Research Symposia

The Research Symposium is held throughout the year to honor research in Process Work and related fields. It is meant as a gathering place for sharing and furthering our learning together. In this spirit, research may include formal or informal research projects, as well as ideas and visions for projects in the works. Presentations may also include experiences integrating Process Work in various contexts, as well as panels on topic areas that bring together many different fields and perspectives.

If you’d like to present research or a project you’re working on, or if you have ideas/requests for topics please email our Research Symposium Coordinator, Hellene Gronda, PhD, at

Upcoming Symposium: February 2015

Dreaming Gender & Gender Dreaming

Sunday February 7th, 7-9pm

AP Research Symposium Feb 2016

 Gender Roles, Genderf**k, and Our Eternal Selves

A Process Oriented Exploration of Gender 

Aleksandr Peikrishvili,  M.P.W.,  L.C.S.W.






Join us for an evening exploring gender, dreaming, its performance and roles, cultural context and norms, our deepest natures and, most importantly to create a space to be together in our diversity of experience of gender. The evening will consist of a panel of speakers, community sharing, dialogue and q&a. All gender experiences are welcome and celebrated.

 “Growing up in Georgia, as a man, I was not to feel, be creative, sensual, or love other men. Paradoxically, my inner mainstream also pathologizes a more direct, raw, and self-focused way of being as an unacceptable reaction to a rigidly and culturally defined male gender role. In my performance, I attempt to explore both my inner and outer mainstreams, to develop fluidity and a sense of freedom and play with identity as moment to moment process.”  Read more

In 2010 Aleksandr performed a one man show as a way of exploring my life myth/path and my experiences of gender, love and sexuality in completion of the Process Work Institute Diploma Program. 

Aleksandr Peikrishvili,  M.P.W.,  L.C.S.W.

Aleks P symposium photo

I am an international process oriented trainer, facilitator, therapist and a licensed clinical social worker. I teach Process Oriented Facilitation and am a therapist locally and internationally. I am a dreamer, revolutionary and an aspiring elder.
My basic nature and some of the formative experiences, growing up as a feeling gay man in a a former Soviet Republic of Georgia, immigrating to the US at 16 and a family history of Armenian Genocide, are an inspiration for my dream of creating a different world for us to live in. These experiences continue to be deep sources of agony, growth and compassion that guide me in my work and being with people and in the world. I met Processwork in 1998 at the NYC Open Center and since then I continue to be deeply moved by the feeling of home that the paradigm has helped me create inside myself and the world. Processwork is such a rich and complex paradigm-some of the gifts I have felt immensely lucky to receive are: the relationship with the Dreaming, curiosity and awe for the unknown, love and respect of diversity of human experience and the profound framework for befriending things that scare or disturb us in life. I am honored to be a part of the community and faculty, locally and internationally that aspires to walk this path, and offer these incredible gifts. 

I am passionate about many applications of Processwork, personally and professionally, and probably, most importantly, growing our capacity for Eldership, our ability to welcome and relate to the disavowed, disturbing and unwelcome parts of our inner and outer worlds.  I feel excited about Groupwork and Worldwork, relationship, Metaskills, 2nd training, rank/power, leadership, supervision, gender.

In my free time I love hanging out with my dog Harvey, the ocean, I enjoy good food, performance art and fashion.

Symposium Archive

June 2015: “Alive and Out There”- A Theatre Based Approach to Addressing the stigma associated with Cancer in Culturally Diverse Communities.


Lynne Baker (Dipl. PW, Australia)


Join us to learn from an innovative project to raise awareness of cancer and stigma through the use of theatre and film as health promotion tools.  Lynne Baker is excited to share both the challenges and inspirational aspects of working with theatre and diverse communities, and will show video excerpts to engage audience discussion.

“Alive and Out There”- A Theatre Based Approach to Addressing the stigma associated with Cancer in Culturally Diverse Communities.

Lynne Baker was the project coordinator of this innovative project which aimed to (1) address stigma, myths and misconceptions associated with cancer, (2) promote access to cancer prevention, early screening, and treatment services and (3) raise awareness of the importance of social support in this context.

The project was led by the Multicultural Health Service, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD) and funded by the Cancer Institute of NSW. The project was based in Sydney, Australia.

The cultural authenticity of the plays was an important element in engaging with the three communities: Arabic, Greek and Macedonian. These communities are three of the largest communities within the boundaries of the SESLHD, and are underrepresented in cancer screening programs. These communities also have strong traditions in community theatre and storytelling.

The development of the plays was unique in that the perceptions about cancer held by community members were first identified, and included in an evolutionary process where each play was written with the input of oncology and other health professionals, and community theatre playwrights.


The uniqueness of each play can be seen in the title and story lines used:

  • Burra Wa Ba’eed… Out and Away.

Written, directed and produced by Alissar Chidiac and Saleh Saqqaf, and supported by the Urban Theatre Project through the company’s SPACE Residency Program. Burra Wa Ba’eed told the tale of a woman searching for a missing friend, and finding her in an unexpected location.  The friend had taken herself to hospital for cancer treatment and told her friends and relatives that she was going on holidays. This example was used to illustrate the extent of stigma in the community.

  • Zoe’s Gift

This play was written by Melba Papas, directed by Stavros Economidis and produced by Evelyn Tsavalas, and performed by the Hellenic Art Theatre in Greek with English surtitles available at every performance. Zoe’s Gift was a dramatic comedy about family secrets and surprises that explored themes around breast cancer and genetic conditions.

  • Wrestling the Bear

Wrestling the Bear was written by Dushan Ristevski, directed by Stefo Nantsou and performed by the Australian Macedonian Theatre of Sydney. The play revolved around two Macedonian men and their families dealing with cancer, illustrating their struggles to cope and tell others about their serious illness

The feedback from the theatre performances was very positive. Audience members stated that they had learned important messages about cancer that they could discuss with their family and community. The Arabic community was enthusiastic about reviving Arabic theatre in Sydney, the Greek performances played to sell out audiences and the Macedonian theatre group took the play, with much success, on tour in regional Australia and to Macedonia.

Theatre is a fantastic educational multisensory educational tool, which addresses many facets of learning and interacts with people in a visceral, proprioceptive and intellectual way.   This symposium will show some sections of the DVD recordings of the English versions of the plays, which will be used as discussion points.   As the project coordinator Lynne is also excited to share both the challenges and inspirational aspects of working with theatre and diverse communities.


Lynne Baker is a Processwork Diplomate, psychologist, supervisor, filmmaker and consultant.  Her unique approach encapsulates both her interest in diversity, and her passions for the human rights of all people regardless of their power, rank or privilege.  Her experience with multicultural communities is extensive both in client base and across countries including Worldwork in Eastern Europe, India, Greece and the USA.  Lynne  developed and implemented “Alive and Out There”, a  health promotion project that addressed the stigma, myths and misconceptions  associated with health issues in diverse communities.   An avid traveller, Lynne has lived in Canada, Israel, Japan and the USA.

February 2015

before spring

Trauma, Tension and Release: a Conversation Between Physiology and Identity 

Elva Redwood

7pm Sunday February 8th, 2015

“In following the wisdom of our bodies, when do we choose to actively seek awareness and unfold meaning from our experiences, and when do we step aside and allow our bodies just to feel and move?”

Elva Redwood asks this question of her Processwork practice, and investigates how to bring Tension, Stress and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE) into that practice.  TRE is an individual practice developed by David Bercelli to access the tremor reflex, which releases tension patterns and facilitates healing.  Core to both approaches is the understanding that our difficult experiences drive our growth, though Processwork and TRE appear to have incompatible attitudes.  One holds the intention of awareness, and the other asks us to let go of meaning.  This evening we will investigate how these two intentions interconnect and support each other in our practices and throughout our lives.


ElvaElva Redwood is a Processwork therapist and facilitator based in Portland.  In her practice she sees many people working with anxiety and trauma issues, as well as couples, other therapists, and artists.  Working with emotional trauma and the body is her personal inner work, as well as a deep learning she brings into the world.  She has learned much about how the body holds onto and releases experiences through Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Yoga, dance, and through following her own spontaneous movements and stillness.  Elva is due to be certified as a Tension, Stress and Trauma Release Exercises practitioner in December 2014.


September 2014

Nonviolent Communication and Processwork’s Deep Democracy: Natural Teammates for Group Process

Kristen Reynolds with Chris Allen and LaShelle Lowe-Chardé

This symposium evening was an opportunity to discuss the relative merits of two processes for working with groups: Nonviolent Communication and Processwork’s Deep Democracy. Kristen Reynolds presented her research on the benefit of each process to the group facilitator, along with an expert panel to lead and engage the audience discussion: Chris Allen, President of the Process Work Institute and LaShelle Lowe-Chardé, Certified Nonviolent Communication Trainer.

Process Work in Conflict Resolution is a complex study covering group dynamics, psychology, intuition, and metaphysical understanding. For the Process Work conflict facilitation student, Process Work offers an intelligent understanding of how people work together in groups that goes deeper than most group dynamic modalities.

Nonviolent Communication shows the student of facilitation how to avoid using dominance-based speech, not easy to do in a language designed for a domination-based culture. NVC helps the facilitator to lower conflict situations quickly, with precise communication that conveys understanding, compassion, and clarity.

February 2014


Exploring the Space Between Processwork and Aikido

Susan Newton is excited to share with you her work in integrating her Aikido and Processwork practices.

The practice of Aikido is a deeply embodied process. Susan has found that Processwork supports many Aikido practices.  Similarly, many practices from Aikido usefully support Processwork facilitator’s training e.g., role switching, positional power, taking the other side, and shifting one’s perspective from point focus to soft eyes in looking at both entities and the field between, amongst others.

In her own words:

“I feel gifted and most fortunate in meeting two practices that richly inform my experience:  Aikido and Processwork.  Aikido has been a superb and essential compliment to my formal Processwork studies and has helped me experientially embody my learning. Aikido has enabled me to connect with my heart, and from this space to begin to congruently move with all of me. Wholeheartedly, I invite you to join me as I draw from my current research in the space between Processwork and Aikido, both in theory and intentional movement.”

Susan Newton studied psychology and Aikido while earning her PhD at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. She  recently graduated from the MAPW program at PWI, and over the last 21 years has studied Aikido intensively in the USA and Tokyo with her teacher Hiroshi Kato Shihan, an 8th dan.  Susan has her 4th dan in Aikido and teaches at her dojo in Portland.

January 2014

A Calling to Work With Sexuality: Why and How?

Five diverse experts working with sexuality as therapists, counselors, researchers and educators share their stories of how they were called to work in the field of sexuality and how they approach the topic in their practice.

The presenters will introduce different views to sexuality and how sexual challenges can be approached. The discussion will bring light to the intimate topic, supporting the vastness of different sexual desires and experiences.

 The Moderator of the evening is Chris Allen PhD, an educator and researcher in sexuality and psychology. He teaches Human Sexuality at local universities, emphasizing sociocultural and “field” awareness of sexuality, and he is the President of Process Work Institute.

The panel speakers are:

Sheila Silver MA, DHS, ACS, a certified clinical sexologist in private practice in Portland with a doctorate in Human Sexuality.  She is a sex counselor, group facilitator, and educator who often presents at professional conferences and offers workshops around the state.

Julie Jeske MS., LPC, a sex therapist and counselor, and a sex educator skilled in working with the media to send sex positive messages with a sense of humor.

Douglas Marlow PhD, a psychologist and relationship consultant in Portland and Hermiston, encourages couples to fully embrace attachment, identity, and romantic sexual needs.

Anna Marti, who amazingly without any certifications or degrees, has successfully been supporting men and women of all ages and orientations, alone or partnered, towards creating new maps for a vibrant and nourishing erotic connection with themselves and the world. She’s a member of AASECT.

Kelly Rees, BA in Psychology, MBA. Kelly came out of a liberal arts background and worked in the corporate world before developing her own practice. Her real education for her practice began in Tantra workshops 16 years ago. She guides people to greater sense of wholeness with their authentic sexuality at their core.


October 2013 

Are all students the same? From Multiculturalism to Worldwork in School
Alexandra Zavos, PhD

Are migrant and refugee children ‘alien bodies’ that intrude and disrupt our schools? Do they have to become like us to belong? Can Worldwork offer an alternative model for understanding and integrating difference?

Come discuss how worldwork ideas could help understand issues of racism and multicultural integration in school, based on a case study from Greece.

Alexandra Zavos is a sociologist working on migration and gender and a feminist anti-racist activist. Her latest research has been on multiculturalism and racism issues in Greek schools. She has published articles in international journals and edited collections. She is currently a student on the MAPW program at PWI, Portland.

Audio recordings of the Oct 3rd, 2013 Research Symposium : 

[wpdm_file id=27]



September 2013 Research Symposium

A Process Work Approach to Parenting 
Dawn Menken, Ph.D. Sunday 15 September, 2013 
7:00pm – 8.30 pm

An evening on A Process Work Approach to Parenting, with Dawn Menken Ph.D., author of Raising Parents, Raising Kids: Hands-on Wisdom for the Next Generation.

Dawn Menken’s latest book, Raising Parents Raising Kids: Hands-on Wisdom for the Next Generation, is a celebration of her work with children and families, and brings her experience and joy of parenting to a larger audience. Her work inspires us all in our task to be global parents and offers tools to foster the inner life of children and to work with power issues, conflict, bullying and social marginalization.

Dawn Menken, Ph.D., is a parent, author, certified process worker and senior faculty member at the Process Work Institute. A conflict resolution educator and facilitator, she offers workshops worldwide and works with children, adults and families in private practice.

Video recording of the Sept 15, 2013 Research Symposium : 



June 2013 Research Symposium

Performance as Research?!!
Kate Jobe with Annie Blair, Myriam Rahman, Nathaniel Holder and Monica McCarthy
June 2nd 2013

Take a look behind the curtain to see what goes into a research project performance. Examine how performance is research, what happens in the development of performance and the role of Process Work as a part of that research.

Audio recordings of the June 2, 2013 Research Symposium:

Part 1. Presentation and panel

Part 2. Audience questions and discussion


Research Symposium: Dogs As Therapists. (MP3) with Heather Ohmart and Caroline Spark, with Healey and Thistle.


Research Symposium: Writing with Haiku As a Form of Meditation. They do Not Know: What To Do With a Shaman. (MP3)
With Mary Joy and Jon Beimer


Trauma and Deep Democracy Research Symposia with Emetchi (MP3)


Portland Police Bureau’s Crisis Intervention Team training program (WMA)

Research Symposium presented by: 
Lt. Sara Westbrook
, Team leader, and former Crisis Intervention Coordinator, Portland Police Bureau
Julie Diamond, PhD, Consultant & facilitator; Director of Training & Program Development, Process Work Institute
Kay Peterson, Nurse Practitioner, Project Respond
Liesbeth Gerritsen, PhD, Crisis Intervention Coordinator, Portland Police Bureau
Mary Otto, Curriculum Specialist, Portland Police Training Division
Detective Carole Miller, Portland Police Bureau


Understanding Chronic Pain (WMA)
Research Symposium presented by: 
Roger Lore, DAOM, LAC, Pierre Morin, MD, PhD & Duncan Soule, MD
Powerpoint that accompanies Pierre Morin’s presentation


Working with the World (Part 1Part 2) (WMA)
Research Symposium September 16, 2006
Multiple Presenters


Psychotropics (Part 1Part 2) (WMA)
Research Symposium Presentation by Teresa Fudge
May 21, 2006


Abuse and Trauma (WMA)
Research Symposium Presentation by Emetchi
March 19, 2006


“One Culture – Two Cultures: How many guns do you need to split a culture forever? A presentation on the division and reunion of Germany after WWII” (WMA)
Research Symposium Presentation by Heiko Spoddeck
February 19, 2006


“Processing social marginality in theory and practice” 
Part A
Part B (Windows Media)
Research Symposium Presentation by Joe Goodbread
December 9, 2005