Life Review: Discovering Your Own Story

July 17, 2016 - July 23, 2016
Offered by Sorrento Centre
Sorrento BC

Sunday, July 17 – Saturday, July 23, 2016

Life Review: Discovering Your Own Story

with Marv Westwood, Marla Buchanan, and Dianne Westwood


This workshop will offer participants an opportunity to explore the wealth of their life memories. Through a series of writing, reading, interactive, and listening experiences participants will be guided to expand and/or deepen their understanding of their life story.

The workshop is based on Birren and Deutchmann’s (1987) idea of autobiography being the “story of a life, the explanation or interpretation of this life by the individual who has lived it.” The life review method is an educational process of bringing one’s understanding of the past into the present.

The focus is on how we can move ahead to integrate personal, social, and spiritual parts of ourselves. In reviewing our life paths we become aware of: key events that shaped who we are today; how we make decisions or life choices; how we respond to and overcome challenges, cope with losses, identify accomplishments, and manage life achievements; as well as how we set life goals.

The daily sessions are 4 hours each: the three hours in the morning and an extra hour after lunch. Participants will work in small groups of five, each with their own facilitator. In addition, the small groups will reconnect as a larger group each day after the lunch break


MARV WESTWOOD is Professor Emeritus in the Counselling Psychology Program at UBC. His major areas of teaching and research have been focused on development, teaching, and delivery of group-based approaches to help people make effective life transitions. Life Review (Guided Autobiography) and specific group counselling approaches are his primary approaches for assisting people to ‘re-story’ their lives to enhance personal meaning and expand life perspectives.


MARLA BUCHANAN is a Professor in the Counselling Psychology Program at The University of British Columbia. She holds the Royal Canadian Legion Professorship and is Director for the Centre for Group Counseling and Trauma. Her area of expertise is in traumatic stress studies and she has conducted research with various trauma populations (nurses, counsellors, refugees, child soldiers, veterans, to name a few). Her research also includes studies on Secondary Traumatic Stress among first responders and psychotherapists working with traumatized clients. Dr. Buchanan writes about and teaches qualitative research methods for her department, in particular, narrative research approaches.


DIANNE WESTWOOD is a Registered Clinical Counsellor in Vancouver, British Columbia. She holds degrees in nursing, education, and counselling psychology. Dianne is currently pursuing doctoral studies at UBC, and is keenly interested in how adults make sense of their own personal processes, and their individual life stories.



We request a brief interview for each member prior to registration. Please contact Sorrento Centre for more information: 250-675-2421/ 1-866-694-2409 (toll free) / email

» Course Fee: $410

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Schedule of a typical summer day at Sorrento: here »

Categories: Personal Development  |  The Arts  |  Workshops