Thoughts on Dr. Progoff’s Journal Workshop

by Signed by prisoner X (name withheld), who has been approved for release on parole from the federal Correctional Services Canada penitentiary on Vancouver Island, British Columbia

In the past week I have been thinking about the workshop put together by Dr. Ira Progoff for assisting people in dealing with their subconscious/unconscious thoughts and feelings, as well as issues and relationships that have played a part in my life, whether big or small, known or unknown. I have come to some very interesting conclusions so far in my past 10+ sessions.

First, I have found the course to be well put together, especially if I follow with the book. So much of what is explained orally by the facilitator comes together when I do the work. However, when I read the book and read what Dr. Progoff says, I often find even more insights as I do the writing. Also regarding the writing process itself, I have found that each step in the journaling process becomes easy when it is “ready” to be considered by me. For example, when it is time for me and I am ready to deal with an issue or a person that has come up in my dreams or my daily log, the dialogues and further considerations of areas I might write in, come forth liberally and easily. The ones that need to wait just naturally take a back seat.

But what really struck me with this course is how much this journaling process is therapeutic – how much it helps. I have found so much healing and such a guiding hand that directs where and what I write about in the process of moving through the course sections. Each one opens new doors in other areas, with other factors, other people, other events, and those in turn point me to something else, leaving me feeling with greater closure in the previous areas. All of this comes, of course, at no cost for an outside therapist.

In doing the workshop I realized that these epiphanies that have occurred for me, have come from within me, and they only could come from within me. I am the source for what concerns me, what matters to me and what needs to be cleared or dealt with or looked at. Therefore, I am the only one who can open it up and see if from just the right perspective and see just the right points that I need to. The benefit of the program is that it teaches you this, if you are open to it. It shows you that you are ultimately the best person for yourself – that is, the ‘you inside’ is the best person for the ‘outside you’.

I was thinking about all of this in a larger context as well. When we look at the 17th century scientist Isaac Newton, we see a man who laid forth a new concept for understanding our world. Up until Albert Einstein in the 20th century with his new General and Special Theory of Relativity, this understanding by Isaac Newton of gravity, mass, force, speed acceleration, etc. formed our understanding for the world. It changed how the world sees and thinks about everything, effectively changing the face of science as we know it.

It is my thought that Dr. Progoff’s work is doing something similar. If people could take the course (or at least get the book and use it) they can see the capability they have within them to look back at their lives and work through whatever they need to. This is not to discount therapists and therapies as an adjunct and possible necessity. If one needs professional care during this process, by all means be sure to get it. Bu if therapists can see this program as a new way for them and their patients to find the answers their clients need, I am certain we can go a long way to achieving much faster and more thorough results.

I dare say, Dr. Progoff’s ideas bring a new paradigm to our way of think about our past. The way Isaac Newton changed the world with his new ideas on math and physics, this is the start of a new way of healing for individuals.

Bill Israel

Bill Israel

VERA Recognition for the Board Chair of the EARTH AND SPIRIT SOCIETY

In recognition of his 25 years of volunteer services in the Capitol Regional District of Victoria, Bill Israel was honored in October, 2018, with the VALUED ELDER RECOGNITION AWARD. The award is sponsored by the Elder Foundation of B C and The Institute on Aging and Lifelong Learning at the University of Victoria. The award ceremony was held at the Salvation Army Citadel in Victoria

Nominated by the United Way of Greater Victoria, Bill’s award application was supported with six letters of recommendation from The Restorative Justice Coalition of William Head Institution; Vancouver Island Health Authority; Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Victoria; The Church of Truth, Community of Conscious Living; The Bill Mudge Halfway House (Laren Society), and the Program Manager at William Head Institution federal penitentiary.