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Thinking at the Edge

in Oakland/Berkeley, California
as long distance study courses via phone and web support
scheduled upon request

Water Drop

FREE INDIVIDUAL 20 MINUTES PHONE CONSULTATION to help you know more about TAE and this workshop in relationship to your needs.  Contact us.

Cost: $250 by sending a deposit at least 2 weeks before the start of the workshop, or $300 thereafter. How to register.


  • About Thinking at The Edge
  • What Is Thinking at The Edge for?
  • TAE Introductory Workshop
  • TAE Workshop Phase 1
  • About Phone Courses
  • TAE Workshop Phase 2
  • TAE Workshop Phase 3
  • About Francesca and TAE
  • Thinking Circle



We will make time
To gather our knowing
in the unspoken
or unspeakable
Allowing the subaltern to emerge

We will also allow the clarity of a knowing
that is well articulated
To reach down to the roots
of its yet to be discovered source
Inviting the explicit to dissolve
into the river of its implied
and letting new meanings
flow to the surface
Freshly formed
Freshly sensed



Thinking at the Edge (TAE) is the second practice – after Focusing – to develop from the Philosophy of the Implicit of Eugene Gendlin. 

TAE helps us spend time with the unclear and yet demanding sense of a knowing which needs our telling and our sharing with the world. 

Through a series of carefully designed steps, TAE helps us position our thinking at the center of those most powerful experiences for which language stalls and seems to abandon us – there where we have no words yet, but a definite sense of richness, well-seasoned by our living. 

Gendlin tells us those are the fertile grounds of thinking where we can contribute something new to our institutions, relations, or projects.

The urgency of this historical moment and the economic, environmental, human and political crisis that we face, call for radically new responses and need the full creativity and intelligence of each of us.

TAE will give us the courage and the tools to bring the intimacy of our thinking into the public domain, enabling us to share our wisdom

By grounding our thinking in our own personal experience and, from this rich intricacy, finding a way to speak into a context that we inhabit and care for (our family, our community of worship, our colleagues at work, our students etc.) we will be contributing to building a more humane and democratic world. The TAE process and the supportive partnerships that we form to develop our TAE project help us become more resilient in standing up against even subtle authoritarianism, in a world where externally produced models are often imposed on people without our consent or consultation.

TAE helps us recognize that it is precisely when we give full voice to the uniqueness of our own experience that we contribute the most to our collective understanding and humanity.

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Have you been carrying with you a precious sense of a knowing, yearning for enough quiet time to turn to it, nurture it, and listen?

Have you been teaching or working on a project for a long time, and feel there is more to it than the by now well-rehearsed things you have been able to say and share?  Are you wanting to connect freshly to what is beginning to feel stale, but carries your caring and your knowing out into the world?

Are you launching a new venture, feeling ready for the change but needing to gather your knowing as you enter into this new territory? Are you needing to know what you know so that you can stand assured in yourself, and communicate effectively to others?

Have you been involved in a community project, or an organization, or some endeavor that you consider unique?  Have you been wanting to pass on what you have learned, so that others can benefit from your experience, rather than having to start from scratch with no support or guidelines, like you did?

Do you sense your wisdom in an area of your life that is undervalued by our culture?  Do you sense your ready-ness to assert your knowing there?

Have you had an experience that has touched you deeply and yet you have not been able to find the words to communicate it to others? You may hesitate to put it into words for fear of banalizing its power and magic, or for fear of not being taken seriously or understood. Yet that experience feeds you, it gives you strength, and it has become a touchstone, a kind of secret resource to which you return over and over. Can you trust the process of coming to language enough to find your own words, words that touch that place in you and reach out to others, connecting?

Have you been working in a field where un-spoken embodied knowledge is primary (i.e. body-work, dance, mothering, farming) and feel the need to articulate some of that knowing through words?

Are you writing a dissertation, or a book, or a manual and are tired of borrowing concepts from the recognized authorities of your discipline, trying to fit your material into their ideas and frameworks? Are you ready to develop at least one or two concepts that you can call your own, and that come directly out of your own research?

If any of the above resonates with you, TAE will help you unfold your project in a supportive and nurturing environment.

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This is a light and playful introduction to the TAE process. We will begin to explore various steps and the TAE partnership, so as to taste the process and prepare us for a more challenging project.

Prerequisites: None.  No Focusing experience needed, but welcomed.

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Far from reducing or limiting what one implicitly lives and wants to say, a fresh statement is physically a further development of what one senses or means to say.  Then to write down and read back what is said, can engender still further living.  –Eugene Gendlin

In this workshop you will be given an overview of the TAE process, which consists of 14 carefully designed experiential and theoretical steps, and you will be guided through the first 5 steps of the process. To maximize learning, we have found that it is important to come to the workshop with a sense of a project that you would like to develop, so that you will apply the steps to your own material and learn from the inside-out – nurturing your own process with each of the steps.

This first phase is designed to position our thinking at the central creative core of what we would like to communicate, helping us recognize those spots where our words falter because what we want to say does not fit into the existing logic or common discourse.

We begin to play with language as we are guided to find fresh expressions and words that protect the originality of our precious kernel.  We learn to resist assimilating what we know into pre-existing ideas or be silenced by the fear that more important and well-known people have already said what we wanted to say!

Our way with language will be mediated by supportive partnerships that will help us move from deeply sensing, to speaking and writing, and back again into sensing. This way of thinking is rooted in sensing into the whole of our organism – connecting to the feeling of our experiences and the felt-meaning of what we want to communicate. Engaging in this kind of organismic thinking while being fully supported by a caring, attentive, and non-intrusive partner is for many a deeply healing experience.

You will leave the workshop with the ability to carry this nurturing way of thinking into your daily life. You will also leave with a deeper connection to your project and the ability to return to it with the support of egalitarian TAE partnerships.

As in Focusing, you will benefit from practicing TAE immediately. Each little step will carry your thinking forward in unexpected ways and incite you to apply this way of thinking and sensing to many situations.

Prerequisites: Participants need to have a familiarity with the felt-sensing process (Focusing) in order to be able to learn TAE. The more experienced in Focusing you are, the more you will benefit from TAE. If you do not have Focusing experience but would like to participate, you can do so by attending a Level 1 Focusing workshop (see calendar on the side bar), or inquire with us about one-to-one tutorials.

To register: Contact us and send a non-refundable deposit of $100 to Francesca Castaldi at Focusing Pathways. The workshop is limited to 8 participants, so early registration is highly recommended.

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Phone courses consist of 5 two-hour meetings once a week for each TAE phase (the meetings are of 2 hours for 4 people, 1 ½ hour for 2 people). You will be asked to pair up once a week with another participant to develop your project between one class and the next. An online forum will also be available to facilitate learning and communication between workshop participants and myself.

The phone course is limited to a maximum of 4 participants (2 minimum) to ensure high quality and individualized attention. To participate in the phone course you need to have taken at least 36 hours of Focusing training (3 levels), except for the Introductory Workshop where no experience is needed.

Cost: $250 per person per course with 4 to 3 participants, $300 per person with 2 participants.

Individual sessions are also available at my individual sessions rates: $80 per hour if you book three or more at the same time, or $100 per session.

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How science renders living things is not a finding but only a result of the model.  Where we really stand is in the open – in the endless possibilities of much greater intricacy than any model. –Eugene Gendlin

In this workshop we use Focusing to enter into the experiential intricacy of our project, coming back to the precious kernel we have developed in Phase 1 and taking time to expand it. We will find instances – times in which something occurred that has to do with what we want to communicate, and we will look for the pattern of each of instance. By looking for patterns, we become able to re-enter our experience with the ability to ask more of it, so that a process of finer and finer distinctions unfolds.

We will explore the Philosophy of the Implicit by engaging in crossing – a technical term in Gendlin philosophy that will help us find the internal connections between different instances. This process will surprise us and delight us at the same time, because it will help us say that which was so hard to say in the beginning. We will be able to fully sense into the more-than-logical which at first escaped us and held us tongue-tied: now, having strengthened our sensing with many lived details, we can enter what did not fit into the already made categories and let it unfold slowly in all its complexity, giving it time to define its own newness. 

We will be on our way to build our own model.  As we are the creator of the model, we can continually dip into the richness of our experiencing and bring up our findings. The model is open and we enrich it at every step.

At the end of this process we will have grown much stronger in relation to what we wanted to communicate. We will have the ability to hold with a sense of clarity what went into making it just so, being able to pinpoint the essential elements and dynamics of that which we care about. We will have built a language that protects what we want to say from easy miss-understandings and that instead enables us and others to ask more refined questions, and dwell more deeply or create with more ease just that kind of experience or constellation of dynamics or qualities that matter to us.

This will be a point satisfaction, and for many a resting place with TAE, having gained what you were looking for. Yet the TAE process is so rich that often people find they need to go through the process at least twice to harness the fullness of its power. Also we offer a third phase of the process for those who want to go on building a more formal model or theory (see below).

Prerequisites: To participate in phase 2 you need to have taken phase 1 with me, or have gone through the first five steps with another TAE instructor. If you have studied TAE independently and have taken yourself through the first 5 steps, you may want to consult with me before registering.

To register: Contact us to let us know you are interested, and I will communicate to you the exact dates. Also see above for information on phone courses

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Applying any concept elicits an experiential feedback. We can let our next step of thought come from this experiential feedback, rather than only from the concept. –Eugene Gendlin

In phase 3 we will juxtapose logic to our felt-experience and by so doing harness the power of both. At the end of this process we will have closed your model (temporarily) in a rigorous manner, having a theory that is both coherent and logical as well as experientially rich and full of the humanity of our living. If you are interested in phase 3 contact us.

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Francesca began studying TAE in 2002 when she attended her first TAE workshop taught by Eugene Gendlin, Mary Hendricks, and Kye Nelson.  She has continued studying TAE through workshops offered by the Focusing Institute and by Antheosophia, as well as through private sessions with Kye Nelson.

Francesca connects to TAE from her practice of corpography: writing with, for, and about the body. She also comes to TAE with a Ph.D. in Dance History and Theory and her continuing research into what she calls corporeality – the ways in which our corporeal being is an ongoing performance and choreography, connecting our everyday living with a felt-sense of history, memory, social formations, flights of fancy and spirit, and more.

Her investigation of corporeality and her dedication to corpography and TAE fit into a larger project of contributing to build a person-centered as well as a community-centered democracy.

Francesca introduced TAE in Argentina in 2005 and in Italy in 2010. In 2010 she was one of the organizers of the post-conference on TAE and the Philosophy of the Implicit that followed the 22nd International Focusing Conference in Pfzohelm-Hohenwart, Germany.

To learn more about Francesca click here.

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This is a space to nurture our creative and analytical thinking through the practice of Thinking at the Edge.  We will start with a group attunement and check-in about our TAE projects.  We will then form TAE partnerships, and come back as a whole group before the end of the meeting.  Free and open to all who have taken a TAE workshop.

I schedule the meetings upon request. We will meet for 2 hours in Oakland.

Contact us for more information.



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Ongoing Tutorials

Special Events

Third International Conference of Focusing Oriented Therapies, 2014

May 15 - 18 2014

Stony Point, NY



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© Focusing Pathways Francesca Castaldi, Ph.D.   •   Focusing Pathways
P.O. Box 5614, Berkeley, CA 94705  USA
Tel:  510-900-2044     Email:  francesca@focusingpathways.net
Last Updated
12 /23/12