I have led Intensive Journal workshops in the Pacific Northwest and Canada (British Columbia and Edmonton) since 1986. Now that we can teach online, to my delight, the workshops are open to students around the world who can study and practice it from the comfort of their own home.
I live in the Seattle area and am a certified counselor in the State of Washington. Until recently, I was also a licensed massage therapist. In addition to teaching the Intensive Journal process, I am a teacher and trainer in Hakomi www.seattlehakomi.com, a mindfulness-based body-centered form of counseling. I am also a published author of Mindfulness Centered Therapies and Unfurling, a book of poetry. For many years, I was a studio potter and have now turned to collage as a medium of visual expression.
In 1981, when I lived in British Columbia. I began to practice the Intensive Journal process on my own through the book, At a Journal Workshop. (I just discovered that it was exactly this same day in 1981 that I began using the process and writing this summary. Yes, I will note that in my journal -- exactly 40 years today.)
It was a very dark time in my life and learning the Intensive Journal process was life transforming. At that time, I didn't have access to the workshops, but I was finally able to attend all three workshops in 1985 at Vallombrosa Retreat Center in Menlo Park led by Dr. Progoff which I continued to do until he passed away. I was deeply moved by his calm presence and the method itself. From the beginning, I wanted to learn more so I could understand it deeply and teach it to others.
The underlying principles of self-trust and non-judging process combined with a clear structure create a method that is inherently respectful and useful at any time of life. The method and teaching honor all aspects of one's life: life history, relationship, dreams, and search for meaning in a way that respects one's own timing and perspective. It is not a diary - but a structure that allows each person to find their own path and discover insights in an organic way that respects ones' freedom and provides a path toward integration. I appreciate the lack of external/internal pressure in the process. Though there is structure, there is no prescribed time or pattern, or frequency required. Teaching this process is very fulfilling to me because I know it is meaningful to others.
Although every aspect of the Intensive Journal method has been useful to me over the years, the Dialogue Dimension is the one I find most useful and transformative. It is, for me, the most dynamic section in the Journal and helps participants move through stuck places in all aspects of life: persons, works, the body, situations, and society and meaning. Although therapy and counseling are useful and, at times very necessary, the Journal provides an avenue for self-reflection that builds one's inner resources. It's like having a companion close by who you can always rely on. One of my favorite quotes from Dr Progoff is, "How vast and self-replenishing are the resources of the human spirit."
I'm married to a loving, inspiring husband and am blessed to live near my resourceful daughter and her family.
With over 30 years of experience, Certified Leader Carol Ladas-Gaskin shares her personal odyssey with the Intensive Journal Process