Progoff Intensive Journal ® Program for Self-Development

General Workshops | About the Workshops

Frequently Asked Questions

Some people attend our program because they are facing important issues in a particular area of their lives. They hope to deal with or solve these issues during the workshop.

Some individuals may feel that having attended other writing, journal writing, or personal growth programs, attending the Intensive Journal program would not be warranted. However, the Intensive Journal program is not like other programs; it is a very unique method for psychological growth, because of its workshop atmosphere, the structure of the Intensive Journal workbook and the detailed steps in the individual exercises.

Individuals who are open to our approach should give our method a full chance to work to see its unique power and benefits. Our procedures will naturally feel different but being exposed to a different approach can be a positive learning experience.

No preparation is required for our introductory (Life Context) workshop. You do not need to read or write anything. We ask that you relax and follow along with the instructions provided by our leader.

In the second module, Depth Contact, you may wish to record some dreams and imagery that you recall so that you have material to work with in completing those exercises. However, do not worry if you cannot remember any symbolic material.

For the third module, Life Integration/Journal Feedback™ process, you should have fresh material in each of the Intensive Journal sections for the Journal Feedback process to have the intended effect. Otherwise, you may wish to attend the Life Context and Depth Contact workshops again or work on your own prior to attending the Life Integration module.

No. We believe that there is a therapeutic benefit from the physical process of recording your feelings and experiences.

The atmosphere in which you work in the Intensive Journal method is critical. Using a computer tends to have the effect of taking you out of the deepening atmosphere and your inner process. You tend to be in a more analytical mode, which is counter to a key principle for using the Intensive Journal method.

You may feel that you could write a good deal more on a computer. We are interested in the quality of your experience and not the quantity of material that is written.

Some people say that they could use a computer to conduct searches for relevant terms that they may have written. However, the Journal Feedback process of reading back and recording would be significantly affected and distorted by using a computer in this manner.

Using a computer in a workshop can distract other participants and disrupt the quiet atmosphere. The noise of even a quiet keyboard can break the sensitive atmosphere that has developed in the workshop.

The only exception to the rule of not allowing computers in the workshop is in cases where a person is physically challenged and would otherwise be unable to participate. In these instances, we recommend that the participant contact the hosting organization in advance so that suitable arrangements can be made.

Practically anyone can attend and benefit from an Intensive Journal workshop. People of different backgrounds, interests, religious faiths and ages attend our programs.

Participants don’t have to have an “issue” or “problem;” the common factor is that they have a commitment to learn the Intensive Journal method and apply it to their lives.

You do not have to like to write or to be a good writer. You are writing what comes to you from within. In a sense, you are a reporter on your life

The workshops are paced with breaks so that you will have enough energy to participate effectively in the program. You are not writing during the entire program. At other times, the leader provides background information on each Intensive Journal exercise and answers questions.

We offer Intensive Journal workshops throughout the United States as well as Canada, Australia and Europe. In the United States, we attempt to offer our program in most major metropolitan areas at least once a year so that the program can be affordable and accessible.

Workshops are offered at personal and spiritual growth centers, conference centers, counseling centers, and universities. We look to hold our workshops at locations that are conducive to reflection and introspection.

If you would like to help us bring a workshop to your community, please contact Jon Progoff at 800-221-5844 or Click here for more details.

Intensive Journal workshops are conducted by trained and certified leaders (also called Journal Consultants) under the auspices of Dialogue House. The function of the leader is to guide you step-by-step through the process using the workshop guidelines provided by Dialogue House. They stay in the background, serving as a supportive and non-judgmental guide. Their role is to help you connect with your inner process, free from distractions in the workshop room. Therefore, our leaders do not use their personality to dominate or influence your process; they serve in a behind-the-scenes role to help you enter your process.

Our leaders come from a variety of backgrounds. They are teachers, artists, counselors, and ministers, to name a few of their occupations. While they may share some of their background and experiences with participants, they are not introducing their own philosophy. They are representing the philosophy of Dr. Progoff, as incorporated into the Intensive Journal program.

Training and quality control are important components of our program. To become a certified instructor, our leaders must complete training in Dr. Progoff’s philosophy of psychological growth as well as attend many workshops. Their work is reviewed on an ongoing basis.

If you are interested in becoming a leader, Click here for more information.

Prices vary depending upon the cost of hosting the workshop at a certain location, the length of the program and whether meals are included. We try to offer reasonably priced programs and to be responsive to the needs of participants.

At your first workshop you receive your Intensive Journal workbook. Not all of the sections will be used in the Life Context and Life Experience workshops. These will be used in later modules of the Intensive Journal series.

The workshop leader will guide participants through a series of journal sections based upon the structure developed by Dr. Ira Progoff in At a Journal Workshop. This structure is set up so that the sections complement each other and a continuous flow among them is achieved. The leader will explain each section and then allow time for participants to write in their workbooks.

Throughout the workshop the leader will allow time for questions about either the method or about the direction of a participant's writing. This may be done one-on-one in order to protect the person's privacy. The leader will also allow time for participants to read their work aloud. This is not meant to foster discussion about a person's writing, but is for the purpose of connecting the reader to and evoking his or her emotions.

Try a Sample Intensive Journal® Exercise

Now you can begin to experience how the Intensive Journal method works through a sample exercise. It is important to do the exercise in a setting of complete silence, with pen and paper (not computer), when you can relax and take your mind off your daily life. Record what comes to you; do not edit or censor. Write the date at the top of the page and the name of the exercise, "Period Log." You should allow about 45 minutes to complete the exercise.

  1. Describe the "Now" period of your life; an open ended period that has a beginning but no ending. Examples include: three years since you moved to a new city or started a new job.
  2. Record your thoughts, feelings, memories - whatever presents itself to you. Complete the phrase: "It is a time when...."; record images that describe the period.
  3. Describe more details about this period: people, projects or activities; your health; attitudes about society; important events; dreams or imagery; people who inspired you; and choices or decisions you made.
  4. Read back what you have written and record any thoughts and feelings that you have during this process of writing and reading back.
  5. Through the Period Log exercise, you are beginning the process of reconnecting with different aspects of your life from which new perspectives and opportunities can reveal themselves.

Some people attend our program because they are facing important issues in a particular area of their lives. They hope to deal with or solve these issues during the workshop.

The role of the workshop is much broader - to help you connect with the multitude of experiences and emotions that comprise your unique life. Through this process, you can gain awareness and perspectives about the direction and continuity of your life, as well as realize strengths, interests and capacities. Then, after developing a foundation on your life, you may work through specific issues over time within the context of your entire life. We urge you not to place forced deadlines or pressures upon yourself. Sometimes, awareness occurs indirectly and at unpredictable times. We do not want to establish artificial expectations that would hinder the natural unfolding of awareness.

After you attend a workshop, it is recommended that you periodically work in your Intensive Journal workbook. This use will help you become skilled in using the method as well as develop the material that you have begun in the workshop.

There are no set rules with regard to how often the method should be used. Some people find that it is helpful to set up a regular time to use the method. There may be times when you use the method frequently, and other times when you use it less. Your life will tell you how best to proceed.

You may also choose to attend another workshop of the same module or the next module in the series to further your knowledge of the Intensive Journal method. The workshop provides the group atmosphere and discipline for using the method.

Using the method is a cumulative process with the benefits coming over time. Dr. Progoff states:

“Since the principle underlying Journal Feedback is that of cumulative movement, maintaining the Journal work has a multiplying effect if it is allowed to continue over significant units of time.. The key to working with the Intensive Journal process productively lies in the quality and quantity of the method that we feed into it....the Journal can feed back to us in self-transforming ways the material that we have recorded in it.”

At a Journal Workshop (rev. ed), p. 368.