Process Work, Arny & Amy Mindell, and Tarot

Katrina and Arny – Yachats, Oregon 2010

Arnold “Arny” Mindell has been my greatest human teacher, a father-figure for my psychological training, and a mentor I look up to in life.

Our paths intersected circa 1988 at Esalen Institute on the Big Sur coast of California where he and Amy Kaplan (now Amy Mindell) were teaching one of their rare, intimate, workshops.

Process Work (PW), previously titled “Process-Oriented Psychology”, began with Arny’s expansion of Jungian psychology to include what he called the “Dreambody.” In this first book by the same name, published in 1982, Arny tells the story of his discovery that body symptoms carry the same meaningful message from the unconscious as our dreams uncovered through Jungian methods.

Over the years, the basic concepts and structure of Process Work has expanded in application to include relationship, family, and group dynamics, in addition to the work that had begun with body symptoms, illness, and extreme states (aka altered states and psychoses). “Worldwork” is the most powerful branch of PW theory to date involving large groups and world issues, such as political, social, and environmental concerns.

What attracted me to PW are the Taoist principles at the heart of this psycho-spiritual modality, a holistic philosophy based on nondualistiic values. Studying and living Taoist wisdom since the age of 19, I recognized that balance, unity, and non-judgment are the compassionate center of PW as well. What an incredible way to study psychology and practice these skills when supporting change and transformation in oneself as well as other beings and the universe.

Briefly, the four pillars which formulate the foundation of PW are: Jungian Psychology, Taoisim, Shamanism/Earth-based Spirituality, and Physics.

Near and dear to Arny’s heart is modern physics. He began his professional life as a MIT physicist, but due to life’s twists and turns he found his way to Zurich, expanding his study from physics to psychology at the Jung Institute. He developed his unique view of psychology through the eyes of a scientist using the language of physics. For example, you are having a relationship issue with another being, but it is reframed as an “entanglement” of two particles engaged in one wave, one dance.

Arny fills our heads with amazing concepts and psychological tools, while Amy touches our hearts with compassion and what she has termed “Metaskills” – The Spiritual Art of Therapy. Metaskills are the feeling attitudes and attributes that the therapist brings to her/his work. They can include humor, compassion, presence, and curiosity, among other qualities.

Since encountering Arny and Amy in 1988, I began developing my unique style of working with the cards, integrating my deep PW skills with the wisdom of Tarot. In essence, the Tarot reveals the detailed stages of transformation in life, while PW skills enhance our ability to connect with our personal journey of change.

Within these 20+ years of development, my work became “Transformative Tarot Counseling™” and was formulated into a certification program where I teach interested students how to relate to Tarot and card reading in a more profound and life-enhancing way.

For more information about the Transformative Tarot Counseling™ Certification Program (TTCCP), please visit my website.

For the first time, the TTCCP is being offered as an intensive course this summer before and including the 14th Annual Tarot Retreat. If you are interested in this rare opportunity to study with me, please follow this link to read more about the 2010 Summer Tarot Intensive.