The Process in Therapy means…


The definition of ‘Process’. For your new viewers and those new to therapy, what do therapists etc. MEAN by the word ‘process’? Please do a video on this! I know you’ve talked about “processing the hurt”, but what does that entail exactly? What would we do in therapy with our therapist to process whatever we want to process?

The term process itself is defined as: A series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end. By processing things we are taking steps or actions in order to change something. In the case of therapy, we are working to make the things that bother us not be upsetting anymore.

When it comes to therapy we know that we manage things best in the narrative form. Just like I have talked about in the past with Alexa, children will recount their days to their parents in their own story as a way of processing through all that happened that day. It helps us sort through all that we have been through, and it helps us start building the story or our life and who we are. This also allows us to more easily recall the story we tell ourselves about it and file it away in our memory.

When things are too much to talk through in the moment or too emotionally charged, they can disrupt the story we want to tell ourselves. Like if we did something that’s not really “us” or if something bad that shouldn’t be happening to us did happen, then we don’t feel that this situation fits into our “normal” narrative.

Therefore in order to “process” through these situations that don’t fit our story, we have to find a way to integrate them and help them make sense. Because trauma’s and intense upsets are often lost in confusion, by taking the time to put it into a story and chronological order, it clarifies all that we have been through.

Processing things can also mean that we take a look at past events and talk them through. The reason for doing this is because we have an entirely different perspective now. We are older, wiser, and may even feel more empowered than we did back then.

Last, by simply talking through any past hurts or traumas we are in essence doing some exposure therapy. By talking it out, being validated on how we felt, and realizing that nothing bad will happen if we do say some things out loud we are disproving any of the falsely held beliefs we may have had.

Clearly the term “process” can mean many things depending on the issue, but the overall goal of “processing” through something is to get you to the point where you can talk about what happened (whether it be a trauma or not) and not have any overwhelming emotional response to it. So if talking about an issue used to make me clam up, dissociate or cry, after it has been processed through, we won’t have that experience. Thus, by processing through our past hurts, upsets, and confusions, we can lessen the amount of shame, embarrassment, and fear we feel.

My video on Exposure Therapy

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