Process Oriented Psychology (POP)

According to Arnold Mindell

Process work according to Arnold Mindell

Process-oriented psychology, also called process work, has been developed by Arnold Mindell and collaborators since 1981. As an interdisciplinary, experiential approach to personal and collective change processes, process work follows the ever-changing flow of human experience, which it refers to as "process." The focus of work is phenomenological or perceptually oriented and supports and unfolds change processes by picking up and processing signals.

Signals that are normally pushed aside as unimportant, irrelevant or inappropriate play a central role. They are unfolded, linked with experiences that are closer to consciousness and placed in a meaningful context of experience. The goal is awareness and integration on the levels of individual, relationship, team, group and community.

Worldwork / process-oriented group work

Process work seeks to help the group as a whole become more aware of itself. A group is more than a collection of individuals gathered for a specific purpose, it forms a field that needs each individual to express themselves and develop. Just as individuals, groups have a primary identity: the occasion, reason why the group meets. The question of the "we" of a group yields its primary identity; the question of the "not-we" yields all that is excluded in the group. The dreaming background of the group field should also be included, identity-distant (secondary) material should be located in order to help it express itself, which helps the group to grow.


From a process-oriented point of view, the true leader of a group is the dreaming background of the group field. Whoever is able to follow and express this background is the leader at the moment. Leadership, in this view, is also a role that can be filled by many different people. In contrast, most leadership concepts tie the role very strongly to the person.

Deep democracy

An important concern of process work is "deep democracy". This attitude takes all parts of a process or field (at the individual and in a group) important. In this way, process work ensures that the respective minorities are also supported and heard. In short, all voices and roles in the field want to be seen and acknowledged and expressed.

Arnold Mindell: "I care deeply about the idea that inner self, relationships, and the world are all aspects of the same community process."