Process Oriented Psychology
What is Process Oriented Psychology (P.O.P) or Process Work (P.W.)
P.O.P or Process Work (P.W.) is an experiential modality, meaning the therapist collaborates with the client bringing more awareness to their exact experience of the problem by exploring and describing it, as opposed to analysing and interpreting from an external theoretical framework.
With this method we get in touch with our own natural process or flow as we are supported to follow and unfold our experience with awareness. This enables our own realisations and helps us reach an authentic understanding from within of how to resolve our problems. Gaining this personal connection and understanding leads to deep and sustainable solutions uniquely applicable to our world.
What are its key principles and philosophy?
PW applies a deeply democratic approach to change. Most problems we present with require change from within, or without, or a bit of both. If it was simply easy and straight forward to change we would! Usually it’s difficult because we have other parts of ourselves that resist change out of fear or other concerns. When we rely on just will power to change we are simply biasing one part of ourselves over other parts. We therefore invite resistance and relapse as soon as our will power gives way to other needs or desires. This is why changes made purely on will power seldom last.
PW uses the power of awareness to facilitate change. Knowing it is normal to have different reactions to the difficulties we face and by focussing on our experience, PW helps unfold these different reactions working towards a deeper felt sense of resolution and knowing how to proceed.
How does a typical consult proceed?
After introductions and hearing about the presenting issues and desired outcomes of the client, the therapist will enquire and explore more deeply into the clients actual experience of their problem. As this happens we enter a more organic flow where we discover different reactions often occurring in our non-verbal responses or body language. This is quite an exciting experience. Following these responses as they arise helps us discover more about our total selves in regard to the issue and gives us new insights, helping in a deep way identify and connect to the right path emerging for us. PW embraces multi-channelled methods of working in accordance with our clients comfort, so sessions can simply be verbal or evolve into following somatic (body) experiences, movement tendencies, and relationship work.
For example whilst a client is talking about a disturbing issue they may make an interesting gesture or their body may occupy an interesting posture. Sometimes by following and unfolding these nonverbal processes we discover other parts or qualities of ourselves that are valuable keys to resolving the problem.
Who can benefit/what conditions can be addressed?
PW can bring new insight and creativity to every problem. Because it is an experiential modality it can literally work with any experience we are having and facilitates a deep and true connection to ourselves and what is meaningful to us. For example, anxiety, depression and stress are three of the most common undesirable experiences many of us have today. Usually we are having these experiences because something is not quite right in our lives and frequently we don’t know exactly what or why or what to do about it. However with a Process Work therapist we can unfold our unique experience in a safe and supportive way to discover exactly what, why and how to deal with what isn’t quite right.
Process Work is a particularly beautiful method for people who are interested in their own growth and development and being in touch with their true path because it is working from the inside out and helping us discover our own power and resources to deal with the difficulties at hand. After sessions clients often report a sense of freedom, wholeness and renewed vigour and strength of purpose.