Process Oriented Psychology
Process oriented psychology or as it is better known process work, was developed by Dr. Arnold Mindell. Process oriented psychology has roots in Jungian Psychology and Taoism. Process oriented psychology follows the way of nature while bringing awareness into the patterns that structure our lives. This includes the parts of our lives that are unseen, unappreciated, and disturbing. In 1969, Dr. Mindell realized that body experiences and symptoms mirror dreams and are meaningful expressions of the unconscious.
Process oriented psychology discovers the potential patterns for change in our lives within the experiences that disturb us. Dreams, physical symptoms, addictions, family and relationship problems, group conflicts and social tensions; all of these experiences reveal an inner order and coherence that can bring new information vital to our personal or collective growth.
The beliefs of process oriented psychology
As individuals and groups we usually find it hard to give equal value to every part of ourselves and our experiences. Instead we identify ourselves a specific way. For example, we consider ourselves strong or weak, loving or detached. A central idea of process oriented psychology is to support the totality of our personal richness and to help the less-valued parts of ourselves to find expression and a place in our lives.
Process oriented psychology relies on awareness by both the therapist and client, rather than a specific method of psychology. The client needs to become aware of two levels of experience – both their primary experience that they readily embrace and their secondary experience that they often see as foreign which is better known as their unconscious, dreams, projections and beliefs:
- Embraced, normal
- Verbal, behavioral
- Rejected, alien
- Nonverbal, emotions, projection
The aim of process oriented psychology is to identify the client’s primary and secondary processes and what exactly it is that separate them. Then the client’s identity can be enriched by amplifying and unfolding secondary experiences until they are understood and can then finally become a part of the client’s actual world that they experience on a waking and day to day basis.
The uses of process oriented psychology
Process oriented psychology has been used in many different areas and is used in therapy for couples, family, personal growth and for during life crisis. Process oriented psychology can be a way to meditate on your own psychological or life processes and a way to work with body symptoms and physical illness. Process oriented psychology is also commonly used for people nearing end of life because of its valuing altered states. Process oriented psychology has been widely involved with organizational development in business and educational work with children in schools by applying the values of creativity and art.