Link to this page:   Three pivotal texts by Kathy McGuire”Experiential Dimension Therapy” 1984/ “Collaborative Edge Decision Making” 2007, “Building Supportive Community: Mutual Self-Help through Peer Counseling” 1981/wiki project /Kathy McGuire with Edwin Rutsch: Culture of Empathy

And a New page for  ‘Empathy with animals’ and ‘Ethics of Care’ 

“I just want you to know that the wiki for the history of focusing is still in the process.” – Kathy McGuire

“Collaborative Edge Decision Making”  by Kathy McGuire 2007

Click on the link for Kathy McGuire’s free pdf download:


Building Supportive Community: Mutual Self-Help through Peer Counseling” by Kathy McGuire 1981

Click on the link for Kathy McGuire’s free pdf download:


“Experiential Dimension Therapy” Focusing Oriented Therapy (FOT) Manual  created by Kathy McGuire 1984

Click on the link for Kathy McGuire’s free pdf download: ExperientialDimensionTherapy

Let’s discuss this pivotal work. Several of us have read the preamble and first chapters.  Let’s add some notes on this discussion page.


Edwin Rutsch
The Center for Building a Culture of Empathy
Building the Empathy Movement. A portal for empathy and compassion related resources; art, articles, definitions, conferences, experts, history, interviews, newsletter, science, videos, etc. For more on empathy visit our website. This is part of a larger documentary project by Edwin Rutsch on the nature of empathy. We hope you’ll connect and get involved in Building a Culture of Empathy.

“So the power of empathy to open a space where something new can happen is enormously impressive and yes, in 44 years now of working with Focusing and listening, I’ve seen it over and over and over again. Now that is very powerful. So what I would say is, empathy releases impasse.. That that is true and we see it all over the place when it’s possible in groups, in working groups, even people who life each other.”


“Kathy McGuire Video: Body posture opens into meaning”
Notes below from Kathy McGuire about video with Edwin Rutsch


While I set out to demonstrate Focusing Partnership, after 25 minutes, you will see my frozen, stuck ‘body posture” open into deep meaning, a great demonstration of awareness of gestures and body postures as carriers of implicit meaning to be unfolded: 

Being committed to Focusing Partnership and the Changes self-help model, Iset out in this video to show how peer counseling is safe because the Focuser is “in charge” of the session, asking for what she or he needs, making corrections until reflections by the Listener feel “just right.” The Listener is just a peer, trying to help, not a therapist with  unequal,magical power.

My Listener, Edwin Rutsch of The Center for Building A Culture of Empathy and Compassion, has some exposure to Focusing but, as a Listener, he uses only Empathic Reflection and no other form of guiding for me as the Focuser.Remember, Carl Rogers used ONLY reflection throughout his career as the founder of Client-Centered Therapy. It was we Gendlinites who added Focusing Suggestions as a way to go deeper. So, you will see a great example of the power of “just Listening.”

And, I give myself Focusing Guiding as I take myself deeper, demonstrating “the Focuser is in charge.”

I start out with a work-related issue which opens into deep meanings related to my broader living.

After 25 minutes, suddenly a stuck, frozen body posture unfreezes and opens and carries forward into deeper meanings, so the video also illustrates the importance of gestures and body postures as ‘symbolizations’ of felt experiencing. 

And also, seeing how much more deeply my Focusing turn goes after the first 25 minutes reinforces my belief that Focusing Partnership turns, each way, need to be at least 40 minutes, giving time to get below ‘clearing a space’ and more deeply into felt meanings. 

I hope you will stick it out to minute 25 to see the deep unfolding of the body posture! The content of my turn is the History of Focusing wiki, which was what came up. But, don’t get stuck on the content. It is the process that is important.

Dr. Kathy McGuire
Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

History: Wiki and Bebe Simon

The wiki planning is alive and well but likely on hiatus until after the holidays. There are technical things that have to be done by my collaborator, and he is short on time.

However, we have set up the skeleton, or the many branching trunk of our tree, waiting, once it goes live, for everyone to come in and fill in their stories.

In the meantime, I spent a delightful one and a half hours on the phone with Bebe Simon, gathering up her history while I had a chance. I have informed her of the folio 2017 on the history of focusing, so she is now working on an article for it.

Bebe is 90 or maybe 91 and has been involved in the focusing Institute since around 1981 when Gendlin’s paperback Focusing (Bantam, 1981) was

first coming out. She remembers him urging all of us to take the book to our neighborhood bookstores and get it on the shelves there. I remember that as well.

Bebe holds the record of having attended every focusing international conference since the beginning! She was in Seattle in 2015 and gave a presentation.

She has written a book How I Teach Focusing: Finding the Gift of Your Inner Wisdom which is available on Amazon and maybe through the focusing Institute. Rosa helped her write the book, and Mako Hikasa is translating it into Japanese.

Bebe may also hold the record for the longest running Changes group. She reminded me on the phone that she did not actually start her Changes  until she came to a workshop that Zack Boukydis and I were offering in Cambridge Massachusetts in the mid-80s.

She did not want the difficulties of the Changes group like was in Chicago, where you had to pick up a key to a church, etc. She wanted to offer it in her home, and not provide any tea or snacks, make it easy enough on herself that she could be there and welcome anyone who showed up.

She was especially thrilled by my “shared leadership model” which has a rotating “prime mover” for meetings, and other task roles, so that many people can share the responsibility.

I believe her Changes is on Tuesdays and has been going on ever since that time, sometimes with one person, sometimes with more in attendance.

I asked her what was unique about her way of teaching Focusing, and she said it was her special step or steps around helping people make themselves feel ” safe”  to proceed.

She also said that Ann Weiser Cornell inscribed her most recent book to Bebe, saying “The Focusing Story-teller and the mother of ‘Hello'”, so I do not think we have heard the whole story there yet!

Bebe is still teaching workshops with a co-teacher from Canada who flies down for the occasion.

She also went to New York recently for the memorial service for Mary Hendricks-Gendlin, especially to say “Hello” to Gene Gendlin.

Look forward to Bebe’s article in the folio 2017, I hope, and hunt down her book. I will place her story on the wiki when it is “live,” since she does not go on the Internet in any way. Perhaps that is why she has survive so long!

She has a special hope that we are contacting former institute director Mary McGuire (Bala is doing that I think) and long-time coordinator from Canada, Mary Armstrong, to make sure they tell their stories of the history.

Kathy McGuire
Creative Edge Focusing


2 replies
  1. happybones
    happybones says:

    Kathy McGuire Video: Body posture opens into meaning” Kathy McGuire video with Edwin Rutsch
    Here are Informal transcript notes from Katarina on watching the video .. Kathy senses into “History: Wiki “ different people will remember the same situation in different ways” it is community based that is why I am putting energy into .. community building .. people coming from different perspectives .. multiple perspectives .. collaboration . Then my experience of TFI .. ‘the method’ and ‘technique .. way too far away from the community building of Focusing .. “My experience of TFI .. ‘the method’ and ‘technique .. way too far away from the community building of Focusing .. : about 40 minutes into the video .. Mary Hendricks died and .. now there is a time of sadness .. and I am hoping there can be a reintegration of the community building .. a possibility of turning more towards community .. and wiki may help us grow in this way .. coming up against resistances .. going our on a limb .. the limb being the restoration of the Focusing community .. It is the fear of resistance .. does not have to be any resistance to have the fear of resistance .. it may take years .. the way we do things writing for Folio posting on lists. my little sister got me to go on Facebook years ago .. Focusing people are introverted. .. a lot of people have become interested in Facebook .. it may take time to implement the WIKI .. a little embarrassing trying to get a message out to the Focusing community .. and now I am being self-disclosing .. with tears and unfolding .. showing what Focusing can do .. deep places and carrying forward .. so it is worth it for me to be a little embarrassed .. saying to myself so you have done it again have put yourself out there. Grateful for the process. Edwin Putsch: wondering if he is doing a good job and also wanting to learn more about the Focusing listening. .. likes moments and reflecting this way . Kathy planning another video with the Listener guiding a little more than just reflecting.

  2. happybones
    happybones says:

    ‘Empathy with animals’: December 2015 note from Kathy McGuire
    There is a book called Entangled Empathy by Prof. Lori Gruen about empathy with animals but a larger philosophy about an ethics of care. 
    Entangled Empathy: An Alternative Ethic for Our Relationships with Animals
    Lori Gruen Lantern Books 

    Edwin Rutsch “You can get a lot of the Entangled Empathy concepts by watching Lori’s  videos.  

    “The most interesting part of the book to me is the comparison of an ethics of justice and an ethics of empathy and the different premises they are build on.Contrasting an ‘Ethics of Justice’ and an ‘Ethics of Empathy/Care’ direct link

    And here is a book review:  Feeling into Action by Colin Dayan
    Quotes and references from the book review:
    “How can we inhabit and write about the creatures we dominate and describe beyond “an anthropocentric perspective?” That is the question asked by Cary Wolfe in What is Posthumanism? (2009) and Before the Law: Humans and Other Animals in a Biopolitical Frame (2012) but most urgently by Anat Pick in her ardent Creaturely Poetics: Animality and Vulnerability in Literature and Film(2011)”.

    “Donna Haraway’s groundbreaking When Species Meet (2008)”.

    “The late M. H. Abrams assessed literary production from the eighteenth century to the nineteenth as a move from the mirror of mimesis to the lamp of imagination. I propose that we consider the twenty-first century not as a progression from one mode of human creativity to another, but rather as movement to and fro between the nonhuman and human animal, between humanity and animality. Entangled Empathy revivifies this alternation, while bringing to the fore the way empathy, once entangled, becomes quite distinct from sympathy. Again, Gruen deftly bridges the gap between imitation and the move to feel with and feel into animals. She turns toward an attentive or empathetic identification with the nonhuman, what Lauren Wispé in an article in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (1986) calls “a kind of animism.”

    “J. M. Coetzee first staged something like this encounter in 1999’s The Lives of Animals; in that same year in Disgrace; and then, less subtly, in Elizabeth Costello (2003). The argument continues. Gruen’s ethics finds its persuasive power through what is fraught, visceral, and tenuous: the adamantly not reasonable, enlightened, or morally empowered. As such it confronts the prevailing ethics of reasonable care or compassion.”
    More on ethics of care from Kathy McGuire
    Again, I have not had time to read professor Gruen’s book, but the distinction between an ethics of justice and an ethics of care resonates with the distinction I follow in my paper, The Body As A Source Of Knowledge, made by Harvard professor Carol Gilligan back in the 1970s.

    Working with Lawrence Kohlberg on his scale measuring the development of ethics, which consistently found that women did not rise to the highest levels of ethical development, Gilligan discovered it was because women in general were operating upon a different continuum, one which she measured with a scale for the development of morality.

    She saw that women’s decision-making was contextual rather than rule-bound, a consideration of the impact of the decision upon all the people and relationships involved rather than the application of ethical rules.

    You can find my paper and how I relate all of this to empathy and Gendlin’s experiential theory and Focusing at

    As a girl, I loved to ride horses because I felt that we were in total empathic communication through our bodies. I will not be surprised to find in reading Gruen’s book that women and horses and other animals have a lot in common in not being fully understood by the larger cultural milieu!



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