Research Project – Training in Processwork

Research Project: Processwork



On Wednesday 24 February 2016 Fr Abbot accepted a request by James Leachman to pursue studies towards a diploma in Processwork.

Research Project: foundation

James Leachman writes, ‘On Friday 19 February 2016, following several days of Processwork training at Force for Change (Cfor), I awoke in the early morning with an ache at the front of my head that remained with me. Later that morning I was reading aloud from the Bible at the first liturgical service of the monastic community that day in Ealing Abbey church. I read the text, “The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was” (Exodus 20 verse 21). Reading this text aloud elicited a felt response of a throbbing chest and slight tearfulness in my eyes.

When I returned to my seat again I became aware that my headache was diminishing and following through into a desire to propose a difficult and important research proposal. It is a difficult topic for me and for other members of my community and it would be much easier to avoid, deny or procrastinate. Further reflection led me to greater clarity that my process of following my anxiety and curiosity was leading me to this “thick darkness” where God might be.’

Processwork and monastic values

Following Dr Wim Vandewiele‘s work in 2015, James Leachman decided to establish a research framework that expresses eight characteristics of the project’s viability: sustainable, plausible, generative, expressing solidarity, co-operative, co-creative, communicative and empirically grounded. Every feature must be logically interlinked with other features. Each feature must be concretely translatable into the goals and actions of the different partners of this international research platform.

Fr Abbot writes, “I am happy that Fr James is pursuing Processwork. I believe with him that Ealing Abbey’s investment of time and finances in this way will benefit individuals, the monastic community together with the institutions we promote, collaborate with and serve”.

I want to create an initial collaborative network that embodies an international research line on ‘Child Sexual Abuse’.

Research project


An important characteristic of the research project is sustainability. We wish to be involved in a medium-term vision on the finance and build-up of the collaborative network. The initial range I suggest is a period of 5 years (2016-2020).

James Leachman is lead researcher. He is looking for a supervisory team that includes skills of academic rigour and Processwork skills. These skills will help create this research framework during the coming weeks and months. The conversation partners will strengthen the framework by anticipating as much as possible any emerging questions and expectations and by maintaining a realistic balance of interests.

Research project: associate

no-one yet, but this position is open

Processwork Research project: pre-preparation

In a pre-preparatory phase from October 2015 to June 2016 James undertook the one year training in Group Facilitation. In February 2016 he enquired whether it would be possible to apply to be accepted into the Diploma in Processwork.

Research project


Processwork Research project preparation: Completing the PW foundation year

In a preparatory phase from March to June 2016 James is writing a research proposal, setting up ‘restorative circles’ and looking for qualified personnel to support the project physically, personally and financially; psychotherapists, social activists, young leaders, facilitators, entrepreneurs, secular and religious leaders, survivors, family members, perpetrators. James is completing application papers during Summer 2016.

Processwork Research project level 1

In October 2016 James is admitted to study for the International diploma in Processwork at RSPOPUK in Belsize Park, N. London.

© Ealing Abbey, James Leachman, O.S.B.,  21 January 2017