Becoming a certified instructor in Guided Autobiography (GAB) has made me a better writer and a better coach. I love this 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. My GAB programs align with my life's work in resilience, which means that the themes, prompts, and exercises I use are designed to help participants tell and own their resilient stories in a whole new way.
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 which aligns with Tell Your Resilient Story. 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. No writing experience necessary!
- Do you think of the flow of your life as typical of most people or is it unusual? In what ways?
Describe a time in your life when you asked yourself: what is the meaning of this? What did you learn about yourself and life from this experience?
- Was there ever a time you took the less traveled road? Something unexpected, unpopular, or out of the ordinary? What kind of impact did this decision have?
TELL YOUR RESILIENT STORY THEMES
Guided Autobiography Level 1
Life's Work or Career
Finding My Own Power
Growth and Change
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT
Improved self-esteem and confidence
Better communication—on the written page , with loved ones, with your community
Deeper empathy for others
Pages of your life story…a treasured keepsake
Content that could find its way into a book
Greater understanding of where you are and where you want GO in life
"We all need gurus to guide us, and Nancy Sharp has become mine as I strive to find meaning in my life story, and share it with loved ones."
- Leland Rudofsky
“I feel like this class has helped to restore my voice again after feeling cut off from others and my community. I love the opportunity to reflect on my experiences. This class has been a lifeboat for me.”- Roberta Rosen
"What a rich and meaningful experience. I'm learning so much, and loving the whole process."
- Vicki Dansky
"Viewing my life as a journey and not so much 'good' or 'bad,' helped me feel more resilient. This also gave me the strength to accept others just the way they are."
Guided Autobiography Workshops will be offered on the below dates and times. Classes are live via Zoom and capped at eight students. Sign up now!
Don't see something that fits your schedule?
Feel free to email me preferred dates and times.
About Nancy Sharp
Nancy Sharp holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College and is a certified instructor in Guided Autobiography. Nancy’s prizewinning, bestselling memoir Both Sides Now: A True Story of Love, Loss, and Bold Living is an unforgettable portrait of the surprising turns life takes, and the resilience Nancy summoned in order to keep stepping forward.
Nancy is also the author of the picture book Because the Sky is Everywhere. Her work has been published in several essay anthologies, and articles, essays, columns, and letters by her have appeared in The New York Times, Next Avenue, The Huffington Post, Kate Couric's Wake-Up Call, journals for the American Academy of Psychotherapists and the University of Colorado Hospital’s Center for Bioethics and the Humanities, and elsewhere.
Nancy writes a regular column on caregiving and resilience for the Cancer Support Community, and has guest lectured at the Lighthouse Writers Workshop, Regis University's MFA Program, The New School, New York's 92nd Street Y, and to businesses and groups nationwide.
“Eloquent and fiercely hopeful.”
- Kirkus Reviews
“Nancy Sharp’s honesty and hard-earned wisdom
make this book essential reading
for anyone facing adversity—which is all of us.”
- Ann Hood, New York Times bestselling author