Process Work is a cross-disciplinary approach aimed to support individual and collective change. It developed in the 1970s and 1980s when Dr Arnold Mindell, a Jungian analyst in Zurich, Switzerland, began researching illness as a meaningful expression of the unconscious mind. Also known as process-oriented psychology (POP) or dreambody work, Process Work offers new ways of working with areas of life that are experienced as problematic or painful. Physical symptoms, relationship problems, group conflicts and social tensions, when approached with curiosity and respect, can lead to new information that is vital for personal and collective growth.
With its roots in Jungian psychology, Taoism and physics, Process Work believes that the solution to a problem is contained within the disturbance itself and provides a practical framework through which individuals, couples, families and groups can connect with greater awareness and creativity.
Process work or “pw” (often called “process oriented psychology” or “POP” in Europe and Asia) is a multicultural, multi-leveled awareness practice including people and their natural environment.
Process work is an evolving, trans-disciplinary approach supporting individuals, relationships and organizations to discover themselves. PW uses awareness to track “real” and “imaginary” psychological and physical processes that illuminate and possibly resolve inner, relationship, team, and world issues. Process Work theories and methods are available for anyone to experience, and can be tested. There are three levels of focus which incorporate just about every possible experience of reality:
1. Consensus Reality. Process Work deals with so called “real” events, problems, and issues connected with the development of individuals, couples, businesses and cities. Groups and individuals use feelings and facts, to describe conflicts, issues or problems.
2. At the level of dreamland, process work employs dreams, deep feelings, unspoken truths, “double” or unintentional body signals, “ghosts” (unrepresented figures) and ghost roles in the stories and myths of individuals and organizations. History, visions and transgenerational events are important.
3. At the deepest non-dualistic or “essence” level, process work deals with tendencies that can be sentiently felt to move us, “dreamlike” tendencies that are not yet easily expressed in words. This area of life can sometimes be felt as a subtle atmosphere around people, events and areas of our planet earth. The essence level has quantum-like blurry overlapping states, and cosmological, space-time or gravity like experiences.
a. Taoism speaks of the essence level in terms of the “the Tao which cannot be said.”
b. In quantum physics, Heisenberg spoke of “tendencies” of the quantum wave function. David Bohm spoke of this area in terms of a system’s quantum waves or “pilot waves”.
c. This level seems to manifest a non-dualistic intelligence, we call, the “system mind” or “”processmind”. It’s analogy in physics might be Bohm’s pilot wave or Hawking’s “Mind of God.” Spiritual and religious traditions speak of the omnipresence of the gods.
"Every time you ignore sentient - meaning generally unrecognized, dreamlike perceptions, something inside you goes into a mild form of shock because you have overlooked the spirit of life, your greatest potential power." (Arnold Mindell, “Dreaming While Awake”)
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Process Work Resources
International Association of Process Oriented Psychology - www.iapop.com
Process Work Institute - processwork.org
Amy and Arnold Mindell - www.aamindell.net
Faculty and Students' Manuscripts:
processwork.org/resources/media (free downloads)