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Copyright © 1997, Jay Ligda.  All rights reserved.  Published by Humans in the Universe and Jay Ligda.

Channels of Communication

      Arnold Mindell (1988) is the founder of process oriented psychology.  It is an extension of Carl Jung's work.   Carl Jung studied dream imagery as messages from the unconscious.   Mindell (1988) took this work a step further and also recognized bodily symptoms as messages from the unconscious.   He recognized several "channels," he called process channels, from which information is brought into awareness, or communicated to the individual.   Process is "the total flow of what is happening, the conscious and also the unconscious.   Process means the constant change of signals in their many channels" (Mindell, 1988, p. 8).   It is these "channels of communication" that I wish to introduce.

      The visual communication channel refers to information received visually such as, sight, color, dreams, and visions.   It can include stories, mythology and intuition.   Reading is a function of the visual channel.   The auditory channel includes information received auditorily such as sound, music, language, grammar, and tone of voice (Dennehy, 1989).   The visual and auditory channels can be further divided into verbal and nonverbal channels.   Language is received verbally.   Crying, yelling, and sighing are examples of nonverbal communication received through the auditory channel.

      The proprioceptive communication channel refers to information received through body phenomena such as feelings, pain, pressure, tension, and temperature (Dennehy, 1989).   Body symptoms that indicate a disease is present constitute information received from the proprioceptive channel.   Since his work is directed towards the therapy process, Mindell (1985) does not discuss smell and taste as process channels, however I include them in the proprioceptive channel.   The kinesthetic channel includes information received through movement or lack of movement.   This would include facial expressions, gestures, and incomplete motion (Dennehy, 1989).

      The other two channels Mindell (1985) mentions are combinations of the basic four.   They include the relationship channel and the world channel.   The relationship channel includes information received through relationship or lack of relationship.   The sexual impulse can be understood as input from both the relationship channel and proprioceptive channel.   The world channel includes perception from the outside world such as job, money, family, world events, and the universe.

      Mindell (1985) associates the visual and the auditory channels with the mind.   The proprioceptive and kinesthetic channels he associates with the body, and the relationship and world channels are associated with the universe, or what I call the environment.

by Jay Ligda

(This work is a all or part of an original work first published/written for John F. Kennedy University: Final Integrative Project, Mar1996.)

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  • Mindell, A. (1985).  A River's Way:  The Process Science of the Dreambody.  Boston, MA:  Routledge & Kegan, Paul.
  • Mindell, A. (1988).  "New Developments in Junian Psychology: Jungian Psychology has a Daughter.  Jounrnal of Process Oriented Psychology.1 No. 1. 1-16.
  • Dennehy, V. (1989).  Process Oriented Psychotherapy.  Dissertation.


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