Process Work or Process Oriented Psychology (POP) was started by Dr Arnold Mindell in Zurich in the 1980s as daughter of Jung’s work. As a Jungian analyst in Zurich, Mindell also added influences of Quantum Physics, Taoism and Shamanism. From these roots it has also become internationally famous for conflict resolution, and working with the body, coma work and altered states.
Process Work covers a huge range of topics and is both eclectic in being able to use other methods and has its own method, namely that of the process which wishes to unfold. What inspires me is its non-pathological approach, in that its not aiming for a correct solution, rather in finding the value from what happens in our lives. This comes from what Jung called ‘Teleology’ that things have a meaning to be uncovered. The work of Process Work is in facilitating that uncovering of meaning.
Personally I have found the training incredibly rich and both exceptionally gentle and caring and rigorous. The essential philosophy behind change and following the process have landed deeply in my own life and brought out much compassion for myself.
POP has been developed by Dr Arnold Mindell initially in Zurich and now in Portland, Oregon. Taking Jung’s advice that Psychology should be discovered anew with each client, Mindell discovered that a highly patterned dreaming process, the patterns which appear in our night time dreams, are present in our momentary signals. This dreaming process structures our body symptoms and our unintended communication such as voice tone, language structure, body posture and gestures. Tools have evolved for accessing and unravelling the meaning of this information for individuals, couples and families, and for groups and organisations. Again and again, the discovery was made that the apparently chaotic and disturbing information, whether of the individual’s psychology and body experience, or of a small or large group dynamics, carried highly patterned and significant information, the seeds for an evolution or growth of that individual or community.
Reprinted with permission Arlene Audegon, ‘Gates of Society’ Thesis
Prescriptive vs Descriptive therapy. Psychotherapies tend to be prescriptive, with hundreds of techniques as to how people should be: emotional, insightful, integrated, powerful, successful and many more. Where Process Work differs is in a descriptive approach where we are more interested in what is going on in your life and the meaning of what is wanting to emerge in your life.
…the disturbance is a piece of our identity. Hence, bringing the disturbance is a piece of our identity. We alter the problem by changing our relationship and attitude toward the disturbance, not by changing its nature. Change, in the model of process work, means changing one’s orientation, one’s attitude towards the information of the secondary process. It is no longer a disturbance if it is included.
Julie Diamond, ‘Patterns of Communication’. Thesis.
For more information about the school, please visit processworkuk.org