Website: www.processworkuk.org, www.cfor.info
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7692 7393
Co-founder and Faculty Member of Processwork UK
Arlene Audergon PhD Clinical Psychology, Processwork Dipl.
I work with individuals, organisations and communities, to discover what moves us and to find pathways forward within difficult situations.
I‘m a psychotherapist, facilitator and mentor students and professional practitioners. I teach Processwork internationally and am a co-founder of Processwork UK. I’m also co-founder of CFOR, a NGO devoted to facilitating the capacity in community to process our history and create our future – particularly working with post-conflict recovery and violence prevention.
In my London practice, I work with people on discovering their direction, dealing with health issues, living and dying, mental health, relationship matters, or leadership, creativity and conflicts within teams and organisations, and the creative process and blocks among artistic companies and performers.
We are currently developing CFOR’s programme in Rwanda and the Great Lakes, working with community-wide trauma and issues of accountability, to support the national reconciliation process. CFOR’s Seeds programme supports individuals who by way of grappling with their own personal history are in a unique position to envision and lead a project in their community. A current focus is our project in South Africa.
CFOR was born out of our long-term interest in ‘worldwork’, Mindell’s application of Processwork to working with collective issues in community. Two women from Croatia attended a ‘worldwork’ seminar in Slovakia and were inspired to bring this work to their country at war. Lane Arye and I facilitated forums in Croatia twice a year from just after the war, 1996-2001.
Then CFOR partnered with Association ‘Mi’, and Jean-Claude and I facilitated Forums and Training in Croatia in the areas that had been most devastated by war. The programmes linked economic recovery and our facilitated community interaction, in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee, funded by various governments and foundations.
Over these many years, we witnessed profound experiences within large forums among people who had been on all sides of the war, finding pathways forward to rebuild their communities. It was deeply inspiring to see the capacity in people to find hope – not pie in the sky hope – but hope based on experiencing transformation of conflict and community.
I’ve written and co-authored several articles and chapter contributes about collective trauma, conflict resolution and prevention, and a book The War Hotel: Psychological Dynamics of Violent Conflict, Whurr/ Wiley, 2004.
My first career was as teacher, then Director of services for Deaf-blind adults in a rehab organisation. I realized people didn’t need me, but needed each other, to address the isolation and challenges that can come from being deaf-blind. Thanks to a remarkable woman who led the local interpreter training programme and a group of interpreters deeply committed to providing interpreting for deaf-blind adults, we were able to meet in community, each person with a one-to one interpreter. There were now group activities for everything from Tai Chi, to nightclub dancing, and a self-advocacy organisation was established, Washington State Deaf-blind Citizens. In this way, we supported the development of a still thriving deaf-blind community in Seattle, a destination for deaf-blind people across the country.
Since I was a child, I had strong spiritual experiences and a consistent interest in linking spirituality, psychology and social action…also theatre. While my work with the deaf-blind community was becoming increasingly administrative, coordinating services with state and private organisations, I decided to go back to school and did a Masters and later PhD in Psychology, and began practicing as a therapist. This is how I met Processwork, over 30 years ago.
While studying Jungian psychology, bodywork, movement, and family systems… I’d felt excited about how everything connects. While doing movement work, I remembered my dreams. And while working on a dream, I recognized family and collective system dynamics. When I learned about Mindell and Processwork, I realized that someone had already put this all together! That led me to Zurich in 1984 to study with Mindell at the Institute. That’s also where I met Jean-Claude. During my years in Zurich, we began our ongoing life and work together.
Over the years, my work has been quite wide-ranging – from working in zones of conflict where there is community-wide trauma and unanswered questions of justice and accountability, to training staff within an international organisation, or consulting in business, to co-directing and devising theatre, working with musicians, improvisational opera, puppeteers and writers, to working with people in comas, and with people in extreme states associated with mental disorders, and communicating with people with dementia, and to mentoring students.
Everyday I’m grateful for the tools of Processwork that make it possible to work in such a broad range of contexts, making life immensely rich. When I talk to people, I sometimes feel shy when I try to explain just how it is possible that Processwork is useful in all these contexts. The methods are remarkable, but what is truly remarkable is the creativity and intelligence within nature. Mindell’s coherent theory and tools help one to perceive and accurately follow this creative field, in just about any context, and to discover awareness and direction.