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Green Hills with Blue Sky

Guided Autobiography

What is Guided Autobiography?

I am offering a ten week workshop on guided autobiography. The workshop provides structure for anyone of any age who is interested in writing an autobiography. Each week, members of the group, under the guidance of an experienced leader, will explore a different life theme that has been influential in shaping their lives. Participants write two pages on each theme at home and bring the writing to share in small group with others sharing their stories. 

" We start by asking participants to write down history of branching points in their lives," says James Birren, Phd, associate director of the UCLA Center for Aging. Then in subsequent sessions, participants explore such topics as family, the role of money, one's major life work, health and body, and other topics that interweave to form the tapestry of a life.

Dr. Birren developed this guided autobiography technique to help would be autobiographers find structure and meaning in the mulititude of seemingly random events that compose a life.

"In five decades of studying adult development and aging." Birren says. "I have found that writing our life experiences and sharing them with others is one the best ways we have of giving new meaning to our present lives by understanding the past more fully."

Guided autobiography is a useful to people interested in beginning an autobiography or memoir, more fully understand the meaning of their life, or finding knowledge in the past to help you their present and future lives in more meaningful ways. It is particularly helpful to people facing any major life transition, such as divorce, retirement, career change, parenthood, a move, of health problems.

People who have taken the course say:

"Your class was my first experience with this workshop and it could not have been better.  It was just the motivation I needed to begin putting words to paper to tell the story of my life's journey so far. Your encouragement, class participation and weekly assignments in a supportive environment put me on the path to pique my memory and creativity and help me develop my writing skills." D.J.

"Is there a book inside you just waiting to get out? The only thing stopping you is how do I get it out of me and onto the paper? Here is your answer… take the Guided Autobiography lead by Kathleen Triebwasser. I did and I gained so much knowledge about writing my life’s story. Mrs.Triebwasser guided us through our writings by provided us with prompts,techniques to trigger our memories and her gentle guidance. The class was informal but professional. We shared our writings at every class and gave constructive criticism as well as positive reinforcement to our classmates. Kathy set the boundaries for a safe place to share our personal stories. Over the years many of my friends have said, ”You need to write your life story; no one would believe it!” I am so happy I took the plunge and signed up for Kathy’s workshop." C.P.

"Kathy, just a quick love note to tell you how much I am learning from your class!  As we leave, we all chat how wonderful it is.  I am getting so much from your information! I’m always surprised how the opening sentence just pops in my head and I know it will take me on an interesting journey." C.S.

"The Guided Autobiography class has been wonderful!  Because Kathy Triebwasser has given the class encouragement and pointers, I have been able to write a series of autobiographical stories which I believe express more than just the boring basics.  I have remembered small details in my life which have greater meaning.  Kathy has set up the class so that each of us feels safe: safe to write without criticism, safe to share parts of our lives, safe to laugh, and safe to be open to ourselves and to others." C.F.

The cost of ten week course is $ 250.00 for ten two hour workshop sessions of group of maximum eight people.

If you are interested in this workshop, please contact me for schedule of next available workshop.

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