Posts tagged: relationships


By , July 8, 2008 11:15 pm

Interest Areas: Positive Parenting Initiative – First Ten Steps

Core Concepts

  • In order to raise children for today’s world, parents must “mentor” their children for independent and flexible problem solving and decision making. Children need guides, mentors : Yoda of Star Wars, not authoritarian police man.
  • Children have natural access to the “intuitive sensing” central to Intuitive Focusing. This inner guide leads to independent decision making, having a “conscience,” and having a satisfying life which fulfills one’s unique “blueprint,” specific talents and aspirations. Positive Parenting helps children maintain and develop this “inner guide.” Using Focused Listening, parents learn to help children find their own solutions to problems.
  • Physical, sexual, and emotional abuse are the enemy of developing this inner sensing, this conscience and guide for independent decision making. They exactly teach children to dissociate from their bodies, from their “felt experiencing” or “intuitive feel.”
  • Educating parents for child rearing is not enough; parents must heal their own “Inner Children” before they can radically alter their behavior toward their children. The PRISMS/S Problem Solving Process, with Core Skills of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, is needed for change at the level of Paradigms, cognitive/ emotional/behavioral “schemata” that determine behavior, emotions, and thinking. The kaleidoscope has to turn!
  • Parents can learn to use Focused Listening and Intuitive Focusing in their own relationship. The Creative Edge Pyramid includes applications of PRISMS/S at many levels. Parents can help each other with Inner Child healing through Focusing Partnership turns. They can also use Interpersonal Focusing to resolve conflicts between themselves in terms of parenting styles.
  • Parenting support groups are absolutely essential. Parents sharing with other parents can help them weather crises in their marriages or single parenthood. The essence of support groups is (a) you are not alone. You are not the only one experiencing these things (b) you are all experts. Using the resources among you, you can solve problems, move mountains. Focusing Groups and Focusing Communities provide self-help, peer counseling models for support groups.

Four Applications of Listening/Focusing to Parenting

The Core Skills of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening can be applied to parenting in four different ways, two primarily for your children, and two primarily for yourselves as parents. I call this Inner/Outer Parenting:

Directly with your children:
You can teach your child to use Intuitive Focusing for personal growth, creativity, and problem-solving
You can use Focused Listening skills as a way of responding to your child which avoids argument and leads to deeper communication, understanding, and problem-solving

Directly with yourself and your parenting partner :
You, and your parenting partner, can use Focusing and Focusing Partnership turns to discover patterns from your own childhoods that are clouding clear seeing of your own children
You and your parenting partner can use Interpersonal Focusing turns to resolve issues causing conflict between you in terms of parenting styles.

Basic to the Core Creativity Cultura de Creatividad philosophy is the belief that every person has a unique, inborn blueprint ready to unfold, if the proper facilitative environment is provided (Carl Rogers, On Becoming A Person). Parents are needed to be mentors, facilitators, guides to this unfolding, rather than authoritarian policemen.

Building Self-Esteem Avoids Narcissism

Parents are mirrors for their children. Positive attention creates true self-esteem. Lack of attention, or negative attention, creates the wound of narcissism, the emptiness that looks like “self”-involvement. Narcissists want all the attention for themselves now – because they did not receive it in childhood MORE (Article “Parents Must Be Mirrors For Their Children”)

Setting Limits While Allowing Choices

Children raised by authoritarian parents demanding obedience do not build confidence in their own capacity to make decisions. But children raised without any limits and boundaries also do not develop the capacity to make decisions. Parents must establish clear limits while allowing choices within those limits. MORE (Article “Setting Limits While Allowing Choices”)

Inner/Outer Parenting: Listening to Your Child, Your Partner, and Yourself

Everyone has a wounded child inside. You are not going to be able to change your behavior toward your children or partner, to do things differently than your own parents did, unless you heal the wounds of your own Inner Child. Using the Focusing , Focusing Partnership, and Interpersonal Focusing methods of the Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid provides self-help measures for understanding your child, your partners, and your own Inner Child MORE (Article “Positive Parenting: Listening To Your Child, Your Partner, and Yourself”)

Ten Ways of Bringing Creative Edge Focusing TM into Parenting    Click the link to go to Interest Area: Positive Parenting at CEF website. Scroll down to the bottom to find the Ten First Steps for Bringing Listening/Focusing  Into Positive Parenting.

Also visit Interest Area: Creative Edge Education (especially for ADHD)

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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

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

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

POSITIVE PARENTING: Listening to Your Child, Your Partner, and Yourself

By , January 4, 2008 6:40 pm

Listening To Your Child: Developing An Inner Guide, Not Only Outer Authority

Authoritarian child rearing was effective in producing the assembly-line workers needed by an industrializing society. Times have changed. Now businesses want to hire flexible, creative, self-directing team players.

Families have also changed. Large farming families needed military-style discipline to keep everyone in line. In today’s one or two-child families, parents can give attention to the unique personality of each child.

As we struggle for equality between men and women in relationships, we also look for ways in which children can be treated as persons with dignity and rights.

In the 1950s, psychologist Carl Rogers took a stand against the authoritarianism inherent in psychoanalytic and behavioral theories of psychotherapy and created “client-centered” psychotherapy. The therapist did not impose values or goals upon the client but acted only to facilitate the unfolding of each person’s unique way of being in the world. Rogers later called his movement the “person-centered” approach, and it spread to education, childrearing, and peer self-help.

Rogers created “empathic listening.” The therapist tried to hear the client as if standing in the client’s shoes. He or she would then try to reflect back the client’s own words such that the client could hear him or herself more clearly. The client continued clarifying and articulating his or her own vision until the words and images exactly fit inner experiencing. Just this — finding exactly the right words or images for unclear body sensings or intuitions — allowed the client to move forward, to become more clear about values, goals, and action steps.

Empathic listening became the basis of many self- help techniques, including the “active listening” of Thomas Gordon’s Parent Effectiveness Training, and Faber & Mazlish’s How To Talk So Kids Will Listen, How To Listen So Kids Will Talk.

Eugene Gendlin, a student of Rogers, discovered a further essential thing about human beings: they could only change, through therapy or through life experiences, if they were able to check with and refer to their present bodily “feel” of living in situations. He called this self- checking “Focusing” and developed self-help and therapeutic techniques for teaching people this self-healing capacity (Focusing, Bantam, 1981).

“Child-centered” or “positive” parenting applies Listening and Focusing skills to raising children such that they do not lose the capacity for self-checking — for articulating and being guided by their own unique vision and for taking responsibility for their own behavior. A three-prong approach is necessary: listening to your child, listening to your partner, and listening to your own Inner Child. Read more about Inner/Outer Parenting

See our Interest Area: Positive Parenting

Download Dr. McGuire’s article, “Don’t Fight ‘Em, Join ‘Em: Community-Wide Intervention for ADHD, School Failure, and Juvenile Delinquency” .

Spend some fun time taking some of the Personality Tests and discovering your “differing gifts,” your Temperaments, your varying Multiple Intelligences, your Shadow Side in the Enneagram.

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.

Download our Instant “Ahah!”s Mini-Manual (”Ajas” Instantaneos en espanol) for ten exercises bringing Listening and Focusing into your everyday life starting today.

Download our complete Intuitive Focusing Instructions to start practicing Relaxation, Getting a Felt Sense, and Intuitive Focusing today!

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, 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 , December 14, 2007 2:02 pm

Love Relationships

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

When we “fall in love,” we are drawn to something in the Other that intrigues and fascinates us.  Unfortunately, as time goes by, the stresses of day-to-day living and, perhaps, specific areas of conflict with our partner, wear away that romantic, in-love feeling.  We can even come to “forget” whatever drew us to this other person in the first place, and our sexual feelings for the other can become submerged as well!!

 Exchanging Listening/Focusing Turns with our beloved, significant other can be a way of recovering the feelings of love which initially drew us together.  In Listening/Focusing turns, each person can drop the defensive layers that hide the true, inner Self from the other.  When that inner Self stands exposed, that vulnerable Inner Child becomes visible, we “fall in love” all over again, remembering who it is that really lives inside of your partner. Then, it becomes much more simple to work out the more superficial, behavior-level problems that irritate or cross us in every day life. Read more about Inner Child Empathy.

Friendships As A Way To Grow

Hopefully, we all have some friends whom we can lean on when things get hard, friends who are good listeners, who just let us have our say and don’t judge or criticize us when we are down. In these times, we don’t really want someone to try to fix us or to give us advice or opinions. We just want them to listen and support us. It is just this non-judgmental listening and total, unconditional acceptance that makes the most solid and fulfilling friendships.

It is just such friends who could form the basis of your own Listening/Focusing Community.

Furthermore, if you have stresses or misunderstandings with any of your friends, you can also use the Listening/Focusing skills to work out these conflicts and end up even closer, using the Interpersonal Focusing method. See Focusing Friendships for more on incorporating Creative Edge Focusing into your friendship network.

From Focusing Class To Focusing Support Group

The other main way of finding a Listening/Focusing Partnership or starting a Listening/Focusing Support Group is to participate in a Listening/Focusing Training Class or Workshop in your area. Then, hopefully, you can carry on in a self-help way with other participants you have met at the workshop, or join an existing Changes Group in your geographical area. Again, go to Free Resources to learn about all the available options. Find additional classes and workshops internationally at .

Read more about Conscious Relationship, including the First Ten Steps to bring Listening/Focusing into your relationships.

Order our Self-Help Package and join our Creative Edge Practice E-Group for hands-on demonstrations and practice of Listening and Focusing self-help skills.

Subscribe to our Instant “Ahah”s E-Newsletter and immediately download our Instant “Ahah!”s Mini-Manual (Ajas Instantaneos en espanol), ten self-help practices to add to your life at home and work.

Explore using Interpersonal Focusing sessions by phone with Dr. McGuire to practice listening/focusing in sorting through relationship difficulties.

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