What is biography work?
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana, American philosopher
“To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.” Robert Louis Stevenson
Our life story is a path towards personal development.
Biography work is a way to self-knowledge, to a deep understanding of your own life. It is a method that allows you to learn how to read your biography (which literally means “life-writing”). Your own questions are always the starting point for this work.
Your past will tell us how you became the person you are today. What is the meaning behind important biographical events such as crises and illnesses, but also the times of happiness and success in your life? How do your individuality and uniqueness express themselves? When have there been disruptions and new beginnings in your life such as unemployment, the death of a loved-one or separation from a partner?
What repeats itself in your life? What rhythms appear? Can you recognize the leitmotif in your life and learn to follow your own life melody?
The most important thing, however, is not who you have become up to now, but who you might become in the future, that part of you that is constantly developing. You may want to explore the meaning in your life. How do I want to develop? What is my life task?
Understanding your own biography releases forces that enable you to develop new faculties and new possibilities in your life. You can learn to take charge of your life. You will learn how to handle your present and future in a creative way. Life story work is a fundamentally salutogenetic approach. It enables you to have a sense of coherence and to live a truly authentic life.
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An interview with Ursula Ohse, explaining what biography work is and how she applies it.