Mindell received the Jungian Analyst diploma in 1970, and served at the C. G. Jung Institute as a teacher and Training Analyst until he left in 1985. In the early 1980s, Mindell and colleagues began the first training program for process oriented psychology, in Zürich; and in 1982 founded what is now known as the Institute for Process Work (Institut für Prozessarbeit IPA), an accredited Training Institute for psychotherapy in Switzerland.
In the late 1980s Mindell and his wife, Amy Mindell, moved back to the United States from Switzerland, causing some controversy in the small coastal town of Yachats, Oregon with plans to build a seminar venue. In 1990, Mindell and colleagues established a center for teaching process oriented psychology in Portland, Oregon, now known as the Process Work Institute, which in 2001 was the subject of a controversial ethics complaint.
Mindell features prominently in Micah Toub’s 2010 memoir Growing Up Jung. Toub represents Mindell as a charismatic, unconventional post-Jungian teacher and psychotherapist who was a “a guru-like figure” for Toub’s parents.
Mindell founded and developed process oriented psychology, also known as Process Work. Core ideas include his ‘dreambody’ concept and the application of psychology to social issues and conflict resolution in large groups, known as ‘worldwork’ and the principle of ‘deep democracy.’Stanislav Grof has described Arnold Mindell as one of the ‘pioneers of transpersonal psychology.’:102 In 2012, Mindell was one of five people recognized with a Pioneer Award from the US Association of Body Psychotherapy. He is a holder of the World Certificate for Psychotherapy (WCPC) awarded by the World Council for Psychotherapy.
Mindell has been the subject of two Thinking Allowed programs, the independent television series hosted by Jeffrey Mishlove. He has been interviewed on Shrink Rap Radio (2008), New Dimensions Radio (2009, 1995) and Somatic Perspectives on Psychotherapy (2009).
Mindell has been criticised for teaching New Age concepts and practices that are unclear and unknown within the mainstream of psychology; and it is noted that he is not licensed as a clinical psychologist in Oregon. Mindell’s dreambody work has been criticized as a form of 'metaphysical healthcare'; while another commentator referred to process oriented psychology as an example of a transpersonal psychology with the potential, he claimed, to be misused as a form of 'mind control.'
The ‘dreambody’ concept was developed in the 1970s while Mindell was a practicing Jungian analyst, derived from his observation of connections between people’s dreams and their body symptoms and published in Dreambody: the Body's Role in Revealing the Self (Routledge, 1984). Mindell’s therapeutic technique has been compared to Fritz Perls: “The most striking difference, at least from Perls himself, is one of mood - Mindell's work is playful, supportive and permissive rather than confrontational.”:28 Another commentator writes: “Mindell … exemplifies both the good and bad of contemporary dreamwork. On the first score: there is a bit of flim-flam about Mindell. And he conspicuously overemploys the first person singular while extolling non-ego functions. Also, he interprets disease processes so positively that they begin to lose their catagogic authenticity. But on the second score: he is inventive, creative, intuitive, holistic, and affirmative. He breaks down prevailing categories and finds authentic meanings where our culture traditionally does not. And he helps people.”:522
In 1995 Mindell extended the dreambody concept to a theory and practice of working with people in coma and near death states; this work inspired a UK theatre production by Improbable theatre. In his 1988 book, City Shadows: Psychological Interventions in Psychiatry, Mindell presented his approach to psychiatric disorders, drug addiction and mental retardation. The book provides verbatim case studies describing interventions focused on the meaning of the patient’s unusual communication, including non-verbal signals.
Mindell's 1990 book, Working on Yourself Alone: Inner Dreambody Work, presents a meditation practice that focuses attention on subtle body experiences and amplifies them to reveal unexpected information and meaning for the meditator. It provides a model for creative spiritual practice involving inner reflection and personal development. In the 2002 work, Dreaming while Awake: Techniques for 24-hour Lucid Dreaming, Mindell built on ideas of lucid dreaming, indigenous traditions and Zen Buddhism to create an awareness practice for daily life: paying attention to thoughts and perceptions that are normally dismissed, which he calls ‘flirts’ from the ‘Dreaming.’
Mindell has also published books dealing with large group conflict resolution and leadership, notably The Leader as Martial Artist: An Introduction to Deep Democracy (1992) and Sitting in the fire: Large Group Transformation Using Conflict and Diversity (1995).:207:408 Mindell advances a concept and principle he calls ‘deep democracy' and the approach has been compared to the work of Danaan Parry.:46 Mindell’s group conflict work has been reported within a business setting and within large community forums working with racism and other social tensions.
Mindell’s work is known for proposing analogies between the concepts of mathematics, classical and quantum physics and psychological experiences; his books include simple exercises to guide the reader to explore their own experience of these ideas.:456
Mindell, A. (2010) Processmind: A user's guide to connecting with the mind of God. Quest Books. ISBN 978-0835608862
Mindell, A. (2007). Earth-based psychology: Path awareness from the teachings of Don Juan, Richard Feynman, and Lao Tse. Portland, OR: Lao Tse Press. ISBN 1-887078-75-4
Mindell, A. (2000). Dreaming while awake: techniques for 24-hour lucid dreaming. Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Company Inc. ISBN 978-1571743596
Mindell, A. (2000). Quantum Mind: The edge between physics and psychology. Portland, OR: Lao Tse Press.
Mindell, A. (1995). Sitting in the fire: Large group transformation using conflict and diversity. Portland, OR: Lao Tse Press. ISBN 978-1887078009
Mindell, A. (1995). Coma: The Dreambody near death. Penguin Books (Arkana). ISBN 9780140194838
Mindell, A. (1993). The shaman's body: A new shamanism for transforming health, relationships, and the community. HarperSanFrancisco. ISBN 978-0062506559
Mindell, A. (1992). The leader as martial artist: An introduction to deep democracy (1st ed.). San Francisco: Harper. ISBN 978-0062506405
Mindell, A. (1990). Working on yourself alone: Inner dreambody work. Penguin Group. ISBN 9780140192018
Mindell, A. (1989). The Year 1: Global process work. Community creation from global problems, tensions and myths. London: Penguin Books (Arkana). ISBN 978-0140192100
Mindell, A. (1988). City shadows: psychological interventions in psychiatry. London and New York: Routledge. ISBN 9780415001939
Mindell, A. (1985). River’s Way: The process science of the dreambody. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. ISBN 0-7102-0631-3
Mindell, A. (1984). Dreambody: the body’s role in revealing the self. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. ISBN 9780710202505
^Young, Courtenay (2010). "The history and development of Body-Psychotherapy: European diversity". Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy5 (1): 5–19. doi:10.1080/17432970903499958.|accessdate= requires |url= (help)
^ abShafton, A. (1995). Dream reader: contemporary approaches to the understanding of dreams. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-7914-2618-1 (p. 522-525)
^ abcdeSinger, J. (1995). Arny and Amy Mindell on Process Oriented Psychology (Interview). The San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal, 13(4), 25–40.
^Caldwell, C. (1997) ‘Dreams and the dreaming body. Amy and Arny Mindell’ in C. Caldwell (Ed.) Getting in touch: The guide to new body-centered therapies. Wheaton, IL: Quest. ISBN 0-8356-0761-5 (p.61)
^ abCollins, Mick; Collins (2008). "Politics and the Numinous: Evolution, Spiritual Emergency, and the Re-emergence of Transpersonal Consciousness". Psychotherapy & Politics International6 (3): 198–211. doi:10.1002/ppi.
^Bradshaw, John Elliot (1996). Bradshaw on the family: a new way of creating solid self-esteem (Revised). Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications. pp. xvi –xvii. ISBN1-55874-427-4.
^Collins, M. (2001). Who Is Occupied ? Consciousness , Self Awareness and the Process of Human Adaptation. Journal of Occupational Science, 8(1), 25–32. doi: 10.1080/14427591.2001.9686482 (p.29)
^ abcTotton, N. (2003). Body Psychotherapy: An Introduction. Berkshire, England: Open University Press, McGraw-Hill House. ISBN 0-335-21039-2 (p.107-108)
^ abcSchuitevoerder, N.; Zweig, C. (1996). "Life is but a dream an interview with Arnold Mindell". Psychological Perspectives: A Quarterly Journal of Jungian Thought33 (1): 78–91. doi:10.1080/00332929608405731.
^Grof, S. (2010). The Consciousness Revolution. In V. V. Kozlov, V. V. Maykov, & V. F. Petrenko (Eds.), Consciousness Revolution: Transpersonal Discoveries That Are Changing the World. Materials of the17th International Transpersonal Conference. Moscow, 23–27 July 2010. (pp. 100–103). Moscow: Presidium of the International Academy of Psychological Sciences. Retrieved from http://ita2010.com/downloads/en/eng_17th_Conference_Theses.pdf (p.102)
^Gardner, L. (1999, May 4). Arts: Beautiful dreamers: It’s hard to imagine a less promising subject for a play than a coma. But if anyone can make it work, it's Improbable Theatre. The Guardian, p. News: p13. London
^Taylor, P. (1999, May 24). Theatre: In Death’s other kingdom. The Independent. London.
^Haw, P. (2008, July 28). Appreciate and honour greybeards’ wisdom. Business Day (Johannesburg).
^Miller, S. M.; Nelson, M. W. & Moore, M. T. (1998). "Caught in the Paradigm Gap: Qualitative Researchers’ Lived Experience and the Politics of Epistemology". American Educational Research Journal35 (3): 377–416. doi:10.3102/00028312035003377.Cite uses deprecated parameters (help)
^Tucker, Jean Gilbert (1992). "Book review: The Leader as Martial Artist: An Introduction to Deep Democracy". Whole Earth Review (77 Winter): 21.
^Totton, Nick (2007). "Democracy and therapy". Therapy Today (18.1). British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
^ abTotton, N. (2000). Psychotherapy and Politics. London: Sage Publications. ISBN 0-7619-5850-9 (p.45-48)
^Britt, S. (2012, July 2). My View: Conflict resolution starts at home. Gloucester Daily Times (MA), p. Opinion.
^Religion News Service (5 July 1997). "Process work’ helps all, analyst says". St. Petersburg Times, FL p. 5-6, 8.
^"Tools to deal with conflict". Manly Daily, Sydney, Australia. p. 4. 21 April 2006.
^Peay, P. (1997, July 5). Public therapy aims to heal rifts of racism. St Petersburg Times, FL.
^Lattin, D. (1992, May 1). Mediators target hot spots. San Francisco Chronicle.
^Collins, Mike (2011). "The Akashic Field and Archetypal Occupations: Transforming Human Potential Through Doing and Being". World Futures: The Journal of Global Education67 (7): 453–479. doi:10.1080/02604027.2011.563190.