Process Work (or Process-oriented Psychology) is a new paradigm in psychotherapy focusing on understanding human experience and change, designed for working with the entire spectrum of human consciousness.
At its core, it is an awareness practice that emphasizes noticing the dream-like experiences happening in and around us, all day long – not just at night. In very general terms, the practice of Process Work is understanding people’s process – that is, following the flow of experience as it occurs in oneself and in the world.
Awareness in Practice
Process Work approaches the problems and struggles of life asking:
- What potential solutions or wisdom are problems bringing?
- How can working at the edge of awareness provide new & relevant information?
- In times of conflict, how can we include all voices in us and around us?
- What is our deepest nature?
- What’s right about what’s happening?
- How does our personal work and growth impact the world?
Developed by Arnold Mindell, this dynamic approach to the unity of mind, body, spirit and world, has its roots in Jungian psychology, physics, and Taoism. Process Work integrates dream work, body work, relationship work, meditation and large group work into a single theoretical framework.
Resources and Additional Information
Often, the way things unfold in life provides important information and even solutions to problems. In order to stay close to this unfolding, Process Work focuses on expanding personal awareness to events that support the way we ordinarily think about or see ourselves and also paying close attention to things that are disturbing us — disavowed or marginalized parts of ourselves – which we usually try to avoid or get away from.
Process Work does not hold preconceived notions of what is right or wrong. It follows experiences rather than holding fast to any program or ideal. Following the flow of process involves caring for the absurd and impossible and going against conventional beliefs and ways of seeing things. It also involves going with the nature of the moment instead of a prescribed or pre-determined course of action.
As an awareness paradigm, Process Work can be applied to a wide range of human problems including everyday concerns, depression, anxiety, physical symptoms, addictions, relationship issues, extreme and altered states, group conflicts and social tensions.
Further reading about Process Work
Great general resource pages about Process Work, Arnold Mindell and other books on Process Work and Process-oriented Psychology applications:
The following books reflect the many ways that process work theory and methods have been studied and applied to a variety of human problems.
- Alternative to Therapy – Amy Mindell
- Alzheimer’s Surprise Party – Stan Tomandl & Tom Richards
- Angry Men, Angry Women – Gary Reiss
- Befriending Conflict – Joe Goodbread
- Beyond War and Peace in the Arab Israeli Conflict – Gary Reiss
- Changing Ourselves Changing the World – Gary Reiss
- City Shadows: Psychological Interventions in Psychiatry – Arny Mindell
- Coma A Healing Journey – Amy Mindell
- Coma: The Dreambody near Death – Arny Mindell
- Craters: Memories of a German Child of War – Elke Frensch
- Deep Democracy – Arny Mindell
- Deeper Into the Soul – Nader Robert Shabahangi
- Dreambody – Arny Mindell
- Dreambody in Relationships – Arny Mindell
- Dreambody Toolkit – Joe Goodbread
- Dreaming Source of Creativity – Amy Mindell
- Dreaming While Awake – Arny Mindell
- Dream-maker’s Apprentice – Arny Mindell
- Earth Based Psychology – Arny Mindell
- Inside Coma: A new view of Awareness, Healing, and Hope – Gary Reiss & Pierre Morin
- Leader as a Martial Artist – Arny Mindell
- Leap Into Living – Gary Reiss
- Metaskills – Amy Mindell
- Nothing Came From Walking – Conor McKenna
- Path Made By Walking – Julie Diamond & Lee Spark Jones
- Power : A User’s Giide, Julie Diamond
- Processmind – Arny Mindell
- Quantum Mind – Arny Mindell
- Quantum Mind and Healing – Arny Mindell
- Radical Intercourse – Joe Goodbread
- Riding the Horse Backwards – Arny & Amy Mindell
- River’s Way – Arny Mindell
- School Violence – Ingrid RoseShaman’s Body – Arny Mindell
- Sitting in the Fire – Arny MindellSoul Lightning – Aminah Raheem, PhD
- Speak Out – Dawn Menken
- Unintentional Music – Lane Arye
- Vital Loving – Gary Reiss
- Working on Yourself Alone – Arny Mindell
- Working with the Dreaming Body – Arny Mindell
- Power : A User’s Guide, Julie Diamond
- Dance of the Ancient One, Arnold Mindell
Especially good introductions to Process Work ideas, methods and applications can be found in the following:
A Path Made By Walking by Julie Diamond & Lee Spark Jones
Riding the Horse Backwards by Arnold Mindell
Working on Yourself Alone by Arnold Mindell