What happens during a coaching session or workshop program?

One or more of the activities listed below takes place during a session/workshop. These activities aid participants in exploring their individual questions, to open paths to new insights.

Biography Work sessions may include any of the following:

  • guided conversation
  • an artistic process
  • drawing, painting or modeling scenes of life events
  • reflective journaling
  • reflective questions
  • theme-related content
  • biography exercises
  • life charting

What's the difference between arts-based learning and Biography Work?
Arts-based learning is a method of self-discovery and problem solving that uses an art process to provide insight. Biography Work is a larger, often ongoing process of examining events and circumstances in life; it can incorporate many methods, including arts-based exercises.

What can Biography Work do for me?
Here is a sample of what Biography Work practitioners and workshop session participants have said the process does for them.
Through Biography Work I have . . .

  • discovered new perspectives on my life questions
  • learned to see beyond the roles I identify with (mother, father, spouse, career) and gained a clearer sense of “who I am” and “what I am here for”
  • transformed how I see my life, recognizing the “bigger picture” and deeper meaning in life events
  • integrated “random events” to see my life as a whole
  • made the time and space to digest life events, so I can move into the future feeling free of the hold of the past
  • deepened my sense of compassion—for myself, and for others
  • developed ways to be “creative” about the unfolding of my life—rather than just reacting to life events
  • gained a sense of well-being in my life—it’s healed my soul and nurtured my spirit

More testimonials here.

I am not at all artistic — can Dorothy’s approach help me?

Yes—no previous art experience is needed. The work is not meant to produce art, but to harness the tools of visual expression to help you access inner truths, allowing you to see things differently.

Art is a powerful tool for transformation and healing. Using an art process allows you to bypass your “analytical” mind, so new insights can come from a deeper source.

Can a session or workshop help me in my work life?
Absolutely. As we become more objective and aware—and learn and change from new insights—our whole life is affected, including our relationships and our work life.

Should I take a private or a group workshop?
This is a personal decision, and can be explored with Dorothy before you begin.
Generally, the same “results” (insights, new self-awareness) are accessible in both one-on-one sessions and group workshops. The group sessions create an added dimension and often enhance what can be learned from the work. Participants develop listening skills, empathy and feelings of connectedness. Many have observed that they also learn from the insights of others. In group workshops, participants only share what they wish to.

How did Dorothy train for this work?
Dorothy has had a lifelong interest in developmental work, though her initial career was in retail (and she still co-owns and co-manages an independent business in Toronto). In 1997, to prepare for her work as a coach and facilitator, she undertook arts-based learning and Biography Work training through Arscura School for Living Art in Thornhill, Ontario. She continues to pursue training in facilitation, creative leadership and Biography Work. Read more about Dorothy’s credentials.