Guided Autobiography Facilitator Training

Hello, I’m Flora Brown, Guided Autobiography Facilitator and Trainer. I am part of the Birren Center for Autobiographical Studies, where we are dedicated to enriching the lives of adults through writing, sharing and preserving life stories and life experiences.

Recognizing the benefits of writing our life stories, many attendees, coaches, personal historians, therapists and other professionals want to learn how they can become facilitators so they can run their own classes. The training program was created to prepare facilitators to offer their own classes around the world. 

Drawing from 40 years of teaching, writing, and coaching and consulting, I bring my love of stories and my belief in their power to my training. (Go here for my bio.)


What is Guided Autobiography?

Guided Autobiography (GAB) has been researched and developed by Dr. James Birren for over 40 years as a method for helping people document their life stories. He continued his work until his death at 97 years old in 2016. Many turned out at his memorial services at USC.

Guided by a trained instructor, participants are led through themes and priming questions that evoke memories of events once known but filed away and seemingly forgotten. Each participant writes a two-page story on a particular theme each week, brings the story to class and reads it to a small group of receptive classmates.

Writing and sharing life stories with others is an ideal way to find new meaning in life and to put life events into perspective. While connecting with one another on their journeys of self-discovery, participants feel enlivened by the group experience and gain a greater appreciation of their own lives and of the lives of others. GAB can be a powerful catalyst for improved self-esteem, self-confidence and communication within communities and within families. 

What is the Guided Autobiography Training Program?

The Guided Autobiography Training Program was created to prepare facilitators to offer their own classes around the world. In this intensive, interactive program you learn about the history of life story writing, small group management and dynamics, as well as how to set up and market your own workshops.

The program is conducted entirely online. From the comfort of
your own computer and you’ll receive:

►Step-by-step instructions on how to succeed

►Downloadable handouts for teaching your own classes

►Ideas for generating multiple income stream products such as books, videographies, personal historian services, and more!

►Marketing strategies to put your workshops on equal footing with other training programs.

►Access to recorded lessons (both audio and video) for viewing anytime 24/7 for the duration of the training should you miss a class.

The program includes ongoing support after completion to guide you as you develop, promote and launch your first classes. Find out more by visiting the website:

If you are interested in being a part of the next Guided Autobiography Facilitator training, sign up on the mailing list to receive notices and a free download of my report, “Seven Ways to Beat Procrastination Before It Beats You.”


How to Become a Guided Autobiography Facilitator?

To become a Guided Autobiography facilitator you must complete the online 8-week training program where you will write you own life stories and complete other assignments. In addition to attending the weekly 3-hour online class, you should allow a minimum of an additional 3 hours per week to complete the writing and assignments. Please note the following:

  • All classes are held online. 
  • Classes are limited to 8 students.
  • Each time the training program opens for new students, it usually fills within a few days
  • All prospective students must attend an introductory webinar
  • When you sign up for the mailing list, you’ll be notified when enrollment is open for the next class.
  • Once a class is filled, you’ll be invited to enroll in the next class.

To participate in the class you’ll need

  • Internet access
  • A computer, webcam, and good microphone (preferably USB)
  • Email
  • One of the following browsers: 
        o Mozilla Firefox 
        o Google Chrome (preferred by most)
        o Safari
    • Adobe PDF  plug-in (a free download obtained at .)
  • Microsoft Word

My training session scheduled to begin January 18
did not get enough enrollees to go forward. 

There will be other training sessions starting in the spring.
To get the details on enrolling in one of them,
contact one of the following trainers

Cheryl Svensson


Wendy Bancroft

Watch the following video to see Dr. Birren explain Guided Autobiography and hear from a few students.