Ch- ch- ch- ch- Changes.
That single word changes, stuttered at us by David Bowie in his hallmark song Changes piped into my ears and hit me, maybe like a lot of other people hit me, me-directly. I was one of those people, feeling like the world and everything around me was changing and now, someone else was somehow telling it back to me, letting me know that they were feeling it too.
Telling everybody what we we all feeling at the same time.
I know you all want to hear the song now but I can only play you seven seconds without infringing copyright, so here is a little refresher.
Ah. Well. Changes were happening before that song was released and it was at the university of Chicago where a group of Dr. Gene Genlin’s Psychology students needed a pace to work out some things. They began meeting to discuss the changes going on around them and these early groups, which predate Focusing as a formal practice. A community formed and that community began working with Focusing in group setting. One of the people who was right there and will describe her experiences is Dr. Kathy McGuire who was a student of Dr. Eugene Genlin at the time.
Dr. Kathy McGuire got a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
from the University of Chicago, working directly with Dr. Eugene Gendlin. She was a Focusing-Oriented Therapist and workshop facilitator for 40 years. Her many articles and manuals can be found at her website for Creative Edge Focusing, www.cefocusing.com.
As a cofounder of the original Changes Listening/Focusing Community in 1971, Dr. McGuire sees Empathic Listening and Experiential Focusing as co-equal skills. From her experience, a Changes Community is a training laboratory in how to live in community, how to overcome prejudice and increase tolerance for difference and uniqueness.
People can practice, not only Focusing,
but interpersonal conflict resolution and group decision making using Listening /Focusing skills.
And for those of you who just have to hear the song, here is a youtube link to a live version performed by David Bowie in 1973.