Posts tagged: Third-Person Facilitators


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 


By , March 14, 2008 2:54 pm

Replacing The Myth of Dominance With The  Personal Power of Focusing
In his book, Beyond The Myth Of Dominance: An Alternative To A Violent Society, Father Ed McMahon, co-founder of the Biospiritual Focusing approach, makes the same point as Marshall Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication: our greatest power in trying to persuade another is, not coercion, but personal power: sharing from our own inner experiencing.
McMahon makes the additional point that “personal power” comes from becoming congruent with our own inner Selves. We have to know our own Selves thoroughly in order to communicate honestly with the other and to take responsibility for moral action.
Trying To Dominate Ourselves, Our Familiars, Our Global Neighbors
McMahon questions the idea of dominance when applied at all levels:
Intrapsychically, we try to dominate our own inner selves, telling ourselves what we should feel, instead of turning a Caring Feeling Presence toward all the different aspects of ourselves, our conflicts, and using Focusing to let the “whole” story unfold from our body’s intuitive knowing of the whole situation, being honest with ourselves.
Interpersonally, we try to dominate other people by telling them what they should feel, instead of vulnerably sharing our own perspective through Intuitive Focusing and using Focused Listening to hear the perspective of another until a mutually-acceptable solution arises.
As whole cultures and communities, we try to force people to conform, tell them what they should feel, invite them to “give their personal power over” to us and our institutions, instead of encouraging and facilitating “inner congruence with one’s own truth,” the root of conscience and personal power.
Dominance Erodes The Basis Of Civilization
In describing the rise and fall of great previous civilizations, McMahon says:
“However, the dark side of such a basically closed system of authority residing not in the people but in the preservation of ritual and in the absolute powers of the leader was that corruption and the abuse of people soon wormed their way into the system. Disintegration of the culture was inevitably not far behind. In all these civilizations, there was really no empowerment given to the ordinary person, and thus no lasting source for continuing growth and health in the society. When the power source became corrupt, the civilization fell to pieces” (p. vi)
Dominance Includes Trying To “Fix” Others
And in describing even the attempts of “social activists” to “fix” the world by telling people what they “should” do, he quotes a feminist learning about using Focusing to turn a Caring Feeling Presence toward the inner experiencing of herself and others:
“I have been active in working for women’s rights for years, and I can see now what a difference it would make in our effectiveness if we were as committed to caring for and listening to our own anger and hurt as we are to this important cause. I think it would change the ‘feel’ people have when they encounter many of us, as well as our tactics in trying to bring justice and peace into the world.” (p. 92)
Approaching people with confrontation and antagonism and blaming makes people defensive. Dominance disempowers the other. Sharing from your own “personal power,” your own vulnerability and experience of being-you-in-the-world allows people to listen instead of arguing back. At the same time, it strengthens your own “congruence,” your own capacity to take a stand for your own point of view. And refusing to dominate strengthens the personal power of the other.
The Interpersonal Focusing Protocol 
You can read the entire Chapter Five: Interpersonal Focusing, in English and in Spanish, from my manual, Focusing in Community (Focusing en Comunidad). Click here for a free download through my blog. It gives explicit instructions and examples. Also, you can read the Interpersonal Focusing Case Studies at .

However, here is the simple Interpersonal Focusing Protocol as summarized in that chapter:
TABLE  5.1
                             (several five or ten minute turns)
(a)    Owning instead of blaming:
       “I feel —” instead of “You are —”
(b)    Behavioral specificity instead of
       “When you  —” instead of “You are —”
       “When you do — , I feel —”
   (one or more twenty minute turns for
     each person)
(a)     Use Focusing on your own hurt feeling:
       “What’s in this for me?”
(b)    Honestly try to discover your own
        part in the interaction:
       “Why does this bother me so much?”
(c)  The other person uses Focused Listening to respond
The Third Person uses Focused Listening to respond to each person in turn
                                   (a)  Allows for the expression of angry
                                          feelings in a protected way
(c)     Protects against issues of distortion
       And mutual distrust

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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