Workshops are available in Biography Work and can be used for self development purposes for individuals wishing to explore their life themes in a creative way. The workshops can also be useful as part of developing relationships and greater coherence when brought to community groups.
Biography Work & Coaching
Biography work offers a group or a single person the opportunity to enter into a structured 7 step process about your life questions. This works with the past, present and future to help you with issues such as:
a crisis in mid-career
what to do next in my life
what are my values and beliefs
Looking at your life in this way is extremely useful when there are questions about your past, the present and your future path. The stories and narratives of your life weave a connected thread that bring deeper meaning to future intentions.
You will gain insights and a greater understanding of your life, your values, your limitations, your untapped resources and your purpose.
As self knowledge develops, meaning for your life deepens as you become clearer and more confident in your life's tasks.
This way of working also looks at patterns and developmental phases within a person’s life, recognising archetypal challenges and opportunities along the way. Having this understanding helps us not to feel so alone in our experiences, difficulties and questions. It recognises common human conditions and what it means to be human in this day and age.
Jane has a distinctive style as a facilitator, capturing a balance and blend of professional leadership and colleagueship. I have found her warm and approachable and have benefitted from her insightful contributions where she brings from her personal experience and from her research.
Jane's lectures/talks are sharp, elucidatory and well paced. She is well researched and I found myself with pages of notes with many thoughts and feelings to reflect on and many references to follow up. As with her facilitation work, she delivers with warmth and engages with both the content and the students.
SM Student on Diploma in Biographical Counselling Training
Phases and some key times
Key changes in life are often brought about through external happenings, such as children being born, relationships beginning or ending, death, new jobs and job loss. These crises (or major shifts) demand new ways of thinking about the world and oneself and can be viewed as opportunities for change. Sometimes they demand more of us than we think we can manage, and they can be deeply troubling times. Hopefully, working through these times can bring new understandings, greater self awareness and renewed wisdom.
The following life phases are used as a guide.
21-28 Stepping in to becoming an adult. Finding your life as an independent person, having new a different experiences and feeling free to explore new horizons without too many commitments. Leaving the family home.
28 – 35 Finding your future path/ your future path finds you. Often key events happen at 27/28, a new training, children, a significant relationship. Steps are taken towards responsibility. Putting roots down and establishing yourself in your work and relationships.
37/38 Second ‘moon node’. At this time, people can sometimes experience an existential crisis. This gives rise to questions such as ‘What is the purpose of life?’, ‘What is my life about?’, ‘Am I important to others?’, ‘What is the point?’
35 – 42 Towards the end of this phase lots of uncomfortable questions can arise. It is sometimes called ‘the second puberty’ and recognised as ‘midlife crisis’. There can be the longing for the flush of first love again combined with the fear of losing one’s youth. This can be coupled with the beginnings of physical decline.
42 – 49 Deepening your aims and values with renewed strength and conviction. Discovering that you are the creator of your life and no one is going to do it for you. Making your mark on life.
49 – 56 Finding wisdom out of experience. Recognising the loss of the past, and recognising the dangers of wanting to be back there. Fear of moving into the future with less energy, slowing down into acceptance of 'this is my life'. The menopausal years.
56/57 Second Moon Node at this time can give rise to another existential crisis, deepening the question of ‘what is my life’s task still yet to be done?’, accepting limitations and ‘have I really done what I came here for?’
56 – 63 What unfinished business is there? Physical frailty can become more visible, having to put your trust in others. The challenge here is to find courage and not to live in fear of the future.
A workshop exercise