If we take away a person's stuff, she will have a sense of lacking something. Even if it was stuff that didn't actually serve her, or was hurting her or pulling her down.
It is like each person has a certain capacity for having things around. If that capacity is not filled she will feel like she is lacking something, or like she is small, or unconnected. If she somehow fills the capacity she will feel abundant, big, and grounded. The capacity itself can of course be changed, so that an individual would be able to have more.
Transformational processing is not about getting rid of things. It is not about removing stuff and throwing it away. It is much rather about transforming things. Changing what you don't want to what you do want.
However, sometimes what we do might deplete some resource that the person has a capacity for. That would usually be in the form of some problem, or worry, or illness the person no longer has. Maybe our client has a certain capacity for drama in her life, and she had that capacity filled with domestic fights, accidents, and illnesses. We work with her and clear the reasons for having fights, accidents and illnesses. At first glance, that is great. We have relieved her of some unwanted elements of her life. But what might not be apparent is that they actually served a purpose of providing some action in her life. However apparently unwanted they were, they were still "something to do". People tend to inherently prefer something to nothing.
If we deplete a resource, we must replenish it. If the person has capacity for action, we can't just come along and take away all the action. If we do take away some undesirable action, we better well replace it with some desirable action. We better steer her in the direction of doing something she wants, which has a similar action level as what she didn't want.
The best processes are balanced in themselves. They transform things without taking away or adding things. Or, they replenish at the same time as they deplete. However, sometimes we do use processes that are not in themselves balanced and we need to balance them out with other processes.
Re-experiencing of incidents might deplete resources, in that feelings are neutralized. Feelings that the person wished not to have, but nevertheless feelings. One might end up with a lack of feeling.
Unfixing fixed ideas might also neutralize something that the person had gotten used to having. If she doesn't by herself replace the fixedness with something else she might be experiencing a lack.
There are techniques we can use specifically with the purpose of replenishing.
- Looking at or interacting with the current physical environment. Getting her in contact with what is physically right here, paying attention to her perceptions. This grounds the person, establishes an interaction with what is actually there. Before maybe mental stuff had served as a replacement for dealing with what was really there. Now we can get her in touch with the actual physical surroundings, with increased perceptions and awareness.
- Visualizing imagined scenarios demonstrating an abundance of choice in the area in question. Instead of ending off on the nothingness of something that was removed one can just create a lot of it to demonstrate that one isn't missing out on anything. That puts the person at cause. She simply thinks of many different examples of having the resource we are focusing on. But this time not in a fixed way, but exactly how she chooses it. And she would do it in pictures, sounds, and feelings. If we had eliminated a need to eat junk food, then it would be natural to imagine a lot of examples of eating stuff she would really like to eat.
- Connecting up with the future one is headed towards. Specifying what one's future goals are, or at least which direction one is headed. That clarifies that one isn't just moving away from stuff one doesn't want, one is also moving towards stuff one does want. This can also take the form of testing out one's newfound ability by visualizing a few scenarios of how that will work in the future. That is called future pacing. We ask the client to see, hear and feel how it would actually work. This will give some experience that will back up the change work we have done. If before the person had stuck attention on the past, or on a future she didn't want, and we have freed up that stuck attention, well, then it is wise to have her contact scenarios she does want in the future, link up with them by her own choice, see and feel how it would be, etc.
But even better, make sure you are aware of in any technique that you maintain a balance. If you get the person to move away from something, make sure that there are better places to move towards. If you take something away, make sure that there is something better available instead.
Respect the wholeness of the person. You have no right to take experiences away from them without helping them to having better experiences. Anything that is in their reality is there for inherently positive reasons, even though it might not seem like it. We will help them optimize the stuff so that life is more enjoyable. We do that by transforming elements in the mind.
It can be very beneficial and educational to get away from one's usual rote stuckness and out exploring new things. That is one of the key things we do with people in processing; we shake people out of their stuck habits and viewpoints. But watch out that you don't leave people hanging with no place to go. If they get out of their old way of being and they don't want to go back, then there better be a new place to go to.
It is irresponsible processing to just haphazardly shoot people out of their heads without any care as to where they might go next. The most ethical thing to do is to find out from the client what she wants to do and to get her connected with that.
People will show signs of depletion. They might look spaced out, have empty eyes, a distant look, not paying attention. They might also quite visibly replenish resources in different ways, e.g. by eating. Fat people generally are depleted of energy, or more correctly, the energy of the weight replenishes their capacity, and it keeps them grounded.
If at the end of a session or a process the client appears spaced out, feels disconnected, gets dizzy, or any other sign of depletion, finish with a replenishing process. At the very least get her to look around at the room and tell you about what is there. Or have her tell you what she is going to do after the session.
A good product of transformational processing is a person who is more able to deal with the world. It is not the objective to make people isolate themselves from life, it is the objective to help them live life more fully.
It might look as a big feat at first, and as something desirable, to disconnect from the world and to go off into the blue nothing without any responsibilities or worries. And people are free to do that of course. However, it is not the aim of what we do. The aim of transformational processing is to make people more able to deal with things, to be able to face a bigger chunk of life, to expand their sphere of influence, to make them do more and better things, to be aware of more things.
Transformational processing is about making people bigger. To give them a bigger area in which they can deal with stuff, a bigger capacity for life. So, if you notice that people get smaller, more unable or unwilling to interact with the world, then you need to replenish their resources. They need to look around and become comfortable with what is there.