The Process Facilitator's Code
Aside from the many technical principles and techniques of transformational processing there are certain overall rules of behavior that all process facilitators should adhere to. This can be simplified into what we can call the Process Facilitator's Code. These are the ethical guidelines to follow as a model for behavior in session:
- 1. Provide a safe space for the client.
- 2. Make sure the client is in shape for a session.
- 3. Maintain a neutral attitude.
- 4. Only bring forward issues that can be resolved.
- 5. Use techniques appropriate to the client's reality.
- 6. Take any active issue through to a resolution.
- 7. Don't judge the client's reality.
- 8. Don't invalidate the client, her reality, or her progress.
- 9. Keep personal session data confidential.
- 10. Use your tools to increase the client's power of choice, never to decrease it.
- 11. Produce the most complete results that are within your technical means.
- 12. Don't hide the fact from the client that she is causing her own progress.
Hopefully we can keep our common agreement as simple as this.
Within this framework there is an enormous array of possibilities for techniques, principles, methods of application, styles and so forth.
1. Provide a safe space for the client.
Part of what makes processing work is that the facilitator creates a safe space in which the client can examine herself and re-evaluate the way she is creating her life. The processing session is done sheltered from everyday life. It will typically be done in a different environment and under somewhat formal circumstances. You would usually not give somebody a session while they are doing the dishes or while they are in the middle of an argument. However, the main ingredient of the safe space is the attitude that the facilitator projects. The facilitator is creating the safe space by her presence and her energy. She will appear and act in a way that is not threatening to the client. She will make the client feel that she can open up and change without risk. The facilitator will make sure that potential disturbances are kept to a minimum, and that the physical space is comfortable.
2. Make sure the client is in shape for a session.
The client should not have her attention away from the session. That is much easier to accomplish if she is physically well-nourished, rested, and sober. Most people will take care of that themselves. But some people initially need to be made aware of this requirement, and might need to be walked through the steps of getting ready for a session. If they are hungry, let them eat. If they are tired, let them rest. Other factors might also make a person not be ready for a session. Attention on stress at work, or a pressing problem would take away from the ability to be in session. Let them handle what they need in life first, and then do the session. That is, unless what you are going to handle in session is exactly what they have their attention on.
3. Maintain a neutral attitude.
A process facilitator has a zero attitude. She is friendly and accommodating. But she doesn't assign any value of good or bad to the client's behavior or to other people the client has a relation with. Don't take sides. You are working for and with the client, but you are an impartial helper. You can agree with the client's desire to improve, and you can agree with her understanding of basic universal principles. But don't show agreement with her opinion about aspects of herself, or about others, particularly with any negative opinion. Know for yourself that anything and anyone has some kind of basic good purpose. Know also that anything that exists, simply IS. There is no need to assign values.
4. Only bring forward issues that can be resolved.
Don't force the client into looking at something than can not be resolved within a short period of time. You must respect the mind's built-in guidance and protection mechanisms. Encourage the client to move beyond her previous boundaries and explore stuff she was previously unaware of. But don't force her, and don't overwhelm her with shocking information she cannot handle. There is a certain optimum balance that ensures maximum gain. You push the client enough to have her keep expanding, but only at a rate where she can resolve what comes up. And don't push her into areas that you have no clue what to do about. Don't restimulate many things simultaneously. Restimulate a limited number of issues, that you perceive will lead to resolution.
5. Use techniques appropriate to the client's reality.
Use techniques that correspond to the situation you find with the client. Do not try to force the client's reality to match the next process on your list, if something else would be more appropriate to do. You are handling the client in front of you, not a theoretical model client. Different realities call for different types of processes. Use the most effective technique you know of that fits the situation. That depends also on the awareness level of the person. Some powerful techniques might not be appropriate for a person who isn't ready for them.
6. Take any active issue through to a resolution.
Finish what you start. Don't get into a lot of things that don't get completed. The processing loop is that a subject is brought up, it is worked on, and it is resolved somehow. If it is a big subject it might not be the ultimate resolution in one session. But something about it must be resolved in the session, and a direction must be set for the full resolution. The client should not leave the session feeling that her issue has not been addressed. It is the responsibility of the facilitator to ensure that what is started gets completed. She is the one who keeps track of the open loops within the session.
7. Don't judge the client's reality.
The client is the one who needs to re-evaluate her current reality. The facilitator is there to guide her attention, not to judge what is found. The facilitator thinks in terms of types of limited realities and what techniques to use. She is completely neutral as to the content found and doesn't provide any conclusions about it. The facilitator uses questions and directions to guide the client. If she perceives an opportunity for the client to re-evaluate something she will supply an appropriate question or direction. She can as well supply general theory and principles. But the evaluation of the exact content is always the client's own domain.
8. Don't invalidate the client, her reality, or her progress.
Never put a client down in any way. Don't do or say anything that belittles her, or shrinks her space. That goes for the client as a person, for her case, and for the results she gets. Be neutral in regards to her reality. Don't do comparisons with other people or with any norms for progress. Don't make any comments, gestures or facial expressions that shows displeasure with the way the session is progressing. The facilitator must always be working for the client, never against her. That would severely hinder progress.
9. Keep personal session data confidential
Clients will use the safe space of a session to reveal things they wouldn't ordinarily talk about. They will trust that the information is safe with you. Keep it so. Do not discuss it with other people, except for when necessary to get assistance from another qualified facilitator. Do not bring up the client's information in conversations outside session. Keep any records of client sessions secure. Hand over your records to the client if she requests it.
10. Use your tools to increase the client's power of choice, never to decrease it.
You do processing to give people more choice in life, more freedom. You need to keep that in mind no matter which technique you apply. Processing techniques could be used to give people fewer choices, by removing options they previously had. That is not the intention. You don't want to make people dependent on processing. There aren't any right answers that the client is supposed to get about herself, except for that she is in charge of her life. Anything in the client's mind is there for some purpose. Don't get rid of things blindly. Adjust things in the direction of having more power of choice.
11. Produce the most complete results that are within your technical means.
Always choose and use the most appropriate technique you know of. Use it the most effective way you know of. Never draw out the application of processing to keep a client longer. Do the very best you can at the moment. Don't worry unnecessarily about not producing a perfect product right away. Learn from the results you get and continually improve yourself. But remember that the best you can do is to do the best you can do. You move the client towards more cause and more integration. The direction you set is more important than the exactness of each action you do.
12. Don't hide the fact from the client that she is causing her own progress.
Processing is done to get the client to change her considerations and thereby improve her condition. She is the one creating the changes. The best you can do is to guide her into making them. You aren't doing it to her, you are getting her to do it. Don't pretend that processing is a substance or treatment you are supplying the client with. Don't pretend that she can only make progress while in session with you. You don't have to push it in her face all the time that she is the cause, just don't keep it a secret.