Core Process Oriented Skills 1: Introduction

Core Process Oriented Skills 1: Introduction

Unit Description

Introduces students to the Process Oriented approach of Arnold Mindell, including the contribution of quantum physics, field theory, levels of awareness, consciousness continuum and the dreambody.

This 3-credit point unit introduces students to the Process Oriented approach of Arnold Mindell, including the contribution of quantum physics, field theory, levels of awareness, consciousness continuum and the dreambody.

Skills training in this unit focuses on the observation of phenomena present during the human encounter. The emphasis of student learning is on developing a ‘second attention’ to ‘find the door’: the process that holds the key to clients’ concerns and presenting problems. Students will learn essential counselling skills in the context of authentic relationships and work experientially in practice sessions to develop fluent application. Students will learn to identify and assess clients’ needs and to formulate hypotheses for counselling direction. Students will also learn to identify and unfold primary and secondary processes and the edge in client material.

Peer and critical self-reflection are used to enhance student learning throughout this unit. Learning to accept and reflect on feedback is an essential skill. Active dialogue and the critical examination of approaches to counselling are also encouraged. The student’s own experience is used to enrich learning and deepen self-knowledge through experiential exercises embedded in timetabled and untimetabled study.

Unit Code


Unit Type

Core Unit

Study Period

Year 1, Semester 1

Credit Points


Unit Coordinator

Dr Martin Hemsley

Consultation Times

30 minutes before and after workshop intensive and by appointment during the semester

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • a) Identify and articulate the core tenets of the process oriented approach
  • b) Identify and assess the client’s needs and formulate hypotheses for the direction of counselling
  • c) Competently demonstrate skills in using primary and secondary processes, double signals and edges in practice sessions
  • d) Analyse signs of the unfolding process in counselling, including primary and secondary processes and double signals
  • e) Demonstrate and reflect on a range of process oriented skills, using the dreambody, body symptoms, dreams, synchronistic events and dream figures
  • f) Competently demonstrate skills in creating a safe and supportive environment for self-expression and sharing of feelings, attitudes, beliefs and experiences of difference
  • g) Integrate theory and reflection on feedback to improve counselling practice

Graduate Attributes

Attributes Statement
Collaboration Our graduates will have advanced skills in collaborating respectfully with colleagues, teams and clients to enhance productive outcomes and manage conflict skilfully
Ethical practice and integrity Our graduates will demonstrate high ethical standards in their work and follow professional Codes of Ethics to do good (beneficence) and avoid harm (maleficence)
Professionalism Our graduates will have a highly developed understanding of their work roles and responsibilities and uphold a high level of professional conduct in their work
Holistic awareness Our graduates will have an in-depth understanding of how the physical body, the psyche and mind/ spirit/self are in constant interaction and relationship with each other and with the environment
Communication Our graduates will have well-developed written and oral communication skills, including listening deeply and receiving, interpreting and transmitting complex information, on many levels of awareness with colleagues, clients and the community
Critical thinking Our graduates will have critical thinking skills necessary to evaluate and analyse information and make informed professional judgements

Delivery Mode

Workshop Intensive 1: 9:00 am to 5:30 pm
On-campus teaching and learning: 12 hours in total.

Online delivery
1.5 hour Zoom discussion

Study Buddy activities
Eight hours over the semester

Student Workload

The total unit workload is equivalent to 7.34 hours per week over the semester, 117.5 hours in total.

  • 12 hours on-campus workshop intensives
  • 1.5 hours Zoom discussion
  • 8 hours study buddy work
  • 96 personal study hours

Created: April 27, 2021, 4:11 p.m. • Updated: March 4, 2024, 4:51 p.m.