Focusing and Empathic Communication help people find resilience, self-care, mutual support, and transformative growth a country well-known for violence. Many people do not know that El Salvador is also a vital democracy, doing its best to overcome years of political repression and social and economic injustice. There are many dedicated, courageous Salvadorans who work every day to provide opportunities for young people, to address the causes of violence and to stem the effects of intergenerational trauma. As part of this effort, three Salvadoran Focusing Trainers are sharing the transformative practices of Focusing and Empathic Communication in El Salvador.
Focusing, developed by Eugene Gendlin, PhD, teaches us how to listen to the wisdom of our bodily felt sense of situations. The body’s “take” on a situation can give multiple levels of insight that are not accessible to our regular mental patterns. When attempting to address conflict or confusion, the bodily felt sense can tell us what is needed more clearly than our thoughts, helping us pause and sense into the situation before reacting in patterned ways.
In the theory of Nonviolent Communication, “need” is defined as a physiological or psychological requirement for the well-being of an organism. Many of us were not raised to pay attention to our needs. When our needs are not met, we feel angry, upset and many other emotions. The societal tendency is to blame others for how we feel, rather than defining our needs and expressing them so that we can take action toward meeting them. Nonviolent Communication (NVC), developed by Marshall Rosenberg, PhD, teaches us how to do this. At Focusing El Salvador we are certified in Focusing, not NVC, but we feel the two practices belong together as vital tools toward learning how to live and work with each other in peace. We call our version of NVC Empathic Communication. Find out more about NVC at cnvc.org.
Sharing the transformative practices of Focusing and Empathic Communication in El Salvador is supported by donations from people around the world.
Each $20 you donate makes it possible for Focusing Trainer Heazel Martínez to have safe transportation to Queltzaltepeque, where she is listening to the parents of at-risk girls, and teaching them how to listen better to themselves and their families.
Each $50 you donate provides a 3-hour Focusing training for the young women leaders of Leer para Soñar, so that in the future they will be able to incorporate Focusing in their programs to empower at-risk girls in Quetzaltepeque.
Each $100 you donate helps Heazel respond to new requests for Focusing training in El Salvador.
Each $500 you donate gives Heazel a monthly stipend for her heart-centered work in sharing Focusing and Empathic Communication!
Each $1000 you donate gives security that our work will carry forward into the future.
For more information, please visit https://focusing-el-salvador.org/#donations
Thanks for making this project possible!
- Charles Herr
- Miho Yamamoto
- Suzanne Noel