Innerwork

Can you work with others without being able to work with yourself?

How can your own inner experience as a facilitator of individuals or groups be made useful for your clients?

Innerwork is the practice of facilitating your subjective awareness and being able to open up to and learn from experiences that are unknown or difficult.  It allows the facilitator to use their inner experience for the benefit of their clients.

Innerwork is the core foundation of Processwork practice, and a fundamental value of the Processwork paradigm. It is only by developing our capacity to facilitate our inner conflicts that we become more whole and integrated, and able to use all our capacities and strengths to facilitate the processes of others. Innerwork develops fluidity: the ability to support inner diversity and follow the flow of experience through all the parts of our process.

Process oriented innerwork builds on Jungian active imagination1)Johnson, R.A. (1996). Inner Work: Using Dreams and Active Imagination for Personal Growth. Harper San Francisco.and what is known today as mindfulness. Mindfulness is derived from Buddhist meditation practice and was popularized in part through the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn and the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program, developed in the late 1970s. 2)See for example, Kabat-Zinn (1994) Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life.

Processwork is an awareness practice that extends and deepens mindfulness as a tool for inner and outer conflict facilitation. Process oriented innerwork brings creativity, playfulness and depth to a regular meditation practice. Training in process-oriented innerwork develops the facilitator’s capacity to explore their own inner experience while working with a client in order to gain insight into the client’s process, and work more effectively with them. It gives the facilitator and leader exceptional tools for managing conflict and bringing out the hidden resources within disturbances.

The practice of innerwork, writes Arnold Mindell, means:

“… you are able to work with your life process. You feel ‘up to it’, not trampled by it. You feel like a multi-dimensional person. If you work with the conflicts between the processes, following them congruently, step by step, you will notice another aspect of consciousness: the experience of freedom.
Imagine your process as a chariot pulled by a lion: freedom is neither being run over by the chariot nor being eaten by the lion. You drive the chariot and steer the lion.” Arnold Mindell (1990, p. 121). 3)Mindell, A. (1990). Working on Yourself Alone: Inner Dreambody Work. Arkana.

For facilitating groups, innerwork gives you the self-awareness techniques necessary to stay awake in the midst of conflict and remain useful as a facilitator. You learn theory and methods for connecting the facilitator’s subjective experiences to the group’s process and master experiential methods and practice for increasing awareness, fluidity and eldership, and the use of self as an instrument of change in one-one-one work, groups and organizations.

Training at the Process Work Institute

Academic Programs

Public Courses

Winter Intensive

References   [ + ]

1. Johnson, R.A. (1996). Inner Work: Using Dreams and Active Imagination for Personal Growth. Harper San Francisco.
2. See for example, Kabat-Zinn (1994) Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life.
3. Mindell, A. (1990). Working on Yourself Alone: Inner Dreambody Work. Arkana.