Guided autobiographies a way to share and recall life’s journey

Telling the story of your life never gets old, but the older we get the more important it is to share the tales of our trials and tribulations.

Marlene Brouwer, life story leader and Jungian psychoanalyst and psychotherapist, said she loves hearing the tales of people’s lives. She’ll be offering classes on the topic starting in September.

The classes are open to all ages and anyone who wants to write about their life and share it with others.

“The class has often led to new friendships. In small groups people develop a sense of trust.”

The classes start Sept. 12 and there is room remaining for more people to join. It runs for eight weeks every Monday.

“We give a topic for discussion and they go home and write and come back the following week to share with their groups and the class.”

The course is based on the techniques of James E. Birren, associate director of the UCLA Centre on Aging. He developed a guided autobiography technique to help students to find structure and meaning in the multitude of events that compose a life.

“He’s done a lot of his life’s work doing this and has been doing it for years to truly refine the technique.”

The stories that one writes for the class are entirely up to the individual. No matter how closely they follow the discussion topic all stories are welcome.

“It’s an idea for those who want to write their whole life story as a legacy for their family.”

Brouwer said most people have a hard time getting started and continuing on their story, so this is a way of keeping them on track and getting their stories told.

“What people choose to do with their stories is up to them. Some want to put them into an autobiography and some just want to write them to recall the stories themselves.”

Brouwer’s interest in the course is based in her history counselling and hearing other people’s stories. “I wanted to do this not as therapy, but as a fun project and way to share.”

The large discussion group will consist of about 10–15 people and smaller discussion groups will be created within the class.

Each story is to be about two pages long each week. Brouwer said telling the stories can be very healing and can lead to recollections of memories otherwise buried in ones’ history.

“It is a non-judgemental and supportive time where constructive criticism can be discussed and ideas for future stories can be produced.”

Registration cut off is Sept. 8 and the cost for the course is $105.

For further information and registration contact Marlene Brouwer at 403-350-5956 or at

Just Posted

WATCH: Servus Credit Union partners with City on new arena

City of Red Deer began final steps towards opening of Servus Credit Union Arena

RCMP search for individual impersonating a police officer

Red Deer teen pulled over by a car flashing red and blue lights

Red Deer Health Foundation raises $1.2 million through Festival of Trees

Festival of Trees enjoyed a ‘Renaissance year,’ said Foundation chair

Toys for Tickets wraps up with 300 gifts for families in need

Citizens donated a range of toys with a total value of $5,600

Two individuals arrested after impaired driving collisions

Red Deer driver crashed into cement flowerbed

Troubled Monk releases new spirit

Troubled Spirit vodka was introduced in early December

New fighter-jet competition to have national ‘economic interest’ requirement

Trudeau government wants to replace Canada’s aging CF-18s with 88 new fighters by as early as 2025

The top-binged shows on Netflix in 2017

Which show did you cheat on your spouse with by watching ahead?

2017 word of the year: Feminism

Merriam-Webster’s word of the year for 2017: ‘Feminism’

200 Russians to compete in Olympics as neutrals

The Russian Olympic Committee expects 200 to compete in South Korea

Researchers claim the ‘man flu’ does exist

Review of scientific studies suggests ‘man flu’ may be more intense: researcher

Trudeau appoints Supreme Court chief justice

Prime Minister Trudeau appoints Richard Wagner as Supreme Court chief justice

WestJet Christmas video turns children’s wishes into reality

This year’s annual video took a new spin on the 12 days of Christmas

Firefighters protect seaside California towns as blaze rages

A flare-up on the western edge of Southern California’s largest and most destructive wildfire sent residents fleeing Sunday

Most Read