LIFE REVIEW TRAINING
Time Requirement: Two and a Half Days
Life Review is a information sharing and group building technique that helps to ease group members into a group environment. Many of us have difficulty discussing personal or sensitive narratives from our lives, let alone in a group setting with people we may not know. Rather than talk about these issues, Life Review teaches group members to think about them, to write about them (in reply to questions provided) and to read them to the group and then listen to the impact their stories have on other members. As each group member reads his or her story, with each member being given equal time, with the group listening respectfully, group cohesion develops. It is not only important for individuals to tell their personal stories, but also to share them with others in this accepting and non-judgmental context. The process is eloquently summarized by Dr. Westwood when he says, “In order to go forward, you have to know where you’ve been.”
Life Review helps group members to learn how to speak about their lives, from their goals and values to critical incidents that may have been experienced, and to realize they are doing so in a safe, controlled environment. The Story/Life Review is a low-risk and highly structured technique that facilitates group building and self sharing in effective ways. To “just start talking” about a traumatic experience is one thing; to think about it, to write it down, and to read what you’ve written to others who may have experienced similar events and who will complete this same exercise, is something else.