SO WHAT IS GUIDED AUTOBIOGRAPHY?
Guided Autobiography (GAB) is a proven method of helping people of all ages and backgrounds capture and share meaningful moments and life stories. GAB was founded by psychologist and gerontologist Dr. James Birren more than forty-five years ago to help seniors reduce isolation and build connection and community. Today, the curriculum has been adapted for diverse audiences worldwide.
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CHOOSE NANCY AS YOUR GUIDE
TELL YOUR STORY & LEAVE A LEGACY
Teaching Guided Autobiography (GAB) has changed my life for the better, as well as my students.
My GAB programs align with my life's work in resilience. GAB is for people who love learning and who are interested in cultivating greater resilience by telling and owning the stories that have shaped who they are and who they want to become. Often times students take GAB just for themselves while some students choose to leave a legacy of stories with loved ones.
No writing experience is necessary! I promise!
What are the steps of this journey?
Learn about the origins of Guided Autobiography, what it means to be resilient, and how to start distilling your life’s most meaningful moments.
The curriculum is divided into eight themes. While these foundational themes of GAB are meant to be broad and universal, students are encouraged to respond by telling a story – one with a beginning, middle, and end.
By revisiting some of the foundational themes from GAB 1, you have the chance to mine new material and to deepen your stories using some of the craft and storytelling techniques learned in GAB 1 and also in this session.
This means that you can write an entirely different story about family or life meaning, for instance, or work some more on a previous story that you'd like to add to and improve. We can also introduce brand new themes in GAB 2.
Ready to dive deeper in the GAB experience?
GAB 3 offers all new themes, more sophisticated excerpts to explore and critique, and more freewriting in-class as well as at home. GAB themes are customized for each class. Sample themes include: the road not taken, forgiveness, my life as a volunteer, and funny events, memories, and people.
Students in GAB 3 are often interested in putting their stories together.
GAB 4 is for students who have taken at least two prior GAB workshops and who want more hands-on coaching to assemble a cohesive collection of their stories.
This is a significantly different offering in the GAB journey. Working closely with Nancy, you’ll begin with an analysis of the stories you’ve written thus far.
Is there a particular theme that has emerged when you look at your stories as a whole? What’s missing? What stories can be enhanced, and how?
What are you longing to create?
This is a very dynamic class with significant coaching from Nancy to help you showcase selected work however you choose - whether for yourself, your family, or for publication.GET STARTED
HOW IT WORKS
You work in a small group capped at eight students. Each week, I’ll guide you to write two-pages on a particular theme from the GAB curriculum.
You can write more if you choose to, but it isn’t required. I’ll prepare priming questions that evoke memories and events, and also teach you skills to enhance your storytelling and writing. Each week you’ll have the opportunity to share your story with the group, which is fundamental to GAB. Why? Because connecting with one another on journeys of self-discovery allows you to gain greater appreciation and meaning of your life and the lives of others.
More thoughts on leaving a LEGACY
Once you've completed GAB 2 and 3 you can become a part of this amazing community!
Some students take GAB 1, 2, and 3 and decide that they simply want to continue engaging with other like-minded GAB students. They love the community, connection, and spirit of GAB, and want to move forward sharing stories in a relaxed manner over Zoom each month. GAB Story Share is also for students who have completed GAB 4 but still long for ongoing community and the discipline of sharing a monthly story to add to their treasure trove. Students will write stories based on a monthly theme, each of which is broad enough to encourage a wide variety of diverse responses. Students receive three priming questions to help them trigger memories around each theme.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS