The Process is a highly effective psychotherapy program. It is based on the belief that almost all psychological and spiritual problems are the result of people losing their sense of self. The main cause of this can be traced to your childhood.
Most people were not loved as children as much as, or the way they needed or wanted to be loved. When we, as children, do not feel the love that we need, we grow up into adults who are unable to completely love ourselves or our own children. This lack of love can show itself in many different ways, for example: negative love relationships, fears, depression, poor parenting skills, inappropriate anger, inability to grow toward one’s potential in career or in creativity, or perhaps through the absence of a spiritual connection in one’s life.
Because your childhood was so central to creating who you are today, The Process starts there, and takes you on a journey into the past.
Don’t worry: we do not leave you there. By addressing the issues of your own childhood, you will be able to understand the forces that shaped you in a whole new way. By the end of The Process, you will be in a place where you can understand your parents and their own motivations, develop compassion for them as imperfect human beings, and forgive them for the ways in which they failed you. As a result, you will no longer blame your parents for your own issues. You will have the knowledge and tools to resolve your issues yourself.
In short, by addressing the issues from your own childhood, you will learn to understand, have compassion for, and forgive yourself for being an imperfect human being. Best of all, you will have learned to love yourself.
What does assessing your own childhood have to do with how you parent your children? The answer is “Everything!” Daniel Siegel, MD, and Mary Hartzell, M.Ed., , in Parenting From the Inside Out, say it very eloquently:
How you make sense of your childhood experiences has a profound effect on how you parent your own children…Understanding more about yourself in a deeper way can help you build a more effective and enjoyable relationship with your children…Research in the field of child development has demonstrated that a child’s security of attachment to parents is very strongly connected to the parents’ understanding of their own early-life experiences…If you had a difficult childhood but have come to make sense of those experiences, you are not bound to re-create the same negative interactions with your own children. Without such self-understanding, however, science has shown that history will likely repeat itself, as negative patterns of family interactions are passed down through the generations. More
From PARENTING FROM THE INSIDE OUT by Daniel J. Siegel and Mary Hartzell, copyright (c) 2003 by Daniel J. Siegel & Mary Hartzell. Used by permission of Jeremy P. Tarcher, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
During The Process, we ask that clients not have contact with their parents. This is both for your protection and for your parents’ protection. Your parents today are not the same people who raised you; they too have grown and changed. In The Process, you will be addressing their parenting when you were young. While The Process builds and then resolves the anger we may feel toward our parents who raised us, it is inappropriate to lay that anger on your parents of today. This is your work, not theirs.
After The Process, clients report not only a change for the better in their relationship with their parents, they often also report that their parents are now making changes on their own. The relationship continues to grow and flower. When one person in a relationship changes, the relationship itself changes. When the relationship changes, it changes both parties. While we advocate taking The Process to change yourself, you may very well affect your parents.
If your parents are deceased, the work is still valid. Your perceptions of the relationship will improve. Your parents will no longer be able to negatively direct you from their graves.