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Arnold Mindell (born 1940) is an American psychotherapist, writer and the founder of Process Oriented Psychology . He lives in Portland, Oregon. He has written 19 books that have been published in 20 languages.
After graduating with a degree in physics from MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Mindell went to Zurich, Switzerland to continue his studies in physics. While in Zurich, Mindell became aware of the work of psychyatrist C. G. Jung and shifted his emphasis to study Analytical Psychology at the C. G. Jung Institute, where he graduated as a Jungian Analyst. He became fascinated with links between body experience, particularly physical symptoms, and how they are mirrored in dreams. Mindell published his research in his first book, Dreambody: The Body’s Role in Revealing the Self in 1982. This led him to investigate how the dreaming mind produces unconscious or "double signals" in us while we are in relationship to others. He found that bringing those signals from the background to the foreground made interpersonal communication easier.
Because of his focus on following signals and processes, Mindell began to call this work, "process oriented psychology". His interest in relationships evolved into the study of conflict in large groups. He discovered that the dreaming processes he had identified on the individual and dyadic relationship level were also helpful in working out problems in large, socially diverse groups of people. In groups, the process was carried not only by individuals, but by ‘roles’ which could be occupied by any individual in the group. ‘Ghost roles’ were roles implied by the group’s behavior, but with which no individual would identify.
After writing a series of books on these discoveries, Mindell became interested once again in physics and went back to the study of tiny, subtle signals which are ordinarily ignored in more classical psychological approaches. With his partner and wife Amy Mindell, Mindell began to explore new methods of working with people locked in comatose, vegetative and near death states of consciousness. Recently his interest in quantum physics has propelled him to explore the interconnections of psychology with theoretical physics, and to find new ways of working with subtle states of consciousness. He is now using wave and vector concepts to understand preverbal, pre-dream-like states of awareness.
Mindell is actively involved with a large international learning community that researches, studies and teaches process work. Mindell says of his own motivation, “I am still in love with the idea of nature, and following the Tao seems to remain the haunting and romantic background to all I do.”
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