Ever since I wrote a paper in my New York high school about a possible career choice, I knew I wanted to be engaged in work that would help others have a fuller, more satisfying life. Over my adult years, I lived this out as a psychotherapist, hospice professional, and adult educator. During the last 40 of these years, the Intensive Journal process has been an invaluable companion on my own journey to a fuller life.
As a practicing psychotherapist, I often recommended the Intensive Journal workshop to clients and later would be told of psychological breakthroughs they would experience during a workshop; breakthroughs that continued when they used their Intensive Journal workbook in conjunction with traditional therapy. Their therapeutic process would then become more effectively streamlined.
After witnessing so many clients benefitting from the Intensive Journal method, as well as experiencing transformations in my own life, I decided to become a certified leader (journal consultant) for Dialogue House to bring these benefits to more people. It is my goal to teach this method as clearly as possible with a view to help support the positive, pragmatic effects that each individual participant can experience while using it.
I have led Intensive Journal workshops in-person all along the East Coast, and more recently on Zoom, and I continue to witness the transforming effect of the method. Some specific effects have been the healing of relationships, even ones of long-time estrangement; breakthroughs in stagnant work projects, and “Aha” moments of creative insights. I have also witnessed people moving through grief from losses of many kinds: loved ones who have died, marriages that have ended, losses from physical disabilities or illness, and endings of careers.
Personally, I experienced the power of the Intensive Journal process during my initial three-part workshop series that I attended. At the time, I was holding two part-time jobs, and thought it best to leave one and increase the other to a full-time position. I was fairly certain which job I would choose to leave. However, over the course of progressing through the various exercises, I began to get intimations of a different road for my future. By the end of the program, I had the certainty of the opposite choice than the one I had started with at the beginning of the workshops. I felt most surprised, but also at peace with the decision, as I felt it truly came from an inner wisdom accessed through my own inner process.
At another workshop that I attended with Dr. Progoff , he talked of the various cycles in one’s life and had led an exercise using twilight imagery. An image came to me during this exercise of a harbor at low tide. I did not think it had anything specific to do with what I had written and during a break told Dr. Progoff of this. He asked me what happens after low tide and I responded, “High tide,” and he said, “Exactly, low tide is a part of a cycle of nature, and it is describing part of a cycle of your life.” Considering this new perspective, I shared that the image of low tide was an accurate description of my present life, yet now I could hold hope for the future, knowing my life would change just as the tides change. The memory of this Intensive Journal experience has helped me feel hopeful many times since then, as I’ve encountered other “low tides” throughout my life… and later I could record the “high tides” that followed
Certainly, I have seen firsthand from others using the method and experienced in my own life the truth of Dr. Progoff’s words:
“…fundamentally, the Intensive Journal process is our inner workshop, the place where we do the creative shaping of the artwork of our life.” (At a Journal Workshop, rev. ed. p 382)
Intensive Journal consultant Nancy-Elizabeth Nimmich shares personal experiences with the Intensive Journal program.(Please note there is a bit of feedback within the first thirty seconds of the video.)