Guided Autobiography workshop coming to Quail Creek

There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is impossibility. Inside the dullest exterior, there is a drama, a comedy and a tragedy. — Mark Twain

Guided Autobiography workshop is a safe and enjoyable way to reminisce and make sense of your past history, significant episodes, people and personal experiences from your life.

Everyone, every life, has stories. This guided autobiography group provides a structure, a process and an opportunity to put your life experiences on paper and share them with a small group of participants each week. You might elect one of your stories to be about a parent or ancestor, or from your personal history as a little boy or girl; teenager, young adult or beyond. The purpose is to express for your own benefit, for others (like grandchildren) to know the stories and to leave a written legacy for younger generations.

No one but you can write two pages about one of your stories as you describe it. No one but you can pass on to your family your stories. They will never be known if you do not write them down. No one but you can recall, like you do, the branching points in your life that explain the directions you chose to take. No one but you can reminisce about your family exactly like you do. Stories can be priceless for younger generations, but unless they are preserved as a written history, your particular stories will be lost forever.

Guided Autobiography (GAB) Workshops have been held in a great number of states in this country and in many other countries of the world but, to my knowledge, it’s the first time in this area of southern Arizona.

Participants gather for an eight week, once a week, Thursday morning meeting, February 5 through March 26, between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in the Zinc Room of Quail Creek Madera Clubhouse, 2055 E. Quail Creek Boulevard in Green Valley, Arizona.

The workshop combines an interesting, diverse group of people, led by the Certified Guided Autobiography Leader Kay Grask MSW, who will guide each participant through a presentation of common themes for the week’s story writing, priming questions on the particular theme and a variety of other ways to stimulate and encourage participants to simply write their two page story on different themes, i.e., family, health, values, work, etc., followed by reading and sharing stories within the small support group. Of course, group members consistently are positive, supportive and do seriously promise confidentiality. Each small sharing group is nothing like a therapy group but, at times, can be therapeutic.

No one needs to be concerned about being a writer. Most people in the workshop are not, nor have they been, writers. The beauty about being in the workshop, besides writing your own stories, is the sharing, the listening, the bonding, the positive comments and support and the fact that we each give and receive something of ourselves in participation. We each offer a unique slice of stories that normally would not have been available to each other.

Other not so obvious benefits of being a participant in guided autobiography deserve mention. At many times and in many unexpected ways, our stories can bring up unexpected emotional responses and GAB can be a powerful catalyst to raise self-confidence, self-esteem and communication within communities and families. Additionally, the participants seem to grow to a level of comfort and enjoyment that makes it often difficult for some to even leave at the end of eight weeks.

Simply said, the GAB Workshop is bonding and fun. All interested are welcome to be a part of the eight week GAB experience starting on Mondays from January 5 through March 26 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

A second, eight week, once a week, Guided Autobiography Workshop at Madera Clubhouse in Quail Creek will be held on Thursdays from March 5 through April 30 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

You are invited to call Kay Grask at 574-292-6553 with questions and registration for the GAB Workshop. For further and more comprehensive information, visit