Processwork (Process Oriented Psychology) is a comprehensive awareness paradigm that seeks to observe, follow, and support the flow of nature as it emerges and unfolds through people, groups, and communities.

It’s a humanistic, trans-disciplinary approach for developing awareness and change, drawing from Jungian and Gestalt psychologies, sociology, systems and communications theory, Taoist philosophy, indigenous knowledge, and physics.


The Processwork model was birthed by Dr Arnold Mindell, a physicist and Jungian analyst who noticed the patterns present in people’s night time dreams were the same as those present in their body symptoms. From this unfolded a model grounded in observable communication signals that carry information from disavowed parts of self and identity. Practitioners are trained to observe these signals and then help them unfold and become conscious. It is not an advice-giving, goal-oriented or practitioner-solving model; Processworkers help nature unfold.

Further developed by Arnold and Amy Mindell and colleagues throughout the 1970s (and ongoing), Processwork is grounded in the belief that nature is wise and that the problems we experience in our individual and collective lives are meaningful invitations to greater awareness and wholeness, and hold the seeds of their own resolution.


It is also grounded in the concept of Deep Democracy, whereby all roles, parts or members in any given situation (the individual psyche, group or community) are essential for the wellbeing of the whole system, and that while not all behaviours are tolerated, all voices, feelings, stories and opinions need to be heard for understanding, connection and growth.


As it is fundamentally an awareness framework, Processwork can be applied in all areas of life. The major applications currently include psychotherapy (individual, relationship and family), coma and near death work, conflict transformation and mediation, facilitation, coaching, and organisational development.


Processwork also encompasses a sophisticated understanding of power and diversity dynamics. This is integrated in therapeutic applications whereby individuals are seen within their social context and the ways in which they may experience oppression, exclusion and marginalisation in their communities explored as part of their broader process and struggle.

This work with power and oppression and the foundation of Deep Democracy come together in the application of large-scale conflict transformation and community building programs (Worldwork, Group Process and Open Forums).

Check out these two videos of Processwork founder Arnold Mindell, describing the approach:

For more about Processwork visit Arnold and Amy Mindell’s webpage.

As with all models, Processwork has a bit of its own jargon, here’s a helpful glossary.

Book recommendations for people starting to learn about Processwork (in order of reading recommendation):

  1. A Path Made by Walking by Julie Diamond and Less Spark Jones
  2. The Dreambody Toolkit by Joseph Goodbread
  3. Shaman’s Body by Arnold Mindell
  4. Riding the Horse Backwards by Arnold Mindell
  5. Metaskills by Amy Mindell

A comprehensive booklist of Processwork books can be found here.

A catalogue of student theses can be found here.

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