Emergent Dialogue & Focusing

About Me

I put words to an experience which clarifies the essence of what's happening - then I/you can recognize the nuance and layers, and find clarity and steps forward. In particular, I help others to explore a situation or felt sense using skills I've drawn from Focusing (Gendlin), Nonviolent Communications (Rosenberg), council practice (Coyle), and meditation. There's such a liberation and safety when the whole experience is allowed and discoverable.

I started out as an analog engineer, designing 2-way radio circuits for Motorola. Then I patented several inventions, became a patent agent, and learned the precision of writing patent applications. In many ways, Focusing is like discovering an invention that one feels is powerful but is not yet clear. Words and images develop the felt sense like writing a patent application and building a prototype develop the invention.

Frank O'Neill

Frank O'Neill

I came to Emergent Dialogue through meditation and training as a craniosacral therapist, where I was introduced to Focusing. Studying NVC (Nonviolent Communication) then became a way to bring meditaiton practice into my relatiomships. Later, during 3-1/2 years of zen pratice in a community of 20 folks, I discovered that our conventional ways of speaking tended to negate spiritual practice 'on the cushion'. It became clear that emergent practices such as Focusing and Nonviolent Communications would deepen and integrate mindfulness practice, and I began to teach both to my zen community.

I'm deeply interested in 'villages' that live a daily interdependence around basic needs, and which have practices and agreements that generate well-being and high functioning. During 5 years of living in different intentional communities, I have become sensitive to the precarious nature of community and curious about the agreements and practices that help them thrive. Whether an ecovillage, cohousing, an urban co-op, or spiritual community, I believe Emergence practices of empathy and clear perception will be essential to a revival of the human 'village'.

Zen Community

Zen Community

I have found that Focusing with myself or Focusing parnters reliably move me toward more meaning and direction in my living. And, the interactice practices of Emergence, in dyads or groups, generate the freest and more fruitful explorations I have experienced, along with deep intimacy. There are many ways to put your 'toes in the water'! I look forward to ...

Working together,

Frank O'Neill

Certified Focusing Trainer
Boulder CO


So nice to be on the receiving end when I'm putting so much of myself out there. I feel gratitude for your guidance, accompanying presence, not intrusive. You're good at this!"

(Focusing client)

Ann M. , Therapist, Holland MI

Frank is exploring how Thinking at the Edge brings a constructive energy to group conversations. He combines Focusing and NVC with yoga and meditation and is really good at always bringing conversations back to our bodily felt sense of situations."

(Teacher and collaborator)

Bea Blake, Focusing Certifying Coordinator and TAE Instructor

Phenomenal stuff. I don't mean just "Focusing" as a concept, more so about the technique of reflecting! Its my first ever conscious interaction with another human/myself without judgment... and it was liberating. An experiential success for me."

(Emergent Dialogue student)

Aparna V., Architect, Alberta CA

Thank you for your kind and calm demeanor, and for bringing us a new perspective on communication."

(NVC Classes)

Melissa Fathman, Exec. Director, Dairy Center for the Arts, Boulder CO

Frank guided us through a profound experience in Focusing. It was my first time attending a class. The meditation was transcendent and the dialogue enlightening. I came away feeling seen and heard."

(Focusing student)

Jenean J., Nurse, Santa Fe NM