What do I do?
I’ve been called a Memoirist’s Midwife, because I’ve helped memoir writers and others to bring their books to ‘birth’. I am a writing coach.
I’m more than that, though. That’s because when we write our past down we inevitably start a process that I call Soul Work.
So what makes my methods so useful? Partly that has to do with experience. I’ve worked for 35 years with the awareness that writing can be an enormously helpful way to explore who we are, and in so doing we can change the way we interact with the world. It doesn’t require much writing to break through to a new awareness. What I’ve seen is that we can become happier, more productive, and more loving if we take the time to check in and reflect on who we are. Most people think talk therapy will do that, and sometimes it will. But often we need to be confronted with our own words so that we can take them seriously, perhaps for the first time.
Over the years I’ve developed a series of writing and visualization exercises that can help this process move along more quickly than ‘standard’ therapy.
If you feel you want to do the personal work of coming to terms with your past, understanding it more fully, and using writing to facilitate that journey, then you might want to contact me. I can do Skype, Zoom and personal sessions.
firstname.lastname@example.org is the best way to contact me.
If you want to know more about who I am, here is a brief Bio. It’s written in the standard third person form, but don’t let that put you off.
Allan was born and educated in England, living in Surrey and Oxfordshire before moving to Boston and becoming a naturalized American citizen. In his youth he lived in Belgium, Italy (Sardinia), and Madagascar as well as England. He received a doctorate at Oxford University in literature with a focus on Joseph Conrad. After graduating he traveled to India, South Africa, Peru, Tunisia and all through Europe. He worked for a time with disturbed adolescents before teaching literature at Farleigh-Dickinson University in Wroxton, England. After moving to Boston he began teaching at Curry College where he is a full professor, now Emeritus. He has also taught prisoners in Massachusetts jails and has a counseling practice.
His work with his father, Jim, an RAF prisoner of war during WW2, on a memoir, From Coastal Command To Captivity, led to an understanding of the ways memoir writing can heal trauma. Allan taught memoir at The Blue Hills Writing Institute at Curry College, and has run workshops at Bay Path University. He has written twelve books.
In his spare time he restores antique motorcycles. He lives outside Boston with his wife and has two adult step-children.