Class Title: Find YOUR Story with Therapeutic Writing
Instructor: Jennifer Westrom
Class Term: September 24-November 12, 2018
We are not accepting any more enrollments for Jennifer's class; the class has started.
Discover how therapeutic writing exercises help you discover the story you should tell. Taught by expert women's therapist and writing teacher, you will go from "no idea" to draft outline in seven weeks! Beginning writers are encouraged to sign up for this course. No writing experience expected!
After a weekly webinar presentation, you will receive 3-5 therapeutic writing exercises from the instructor via email. Students are encouraged to attend a live webinar each Sunday at noon central time, but recorded sessions will be available for those who can't attend live. We will have one practice webinar before class starts to make sure everyone is able to log on and to work through any technical issues.
At the end of this class, students will be able to:
- Identify the life story she should write.
- Organize her life story into a traditional story structure.
- Have a detailed plan of action that will get her to her first draft.
Instruction/Communication Method: Writers will receive instruction via live Sunday webinar at noon central standard time (recorded for those with scheduling conflicts) and via email.
- Unit 1: Writers explore the 'big picture' of their life with a lifeline exercise and reflections; explore deeper issues related to the Self with therapeutic writing prompts.
- Unit 2: Writers see how viewing their life through a developmental model sheds new light and insights into her story; explore origins of her inner critic and significant relationships.
- Unit 3: How the genogram can help bring order and understanding to our family histories and dynamics. Explore the history and development of the writer's worldview and how that shapes her writing project.
- Unit 4: Identify the story she plans to write; explore fears of writing and methods for overcoming them.
- Unit 5: Writers use therapeutic writing exercises to deepen the understanding of her main character.
- Unit 6: Writers learn how move a life story into a traditional story structure.
- Unit 7: Writers begin writing the first draft and develop a detailed plan of action with a target date for completion.
Student Skills, Equipment, and Time Required
Beginning writers are encouraged to join. Participants will be asked to join a webinar, but we will have a practice session prior to the course starting to make sure everyone is able to log on! (You do not need to know how to do this to join the course as I will help you get on the Webinar.)
Time Commitment: Students should expect to write 15 minutes each day 2-5 times each week and participate in a 30 minute webinar each Sunday at noon central standard time. (Please note that webinar duration may be extended if writers have lots of questions; we will go as long as needed, up to 90 minutes.)
Tuition/Fees for this course
SCN members: $224. Non-SCN members: $280.
Jennifer Westrom helps women tell their stories. She has been facilitating groups for women for almost 20 years. She earned her MA degree in religious studies from the University of Chicago and her BA degree in literature and philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin. In 2010, she sold her stake in her successful seminar company for women and spent a year and a half traveling solo across the United States, Canada, the Arctic, and Africa, including a 1,000 mile solitary trek through the Arctic wilderness. Her writings about her personal, psychological, and spiritual journey were followed by thousands online. She earned her MS in adult mental health counseling from the University of North Texas in 2014. Jennifer specializes in life writing for older women and women's emotional health. She holds an annual retreat in Santa Fe each year for older women life writers. She is a therapist in private practice in Colleyville, Texas. Visit her website.
Praise for Jennifer's Classes
- What I enjoyed most about this class was the direct interaction with Jennifer Westrom each week during our 1:1 calls. Her thoughtful listening and feedback on progress was very much appreciated and helped me focus on the path / journey for my writing. She also was available to respond via email to any questions you had regarding class assignments. —Deb D., Port Saint Lucie FL
- Jennifer Westrom's class was exactly what I needed: it got me staying engaged with the story I'm writing. I found Jennifer's feedback to be extremely valuable. She is intuitive, supportive, and enthusiastic. She's brought a fresh perspective to my vision of writing the story. She understands the craft of writing but for the majority of the time of this class stays focused on helping us dig out the emotions that led us to want to write the story — and then propelling us to write it! Our weekly phone calls were beyond wonderful! Her enthusiasm for my writing project will ring in my ears every time I feel discouraged. —Nancy M., Collinsville IL
- Buckle up!! This is going to be a heck of a ride. Jennifer Westrom knows how to weave the missing threads of our stories so that we can macerate a wonderful picture. Her consistent communication with students and guidance through the assignments is amazing. She is warm, encouraging, and extremely trustworthy. Working with her has brought me to places in my stories that I didn't know were there. Writing is no longer a fearful trek but a thrilling adventure. Thanks Jennifer! —Janice S., Houston TX
- This course was extremely interactive and rewarding... Jennifer Westrom has amazing insight into women's challenges in the latter decades of one's life. Definitely a marvelous opportunity to write and consider, consider and rewrite! —Joan C., Coeur d'Alene ID
- Jennifer Westrom provided thought-provoking writing prompts that really assisted me in digging deeper, in which case several stories emerged. Jennifer was patient, thoughtful, and supportive. I recommend her class to anyone interested in discovering what stories they have to tell. —Cyndi L., Riverton UT
- This course exceeded my expectations. Jennifer Westrom not only supplied assignments which made the process of writing less daunting and more manageable, but her feedback, conversations, and accessibility were insightful and encouraging. By the end of course, I felt like a writer! And I continue to write and develop the techniques and habits which I started through this course. Thank you, Jennifer! —Mary C., Erie PA
- Talking to Jennifer is like talking to an old, cherished friend who always has your back. This is my first Story Circle Network class but not my last. "Finding YOUR Story Through Therapeutic Writing" is exactly what it implies and the perfect start for me. Jennifer Westrom really helped me tear down walls and build confidence. Thank you, Jennifer, I look forward to learning more from you! —Linda D., Bonham TX
- The course materials were wonderful, useful and easy to use. Well worth taking the class for. I got some great insights on how to use and write for a blog. And I wrote some things I wouldn't have considered doing for a blog. It also got me motivated to get going on my blog and to do some other writing. Jennifer Westrom' comments about my writing were wonderfully encouraging and motivating. She made me feel like a writer. Her workbook is concise and workable tool that I'll refer to often. —Bonnie F., Brookings OR
- Jennifer Westrom was very encouraging; one of the most useful parts of this class for me. This class profoundly influenced my approach to writing. Jennifer's material is not only useful and inspiring, it made me laugh! —Lauren R., Austin TX
- I will be referring to the workbooks over and over—I really liked how she had the materials prepared and easy to access and read. The quality and quantity of information was so good. It was a lot of information, but that's what I wanted. She asks such great questions. I've been thinking about how to do a blog for a long time and Jennifer Westrom' workbooks and encouragement took me where I needed to go. I wish the class could go on and on. —Margaret S., Austin TX
- Jennifer Westrom' comments were extremely helpful and welcome. Jennifer has inspired me to become a regular blogger, knowing I have something worthwhile to share and giving me the tools to do it effectively.
—Robyn H., San Antonio NM
- Jennifer Westrom did a great job with the presentation of this course. Very thorough and easy to follow. —Martha S., Danville CA