10 Years of the Story Workshop: How it Came to Be and Where it’s Heading Next
Jeanette White is the Program Director at The Allender Center and is a 2010 graduate of The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology with an M.A. in Christian Studies.
People who attend The Story Workshop come from many walks of life.
They are people who are curious to learn more about how the things that have happened to them in life have shaped them into who they are today. They are seeking to understand how their personal experiences from childhood into adulthood have impacted their current way of understanding and relating to themselves, others, and God. The stories they explore may be of neglect, loss, betrayal, or outright abuse and violence. Others may bear harm and pain that is more hidden or obscure, but hold power that is no less defining or important to name and explore the impact on their life.
Ultimately, people who attend The Story Workshop are seeking a level of illumination and care that will lead to emotional healing, resilience, and personal transformation. They walk away with the capacity to live with more confidence, freedom, and joy in their daily lives.
The Story Workshop started out as a small group of people in Seattle with a great idea: to create an event that would allow individuals to engage some of the deepest places of their hearts through powerful teaching coupled with active engagement and exploration of one another’s stories.
This core value continues today, but the program has grown significantly as people get a taste of the experience and invite others to do the same. Attendance has doubled over the past few years and our wait list keeps growing, so to meet the additional demand we are taking this program on the road for the first time to Irvine, California. As we mark our 10th year of Story Workshop we are honored to hold two: June 11-14 in Irvine and August 21-24 in Seattle.
We consider The Story Workshop to be The Allender Center’s quintessential event. It encompasses all of the core messages and experiences that we hold dear: that there is power in your story—in fact, you are a story—it is worth telling, and that the telling is best done in the company of others who have great skills and deep hearts to help you restore and integrate all the truth, beauty, brokenness, and goodness that makes up your life.
We expect The Story Workshop to be around for a very long time, and our hopes for the future include increasing accessibility to participants geographically and demographically, and developing after-care programs such as individual counseling or ongoing small group gatherings in the cities in which it is offered.