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Gendlin Symposium “Deliberative transformation: Embodied Phenomenology and Process Thinking”

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University of Iceland
Universititat Koblenz
Kansai University

The Eugene T. Gendlin Center for Research at The International Focusing Institute along with co-sponsors DePaul University, University of Iceland, University of Koblenz & Kansai University

Where & When

Online (will also be recorded)
September 28 - October 1, 2023 (September 29 – October 2, 2023 if you are in Asia / Oceania)
Eastern time

Online Joining Information

After registering you will receive an email confirming your registration. Please check junk/spam/promotions if you do not find the email.

Meeting Format

CALL FOR PAPERS -  Submission deadline JUNE 1, 2023

(Young scholars in philosophy please also be aware of the Gendlin Philosophy Prize.  More information here: )

Gendlin Symposium

Gendlin Symposium
“Deliberative Transformation:
Embodied Phenomenology and Process Thinking”

September 28 – October 1, 2023
(September 29 – October 2, 2023 if you are in Asia / Oceania)

The Symposium will be presented live and also recorded.
The recordings will be available through December 15, 2023.

Many of our political and social patterns make mutual understanding disturbingly difficult. Rigid categories and identities cramp and undercut the personal, collective, and systemic transformation that global, environmental and social challenges call for. In this kind of stuckness the relevance of Gendlin´s process thinking and experiential approach deserves careful consideration. 

Gendlin’s philosophy combines conceptual innovation on a foundational level, and new possibilities of self-transformation on the practice level. Both go hand in hand. We are only at the beginning of spelling out the profound potential of this unique approach for today’s urgent problems. We are also only at the beginning of spelling out the relevance of his work for philosophical and psychological discourse, for approaches in the cognitive sciences, as well as for philosophical, psycho-therapeutic and research practices.

Gendlin's methodological and conceptual precision is a strong contribution in overcoming one of the major philosophical problems: dualistic, disembodied and non-responsive thinking-patterns that split between mind and body, humans and non-humans, body and environment, me and others, feeling and rationality etc. Understanding human living in constant interaction with environment is the basis for Gendlin’s re-evaluation of experiencing, and for his focus on the creation of fresh meaning.

Gendlin‘s work evokes new personal, social and ecological ways of thinking and being. By letting felt sensing explicate the experiencing body's implicit understandings, one learns to think both with and beyond patterns/structures. This opens new paths for liberatory, cross-cultural, and interdisciplinary understandings, encouraging sensitive and deliberative transformation.


The Planning Committee

Mary Jeanne Larrabee
Mary Jeanne Larrabee
Sigridur Thorgeirsdottir
Sigridur Thorgeirsdottir
Donata Schoeller
Donata Schoeller

Mary Jeanne Larrabee - Dr. Larrabee completed graduate degrees at Indiana University, Bloomington, and The University of Toronto. She served as Director of DePaul's Women's Studies Program in the mid-eighties and is currently Director of DePaul's Peace, Justice & Conflict Studies B. A. Program. She edited An Ethic of Care, has published articles in phenomenology, Husserl studies, feminism, Asian philosophy, and gender and critical race/trans studies, and is currently researching theories of the self within multiply cultural contexts, comparative spiritual practices, and theologies of trauma. She has taught courses in feminist ethics, epistemology (alternative knowledges), phenomenologies of theory development, and conflict, trauma, and resilience studies; Husserl's time theory, Ideas, Crisis, and genetic phenomenology; theories of subjectivity; postmodernism and the critique of binarism; formal logic; and Asian philosophies (Hinduism and Buddhism). Read full bio

Sigridur Thorgeirsdottir -  Sigridur is a professor of philosophy at the Department of Philosophy at the University of Iceland. Prior to her return to Iceland she taught at the University of Rostock, and was Erkko Professor at the University of Helsinki in 2014-2015. She studied philosophy in Boston and Berlin, and did her doctorate on the philosophy of Nietzsche. She continues to do Nietzsche-research, but has also done work in feminist and environmental philosophy. She is interested in the intersection of philosophy of embodied life and phenomenology, and has been working on the relation between Nietzsche ́s philosophy and the philosophies of Arendt, Beauvoir, Irigaray, Butler and more recently of Eugene Gendlin. Read full bio

Donata Schoeller - Donata is a philosopher who teaches at the Universities of Koblenz and Iceland. She wrote her PhD on Meister Eckhart. Her Habilitation (a second PhD necessary for the tenure track in the German speaking world) is based and inspired by many years of research of Gendlin’s philosophy. She is the academic director of the interdisciplinary program "Training in Embodied Critical Thinking, in which five universities participate. The program is funded by the European Erasmus + Funds for Strategic Partnership in Higher Education. Donata Schoeller has published extensively on Gendlin’s philosophy. With Christiane Geiser, she has also translated A Process Model into German. In close collaboration with Eugene Gendlin and Neil Dunaetz, she has written a first introduction to this oeuvre. She is a Focusing trainer giving year long courses in Switzerland. As a TAE-teacher she is invited internationally to teach at Universities and Academies. She has three daughters and lives in Switzerland and Germany. For more information, see


Please note: presenter information in progress

Dorothe Bach
Katrin Heimann

Dorothe Bach and Katrin Heimann - Expanding our “Relational Imagination” Through Radical Listening
In ”Meeting the Predator” ecofeminist Val Plumwood describes her near death encounter with a crocodile and how the presumably last moments of her life were dominated by thoughts and feelings that revealed a deeply embodied speciesism. Increasingly, scholars are joining her calling to unlearn this patterning and retrain themselves in a different way of relating to human and non-human others. In this presentation, we argue that Micro-Phenomenology, Focusing and Thinking at the Edge can contribute to this endeavour and share exercises for training a relational imagination that challenges colonization and promotes solidarity. Read bios

Heinke Deloch

Heinke Deloch - Creating a Space for Experiential Thinking at University
Gendlin has argued that it is not logical but experiential thinking that creates new ideas and meanings. And he has advocated practicing experiential thinking at university alongside logical-analytic thinking. With Thinking at the Edge he has developed thinking movements that make experiential thinking teachable and learnable. However in some ways, experiential thinking seems .... read more and bio


Neil Dunaetz

Neil Dunaetz - Living in the About: Gendlin’s Fight Against the Artificialized Real
Gendlin pushes back against a world increasingly known via abstraction and artifice, caught up in narrative, divorced from land, and surrounded by built. His radical philosophic germ move “interaction first” is, in terms of order of progression, the opposite of “interaction.” The latter, though taken as real, is already artificialized: the artificialized real. With Gendlin more and bio


Akira Ikemi

Akira Ikemi - Crossing with Animals: How New Forms of Focusing can be Developed from Gendlin’s philosophy and psychotherapy theory
‘Crossing with Animals’ is a psychological exercise that I have developed.  It is done in pairs where each person takes turns to explore how to express their sense of life as an animal.  How one lives, or existence, is pre-conceptual; it is a direct referent that is not yet formulated in words or concepts.  Using the metaphor of animal more and bio


Luke Jaaniste

Luke Jaaniste - A Tender Beginning with Tenacious Branches: Gendlin’s Starting Point, and Its Multiple Elaborations
It would be helpful in our understanding of a philosopher, would it not?, if their entire work had within it a singular “genetic code” (to use Gendlin’s phrase from his text on Two Ways of Reading Philosophy). Especially convenient if, like Gendlin, they wrote over 100 deeply considered essays and half-a-dozen books across more and bio


Guobjorg Johannesdottir

Guðbjörg R. Jóhannesdóttir - The Felt Sense, Aesthetic Perception and Sensuous Knowledge
In this paper I will discuss how Gendlin’s philosophy of the implicit can shed light on what we mean when we talk about aesthetic perception and the sensuous knowledge gained through aesthetic experiences of art and environment. Through this discussion I will highlight how Gendlin’s understanding of the human being as organism-person-environment process helps us see the common root of the different types of knowledges that are created within the arts and the sciences. Seeing this common more and bio

Tomka Konig

Tomke König - Experiential Gender Research. The Body as a Source of Meaning and Change
In her talk, Tomke König shows how "First-Person-Science" can contribute to the further development of gender research and gender theory. She introduces the "Experiential Gender Research" approach, which focuses on the body and pursues the following empirical research questions: What does more and bio


Eric Severson

Eric Severson - The Implicity of Racism: Fighting Oppression with Tools from Eugene Gendlin
Among the best tools left to us by Eugene Gendlin is a method for a never-ending revisitation of the way we think about our lives, our bodies, and our environment. The world toward which this method turns us is always evolving, different in every moment. In his presentation, Severson turns Gendlin’s methodology toward the intricate structures of systemic more and bio

Michaela Stumberger - Experiencing a Common Ground as Embodied Production and Selection
In Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning Gendlin writes: „There are no units. Anything like a unit experience is always a product, embodying its experienced production and selection.“ (Gendlin 1962: 153) From a communication studies perspective, I want to explore how we can understand this kind of production and selection in a social sense. To do so, I will draw on the concept of "common ground." It refers to more and bio

Hideo Tanaka

Hideo Tanaka - Gendlin's Philosophical Background and the Development of His Thoughts
This presentation will review Gendlin's theoretical development and examine his philosophical background in his writings of each period. First, it will show how he was initially influenced by Dilthey's philosophy in the early 1950s, when logical positivism was flourishing, and how he drew on the framework of American classical more and bio


Satoko Tokumaru

Satoko Tokumaru - Internal Structure of Concepts in "A Process Model"
In "A Process Model,", Gendlin discusses the process of generating meaning, which develops from physical processes to behavior, language, and direct referent, in relation to plants, animals, and humans. Although it appears to be an evolutionary theory, Gendlin emphasizes that he more and bio


Siebrecht Vanhooren

Siebrecht Vanhooren - Beyond Ourselves: Tomorrow’s Tremendous Leap of Faith
In the footsteps of Otto Rank (1936) and Carl Rogers (1961), Eugene Gendlin (1962, 1970) elaborated and cultivated a radical stance of not-knowing beyond the borders of what we often call ourselves, emotion, and cognition. Together with Rank and Rogers, Gendlin discovers that not only this not-knowing stance, but actually more and bio


Greg Walkerden

Greg Walkerden - Grounding Practice Research in the Philosophy of the Implicit: Methods, Experiments and Innovations
The center of the Philosophy of the Implicit (PoI) is understanding felt sensing, and felt sensing plays a pivotal role in a great deal of skillful practice, so the PoI has much to contribute to practice research. Some illustrative edges are: (i) professional practice can be more and bio

Registration Details

Presenters are volunteering to offer this event to support The International Focusing Institute.

We use Zoom videoconferencing for our online classes. The sessions will be held in meeting format so that all participants can see the presenters and each other. You will need to have a computer/mobile device. Calling in by phone is also possible but not preferred as participation will be limited. Breakout rooms (if utilized) are not recorded.

Registration Policies

Refunds: A full refund minus a $25 administrative fee for cancellations 14 days before the start date. Cancellations less than 14 days before the start date are nonrefundable. The International Focusing Institute reserves the right to cancel or re-schedule for insufficient enrollment or for other unanticipated reasons. In such cases you will be given a choice of applying your tuition to future programs, or having the full enrollment fee returned to you.

TIFI reserves the right to cancel, change and alter the program if necessary. Participants authorize TIFI to use their name, statements and likeness without charge, for promotional purposes in publications, advertising, video, web, new media, or other formats.

By registering for this course with the Institute, and in consideration of the right and opportunity to participate in and contribute to the Institute’s classes, for the purposes of its control of all video and/or audio recordings thereof pertaining to uses serving our purposes and goals, in enrolling in this session you acknowledge and agree to the Institute’s ownership of all rights in such classes, including all rights under copyright therein.  If you plan to use, post or display any portion or clips of these recordings, including posting these to a website or to a social media platform or portal, you agree that you will seek and obtain the prior approval of the Institute. In no circumstance shall any portion or clip posted or displayed exceed 3 minutes in duration.

At many of our events, we will end class by taking a screenshot. All those who don't want to be included will have the chance to leave. Taking screenshots for sharing (such as on social media) are not allowed at other times during the class. Thanks for your cooperation.

Regular Price $200   Modified Price $120   *Lowest Price $75

Three tier pricing. We welcome you to select the level right for you, while reminding you that if you have a reliable means of support and live in a country with a strong economy, we ask that you pay the regular price. By choosing the highest amount you are capable of paying you help make the sliding scale possible. Thank you! 
*Note: if the lowest price is not affordable for you please write to [email protected] to inquire about a scholarship.

University Faculty and Students If you are a faculty member or student at one of our sponsoring universities:  DePaul University, University of Iceland or University of Koblenz, please write to [email protected] for special pricing and a discount code.

For more information:
Contact Elizabeth at [email protected] or (845) 480-5111

2023-04-17T04:00:00 - 2023-12-01T05:00:00

$ 200.00

Regular price

$ 120.00

Modified price

$ 75.00

Lowest price

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