Mindell, Arnold 1940-

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MINDELL, Arnold 1940-


Born January 1, 1940, in Schenectady, NY; son of Max and Bianca (Gruenberg) Mindell; married Amy Kaplan (a psychologist), August, 1986. Education: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, M.S., 1962; Jung Institute (Zurich, Switzerland), diploma, 1969; Union Institute, Ph.D., 1972.


Office—Process Work Center of Portland, 2049 Northwest Hoyt St., Suite 1, Portland, OR 97209-1260. E-mail—[email protected].


Psychologist, author, lecturer, and teacher. In private practice of psychology in Portland, OR; Institute for Process-oriented Psychology, Portland, and Zurich, Switzerland, founder.


Dreambody: The Body's Role in Revealing the Self, edited by Sisa Sternback-Scott and Becky Goodman, Sigo Press (Santa Monica, CA), 1982.

River's Way: The Process Science of the Dreambody: Information and Channels in Dream and Body-work, Psychology and Physics, Taoism and Alchemy, Routledge, Kegan Paul (Boston, MA), 1985.

Working with the Dreaming Body, Routledge, Kegan Paul (New York, NY), 1986, reprinted, Lao Tse Press (Portland, OR), 2001.

The Dreambody in Relationships, Routledge, Kegan Paul (New York, NY), 1987.

City Shadows: Psychological Interventions in Psychiatry, Routledge, Kegan Paul (New York, NY), 1988.

The Year and I: Global Process Work, Arkana (New York, NY), 1989.

Coma: Key to Awakening, Shambhala (Boston, MA), 1989.

Working on Yourself Alone: Inner Dreambody Work, Arkana (New York, NY), 1990, reprinted, Lao Tse Press (Portland, OR), 2001.

The Leader as Martial Artist: An Introduction to Deep Democracy, HarperSanFrancisco (San Francisco, CA), 1992, published as The Leader as Martial Artist: Techniques and Strategies for Resolving Conflict and Creating Community, Lao Tse Press (Portland, OR), 2000.

(With wife, Amy Mindell) Riding the Horse Backwards: Process Work in Theory and Practice, Arkana (New York, NY), 1992, reprinted ("Foundation" series), Lao Tse Press (Portland, OR), 2001.

The Shaman's Body: A New Shaminism for Transforming Health, Relationships, and Community, HarperSanFrancisco (San Francisco, CA), 1993.

Sitting in the Fire: Large Group Transformation Using Conflict and Diversity, Lao Tse Press (Portland, OR), 1995.

Dreaming While Awake: Techniques for Twenty-four-Hour Lucid Dreaming, Hampton Roads Publishing (Charlottesville, VA), 2000.

Quantum Mind: The Edge between Physics and Psychology, Lao Tse Press (Portland, OR), 2000.

The Dreambody in Relationships, Lao Tse Press (Portland, OR), 2001.

The Dreammaker's Apprentice: Using Heightened Awareness to Interpret the Waking Dream of Life, Hampton Roads Publishing (Charlottesville, VA), 2002.

The Deep Democracy of Open Forums: How to Transform Organizations into Communities, Hampton Roads Publishing (Charlottesville, VA), 2002.

Contributor to periodicals, including Yoga Journal, Psychological Perspectives, and Psychology Today.


Coma: Key to Awakening was adapted for the stage and produced in Edinburgh, Scotland, 1999.


Big Medicine, Quantum Dimensions of Symptoms; (with wife, Amy Mindell) The Internal Holocausts: The Roots and Solution to Terrorism.


Arnold Mindell is a Jungian-trained analyst and author of many books that have been translated into nearly twenty languages. He is the founder of the Institute for Process-oriented Psychology and maintains a private practice with his wife, Amy Mindell, with whom he conducts seminars around the world. Mindell is recognized for his dream work, bodywork, relationship work, and conflict resolution, and for his healing approach based on Taoism and physics in process work.

On his Web site, Mindell defines process work as "a cross-disciplinary approach to support individual and collective change.… Also known as process-oriented psychology (POP) or dreambody work, Process Work offers new ways of working with areas of life that are experienced as problematic or painful. Physical symptoms, relationship problems, group conflicts and social tensions, when approached with curiosity and respect, can lead to new information that is vital for personal and collective growth. With its roots in Jungian psychology, Taoism, and physics, Process Work believes that the solution to a problem is contained within the disturbance itself and provides a practical framework through which individuals, couples, families, and groups can connect with greater awareness and creativity."

Mindell's Coma: Key to Awakening contains case histories of patients he reached through patient communication techniques and who responded to Mindell's attentions. Coma was adapted for the stage by the Improbable Theatre Company of Edinburgh, Scotland. Thom Dibdin wrote in the Edinburgh Evening News that "it is on Mindell's alternative health approach to the near death experiences of people in comas that these 'stories from the edge of life' are based." The production included six performers and two cellists. Dibdin called the cello "the perfect instrument for this twilight subject." Stories were played out through actors, hand puppets, shadow puppetry, and interaction with the audience.

John-Paul Flintoff noted in Edinburgh's Scotland on Sunday that the show demonstrates that the people in Mindell's case studies "are not lost to a coma but going through potentially meaningful inner experiences. We are wrong, Mindell suggests, to think that the mind in a coma simply goes blank. The opposite could be true: in coma, the mind races faster than ever, processing ideas and emotions that elude us in ordinary states of consciousness. And, with the right methods, we can communicate with people even while they are comatose."

In Coma, Mindell writes about his communications with a patient, saying, "We screamed and shouted together for a long time, stretching the limits of the hospital's clinical regulations." "But Mindell avoids jargon," wrote Flintoff, "and it's precisely his humanity which is moving. When Peter [a patient] wakes to tell his wife he loves her, Mindell admits: 'I got embarrassed, and got up to leave.' (They asked him to stay)."

Richard Leviton wrote in East West that Mindell "doesn't rest his case until he's made one more point. Maybe coma isn't 'this dark hole of life,' as most M.D.s contend, he says. 'Coma and all these physical symptoms, all the dreadful pathological things that happen to us—they could all be a doorway. The stronger the symptom, the more powerful the enlightenment. Such cases lead me to the idea that awareness can also be located outside the physical body.'"

Whole Earth Review contributor Jean Gilbert Tucker called The Leader as Martial Artist: An Introduction to Deep Democracy "significant, passionate, important." The volume begins with Mindell's question, "Am I sufficiently developed to write this book?" Tucker wrote that "this spirit of humility suffuses a remarkable study of psychological and political insight addressing the growing problems of conflict and leadership. What follows is a provocative appraisal of an invigorated human spirit." Mindell proposes a new way to approach working with individuals and groups large and small to help them live and grow in harmony. His "worldwork" would draw together psychology, science, and spiritual traditions through dreamwork, bodywork, field theories, and relationship and transnational organizational work in uniting the peoples of the world.



Booklist, November 15, 1993, Pat Monaghan, review of The Shaman's Body: A New Shamanism for Transforming Health, Relationships, and Community, p. 583.

East West, September, 1990, Richard Leviton, "Mysteries of the Coma," p. 64.

Evening News (Edinburgh, Scotland), April 22, 1999, Thom Dibdin, "It's Surreal Thing …the Coma Company," p. 34.

International Journal of Social Psychiatry, summer, 1989, Shulamit Ramon, review of City Shadows: Psychological Interventions in Psychiatry, p. 210.

Library Journal, November 1, 1993, Carolyn Craft, review of The Shaman's Body, p. 100.

Scotland on Sunday, April 18, 1999, John-Paul Flint-off, "What Happens When People Fall into a Coma?," p. 6.

Whole Earth Review, winter, 1992, Jean Gilbert Tucker, review of The Leader as Martial Artist: An Introduction to Deep Democracy, p. 21.


Amy and Arnold Mindell Web site,http://www.aamindell.net (May 7, 2002).

Process Work Center Web site,http://www.processwork.org/ (May 7, 2002).*