experience, certain safeguards must be in place. Interactive Focusing has developed into a practice of empathy and compassion in a safe environment, and Interactive Focusing has become the mode for developing empathy, acceptance and compassion in a safe environment.”


Here is one version of the full Interactive Focusing Protocol :


Interactive Focusing Format

By Mary Melady, reviewed and edited by Janet Klein

Part One: The Focuser’s Story


Focuser:Tells a reasonable part of her story, always touching into the bodysense.

Listener: Listens from the bodysense and offers reflective responses throughout the story-telling.


Focuser: Resonates the reflection for accuracy, to see if the inner experience shifts, to see if more comes. Gives Listener feedback, e.g. “I need more time with that,” “I’d like to hear that again,” “Yes—,” “No, it’s more like—,” “There’s another part I need you to hear —“

Listener: Reflects the feedback to acknowledge the correction and to let the Focuser resonate it, e.g. “So it’s more like —,” “It’s not —, it’s —“


Focuser: Checks to see if she has come to a resting place with this part of her story.

Listener: Also, can check with the Focuser to see if this part feels complete.

Part Two: The Double Empathic Moment The “Golden Moment”


Focuser: Invites the Listener to go inside to the bodysense to form the empathic response: How does the Listener get that it is for the Focuser from the Focuser’s internal frame of reference. At the same time, the Focuser checks inside to get the edge of where she is with her own story and to be gentle with what is there for her.

Listener: Goes inside: Takes time to let a bodysense form. Listens inside as if she were the Focuser. How might all that feel for the storyteller?


Note: Usually the Listener goes first with the empathic response.

Listener: Offers the empathic response: The metaphor or image that has formed. It is usually brief and more poetic, capturing the essence of it.

Focuser: The Focuser resonates the Listener’s empathic response to see if it fits and gives feedback if needed, e.g. “That really captures it,” or “It’s more like — for me.”


Focuser: Offers what came when she went inside to get how it is for her now in this new moment.

Listener: Gives reflective responses.


Focuser: Quiet moment to savor how it feels to share oneself and feel empathically heard.

Listener: Quiet moment to savor how it feels to hear and take someone into your space, empathically.

Part Three: The Interactive Response

The pair switches roles


The Focuser becomes the “new” Listener. Asks what got touched inside the “new” Focuser by what she just shared.

The Listener becomes the “new” Focuser. Checks inside to see what got touched by the first Focuser’s story.

They follow A-G above so the Listener has a chance to tell her story and feel empathically heard.

Part Four: The Interactive Closing – The relationship check


Focuser and Listener: How do I feel about you now that we have shared all of that?

Focuser and Listener: How do I feel about myself after sharing all of that with you? How do I feel about us?

Summary: The Interactive Focusing Model Short form for Dyads

Part One: The Focuser’s Story

  • The Focuser tells her story
  • The Listener gives reflections
  • The Focuser resonates and gives feedback if necessary

Part Two: The Double Empathic Moment

  • Full Empathic Response by both the Listener and Focuser

Part Three: The Interactive Response

  • Exchange roles and repeat Part One and Part Two

Part Four: The Interactive closing, The Relationship Check

  • How they now feel about each other and
  • How they now feel about themselves.

On the website there is also an Interactive Focusing Program, based upon “Inside Me” Stories, to use as a social/emotional intelligence curriculum with children.


Best of all, books and manuals by Janet Klein, for Interactive Focusing with adults and children, are available FREE at


I do believe that Janet (and Mary McGuire, co-developer) have a role of Coach perhaps similar to the use of the Third-Person Listening Facilitator role in my, Kathy McGuire’s earlier model for Interpersonal Focusing.

The protocol as given above seems to rely on both the Focuser and Listener having a good degree of skill in speaking from an “owning,” felt-sensing place and being able to Listen without reacting.

The “Double Empathic” or “Golden Moment” does give a good moment for both parties to share their empathic understanding of the experience of the other and would make a nice addition to Kath McGuire’s Interpersonal Focusing Protocol.


Interactive Focusing can be practiced when there really isn’t any big misunderstanding The two people can simply develop the habit of one as Listener taking in what the other is saying as the  Focuser, reflecting it, letting the Focuser “check and resonate and clarify.”


Next, the Listener goes inside and senses into a deeper Empathic Response, trying to really grasp what it is like to BE the Focuser. The Focuser also checks deeply whether this Empathic Response “captures all of it.” This is the Double Empathic, Golden Moment.


THEN the Listener has a turn to use Focusing upon the new “felt sense” stirred in him or her by hearing the other’s Focusing Turn. This is different from the usual Focusing Partnership Turn, where each Focuser works on their own individual issue, not their bodily-felt sense “reaction” or response to the turn of the other.

Interactive Focusing can be used as a first, non-threatening step to learning how to deal with the “felt senses” in us that are stirred “interactively,” by the words of another. Develop the habit of Interactive Focusing so that the skill will be there when there IS a problem in the relationship.

Visit the website at . Learn as much as you can and order the free books!!!!  Then, try it out with a partner or significant other!!! Or try it with several different people. And/or try it out with your partner every week! Then you will be ready, already having the habit of “empathy in relationship” when troublesome “felt senses” arise interpersonally.


Dr. Kathy McGuire will work with you and your significant other(s) by phone, first as Third Person Facilitator, then teaching you to use her Interpersonal Focusing method with each other. Click here to see Item SES-9, Interpersonal Focusing offered in The Store  at Creative Edge Focusing (TM).

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF WebsiteFind links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

The site of new insights and creative solutions is at the edge of what is already known. This edge, The Creative Edge, holds implicit within it all past and future knowing about the problem, more than could ever be put into words in a linear way 

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