Experiencing Level: An instance of developing a variable from a first person process so it can be reliably measured and taught

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Abstract:

The concept 'Experiencing (EXP) Level' points to the manner in which what a person says relates to felt experience. The manner is a first person process which is quantitatively measurable. Examples of low, middle and high Experiencing are given. In a high experiencing manner a person attends directly to a bodily sense of what is implicit and allows words (or images and or gestures) to emerge from that sense. The Experiencing Scale which measures the manner of process is a third person rating of a first person process, according to precise linguistic and somatic characteristics. A new rating method gives high reliability. I will briefly summarize several of the more than one hundred research studies which have used the EXP Scale or other measures of high EXP process. The high end of the EXP Scale describes what came to be called 'Focusing'. Because EXP level is a variable of the manner of process, it can be applied to almost any content area. Examples from tape-recorded psychotherapy sessions, creative writing, and theory-building will be analyzed in terms of experiencing level. Having defined the variable in observable terms makes it possible to formulate exact steps for teaching high Experiencing. Two practices -- Focusing and Thinking at the Edge -- have been developed, which can be taught in precise steps. This kind of third person variable can be found only from first person process. Its value for studying living will be shown.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: mhgendlin@focusing.org

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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