Writing the Stories of your life

Guided Memoir Workshops help to start your legacy.

Next 6 week online course begins 11th August 2020
Days

Have you tried to write your life story, only to get overwhelmed, or lose steam?

Thinking about writing your life story  can be daunting.

You want to write about your life. You desire to create a collection of meaningful life stories to share with family and friends. But when it comes to actually creating and putting it out there, you keep putting it off. You don’t know where to start.

You want to explore and process life events and experiences , however you worry that it will be too painful and emotional.

Doubt creeps in. You think you are a bad writer; how can I really write my story if I am not a professional writer? What if my life isn’t very interesting? what if I can’t remember anything? Where do I even begin?

What if I told you there is a way to start. A way that helps you to write about your past with a fresh perspective and see yourself as someone fascinating? 

Guided Memoir Workshops can help with all that.

Based on the Guided Autobiography method of memoir writing, or GAB for short.
These classes are designed to help you to recall, write about and share some of the richest, most important parts of our past–the things that shaped us. We tackle themes like our families, our health, our work; we explore our loves, our fears and joys, our challenges and triumphs.
Writing and sharing life stories with others is an ideal way to find insight, personal discovery and to better understand and appreciate your life story and the stories of others. Get support, guidance, and encouragement from me and your fellow students.

We start with small steps, two pages at time

At the end of the course you will have:

Started your life story memoir

You will be surprised how your life will start to take shape on paper in just six weeks. We start with small steps.  Just two pages a week.  this course takes away the overwhelm and worry about the formal and technical aspects. This is about getting your voice down on paper your way. 

Life Story Prompts

You’ll receive 6 life topics and more than 60 related questions to stimulate your memory and get those creative ideas flowing. You can download, print, and save these questions for further reference and writing.

Strategies to manage emotions

Reflecting on life brings joys and up and downs. You will learn helpful psychological strategies that can be used in everyday life so that you can manage overwhelm and feelings of stress when they come up.

Sense of accomplishment

This is about doing, putting something down on paper. Beginning is the hardest part and this course ensures you start. You will feel empowered after writing and giving voice to your life story. 

Why Does This Course Work?

Because it is interactive. Being part of a small group is key online. Shared memories spark more memories. We learn we are all survivors and gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of things that have happened in our lives. There are opportunities for growth, friendship, validation and learning. Great joy and satisfaction can come from sharing stories with others. Trained facilitators become your guides, but the group itself is where the real magic lies.

Here's what people are saying about the course

'The course and workbook are brilliant. I was amazed I was able to uncover so many long forgotten details and experiences. Thank you for your warmth and encouragement and for developing such an effective program'
Irene
Sydney
'I am having so much fun talking to my family and listening/recording their stories and I'm looking forward to continuing this journey with my family'.
old man, man, face
George
Manchester
‘This was brilliant. Very well organised. Handouts excellent. So much info in 6 weeks'. I have actually started to write and have gained confidence in sharing my story.'
Tim
Melbourne

6 weeks of guidance and support to begin your memoir

Each week consists of:
A new Life Story Theme

Each week we explore a new branching point (theme). Prompts provided give participants a starting point to write at what level of comfort that they are in. You choose how deep and personal you wish to go.

Memory Recall Exercises

3-4 creative writing exercises that will assist with memory recall. These activities help you recall events, details, and people that you haven’t thought about in years. These prompts help with the recollection of stored memory, and to strengthen our writing skills. 

Therapeutic Writing Prompts

Therapeutic writing prompts and guided lessons are used to find and connect to your story. These are designed to gain perspective and insights to guide your writing process.

Stress Management Toolkit

Effective evidenced based strategies that can be used to help manage overwhelm, stress in everyday life.

Live 1 hour discussion each week

This is where the magic happens. we will share our observations, and our stories. Participants will come to each ‘live’ class with a written story or narrative based on the individual themes each week (approx 2 pages).  We meet online in small groups (several times will be available to suit) to share our stories, discuss the week’s learning and explore our reflections.

Private Facebook group

You’ll have access to a private, online Facebook group in which you can ask or share anything. This is a forum for all workshop participants, and where you can discuss the week’s exercises and handouts.  It is an opportunity to reflect with colleagues and get ideas. This is a place where you will want to be checking and contributing regularly.  

About your instructor, Mel

Mel is an accredited Social Worker who has worked with hundreds of people who are reflecting on their life’s journey and thinking about legacy. Mel has witnessed the empowering process of legacy work for both the writer and their families  and how priceless writing your story can be.

As a certified Guided Autobiography Instructor  with the Birren institute and trained in Dignity Therapy,  Mel is able to guide you through the process of starting to write your story without the overwhelm.  She currently lives in Adelaide, Australia and provide services worldwide.

Ready to write your life story- two pages at a time?

Writing life stories using this course is easy and fun, and with the themes provided you’ll discover a treasure trove of stories you want to write and share with others or use for personal life review. 

FAQ

How much time should I set aside each week?

Expect to set aside 4 hours each week. The exercises, videos and lessons will usually take less than an 45 minutes to complete. 

The writing homework will take as long as you choose to spend on it. Usually, students spend about an hour or two writing.

Finally, the live discussion and storytelling session  will average around 75 minutes. Each person will have 5 minutes to read his/her narrative and 5 minutes for feedback. 

Who is this course suitable for?

This course is suitable for those who want to write their story and do not know where to begin. Everyone at any age benefit from the insight and personal discovery that guided biography provides.

It is especially suited to people who are entering a new phase of life, a new direction or anyone who wants to share their life stories with others.

This course is not designed to help you publish your memoir for retail sales. You will be sharing your thoughts, feelings, and experiences for you and to leave for your family and loved ones now and for generations to come.

Do I need to be a writer?

No writing experience is required.  The purpose of this class is to help you tell your story in your voice, for the people who matter to you.   There are no red pens.

How long do I have access to the course?

The videos will be available for 12 months after course commences.

Handouts and exercises will be delivered as a downloadable PDF that you can keep. 

Is this therapy?

Writing your story can be therapeutic in nature and working with Mel means you have someone who can hold space for you and help validate any hard feelings that may come up. You will also be provided with general self care tools and resources. However, these are not therapy sessions and should not be viewed as such. If your symptoms of feeling it too much are not able to be contained in the process and with these resources, you may need to consider additional supports like therapy or support groups as you work through this course. Please let me know if this comes up for you and I can help you find an appropriate local resource for you.

How confidential is this?

We use encrypted software on our live discussions. We as a group take confidentiality seriously and is one of our main values that each participant commits to.

As this small group of GAB participants attest, you share only what you are comfortable sharing.

You’ll receive support, structure, and encouragement in the safety of a small group. Guided by a trained instructor, you will explore themes and priming questions that evoke memories of events once known but filed away and seemingly forgotten.

Course fee and dates:

Course starts August 11th. 

Weekly Live Discussion on a Tuesday or Saturday (group times allocated based on location of participants to ensure that it is between the hours of  9am -12pm for you.

Guided Memoir Workshop

6 week online course
$ 245 AUD
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