Processwork Skills: Transforming Difficulties into Something Useful with Catharine Macdonald


Learn one of the fundamental “magic” skills of Process-Oriented Psychology – finding what is useful within difficult or disturbing experiences. Deep within problems, annoying people, and painful situations can be something that is not just painful, but also helpful. Problems are not just “problems”, they also hold information. Mining and transforming difficult experiences can give us new ways to respond to problems, and expand our way of being.

  • Four online meetings of 90 minutes each
  • Written exercises and digital resource handouts
  • A Processwork Reference List of resources
  • Lifetime access to the recordings of the courses

Exploring and transforming difficult people, or situations, into something new is one of the key skills of process-oriented psychology. It can feel like magic, but it’s a skill that anyone can learn to use in their own life. With this skill, you can improve relationships, find new solutions, and feel more confident about dealing with problems and difficult people. 

In this experiential class, we will break down the parts of the “problem”, explore and play with each side, and use our curiosity to find something new and meaningful. The class will also cover the difficulties that often come up, and what to try if they do. 

There is no “one right way” to learn processwork skills, come ready to explore and be curious about what is happening in your life. 

Here’s a Breakdown of the Material for Each Session

Session 1: What does it Mean to Transform Problems?

  • What is “process” in process-oriented psychology, and where the idea comes from.
  • Understanding the primary and secondary processes.
  • How to work with a problem, the structure of how to unfold a process, and integrate what emerges. 
  • Practice & opportunity to get help.

Session 2: Finding the Two Parts

  • Primary process: what is it, how to identify it. 
  • Secondary process: the “disturber”, how to work with it. 
  • Ways to get deeper into a problem or disturbance. 
  • Practice & opportunity to get help.

Session 3: For the Times you get Stuck

  • Common problems unfolding the process, and what to do about it. 
  • Edges, the boundary of our identity. What to do when we butt up against our edges. 
  • How to go deeper into the disturbance, to get more useful information.

Session 4: Integrating New Information

  • Build a relationship between your “usual” identity and the “disturbance”. 
  • How to use this skill with other people, in your relationships at home and work. 
  • How to practice the skill on your own, so it’s always accessible to you.

​Meet The Expert You’ll Learn From​

Catharine Macdonald is a Processworker living in Toronto, Canada.

Catharine has a MA in psychology from the Process Work Institute, and an honours BA in psychology from York University. She has 2 years experience as therapist, and over 15 years’ experience leading online and software development projects and consulting on technologies and organizational processes and practices. She is currently in the post-graduate diploma program at the Process Work Institute. Additional training in organizational change management and conflict facilitation, working with trauma, psychological first aid, and sexuality.

Catharine specializes in working with autistic adults (sometimes called Asperger’s), and their – partners and families. Neurodiverse relationships are difficult, especially in a neurotypical world. She believes neurodiversity is natural, and valuable. Neuroatypical people often have unique talents, along with significant relationship and communication difficulties.
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