Experiential Focusing Therapy

Interest Area: Experiential Focusing Therapy

Experiential Therapy Video

Experiential (EXP) Focusing Therapy as Focusing-Oriented Therapy (FOT)

Experiential (EXP) Focusing Therapy is Dr. McGuire’s version of Gendlin’s Focusing-Oriented Therapy (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:

For a short description, see PDF downloads  Experiential Focusing Therapy and Experiential Focusing Therapy: A Unifying Humanistic 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.

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

  1. Download and read the short and long articles by Dr. McGuire listed in the sidebar Articles.
  2. Purchase Dr. McGuire’s manual, The Experiential Dimension In Therapy, and learn how to add “experientializing” interventions to work with patients/clients and how to measure success with The Experiencing Scale.
  3. Try out Instant “Ahah!” Five-Minute Grieving to “experientialize” medical and other interview situations.
  4. Read Is This You?: Helping Professional and How We Work With: Helping Professionals.
  5. Subscribe to the Instant “Ahah!”s e-newsetter and Creative Edge Focusing e-discussion/support group..
  6. Join the Experiential Focusing Professional Training Program .

With our help, form a Focusing Group/Community of at least three other colleagues. This will form your local support and learning group, preventing burnout while you explore “experientializing” skills in our Experiential Learning Community. If this group of four go through the Training Program together, they can substantially reduce the cost for supervision sessions with Dr. McGuire.

  1. Go to www.focusing.org :
    • explore the “Focusing and…” area – you will find many articles by Dr. Gendlin and others  on Focusing and Psychotherapy, Focusing and Trauma, Focusing and Medicine, etc.
    • purchase Dr. Gendlin’s seminal work, Focusing-Oriented Therapy: A Manual Of The Experiential Method, in the bookstore.
    • look under Classes/Workshops for training programs in your area. You can work with Dr. McGuire to integrate Focusing Institute training programs with her Experiential Focusing Professional Training Program.
    • under “Felt Community,” join an e-discussion group which fits your interests (for instance, Focusing Oriented therapy, Focusing Oriented Body Work, etc.).
  2. Go to www.focusingtherapy.org , the website of the International Association of Focusing Oriented Therapists (IAFOTS), with more articles and an e-discussion list
  3. Do presentations on Experiential Focusing Therapy, Focusing Oriented Therapy, Focusing Oriented Body Work, and Focusing Oriented Medical Interventions at local, regional, and national conferences of your professional organizations.
  4. Write articles on integrating Focusing and Listening into counseling, therapy, and body work and have them published in appropriate journals and magazines.
  5. Collaborate on research showing the effectiveness of Focusing and Experiential Focusing Therapy through the Network For Research On Experiential Therapies (NREP) at www.experiential-researchers.org

Articles on Experiential Focusing Therapy (PDF Files)

Want to learn more about Focused Listening and Intuitive Focusing?

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These materials are offered purely as self-help skills. In providing them, Dr. McGuire is not engaged in rendering psychological, financial, legal, or other professional services. If expert assistance or counseling is needed, the services of a competent professional should be sought.