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Kathy McGuire




1. What is your name, background and interest with training empathy?

I am Dr. Kathy McGuire a.k.a. Kathleen McGuire-Bouwman.

I have been teaching empathic listening and experiential focusing skills since 1970. You can find many free self-help instructions and articles and low-cost manuals and other media at my website for Creative Edge Focusing, www.cefocusing.com .

I see Rogers' empathic listening and Eugene Gendlin's experiential focusing ( a profound self-help method for teaching self -compassion and self- empathy) as core human skills as central as reading and writing and arithmetic.

I would like Listening/Focusing to be taught in schools at all levels. I would like every friend and lover and parent and teacher and helping professional and business person to have these tools ready in their skill set.

Although I am aware of empathy as a more cognitive skill, an "imagining oneself in the shoes of the other" (which I do many times all day long), I am most interested in the more "bodily-felt" experience of empathy which arises when people exchange Listening/Focusing peer counseling turns with another and/or in a group.

Through empathic listening, each comes to see the amazing uniqueness of the other person while at the same time experiencing that we are all over essentially human together. Often there is an experience of 'touching,' of inhabiting a shared Sacred space, which is mutual.

Out of this deep sharing comes what I will call "empathic bonding." This bonding becomes a natural basis for a community of care and compassion. People become moved to act toward each other through shared empathic connection.

It is this kind of empathic connection, whether between friends or family or lovers or parents and children or teachers or business colleagues, but especially as a way of overcoming perceived difference and conflict and building caring community, which is my passion and keeps me doing this work.

I got my PhD in clinical psychology at the University of Chicago in 1975, studying directly under Eugene Gendlin, the creator of Focusing.

Gendlin worked directly with Carl Rogers on a massive research project at state hospitals in Wisconsin testing the principles of client-centered therapy.

There he discovered the client variable needed for success, " direct reference to felt experiencing." He went on to develop Focusing (Bantam, 1981; www.focusing.org ), a preeminent method for teaching self-empathy as a major component for intrapsychic problem solving.

With a group of us graduate students, Gendlin and others started the first Changes Listening/Focusing Community in Chicago in 1971. I have been the "Johnny Appleseed" of such communities, writing about then and starting them wherever I go.

I would like Empathy Focusing Circles, as I now call them, to be as common as 12 step groups in every city as a resource extending empathic listening and self-empathy focusing wherever needed.

2. What are your ideas for forming an International Empathy Trainers Association?

I am so happy to see people brought together and to meet all these wonderful people who are doing empathy out in the world in various ways as is beginning to happen in this discussion group. 

Already that is more association than I have had in the past 40 years. I think it is important just to "name" ourselves as "empathy facilitators," to come together as a solid force for good in the world.

I can see various strands within this association, perhaps those more academically-oriented, or those doing research, or those who are doing actual practice, etc.

I think it is important to allow all those strands to form in an inclusive way.
I do think there could be a place for a "Certified Empathy Facilitator" designation within that larger Association and perhaps levels of that for people who have been through a specific training curriculum.

3. What sort of support do you need from IETA?

Just finding other people is a huge beginning of support in what I have experienced as a lonely struggle, trying to bring empathy and compassion and self-compassion and self-empathy into the world for 40 years!

I would like to see empathy and self -empathy kept to gather as two sides of the same coin. I have seen too much unproductive splitting happening between those interested in these two absolutely interdependent skills.

I would like us to figure out why it has been so difficult to spread empathy circles throughout the world. I would like us to figure out how that to get people paid to be "empathy facilitators," on a call to bring help to conflict situations throughout the world, whether between individuals or groups or communities or nations.

I can imagine interesting online discussions and friendships developing with people of common interest.

I also imagine that, through coming to gather, we can make a larger impact than any of us working on our own.

4. How would you like to contribute of building the Association?

I will participate in discussions, especially in a non-interruption "listening" circle format where I think the most creative thinking can happen.

I would participate in an email discussion list where we have interesting discussions while demonstrating our skills in empathic listening, instead of arguing with each other.

I can facilitate decision-making meetings incorporating empathic listening and experiential focusing as ways for conflict resolution and creative decision-making.

I have already developed a lot of curriculum for teaching both empathic listening and what I will call "self-empathy focusing" and will incorporate that whereever it might be useful.

I am most interested in building a program for "certified empathy facilitators", and would contribute curriculum and also training groups , both face-to-face and online.


5. What questions do you have for others on the list?

I am so happy and eager to hear all of the ways in which people are exploring and applying empathy, and self-empathy, in the world .

I will wish that myself and others can find more time to ask each other, "Can you say more about how you...?", one of my favorite kinds of listening responses and way to really get to know other people and their work and to become empathically bonded with each other as more of a community.


6. Will you be able to attend some planning and design meetings?
see http://j.mp/1Ps7aTX
What dates and times are good for you?


I am willing to attend some such meetings. I am pretty open in terms of time although not quantity of time. I am trying to write some self-help books.


However, the "human design process" is not my favorite way of sharing ideas with other people. I will try it again, but, I prefer not getting into making lists on pieces of paper and simply going around without interruption and hearing from each person. It is in that format that I have seen the most exciting new ideas appear. I did my dissertation on "listening and focusing in task-oriented groups" out of my love for the kind of creative process and win-win decision-making that can arise when people simply listen to what each other are saying.



7. Other Comments?


I feel very happy that, simply by coming together in this association, we are taking a stand for empathy and self-empathy in our culture.


Dr. Kathy McGuire
Creative Edge Focusing (TM)
www.cefocusing.com




Meeting 2016-05-28

Kathy


What comes up around the idea of creating an association?

Resonate with the failure of empathy with each other - in the empathy community.

Like in the discussion group, that we have ground rules, a moderator, everybody demonstrating active listening. People keep splitting within communities into smaller groups. Why does that happen?

Let us model what we want to bring into the world.

I enjoy being in this community now, because I have been in this alone for so long.


How can we keep it simple?

Practitioners are people who try to survive. They are kind of desperate.

An association gets a status, has a name, a website.

I am interested in a Certified Empathy Trainer Program. The people who do this is a subgroup. You don’t need this certificate to be in the association.



Moved by what Kathy said


Remembering what happened in the focusing community. What happened there.
There was change of organizing, and kathy wanted the organization to incorporate empathy.

But the organization has an identity in the work of Genlin, They are almost violent.

You are not honoring what what I do.

(she does not feel heard.) She was interested in empathy and focusing..


We need a broader identity of empathy.

Focusing is very open.

We can be open to everyone, to all the different groups and have them talk like we are doing.

Why not?

Why would the NVC people have to prove they are doing more than the Focusing.


What does an organization, association do?

  • There is power in the name.
  • Go to a school or
  • Can’t do anything big on your own. Can do it with an association.
  • We can be more resourceful.
  • We are associating
  • What is a bodily sensation now.
  • We are associating.
  • Excitement about what we are doing.
  • The being with. Feels good.
  • We have the power of personal persuasion.
  • Not power over.




MEETING 2016-06-22

KATHY MCGUIRE Self-empathy and empathy intimately related. Rogers/Gendlin. Listening/Focusing communities for mutual support, conflict resolution, communities of mutual care and empathic action



Kathy McGuire  
Introduction:

I am Dr. Kathy McGuire a.k.a. Kathleen McGuire-Bouwman.


I have been teaching empathic listening and experiential focusing skills since 1970. You can find many free self-help instructions and articles and low-cost manuals and other media at my website for Creative Edge Focusing, www.cefocusing.com .


I see Rogers' empathic listening and Eugene Gendlin's experiential focusing ( a profound self-help method for teaching self -compassion and self- empathy) as core human skills as central as reading and writing and arithmetic.


I would like Listening/Focusing to be taught in schools at all levels. I would like every friend and lover and parent and teacher and helping professional and business person to have these tools ready in their skill set.


Although I am aware of empathy as a more cognitive skill, an "imagining oneself in the shoes of the other" (which I do many times all day long), I am most interested in the more "bodily-felt" experience of empathy which arises when people exchange Listening/Focusing peer counseling turns with another and/or in a group.


Through empathic listening,  each comes to see the amazing uniqueness of the other person while at the same time experiencing that we are all over essentially human together. Often there is an experience of 'touching,' of inhabiting a shared Sacred space, which is mutual.


Out of this deep sharing comes what I will call "empathic bonding." This bonding becomes a natural basis for a community of care and compassion. People become moved to act toward each other through shared empathic connection.


It is this kind of empathic connection, whether  between friends or family or lovers or parents and children or teachers or business colleagues,  but especially as a way of overcoming perceived difference and conflict and building caring community, which is my passion and keeps me doing this work.


I got my PhD in clinical psychology at the University of Chicago in 1975, studying directly under Eugene Gendlin, the creator of Focusing.


Gendlin worked directly with Carl Rogers on a massive research project at state hospitals in Wisconsin testing the principles of client-centered therapy.


There he discovered the client variable needed for success, " direct reference to felt experiencing." He went on to develop Focusing (Bantam, 1981; www.focusing.org ), a preeminent method for teaching self-empathy as a major component for intrapsychic problem solving.


With a group of us graduate students, Gendlin and others started the first Changes Listening/Focusing Community in Chicago in 1971. I have been the "Johnny Appleseed" of such communities, writing about them and starting them wherever I go.  You can find my manual Focusing in Community, as a $% download at www.cefocusing.com, in English and Spanish.


I would like EmpathyFocusing Circles, as I now call them, to be as common as 12 step groups in every city as a resource extending empathic listening and self-empathy focusing wherever needed.

  

What does an ideal IETA look like to you?    

A loose association for mutual support and making a larger presence for empathy and self-empathy training in the world through our gathering together.


Keeping empathy and self-empathy together as two sides of the same coin.


Not a licensing or certification agency. Members to be licensed/certified by the governing bodies of their own associations, and potential clients instructed to check out these qualifications.


Community building for those who want it through e-discussion list, possible online video empathic listening based support/sharing group.


Collaborative projects for those wishing, such as one on getting empathy and self-empathy training into schools at all levels.


Perhaps some lobbying of government at every level to create an Office of Human Relationships and Empathy Training.


Salvadore Interviews Kathy

S: What are the next steps for the ass.?


K: I want a task-oriented structure for our meetings. I want to have meetings and taking notes as notes are important. A one-day HCD workshop would be great.

Using the HCD to produce testable prototypes. Notes are raw-materials we can draw together.


I would be interested in workshops to come up with common definition of emp. Not so in favor or that - more tolerance for various empa.

Respect diversity.

Leary of certification organization

Certifications can happen outside. Standards are important but arguing can go on for ever

Diversity of empathy def. Should be allowed

Have different people offer different certifications. We could argue forever.


K: Would love to see a website for sharing, love to see collaborative project. Like teaching in school. USing resources for the best impact.


K: Keep a listing for financing website.



Task Ideas


Kathy

  • building the association

  • website

  • Missing, vision statement


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