“Our ‘I’ is not held tightly within us, nor does it somehow hover above us trying to direct our self-appointed actions. Rather, it lives in the people and circumstances we meet; it waits to be incorporated, to be taken up by us, to be allowed to develop in ever-new ways.”
Signe Eklund Schaefer (Why On Earth?)
Biographical counselling is a way to look at our life’s story line through the lens of distinct cycles of development. These cycles, each spanning seven years, form a kind of archetypal pattern on which our own personal life experiences unfold. The pattern of the seven-year cycles thus offers a way of understanding some of our own individual questions, struggles, and crises as part of the archetypal human experience. They help us understand what impact our unique life experiences may have had on our personal growth and our understanding of our Self. They also offer us a foundation on which to start the process of integrating some of those experiences in order to let go of the past and create new insights and patterns for the future.
Biography group work provides an opportunity to explore these archetypal patterns and our unique experience of them in the context of other biographies. Through the development and sharing of our timelines (to the degree it is comfortable to the participants) we can gain a deeper understanding of the archetypal forces and patterns of the cycles. Through exerecises and discussion we can gain deeper understanding of the individual expression of those patterns in our own lives. Through the telling of key stories in our timelines and through these stories being witnessed we can begin to shift our understanding of our lives’ journeys and meaning.