The Legacy of James Birren – UBC Day 3
Discovering James Birren
The Legacy of Dr James Birren has inspired me. How I came to discover James Birren is a story in itself. Until September 2019, I had never heard of him. It was in that month that a strange image appeared on my computer screen. It was about the sale of a book about some women in New South Wales, written in 1989, all members of the Older Women’s Network there. Why it would appear as it did is a mystery.
I wasn’t interested initially but thought a friend, who is the National President of OWN Australia, may be. So I sent the information to her. She asked me to buy the book and send it with another friend who was visiting Sydney the following week.
Buying the Book
The book was being sold through a book shop, and I found my way there, as I journeyed to the Gold Coast to house sit. When I settled in, I put my feet up and read part of the book. It was then that I discovered the story of Guided Autobiography and James Birren. I was starting to learn of the Legacy of Dr James Birren.
I spent several hours investigating James and the story of GAB, and printed out quite a few pages of information.
About James Birren
He was born in 1918, in Chicago, USA, and died in 2016, having lived an extraordinary life as a teacher and early pioneer of Gerontology. Read the Wikipedia entry here.
It was James Birren who created the Guided Autobiography method of recording the stories of one’s life in the 1970s and wrote several books on his system. He created the Birren Centre, which continues on his wonderful work. Read more about it here.
My Next Journey
I was so inspired by the story, and as someone who has always been interested in life story writing, I made inquiries about doing the GAB Course, and eventually enrolled in training through an instructor in Canada. So on January 10th, I will start to learn more about Dr James Birren and his GAB system.
Hopefully, afterwards, I will be able to run courses, based on the system.
A Collection of Books
If you are interested in being a GAB Instructor or taking part in a GAB program, please let me know. There are other instructors around Australia too.