So I was given an example sentence from Baron's 501 German verbs …
It goes as follows "Er denkt daran, seine Kriegserlebnisse zu einem Artikel aufzuarbeiten."
The translation says "He's thinking of working up his experiences in the war to make an article."
But this is vague to me. Not only is "working up" something rare in English, but the only place I've ever heard it was living in the South.
Even then it just meant "to make"
So what does "aufarbeiten" really mean at its core? How can I use it? Is there an alternative that's more commonly used? Are they interchangeable?
As always, please use examples. And try to pick common words so that the examples will be able to help the most people.
Conclusion: So with the help of everyone's very thoughtful and helpful comments and answers I think I've come up with a very accurate meaning of this word. "to work through" in English has a meaning of "to deal with" as in "psychological trauma" and similar things.
Exception: A wonderful poster pointed out that there is yet another context for this verb, which is in chemistry. In this particular instance the correct translation would be "to work up" and not "to work through."
I'm aware that there are a few other German verbs that get translated to this in English as well but I feel it does capture the spirit of it. Thanks to everyones help on this! You're all amazing individuals!