Learning Emotion-Focused Therapy - Supplemental Materials

Chapter 10: Re-processing Problematic Experiences

10.3.1. Exercise: Systematic Evocative Unfolding



As with all the tasks, becoming expert at Unfolding requires practice and supervision.  We typically begin with a group process that we call "marker work": using a Focusing-like process to identify possible problematic reactions.  Members of the training group then take turns sharing in order to address issues of marker identification and to clarify differences between tasks.  For example, what is the difference between an unclear feeling (the marker for Focusing) and a problematic reaction (the marker for Unfolding)?; or between a problematic reaction and a self-criticism split, in which the client expresses exasperation in the form of "pseudo-puzzlement" ("I can't understand why I do such stupid things!")?


The key to learning Unfolding, however, is practice in both client and therapist roles.  As with Empathic Exploration, Clearing a Space, and Focusing, this practice can be done in dyads and triads, with a supervisor/trainer offering suggestions to help the facilitator.  It's a good idea to allow plenty of time (at least half an hour) for practice sessions, because Unfolding is generally a time-consuming task.



Materials designed to accompany the book Learning Emotion-Focused Therapy: The Process-Experiential Approach to Change from APA Books.

©2003 Robert Elliott, Jeanne Watson, Rhonda Goldman, and Leslie Greenberg