top of page


Process vs Content


    Clinical psychologists like to use the word "process" a lot. I am embarrassed to admit, but I did not fully understand the meaning of that word until after I graduated with my PhD. I found that it was easier to understand process using a computer science definition. In this definition, a process is a "series of transformative functions." It is basically how something becomes something else--over and over again, across time. What is that "something"? The content can be anything. The content rarely matters. In fact, in our group, we do not want to focus much on the content or "what we are talking about" but we want to focus instead on "how we are talking," how we are relating to that content and to each other. It is easy to get trapped in talking about content. In fact, it is often more comfortable than talking about process.


    臨床心理士は、「プロセス」という言葉をよく使います。恥ずかしい話ですが、私は博士号を取得するまで、この言葉の意味を十分に理解していませんでした。プロセスを理解するには、実はコンピュータサイエンスの定義を使うとわかりやすいのです。この定義では、プロセスとは "一連の変換機能 "のことです。基本的には、何かが何か別のものになる方法であり、時間を超えて何度も繰り返されます。その「何か」とは何でしょうか?内容は何でもいい。内容はほとんど重要ではありません。実際、私たちのグループでは、内容や「何について話しているか」にはあまり注目せず、「どのように話しているか」に注目したいと考えています。内容の話をしていると、ついつい夢中になってしまいがちです。むしろ、プロセスについて話すよりも快適なことが多いのです。


    When another group member says, "I am a bit nervous about talking in the group today," it is easier to say "Don't worry. I think we are all nervous too." (Responding to content) It is harder to say, "When I heard you say that, I noticed my own anxiety increase." (Responding with process)




    If we get stuck on content, I will try to help the group move back to process. If someone notices me getting stuck on content, please let me know too!



bottom of page