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PROCESS ORIENTED PSYCHOLOGY (POP): Working with childhood dreams and early memories.


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Jung presented ways of working with an early childhood dream or nightmare.  Arny Mindell, who created Process Oriented Psychology (POP), shows how we can use this to find our Life Myth. Many people have a childhood nightmare or vivid early memories. These dreams and memories often occur at the phase where a child is being socialized by the world at large. The dreams often reveal the innocence a child feels and something very scary. POP teaches that dreams tend to move from a known identity to an unknown part, and that in between we see the way in which we overcome struggles and move into unfamiliar parts of ourselves.

The soul, inner life and imagination are highly valued by Jung and POP. We experience life in various ‘channels’ e.g. relationships, thinking and talking, visual, movement, sound, hearing, proprioceptive.. Each time we ‘switch channels’ a rush of new information can arise. In this technique we use various channels; thinking and talking, imagining, drawing and movement. We also use several levels of consciousness; the every-day, a looser movement and drawing state, and a deeper relaxed far away state. Each of these states brings new information.

We disavow and marginalise states that we are scared of or that we dislike e.g. anger, and we avow states we feel good about e.g. kindness. This process helps us to integrate powerful states that we may have disavowed.

Lizzie will explain all this in the workshop, using a few beautiful power points. She’ll prepare a handout with the exercise, and a handout with the core therapeutic concepts. The day will begin with foundational principles and concepts from POP, and with an exercise with our inner critic to bring them alive. We all love ways of overcoming our inner critics!

Participants will be supported to explore each aspect of their dream. By the end of the process they will have a succinct sense of their innocent part. They will see how the scary or difficult part shows them a raw and powerful energy that is within them, and help them be less afraid of it, and perhaps be more able to use it freely.

They will also see their natural style of moving through difficulties, and reflect on how they can do this more. It can be very energizing and healing to experience these aspects of ourselves.

Trauma Lense

In the set up Lizzie will talk about trauma and trauma informed workshops, how to know when trauma responses arise, and how to get the support needed. This will particularly benefit participants who are not trauma informed therapists.  She will position this tool in relation to trauma work, where we don’t blunder into early childhood material before knowing our clients trauma history. Lizzie doesn't use the technique when it’s clear that clients have an unresolved trauma history and when they can’t remember their childhood. She stays in the present, gently expanding to safe ways of working together and all this will be thoroughly and carefully explained to participants.

As in many of our treatment methods, we as therapists, need to tread carefully and sensitively. The technique is designed to unpack an early childhood nightmare, and from that to identify core aspects of our life myth. Lizzie considers that dreams  sometimes form after traumatic events. Some people do not remember their dreams, and they could use an early childhood memory e.g. being scared of a horse. This technique is not a trauma healing tool, and it is important to use a memory which is not traumatic.

Some clients cannot remember dreams or childhood. Often this is due to trauma. A similar technique can be used by dreaming into something that catches your attention in the room. The client can also be supported to can make up a dream. Alternatives will be offered.

All this is taken from workshops and books from Arny and Amy Mindell, and Max Shupbach, over 30 years. Arny is the founder of POP, and Amy and Max are key teachers, trainers and writers. Lizzie also acknowledges all she has learnt from Elsa Henderson and Emetchi.


Elizabeth (Lizzie) Spencer, Masters Social Ecology/Education, Diploma Wholistic Counselling and Psychotherapy, Bachelor Education, Certificate Steiner Education, Family Constellations.'s Profile

Elizabeth (Lizzie) Spencer, Masters Social Ecology/Education, Diploma Wholistic Counselling and Psychotherapy, Bachelor Education, Certificate Steiner Education, Family Constellations. Related seminars and products

Elizabeth Spencer

Lizzie Spencer is a highly experienced psychotherapist, coach and academic teacher, based in Sydney’s Northern Beaches. She is an academic teacher and her passions combine when running workshops and trainings. Her preferred leadership style is experiential and transformational. This is evident in all her work, which is deep, soulful and enlivening. She taught in Steiner Schools for many years. This method thrives on artistry, imagination, sensitive group processes, storytelling, empathy, connection, trust and collaborative leadership. She is also a Social Ecologist. This lens looks to nature for helpful and supportive life systems, and brings active hope to the world. She is a founding member of the Community of Calm whose aim is to train practitioners in Trauma Awareness and to create a Trauma Resource Centre. The event won ‘Event of the Year’ in 2020 Australia Day Awards (Northern Beaches Council) for Arts for Wellness, a month long event where the local community could attend low cost, trauma informed expressive arts classes and workshops.

Family Constellations and Process Oriented Psychology are at the heart of her understanding and practice.

Registration Details

Live Interactive Webcast registration
Fees: $199 
Primary viewer (includes three month's access recording of the event.
           $99 Additional viewer (must watch on same device as primary viewer)
           $29 Purchase lifetime access to the recording (available to primary viewer only)

  • Your attendance certificate for 7 hours of live, interactive training can be retrieved on completion of the evaluation and quiz via your account. 
  • A soft copy of all resources will remain in your account indefinitely.
  • A recording of this event will be available in your account approximately three weeks after the live event and will remain available for a full three months.  You will receive an email notification when the recording becomes available for viewing. 
  • If for whatever reason, you are unable to join the live webcast on the day, you will be able to watch the recording, complete your evaluation and quiz and retrieve  your certificate at a later date before the end of the three month viewing period.

Reminders for all events are sent two weeks, one week, one day and one hour prior.


Learning objectives of this training:

  1. Foundations of POP, background, history and guiding principles
  2. practice ‘role switching’ and ‘crossing edges’ with inner critics
  3. enhance your ability to flow in several ‘channels’ e.g. drawing, movement, dreamy, wide awake
  4. discover your life myth and work with it’s polarity e.g. innocent and scary
  5. discover the polarity of your essential nature: e.g. it’s innocent glory and wild super power.
  6. learn and experience a guided mediation method to access a greater wisdom on the whole day
  7. position this technique within the trauma lense

“Working with childhood dreams gives us access to our life myth, and to our natural ability to deal with life’s struggles. It’s inspiring, refreshing and invigorating." Elizabeth (Lizzie) Spencer

How will you benefit from attending this training?


  • Have a wonderful new way to work with inner critics, childhood dreams and memories
  • Discover your Life Myth, and ways of working with it’s polarities
  • Experience it, embody it, and bring it to your own clients



Morning Session (includes a short break)

  • Welcome Intentions and Overview
  • Foundational Process Oriented Psychology techniques; edges, channels, role switching. Give an overview of the day. Explain the technique, an overview and why/how early dreams and memories hold and show us our essential nature. Explain
    • *Practice role switching and crossing an edge with the Inner Critic. I will explain and then demonstrate with someone in the room
    • *Put people in pairs to practice role switching and crossing an edge.
    • *Debrief Q and A
    • Finding your Life Myth; working with childhood dreams and early memories
    • *Explain the technique, an overview and why/how early dreams and memories reveal a polarity which begins to reveal our life myth
    • * Ask a few people to briefly share their early childhood dream
    • * Journal re how your life is now, what dilemmas or problems are there, joys etc..
    • * Remember and journal the dream
    • Demonstrate the technique with a dream, and again with a memory (with willing participants) See technique below
    • *Identify 2 aspects… the innocent self and the scary part of the dream
    • *Start with the innocent part… describe, draw, move, let it give a message to you. How does this energy show up in your life?
    • *Do this with the scary, part the X energy,…. describe, draw, move, let it give a message to you. How does this energy show up in your life?
    • *Deep relaxation…guided relax, go to beautiful place, become the essence of the place, look back on the drawings, give messages
    • *Merge the 2 energies, innocent and X energy, let them work on each other
    • *Debrief learnings so far
    • *Reflective questions to see Life Myth, essence, X factor, how you use one to work on the other
    • *What is the client seeing? How might these insights be useful in life

Afternoon Session (includes a short break)

  • Q and A for learnings so far
  • People in pairs or triads to practice the technique, take turns as therapist, client and observer. Half an hour each.
    • *Debrief exercise, sharing
    • *Reflective questions re applying this to clients
    • *Q and A re process and application
    • Go back to Arny Mindell’s 4 phases of conflict, apply what we have done so far to it, and do an exercise re the 4th phase. It’s a guided meditation and will be a wonderful way to integrate all the new learnings. Debrief in pairs.
    • Journal … catch the key learnings. How might they shed light on the writing you did at the beginning of the day, on your current dilemmas

Evaluation and quiz - your payment includes a quiz which when completed with a minimum of 80% correct answers, will enable you to download your Attendance Certificate.

To complete the quiz, please log into your account at and click the orange "Certificate" button under the program's title.

For live webcasts, post-tests must be completed within one month of viewing the program.

Target Audience

This seminar has been designed to extend the clinical knowledge and applied skill of Counsellors, Psychotherapists, Coaches, Psychologists, Social Workers, Mental Health Nurses and Psychiatrists.

Webcast Schedule

Morning Session
  9:00am - 12:30pm (includes 15 minute break at 10:30am)

Lunch Break
  12:30pm - 1:00pm

Afternoon Session
  1:00pm - 4:30pm (includes 15 minute break at 2:45pm)

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