Practical Session: Introducing the Philosophy of Eugene Gendlin

Wednesday 11th March 2020 5.45pm – 7.45pm
Sheffield Central Library – Carpenter Room
Facilitator: David Garlovsky, BSc, MSc, Certificate in Social Phenomenology, Focusing & Listening Teacher

Overview of work of Eugene Gendlin and practical applications in everyday life of Focusing and Listening. Learn how to positively attend to emotive feelings for growth in personal and professional life when in relation to another.

Active Listening: when paying attention with empathy to resolve conflicts and run efficient and effective task orientated groups to unfold new solutions to difficulties.

Experiential Focusing: a natural and gentle process, to learn how to access an often unclear bodily-felt sense from which can arise intricate detail.

Register for a FREE place but must be booked. To register on online please visit

Listening Manual


In Celebration of the Psychology & Philosophy work of E. T. GENDLIN
27th September 5.30pm – 7.30pm – Central Library Jackson Room

This technique is simply a method to help you to view listening to another relatively objectively. To approach another freshly as though you don’t know who the person is or what they are thinking.

It is very difficult to do this with someone we believe we now very well. We humans have a habit of projecting qualities on people and then not checking if they’ve changed – or if changes in us mean we react differently to the other.

You will work in groups of three.

Each person takes three roles in turn. Before starting please read Common areas to notice when you are in ‘active listening’ mode.
A. The talker explains very briefly his/her present situation regarding a decision or what if anything is or has made you sad or unhappy or angry, or happy, or any other emotion.

B. The listener assists the talker by using ‘active listening’ saying back what you sense as the present experience of the person you are listening to.

C. The observer makes notes on this process without participating and then gives feedback to the talker and listener.

The participants then rotate roles and repeat the exercise twice more.

The whole process should not be too lengthy:

Each trio – about 10 minutes in total about 30 minutes in all.

This will be followed by a brief plenary session in which we can see if there are any common areas.

Common areas to notice when you are in the ‘active listening’ mode.

  1. Watching the face of the talker to see if he/she felt understood.
  2. Relaxing if you feel yourself trying too hard (especially in your body). Straining.
  3. Repeating over to yourself the same words the person said until a sense comes up in you of what they meant.
  4. Stopping the talker before he/she says too much for you to understand. Taking care of yourself as a listener … breaking in where you need to break in.
  5. To the talker: talking slowly enough to be able to “listen to yourself”, hear what you are saying inside. And “Checking” to make sure what was right and what was not right about what the listener said.
    • It helps to say something about the horrible temptation there is to agree with what the listener thinks you said, in order to avoid hurting their feelings, telling them they’re wrong, etc.
  6. Saying back to the talker just what he/she said, in your own words, without adding or subtracting. (If the listener is really lost, adding or taking away a lot, give a listening response to the talker, to clear up the interaction, then listen to the listener to find out what is getting in his way.)

    GENERAL RULE: avoid terminology as much as possible. Use what is going on in the interaction in front of you and describe it vividly, experientially, so that everyone can see what you mean.

    There is a big temptation to make conceptual points when doing this, but that never seems to work as well as giving your own experience and observations about what is happening, or listening to someone else’s.

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