chapter  36
The client's style of processing may result in mental and emotional distress
Pages 2

Emotional and mental distress may be understood in terms of styles of processing. That is, in some individuals and for a variety of reasons, rather than the ¯uid form described as desirable, process is `dif®cult' for the client, the therapist or both. For example, Warner (2001: 182±183) describes three kinds of `dif®cult' process. These are:

· Fragile process. Individuals with a fragile style of processing tend to experience core issues at very low or very high levels of intensity and have dif®culty holding onto their own experience. They are often diagnosed as borderline or narcissistic. Because of the fragile connection with their own experience, they often have dif®culty accepting the point of view of another person without feeling overwhelmed or that their experience has been annihilated. Warner (2007a: 160) indicates that fragile processing is likely to have arisen from a lack of empathic care-giving at crucial stages in early childhood or `around newer edges of their experience that have not previously been received by themselves or others'.

· Dissociated process. Clients experiencing a dissociated process go through periods when they quite convincingly experience themselves as having `selves' that are not integrated with each other. That is as having multiple selves, one or more of whom may or may not be aware of the existence of some or all of the others for some or all of the time.