Understanding our Stories

An autobiographical adventure

Understanding our Stories

An Autobiographical Adventure for Seniors

Exploring our life stories from the perspectives afforded by age helps us to better understand the value of those experiences, leading to improved health and resiliency.

During this six-week workshop series (3 hours per session) designed especially for seniors, I’ll show how the techniques employed in the craft of writing and storytelling can help us explore, examine and embrace the nature of our own personal stories.  Each workshop builds upon the one previous so participants should commit to attend all six sessions. This series was originally designed as part of a research project with St Thomas University and has since been modified for an 8-week delivery (2 hrs per session) in special care homes.

What you will learn:

Sessions 1 & 2 – Exploring our Stories

We start with the art of creative journaling, using various techniques to capture images, thoughts, emotions and experiences. You’ll practice exercises designed to generate original, creative thought and turn journal entries into a goldmine of writing material.

Session 3 & 4 – Examining our Stories

During this workshop, we’ll discuss the necessary elements of a story and how to turn an experience or memory into a story with deeper levels of meaning. We will talk about openings and endings, point of view, use of metaphor, story layers, characters, setting and structure.

Sessions 5 & 6 – Embracing our Stories

In the final session, we examine the wider view of life and try to identify turning points, common threads, roles and defining values. This wider view applies a sense of structure to the flow of their life experiences, and is a helpful organizational template if they wish to compile their stories into a longer work. Regardless of their individual aims, this process gives participants a better understanding of the richness of their experiences, and a lingering awareness that they still have much to share and contribute.

Upcoming Date

To be announced

Who Should Take This Workshop

The workshops are designed for adults 55 and older. Adults age 50 and older. No writing experience is necessary. The workshops are suitable for those who do not currently write, as well as those who have been putting their thoughts on the page for some time or those interested in writing their memoirs. Participants benefit from the practice, techniques and interaction with others.