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Journal-Writing for Personal Growth Workshop

  • Gardenalia 3709 Butler Street Pittsburgh, PA 15201 United States (map)

This event has already occurred. If you are interested in future offerings of this workshop — either public or private — please contact us.

I appreciated the writing prompts. Just when I thought I had written everything, I found more. This brought me insight.
— Attendee from previous workshop

About this workshop

Life provides ample opportunities to grow! Experience is our teacher and can be the springboard for our next adventure, but only if we first show up for class. Intensive and profound things happen in our lives all the time. New experiences are had, new relationships are formed and new ways of being emerge. Life is full of transitions; things that were once permanent in our lives change. Sometimes these changes are induced internally, other times externally. Too often, we go through life accumulating experiences, one after another, and never pause long enough to make sense of them and find meaning; let alone move forward with wisdom.

Life is a continuum of beginnings, middles and endings. A step often missing in this cycle is the pausing for reflection, taking an account of what happened, what it means to us and how we’ve grown. When experiences are not fully processed and integrated, they remain external to us; thus when we leave the time or place where they were experienced, it feels like we’ve left them behind and a part of ourselves too. This can result in feelings of sadness or loss, and feeling out of balance, especially when life demands that we keep moving forward. When experiences are fully integrated, we embody them and they become a permanent part of who we are.

Personal growth rarely occurs without introspection and awareness. And it’s hard to grow when we don’t have the tools that support it. Journal-writing provides an opportunity to simultaneously get deeper inside our feelings about a situation and to step outside of the experience to see it as an observer. Writing slows down the process and allows us to get it all out. There is no need to edit or control the process, just write honestly and authentically. Then step back and observe. During this process, perspective and insights emerge. Journaling helps us to see the meaning in what happens to us.

Maud Purcell, a psychotherapist and journaling expert describes what happens, “Writing accesses the left hemisphere of the brain, which is analytical and rational. While your left brain is occupied, your right brain is free to do what it does best, i.e. create, intuit and feel. In this way, writing removes mental blocks and allows us to use more of our brainpower to better understand ourselves and the world around us.”

Journal-writing is a wonderful, effective way to find your own voice, meet your inner guide, and then get used to listening to it. It primes you to become more comfortable in answering the deeper questions that arise during a coaching session. These questions ultimately lead to transformation from the inside out.
— Michael Patrick

Using life coaching principles, this workshop explores how to process and integrate profound life experiences through journal writing. Attendees are led to explore four deeper questions in stages, which help them to acknowledge, find meaning, recognize transformation, integrate and move forward. Attendees will have the opportunity to share what they’ve learned through this process with a partner or in small groups. This self-coaching technique can be applied to unprocessed past experiences, including relationships. Attendees will leave this workshop empowered to fully embody their life’s most profound experiences.

Participants will take home a specially-made journal (pictured) to encourage continuation of this practice!


This elegant custom-made journal has the Centered Presence logo and name debossed on the navy-colored front cover. It includes an inside pocket, 80 lined pages for writing, a ribbon bookmark and an elastic closure.

Already an avid journal-writer and would like one of these handsome journals without attending the workshop? You can purchase one from our store!

Interested in learning more about how working with your narratives can affect outcomes in your life? Explore Narrative Coaching.

Narrative Coaching is “mindful, experiential, and integrative approach that helps people make real change in real time using their own stories.” It offers a holistic approach to coaching. Learn more about it and other coaching methods to improve your way of being.

About the instructor

Michael Patrick, LMT, KYT, CPC

Michael Patrick, LMT, KYT, CPC

As a Licensed Massage Therapist, Kripalu Yoga Teacher, Certified Professional Coach and former Scientist, I bring all the gifts of who I am to my work. Driven by the desire to elevate others, my career initially spanned the biotech industry, interdisciplinary research and laboratory safety. Over the past decade, it evolved to wellness and now I work in my own company, Centered Presence, Ltd. As a presenter, my workshops are characterized by elements of touch, intimacy, authenticity, embodiment, grounding, presence, spiritual practice and cultivation of inner awareness, which result in personal growth and empowered movement forward.