Articles & Interviews: Processwork
721 Feedback: Process oriented Feedback, Supervision, and the Learning Process
Amy shows how metaskills and the three levels of experience apply to giving and receiving feedback, with her concept of 721 Feedback:
“721 refers to the sum of the numbers 360, 360, and 1. The first 360 is for feedback from all around, that is from everyone and everything in everyday reality. The second 360 is for feedback from all around the world of dreams, from all dream figures and experiences. And 1 is for feedback from the world of the essence, from the basis of who we are. 360 + 360 + 1 makes 721.” Amy Mindell, 2007 IAPOP Conference Opening Address http://www.aamindell.net/download/process-work/IAPOPtalk.pdf
721 Feedback: Process oriented Feedback, Supervision, and the Learning Process by Amy Mindell, November 2005
All of us are, or will one day be, in the position of giving feedback to others whether we are teachers, bosses, parents, or simply friends giving advice to one another. Over the years I have developed into a teacher and supervisor of other therapists and therapists-in-training and have found that, for me, the task of giving feedback carries as much excitement and learning as it is daunting and challenging. There is always more to learn about how to teach and give feedback in useful ways.
Supervision can be a wonderful learning process for everyone involved. At the same time, I am acutely aware that no matter how good hearted the supervisor might be, or how open and capable the supervisee may be, the atmosphere around a feedback situation is most often filled with various background spirits, some stemming from past wonderful or difficult educational experiences, earlier parental situations, abuse issues, etc. At the same time, the nature of the particular student or supervisee and the particular supervisor or teacher, the momentary mood, the “performance” that is being looked at, the moment in time, and the feelings of all involved play significant roles in what occurs. The person in the position of getting feedback may feel relaxed and excited about feedback or possibly uptight about what might be said. At the same time, the supervisor might feel fully engaged and interested or alternately, nervous about what to say, how to say it, or how to be conscious of the rank differences between her or himself and the supervisee.
“Extreme States” as defined in Arny’s City Shadows refer to unusual or rare states of consciousness that are statistically less common than the so called “normal states of consciousness” characteristic of a given area, culture, and times. Extreme states are frequently pathologized and called, “mental illness” and “psychoses”. While process work includes pathological viewpoints, Processwork emphasizes also the potential meaning and creativity of a situation.
PSYCHOSIS, DREAMING…ALTERNATIVE VIEWS. WILL HALL INTERVIEWS ARNY
In this interview, Will Hall of Madness Radio (www.madnessradio.net ) asks Arny about his long experience in working with extreme (that is statistically unusual) states of consciousness. Processwork prefers the term “extreme” to “psychosis”, because extreme stresses the unusual (in contrast to the pathologically “sick”) nature of what we all experience, to a lesser or greater extent. Click here to hear the interview of about 55 minutes
A 1998 INTERVIEW WITH ARNY ON EXTREME STATES, THE JOURNAL OF PROCESS ORIENTED PSYCHOLOGY.
Download Arny’s interview on Extreme States (52Kb PDF file)
Articles and interviews
2009 INTERVIEW WITH ARNY FOR THE UNITED STATES BODY PSYCHOTHERAPY ASSOCIATION
Arny was interviewed by Serge Prengel for the United States Body Psychotherapy Association. To hear this interview, which is a good introduction to the idea of process and Arny’s development of Process oriented Psychology, click here.
Prengle, S. (2009, March). Arny Mindell. Somatic Perspectives on Psychotherapy. Retrieved from http://usabp.org/associations/1808/files/2009-03-Mindell.pdf
2007 IAPOP CONFERENCE KEYNOTE TALK
Amy and Arny’s Introductory talk at the April 2007 International Association of Process Oriented Psychology Conference in London, England gives a personal account of a small piece of history behind the birth of Processwork. For details, download the article and/or Arny’s talk below. The conference which followed will soon be available to all in book form, from the Research Society for Process Oriented Psychology.
Download Amy and Arny’s IAPOP Talk (7.6MB .pdf file)
1990 “FIELD OF DREAMS: AN INTERVIEW WITH ARNOLD MINDELL” BY STEPHEN BODIAN OF THE YOGA JOURNAL, MARCH/APRIL 1990.
Photo by Liubov Sazonovo
About six months ago, it dawned on me that the process theory that I had learned for so many years, and which has been so helpful to me in working with others, and myself was in the midst of expansion. Even though I knew in my heart that the foundation of process work, its practice and theory, is in continual flux and growth, my linear mind has held fast to what I had learned and assumed that it would stay as it always had been.
However, over the past few years a significant expansion and deepening of process theory has arisen. I believe it began about five years ago when Arny returned to his studies of theoretical physics. (During the 1960s he received his master’s degree at MIT and then went on to study at the ETH, the technical institute in Zurich.) Recently, Arny focused most specifically on quantum physics, and particularly the ideas surrounding the quantum wave function — the basic pattern behind matter that can be formulated mathematically but cannot be seen directly. He discovered that the quantum wave is not only a mathematical construct but is something that can be experienced by becoming aware of our most subtle or sentient experiences. He developed these ideas in Quantum Mind and Dreaming While Awake and he and I have further developed these ideas experientially in our seminars over the past few years.
In this paper, I outline some beginning thoughts about the way in which these recent studies have expanded process theory and how this new realm is linked with, and fundamental to, earlier theory and concepts.
AMY ON WORKING WITH THE WORLD CHANNEL IN INDIVIDUALS (1996)
Mindell, A. (1996). Discovering the world in the individual: the world channel in psychotherapy. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 36(3), 67–84. doi:10.1177/00221678960363005
Many therapists today are raising questions about psychotherapy’s contribution to politics, its responsibility, view, and influence on the world. This article addresses one aspect by elucidating the reciprocal relationship between the world and the individual as this relationship appears in individual therapy. It offers a process-oriented theory in which the individual’s relationship to the world appears in what is called the “world channel”.
Download the full article … (79kb .rtf file)
Arny explains the essence of Processwork, in this six minute excerpt from an interview with Jeffrey Mishlove in the early 1990s.
Videos linked in this post
1988 INTRODUCTION TO PROCESSWORK BASICS AT ESALEN INSTITUTE
Esalen invited Amy and Arny to be resident teachers after the death of their earlier teacher Dick Price. In this 75 minute video, broken up into 4 parts (originally filmed by Esalen in 1988 and updated by Amy in 2011) you will see Arny introducing processwork in a way that is still relevant to today. Here you will find theory, practice, experiential exercises etc.
Esalen Video Part 1: Arny speaks about his history and background in science and in Jungian psychology. He speaks about the dreambody and stresses the importance of unifying psychology with movement, family, political, and group work. He stresses the cross cultural nature of process work and its various applications as well as how the healing/medical model integrates with the meaningful nature of body symptoms/experiences.
Esalen Video Part 2: Arny leads everyone through an inner work exercise on a body symptom and its connection to dreams. He speaks about the Cartesian split between dreams and the body and why he chose to use information thinking. He gives an example of working with a little girl with a bone tumor and asks, “What is “healing”? He also speaks about coma work.
Esalen Video Part 3: Arny discusses developing abilities in many sensory grounded channels, why we have so many channels, and asks: What is process? He speaks of teleology, and programming versus following. He gives an example of his own childhood dream, talks about positive and negative feedback, and how the best interventions are seen in the expressions people are already making.
Esalen Video Part 4: Arny recommends a dreamwork dyad exercise to train in noticing the kind of dreamwork the “client” is recommending. He describes the concept of the “edge” and leads everyone through an exploration of their own edges. He discusses primary and secondary processes, the way symptoms appear at the edge, and the importance of following the entire process. He concludes by addressing the question, “What if you don’t remember your dreams?”.