A loop is an action that is started, continued, and finished. The loop is opened, it is open for a while, and then it is closed. Some loops are repeated.
The word loop is used in computer programming terminology. It describes a single complete action or set of instructions, particularly when repeatable. The steps for calculating the square root of a number could constitute a loop. It has a start, a continuation, and a finish. We could have the loop run repeatedly and calculate square roots of different numbers.
Most of our techniques represent loops. The technique is started under certain circumstances, it consists of certain steps or actions, and there are certain circumstances where we will conclude that we are done with it.
Working with a certain issue is a loop. Maybe a big loop that takes a number of sessions before it is done.
Each session is a loop. There is a certain repeatable ritual to it, a certain way we start it, continue it, and finish it.
From computer terminology we can also borrow the idea of nested loops. Nested loops are loops within loops. While you are going through a big loop you do one or more smaller loops. A big loop of adding a list of numbers together might include a smaller nested loop of adding two numbers together. We might do the small loop many times before the big loop is complete.
A loop of resolving an issue with a client might consist of a number of session loops. Each session might consist of a number of technique loops. And each technique might consist of smaller action loops.
The facilitator will particularly be aware of nested loops when it becomes necessary to work on several things at once. While working on issue A the more pressing issue B comes up and captures the client's attention. We might quickly resolve B and then get back to A and finish that. That would be nested loops.
For example, we are working on the client's shyness over a number of sessions. Then she comes into session having had a minor car accident and being upset over that. Even though "shyness" is not complete we shift over to "car accident" because it is more pressing. In the middle of the session of working on the car accident, she remembers that she left the gas on in her house. We let her go and make a phone call to handle it, and then we get back to the car accident. And then, probably in the next session, we get back to the issue of shyness. That is nested loops.
A facilitator isn't just randomly doing and saying things. She will be very aware of the opening and closing of loops, and her actions will be aligned with accomplishing that. She will be fluent in maintaining an overview of multiple loops of different magnitudes simultaneously.