Posts tagged: sexual abuse recovery


By , June 25, 2008 9:38 am


The Interest Areas under “Is This You” at The Creative Edge Focusing website ( ) 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) .


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 under Free Resources: Articles,

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 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)


By , October 27, 2007 5:24 pm

Kathy’s Inner ChildrenKathy’s Favorite Childhood Photo: Undaunted!


Focusing Inner Child Work With Abused Clients 

(download this PDF file to see Dr. McGuire’s approach)

    Yes, if we are to work on healthy sexuality, we will have to look at the wide prevalence of sexual abuse, the wounds of which will crop up all around sexuality.

    What is the statistic? Is it 1 out of 2 women  and 1 out of 3 men report some kind of unwanted touching by age 21? Whatever the factual statistics, the number is huge, huge, enough that everyone needs an awareness of past abuse creeping into present relationships.

   Alice Miller, in her books including For Your Own: Hidden Cruelty In Childhood and the Roots of Violence,, was one of the first to “tear the covers off” the culturally-accepted practices and mythology surrounding the physical and sexual abuse of children.

    I have had women tell me laughingly over lunch, “Oh, I even take my showers with my clothes on!” or “I’ve never had an orgasm. It’s fine with me and fine with my husband.”

    Equally likely, flashbacks to sexual abuse begin when  someone finally finds a loving relationship, enough safety to begin to let down defenses and begin to re-feel — and, bam, memories from the past arise because of this new-found safety.

   In this self-help context, I can only issue a warning to be on the lookout for signs and to seek appropriate help. The official “diagnosis” is often Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the same kind of intense “flashbacks” and other anxiety-related symptoms that Vietnam vets called to our attention.

   One finding about  PTSD from warfare was that soldiers who had already experienced trauma in childhood had an intensified likelihood of PTSD in wartime.

   Much research also substantiates that a huge percentage of those in prison, men and women, were victims of childhood physical and sexual abuse.

   Intellectual understanding is not sufficient for healing. Nor is it necessary or productive to be “re-traumatized” through the unsafe recall of memories. Therapies are body-centered, helping the client to pay attention to  “present bodily experience,” Gendlin”s “felt sensing,” the crux of Focusing. They also use “anchoring” and other techniques to produce a therapeutic setting where memories can be “re-experienced” within a safety that allows for “carrying forward.”

   There are also approaches to treatment which emphasize supporting couples working through sexual abuse issues. One such is Laura Davis, Allies In Healing: When the Person You Love Was Sexually Abused as a Child. Read inspiring reviews of this book and the comfort it brings at

You’ll find more books here:

   Some therapies that are especially useful in helping people to work through flashbacks and other symptoms, with empathy and support are:

Focusing-Oriented Therapy (FOT): read about Focusing and Trauma at and find additional Certified Professionals who do FOT  at

Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing at

Mary Armstrong’s work on Focusing and EMDR at

Hakomi Body-Centered Therapy: description at Hakomi Institute at and  Hakomi Resources at

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 

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