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PWI Open House


Tuesday, July 16th

7.00- 8.30pm

All are welcome!

Find out more about Processwork and what we offer.  

Hear from faculty, students and graduates.  

Join us July 16th for an evening Open House to hear from faculty, students and graduates about our unique experiential and creative practices for personal, social and world change.

In person (with drinks and nibbles) or join us livestream

Learn how Processwork can help you live your dreaming and connect to

unexpected meaning and resources.


What is Processwork?

Welcome to The Edge, a blog about Processwork in all its applications and manifestations.  As a practice and theory of human experience, those applications are unlimited and as varied as all the individuals and groups who make use of it.  I hope these posts, by Processworkers in different walks of life all over the world, will draw you in and inspire you to discover how Processwork can support growth, creativity and communication in your own life and work.

By Elva Redwood, Managing Editor, The Edge

History of Processwork

Processwork originally grew from Jungian psychology in the 1970s and 80s, when Arnold Mindell practiced at the Jung Institute in Zurich.  Dr. Mindell’s deep curiosity and work with people on body symptoms led him to broaden the dreamwork approach and explore different sensory channels.  Processwork was born as one of the first psychologies to integrate somatic experiences, and has since grown far beyond psychology in its scope.

The group of students drawn to study with Dr. Mindell became a dynamic community who helped him creatively; to teach, apply research, and elaborate on his theory and practice of Processwork.  The discipline continues to develop and is taught with the understanding that each Processworker will make it their own and contribute their own expertise and discoveries to the whole.  This original community has grown into a global association of practitioners and schools, both those without official Processwork credentials, and those with a Diploma in Processwork and affiliated with the International Association of Process Oriented Psychologists (IAPOP).

Influences on Processwork

Since its beginnings, Processwork has been shaped by many indigenous cultures’ wisdom, to which we all owe so much.  Most notably the Indigenous Australian knowledge of Dreamtime and the Chinese philosophy and practices of Taoism are fundamental to seeing the world through a Processwork lens.

Processwork Theory

The theory itself is elegant in its simplicity and application to any aspect of life.  As well as a tool for individual personal growth, Processwork’s model for identity and experience is equally useful for relationships and groups, both small and large, and any kind of conflict work.

Processwork understands human experience as a dreaming process which unfolds through sensory channels.  Our experiences are alive in Consensus (everyday) Reality as well as Dreamland – aspects of experience which are subjective and not necessarily agreed upon in a given culture.  At the deepest level, consciousness and reality spring from Essence, birthed and mediated by Process Mind, which is analogous to the ancient Chinese understanding of the Tao Which Cannot Be Said.


The simple channels of experience are visual, auditory, proprioceptive and movement.  Composite channels are made up of these simple ones and include relationship and world.  We are constantly receiving and emitting information in all these channels, though we are only aware of some of that information.

Primary and Secondary Processes

The information we are aware of and identify with comprises our “primary process,” the person or group we understand ourselves to be.  Information that we don’t identify with, which is often problematic in one or more channels, is connected to our “secondary process,” something outside our usual identity, which we are growing to become.


Between these primary and secondary processes is the phenomenon called the Edge.  It is our growing point, guarded by conscious and unconscious belief systems and contributing to misunderstandings and conflicts on all levels.

Attention to this dynamic of identity increases self-awareness, and therefore gives access to more choices of action.  Exploration and integration of secondary material leads to temporary resolution, eases difficulties, and opens a path to the next phase of growth.

Processwork is Useful Everywhere

Processworkers everywhere use this empowering paradigm to facilitate growth and creativity in uncounted spheres.  From individual psychology and inner work, relationships and families, Processwork has found rich applications in coaching, organizational development, and large-scale conflicts.  One of the most exciting applications for our troubled times is World Work, where hundreds of people meet to work on global issues. There are also dancers, painters, writers and musicians using Processwork in creating and performing their arts.  Teachers apply the theory in the classroom, and nurses use it in the OR.  Anywhere there are humans, Processwork can be useful.

To find out more from these individuals, please read on in The Edge.

If you’d like to explore deeper, visit the Processwork Institute Bookstore and public manuscripts pages, check out Arny and Amy Mindell’s website at, find a school or workshop near you at IAPOP, and take a class, or contact an individual practitioner.

Thank you for visiting us at The Edge!


by Elva Redwood, MA, PW Dipl., Managing Editor

Elva Wolf Redwood is a Processwork Diplomate practicing with individuals, couples and groups in Portland, Oregon, USA, and on-line.  She is a writer and a lover of dogs, fermented foods and knitting.  She is drawn particularly to work with artists, activists, culture changers and anyone addressing developmental trauma.


Healing History

By Gary Reiss

“I know there are old demons which are coming back to the surface.  They are ready to wreak chaos and death,” he said.  “History sometimes threatens to take its sinister course once again.”  French President Macron speaking at a ceremony honoring the breakout of peace of WWI, November 11, 2018.


The central principle behind psychology focuses on individuals and their personal lives.  It is about me or you and if we expand our lens, it is about our families also.  This important central focus, however, covers about half of what psychology needs to cover.  The missing half is not personal to me or you but what we carry psychologically due to our extended multi-generational family system, the groups we are part of, the history of these groups and the countries they come from.  Working in both of these realms together gives us the potential for more inner development and freedom.  Psychology has been built on the idea of personal change and taking responsibility for one’s life, with the exception of severe psychological problems which are seen as genetic or biochemical.


The central principle behind most peacemaking and facilitation is to work with the problems of the present moment, to make some kind of peace treaty and write it up.  We, those of us who are therapists, facilitators and peacemakers, don’t address the hidden presence history often plays.  As a result, the various sides don’t understand that their conflict isn’t just their conflict, but history repeating itself.  Many of us feel the way the Earth holds the trauma and ghosts of history.  If these Earth-spots are not processed or cleared, history repeats itself again and again.  Last year in Warsaw, a few weeks after I taught there, 60,000 white supremacists marched with slogans calling for a new holocaust.  The lessons and the energy of the last holocaust have not been processed fully, so now here it comes again.


Process-oriented Psychology has taken an approach that integrates the ghosts of history and says that we are neither just individuals suffering from our internal psychology, nor are we just groups of people or countries suffering from external present-centered problems.  We are both.  Often inner-work, psychological work, and spiritual development are split off from world change and social action.  However, in Processwork we put this all together.  From a Processwork standpoint, sustainable personal change doesn’t happen without changing the world, and sustainable world change doesn’t happen without the individual’s inner-work to change their feelings.

Processwork addresses individual issues, family issues and world issues as part of individual therapy.  However, it also addresses social and world and historical issues through group work methods.  The two main tools for this are open forums and group process.  We call these methods the Worldwork part of Processwork, this unity of personal work, inner work, and outer world change.

Social Issues, Fields and Ghost Roles

Social issues that exist within the field affect individual psychology.  We share a field; an atmosphere we can sense we are all part of.  The field is full of roles being played by individuals, couples, families, organizations, businesses, or cities.  In families, some common examples of roles might be the parent or the child, the healthy or the sick one, the good child, and the addict.  There are also hidden roles, those felt and gossiped about but not represented or identified with. For example, in a hardworking family there may be a lazy uncle to always gossip about.  This is a ghost role, something that exists in the family but is not identified with.  When he is mentioned the energy of that uncle is present in the family even if the uncle isn’t physically present.  Other common ghost roles are the addict, the killer, the child, the elder, or even abuse, death, and love.

History is a Ghost Role

One of the most impactful ghosts upon a family or group is history.  I am Jewish.  In many Jewish families, the Holocaust is never mentioned.  Yet history is present always in the field.  It is a ghost role but somehow still present.  The issue for me is also personal.  In my family, we knew part of our family had lots of people directly impacted by the Holocaust and the other side had almost no one.

As a child at the dinner table I once asked, “How come we have so many cousins and aunts on Mom’s side and almost no one on Dad’s side?”  I think it was my mother who told me that my father’s side had “disappeared” in Europe.  I learned in my late 50s that my family was from Poland and most of one side died in the camps, probably Auschwitz.  I still have more to learn.  These ghosts of our history permeated my family’s mood; they created an air of anxious negativity that seemed to not be about present life.  The ghosts of history create this atmosphere.  The first time I taught in Warsaw, before I knew I was from Poland, I could almost sense the ghosts.  When someone goes to regions affected by World War II they can feel the ghosts still in the air.  Many people have had this experience wandering the streets of Warsaw for example, as the participants told us at our seminars there.

Ghost Roles Need to be Processed

The ghosts left by unprocessed history are like uncooked energies in the field; they surface again and again and tend to recreate history.  Our work as facilitators and therapists is to facilitate the cooking of personal and historical trauma so that we can work with these forces, these polarities, these sources of trauma, so that we don’t have to face them again in the same traumatic ways.  We can instead learn from, integrate, process, detach from and transform our personal and historical trauma into being the next positive steps for ourselves and humanity.

by Gary Reiss, LCSW, PhD, Dipl.PW

Gary Reiss is a certified trainer in Process-oriented Psychology.  Gary has a private practice in Eugene and Portland, Oregon, and teaches Process-oriented Psychology worldwide.  His specialties include family therapy, sex therapy, working with coma patients, Worldwork in world hot-spots, organizational development, and integrating Processwork with different spiritual traditions.  Gary is the director of the nonprofit organization The International Peace Group.  He has published 11 books, including The Dance of Sex, Dreaming Money, Families that Dream Together, and Love, Power, and Wisdom.  This post is an excerpt from his new book Healing History; Breaking the Cycle of Personal and Historical Trauma, published in 2018.


Arnold Mindell: Spring 2019

Join Dr. Arnold Mindell on two Fridays in May to REDISCOVER WHY ARE YOU HERE; the Mystery of Aging, Love and Purpose.

May 24 & May 31, 3.30-6.30pm.  Also join the evening case supervision May 24, 7.30pm, for a unique opportunity to observe and interact as Dr Mindell provides live supervision on participant case presentations. 

Find out more and register……

Master of Art in Process-Oriented Facilitation and Conflict Studies – Next cohort Fall 2019 find out more

The MA in Process-oriented Facilitation and Conflict Studies (MAPOF) teaches students to facilitate inner psychology and world problems. Our graduates work in leadership, organizations, counseling, coaching, and as mediators and facilitators in community and global contexts. Our vision is to teach people how to relate to themselves and each other, even amongst difficult conflicts, polarities, and moods. Our experienced faculty, including founders Arny and Amy Mindell, have experience ranging from depth psychology to large organizational consulting, to war zones, and offer students unique training in methods for working with the interconnectivity of personal problems and world problems.

Congratulations MAPOF 1!

Our wonderful MAPOF 1 cohort will be celebrating their graduation today, May 25th. Their Commencement Ceremony will be held at the Process Work Institute from 5 pm to 7:30 pm followed immediately by a Reception with food, drinks, music, and socializing.

We invite everyone to join us for this very special occasion to celebrate this cohort and honor their journey these last two years. All of us at PWI look forward to seeing you there!!
Please contact with any questions. 

The Role of Education in Government

On May 20th and May 27th join Arny Mindell for afternoon and evening courses at PWI. In these classes participants will be studying how education influences, or can determine future governments. Evening classes are supervisions of individual, group, and organizational situations. 

The Facilitator’s “Cracked Pot” and Unique Style

Join Amy Mindell Ph.D. in exploring the facilitator’s “cracked pot”. That is, the unique gifts hidden within learning difficulties or moments when you are not able to use your skills. The class is geared toward new and advanced therapists, facilitators, coaches, teachers, or helpers.  Through discussion and exercises, we’ll discover how your unique nature creates your deepest facilitator style, the “metaskills” that bring your skills to life, and renewed creativity for your work.

Check out the new Faculty VLog: What’s the Process?

Introducing a new feature to the Process Work Institute website: What’s the Process? The Process Work Institute Faculty Vlog. This vlog will feature videos by faculty at the PWI addressing questions relevant to all aspects of Process Work including body symptoms, organizational work, counseling and more. Have a look and don’t forget to bookmark!

What’s the Process? The Process Work Institute Faculty Vlog