"My goal in creating Dialogue House is to provide a place where people can go to work privately in their lives using the Intensive Journal method. Then, after the workshop, they can use the Journal on their own, returning as necessary to the workshops."
The workshops offer an atmosphere conducive to inner growth allowing people to benefit from the cumulative effects of regular work in the Journal.
The Intensive Journal method is a process in which a person can place himself in the movement of his life to answer the question: where am I in my life? We use the Intensive Journal method to get our bearings, to break through periods of stalemate, and to work through issues, especially during periods of transition.
My conception of how change occurs in a person is not in terms of pathology and diagnosis. Rather, change is brought about by deepening the level at which we experience our lives. We experience our lives from an inner perspective and not an intellectual point of view. The Journal allows us to take this perspective, evoking the potentials within us as we work with our life as a whole.
We do not ask a person to hold a particular belief system; we work with a person wherever we find him. When a person works seriously in his or her life, he is moving toward a recognition of meaning, as deep and as large as it can be found.
An individual should be able to work in his life because he is a human being who needs to make new decisions and take new steps. He has potentials that cannot be found altogether alone. He should be able to come in contact with a person who has experienced and is familiar with the inner process of persons (e.g. program leader or journal consultant). This process can lead a person to a creative experience, a new awareness, a new potentiality, or a larger spiritual knowing.
I was very concerned to make sure that the method that I developed would not eliminate anybody. I created these techniques to ensure that anyone could use them regardless of his or her level of education and social attitude.
Any segment of the population that is in need of development can be helped by a method that reflects the creative process. We have done very successful programs in the prisons, old age homes, and at job training centers.
Our program leaders, who are trained through the Dialogue House program, espouse no particular doctrine. They are only interested in using the process as an instrument by which the process of growth in each person is moved along in terms of its own integrity and rhythms.
The essence of the method is the Journal Feedback process. When we record subjective or inner material in an objective way, we report "neutral observations" in specific journal sections. What is done in one section has an interplay relationship with others.
When we work back and forth between sections we build a cumulative, spontaneous and undirected feedback effect. This objectively takes us to the next place in our lives, without any limits brought on by self analysis. The Journal Feedback process amounts to inner growth and enables people to make more rapid strides in life.
* Based primarily upon excerpts from an interview in 1973 with Wendy Scofield entitled The Dialogue House Concept, an interview with Ira Progoff, PhD (Available on an Audio CD).