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Michael Wentworth

14 June 2020

In a world of masks and mirrors that serves to alienate us even from ourselves, it is no
small comfort to find a space of sanctuary within the cataclysmic storm.
At the height of the pandemic paranoia during the initial lockdown, I was invited to
participate in a debut Online Journal Therapy Programme that was being offered by
Michelene Benson. Being an avid scribbler and well aware of the cathartic benefits of
expressive writing, I set aside my usual reservations about ‘online-anything’ and agreed to
join the process which provides teaching as well as support and requires an easily-
managed daily commitment of between 15 and 30 minutes of writing over a period of four
days. Michelene provided a daily prompt that afforded participants an opportunity to
practice a specific journal writing technique. 

Being a matriarchal soul journey guide well versed in the principals of applied Jungian practice, Michelene effortlessly held the individual and group processes. She encouraged the depth reflection and helped us all to understand the resulting epiphanies.  Her calm, unruffled demeanor supported us through some very stormy seas as each member of the group came face to face with aspects of themselves that had hitherto remained buried in the sub-conscious.

It was also a very new and utterly amazing experience for me to be part of an intentional
community of seekers who were comfortable enough to share their reflections on their own
strengths and vulnerabilities. And in the witness of this sharing, I for one was able to step
out of my world of isolation and into the embrace of a larger witness. For a brief while, I was
not so alone.

Since that initial foray into Michelene’s magikal realm of Online Journal Therapy, I have
signed up for two additional processes, each as valuable and insightful as that first journey
out to sea with the more-than-capable Captain Miche at the helm. I would encourage
anyone with a real desire to understand themselves better to contact this wonderful soul
journey guide to find out when the next ship sets sail.

Desiree Paulsen

12 June 2020

During this particular time of global pandemic and intense racial pain we are experiencing the Finding New Cheese journey offers a safe holding space to work through personal emotions and be part of a community.  I would definitely recommend this programme to others.

I experienced the journey as a time of deep introspection, challenging my old thought pattern.  It enabled me to build on and acknowledge my strengths which was very affirming.  The process expanded self-awareness as I became more conscious.

I felt absolutely supported and held during the process.  Having a skilled facilitator guided me back to myself in this unstable and volatile context was like a lifeline in a stormy sea of emotions. The sharing from others made me go where I might not have gone if I was on my own.   I found that others were going through similar things and I appreciated being witnessed and seen.  As we shared our responses Michelene offered perspective, great wisdom and honesty. Nothing felt forced - the process flows naturally and is subtly directed by the writing prompts.  They served as guides and markers for learning inputs from the facilitator along the way. In response to the emerging need, Michelene offered a bonus, impromptu, video call midway through the process and I found this to be a huge help. I experienced some intense emotions and I was counselled in a group setting with others who were experiencing the same thing. A safe space was created for everyone and you got go where you needed to.  It was a supportive community.

I most enjoyed the time to reflect – I could ponder and play with ideas and thoughts. I felt it challenged me at times to think counter-intuitively so I tried to go deeper with it particularly around the area of relationships. As others bravely shared their processes, it helped me to open up and I could identify with them as I was experiencing going similar or the same things.  We were able to connect in the group discussions. 

The book is very interesting to work with – a simple story of how we navigate change and yet providing enormous depth and insights once you engage with it more deeply. It was applicable to every area of my life and the current world which is very complex and confusing. This journey was well plotted out and structured which made it manageable to work with in these overwhelming times.  

The facilitator was a sensitive and skilled guide asking the right questions and providing useful inputs to help me see what I was facing in more depth.  Equipped with deeper insights into my own ways of being and a few tools to work with, I was able to navigate my challenges better. The facilitator also helped us to have fun with it when it was appropriate and not take ourselves too seriously. Humour is always a great unifier and ice breaker – she helped us be at ease in the process. Michelene shared her own personal journey as well which helped the group to feel safer with the vulnerability.  She is very knowledgeable on the topic of navigating change and matters relating to the psyche. She is also contextually aware and able to help put things into perspective.

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