What Is Emotional Processing and How Can It Help With Depression?
If you are one of the millions of people suffering from depression, it is time to try something new.
Emotional processing is a method of therapy that encourages people to fully process traumatic or stressful events. By doing so, it is possible to improve overall emotional wellbeing and let go of events that are causing emotional pain.
If you are wondering, what is emotional processing, or will emotional processing help with my depression? read below for more information.
If you are struggling with depression, you are not alone. And by learning about different forms of therapy, it may allow you to find the right one for you.
So, let’s get started!
What is Emotional Processing?
Emotional processing therapy, also known as information processing theory, was created in 1986. It was initially created as a way to learn more about exposure therapy. Exposure therapy is a form of therapy that allows people to confront things that may make them feel afraid or anxious
Through research in the late 80s and 90s, emotional processing therapy became what it is today. This form of therapy is built upon the idea that people may not always be able to successfully process traumatic events in their lives.
Failure to process these events may cause long term emotional distress. It can also cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or depression.
The emotional processing theory is closely related to exposure therapy. Both types of therapy rely on exposure to a stimulus. A stimulus is a situation, event, feeling, or thing that causes a particular emotional response.
In cases where emotional processing is used, the response is usually fear or sadness.
By exposing a person to a certain stimulus many times, the response may become less severe. This is called habituation.
Now that you have a brief history and overview of the theory, let’s talk more about how emotional processing works.
How Does Emotional Processing Work?
Emotional processing therapy uses a person’s emotions and their emotional life as the focus of their treatment. It works by helping people process complex or difficult emotions to resolve emotional pain.
Emotional processing therapy can be used with other forms of therapy, like talk therapy or cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
Every individual may have a different experience with emotional processing therapy, but here is an overview of the process.
Typically emotional processing begins by identifying a specific event in the past that caused trauma. It could be the loss of a loved one, abuse from a family member or partner, or anything that caused significant emotional distress.
This event may be obvious, or it could take time to uncover it.
Once the event has been identified, you will begin to dive deeper into how you process emotional situations. There may be certain patterns that you discover about how you have handled disturbing situations in the past.
For example, many people suppress or avoid painful feelings instead of taking the time to process them.
Additionally, your personal history, culture, and values may impact the way you process emotions.
The next step is an assessment using the emotional processing scale. This tool will help you identify your emotional processing methods and how to improve them. From there, you are encouraged to be more open about healthier ways to process emotions.
Once the new method of processing has been identified, you can use it to face the traumatic incident from the past. You may also be able to use it in the future to process difficult events and emotions as they are happening.
Each person’s journey with emotional processing is different. Ultimately this form of therapy uses a series of methods to improve processing and improve overall mental health.
How Can Emotional Processing Help With Depression?
Emotional processing therapy can be used for a number of mental health issues, including depression.
One potential cause of depression is difficulty regulating emotions. By implementing emotional regulation strategies, like emotional processing, a person may be able to prevent or reduce the symptoms of depression.
Whether you experience a single emotionally stressful event or chronic emotional stress, it may increase your risk of developing depression.
Learning how to better process emotional situations, stress, anxiety, and fear may be a strategy to prevent depressive symptoms from occurring or getting worse.
If you are someone that struggles with depression, you may also consider joining a chat room for depression to get support.
It is important to ask for help if you are dealing with a mental health issue. You are not alone, and there are people that can help you. Whether it is emotional processing therapy or another type of therapy, there are many strategies you can try.
The Future of Emotional Processing
Even though the theory of emotional processing has been around for several decades, research is still being done.
Emotional processing has been used to improve symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, depression, and even obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). More research will help us understand how to use emotional processing for the best possible results.
Emotional processing therapy is not only for people with mental health conditions. It can be used for anyone that has experienced a painful event in their lives that they are unable to process in a healthy way.
Move Forward and Be Well
Mental health is just as important as physical health. Moreover, the two are far more connected than we initially believed. Luckily, newer forms of mental health therapy, like emotional processing, have gained popularity.
Hopefully, the information above answered the question, what is emotional processing. If you think this may be helpful for you, you can contact a mental health professional or speak to your current healthcare provider about emotional processing therapy.
If you want to read more about mental and physical wellness, check out some of our other blogs!