Through the Intensive Journal ™ Program of Ira Progoff, PhD
Connect with Your Life Process
at a Deep Level
A classic tool using an integrated system of writing exercises for gaining clarity and awareness for your ongoing development
A 50 year track record of helping thousands reach their unique potential!
Workshops taught internationally (mostly online) by certified leaders under the auspices of Dialogue House
Life Changing Experience
Learn Valuable Techniques
- Contemplative Approach
Selected as one of the 65 most significant books on psychology and spirituality of the 20th century.
Source: Common Boundary, "Simply the Best," Jan - Feb 1999
FATHER RICHARD ROHR DESCRIBES HIS EXPERIENCE IN OUR PROGRAM:
"One of the most profound spiritual experiences of my life came in 1984, during a journaling retreat led by the psychotherapist Ira Progoff. At this retreat, held in Dayton, Ohio, Progoff guided us as we wrote privately for several days on some very human but ordinary questions. I remember first dialoguing with my own body, dialoguing with roads not taken, dialoguing with concrete events and persons, dialoguing with my own past decisions, on and on.
I learned that if the quiet space, the questions themselves, and blank pages had not been put in front of me, I may never have known what was lying within me. Dr. Progoff helped me and many others access slow tears and fast prayers, and ultimately often intense happiness and gratitude, as I discovered depths within myself that I never knew were there. I still reread some of what I wrote over forty years ago for encouragement and healing. And it all came from within me!
Richard Rohr, The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See. (New York: Convergent, 2021), 115. Used with permission of the Center for Action and Contemplation.
WHAT IS THE INTENSIVE JOURNAL METHOD?
An Integrated Series of Writing Exercises
To access and connect with your emotions and experiences. Sample exercises cover personal relationships, career/special interests, life history, dreams and imagery, and spirituality.
Implementing Principles of Depth Psychology
Creates a progressively deepening environment working at a depth level away from your daily routine to become centered and access your inner process.
Work in total privacy in a non-judgmental and non-analytical frame of mind.
The Goals of the Program Include:
Get to know yourself better;
Develop the continuity and direction of your life;
Gain a foundation on your life as you work in its many areas;
Work through issues over time within the context of your life;
Become sensitive to using symbolic imagery as an integrated part of your life;
Develop the spiritual aspect of your life.
Practical Techniques for Working with the Deeper-Than-Conscious
Covers such areas as dreams, imagery, and spirituality;
Each area becomes an integrated part of an evolving life process;
Provide leads for creativity and insight about areas of life.
Apply Spiritual Disciplines
Stresses the importance of spiritual development as a component of overall growth: one of the four dimensions of the Intensive Journal workbook focuses on the subject of Meaning (Process Meditation).
Adopts a neutral set of procedures to connect participants with their beliefs, values, faith, or lack thereof.
Utilizes a reflective meditative approach for connecting with one’s true self.
Certified leaders guide you step-by-step through Intensive Journal exercises;
Offered under the auspices of Dialogue House, the administrative headquarters for the work of Dr. Progoff;
Conducted primarily online through Zoom;
Typically 12 hours in length, spread over 2 days with breaks to pace the work;
Scheduled on weekends and weekdays;
Typical costs are about $225-$245 per 2 day workshop.
STATEMENTS FROM DR. PROGOFF ABOUT HIS APPROACH TO HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
My goal in creating Dialogue House is to provide a place where people can go to work privately in their lives using the Intensive Journal method. Then, after the workshop, they can use the Journal on their own, returning as necessary to the workshops.
Ira Progoff, PhD
CONNECT WITH YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS TO DISCOVER THE REAL YOU
“The Intensive Journal process is our inner workshop, the place where we do the creative shaping of the artwork of our life.”
"Creative persons who reach out for the deeper mystery of reality... are also expressing their seed nature."
“The ultimate task of the new psychology is to reestablish man’s connection to life, to the sustaining forces beyond all intellectual doctrines."
"Events that seem to contradict one another all are part of the unity of process by which a life unfolds."
LEARN A TOOL TO USE THROUGHOUT YOUR EVOLVING LIFE
"The Intensive Journal process is an open-ended means of gaining a perspective on where you are in the movement of your life."
"People become sensitive to the elusive threads of their inner lives when they have a definite way of working with them."
WORK AT A DEEPER-THAN-CONSCIOUS LEVEL
"The method provides an indirect approach to solving our life problems ...we step back and move inward and meet them at a deeper level."
“Outward activity propelled from within is the essence of creative existence.”
ACCESS SYMBOLIC IMAGERY IN ITS VARIOUS FORMS
"The creative person is one who is able to draw upon the images within himself and then to embody them in outer works, moving inward again and again for the inspiration of new source material, and outward again and again to learn from his artwork what it wants to become while he is working on it."
CLARIFY AND DEEPEN THE SPIRITUAL DIMENSION OF YOUR LIFE
"The meaning of life cannot be told; it has to happen to a person."
"Only an experience of a meaningful life can make a person whole."
"For many people the Intensive Journal process has evolved into a spiritual discipline that fulfills the creative role of awakening."
A PIONEER IN DEVELOPING TECHNIQUES FOR PROFOUND SPIRITUAL GROWTH
Beginning in the early 1950s, Dr. Progoff was a leading proponent of the importance of spiritual development as an overall component of psychological healing and growth.
The Cloud of Unknowing
Dr. Progoff wrote one of the leading introductory commentaries and translations on The Cloud of Unknowing by the 14th century anonymous monk as he describes how individuals can become connected to God.
"What is separating man from God is not any physical thing but the state of his consciousness. More specifically, it is man's consciousness of his separateness, of his existence as an individual apart from God that keeps him separated from God. To overcome this awareness of separateness, he must place himself in a psychological situation that weakens, and ultimately dispenses with, the conscious guidance of his personal being. He must permit himself to drop into a condition of unconsciousness, a condition of total unknowing. This encompassing state of unknowing is the cloud of unknowing that covers him in darkness, dulls his awareness of his separate existence, and provides the medium in which his union with God may take place."
Developing Spiritual Disciplines
As a leading psychotherapist, Dr. Progoff stressed the importance of creating a conducive atmosphere and approaches for connecting with your true inner self. He emphasized:
Process Meditation procedures
Process Meditation methods provide an integrated set of procedures for deepening inner experience in the context of your entire spiritual life. They provide an ongoing spiritual discipline for working actively and systematically at an inner level reaching toward an experience of greater meaning.
Direct ongoing experience
"There is no use in one person attempting to tell another person what the meaning of life is. It involves too intimate an awareness. A major part of the meaning of life is contained in the very process of discovering it. It is an ongoing experience of growth that involves a deepening of contact with reality.
Silence and privacy
"Spiritual contact, the awareness of the profounder meanings of life and the experience of its symbols, is an individual endeavor that can be carried through only in the silence of privacy."
Working at an inner level
"When our attention is focused inwardly at the depth of our being in the context of the wholeness of our life, resources for a profound knowledge of life become accessible to us."
Dr. Progoff's work then culminated in his creation of the Intensive Journal method that provided a practical means for implementing his philosophical approach described above. He provided a practical way for ongoing self-discovery and growth to develop your life, including spiritual awareness using his Process Meditation™ procedures.
Intensive Journal Method: A Form of Prayer
The format of the Intensive Journal workbook and its individual exercises, and the workshop atmosphere are some of the reasons that the Intensive Journal method has been viewed as a form of prayer.
Prayer and meditation in the midst of life
Dr. Progoff states that the "Intensive Journal work is indeed a type of prayer and meditation but not in isolation from life and not in place of active life involvement. Rather, it is meditation in the midst of the reality of our life experiences. It draws upon the actualities of life for new awarenesses, and it feeds these back into the movement of each life as a whole."
Atmosphere for prayer
The inward movement of the method creates an inherently meditative quality where the workshops have reminded participants "of profound prayer or of deep meditation." Prayer requires a "special condition of being, an inner state of unity, freed from the interventions of his [her] conscious ego, in which the ground of his [her] being was connected with an at-one with the abiding reality of God."
Being in relationship with God
The essence of prayer is being in relationship with God. A key aspect of the Intensive Journal method is being in relationship with major aspects of your life, including wisdom figures such as God. These exercises help you gain unpredictable insights as you deepen your connection to each area.
Adopting an accepting and non-judgmental approach
Effective prayer requires each of us to bare our soul to God to accept divine wisdom and forgiveness. We work in the Intensive Journal method using a non-judgmental approach, recording both positive and negative thoughts as a way to honestly connect with the full scope of our lives.
Repetitive meditative breathing exercises
The Intensive Journal method uses a repetitive meditative breathing exercise that is called the Mantra/Crystal exercise, to create a great energy and atmosphere for wisdom.
Employing Eastern Religious Traditions
Dr. Progoff was a proponent of employing traditions that are found in Eastern religious traditions. He was a student of Zen master D.T. Suzuki. Dr. Progoff’s methods include:
Adopt a non-judgmental attitude, becoming receptive to working with a full range of experiences and feelings.
Focus inward in a neutral, unbiased way to the source of direct knowing, your true inner self.
Adopt no expectations or time frames for answers to issues or making decisions; awareness comes when it is ready to reveal itself as you adopt an approach of passive receptivity.
Work in silence to become centered and focused to access your inner self.
"Intensive Journal retreats are where I am able to return to myself without distraction, guided through gentle meditations and intriguing prompts to discover the threads weaving through my life. The process leads me to a teaching that is uniquely growing out of my unique life. In the Buddha's dying words, he urged his followers to "Be a lamp unto yourselves" -- exactly what the Progoff process facilitates, as we dive down to find the truths of our own experiences over time."
Sacramento Dharma Center
Wisdom of Life
by Ira Progoff
If I did not believe
That the wisdom of life
Is greater than my own wisdom,
I could not have survived,
But having survived,
It is more than a faith now,
That, great as my wisdom is,
--Almost as great as my will and my desire--
Yet the wisdom of life is greater.
And, as I could not float upon water when I tried to,
Now I can float upon life
In this is my wisdom
And the wisdom of anyone
To know that I know not
How to carry the weight of my existence.
But the waters of life will carry it for me
In their wisdom.
That is the wisdom of life
From which comes all power
And the ultimate glory.
And the greatness of my wisdom lies
In letting life be wise.
Written by Dr. Progoff in 1972.
HIGHLIGHTS OF DR. PROGOFF’S CAREER
“The focus of my work has been to provide methods which will enable people to work continuously in their lives. it gives an inner perspective to guide them through transitions, evoking creative potentials and drawing forth new sparks of spirit as they move towards becoming whole persons.”
Ira Progoff, PhD
Creator of the Intensive Journal Program
First American to Complete His Doctoral Dissertation on the Work of Dr. Carl Jung
Upon reading Dr. Progoff doctoral dissertation, Dr. Jung invited Dr. Progoff to study with him in Switzerland in the early-mid 1950s, with a focus on the latter works of Dr. Jung. Dr. Progoff’s dissertation was published as Jung’s Psychology and Its Social Meaning. He later wrote a book on Dr. Jung’s concepts of synchronicity entitled Jung’s Synchronicity and Human Destiny.
Dr. Progoff presented at the annual Eranos conferences in Switzerland from 1963-1966 with his articles being published in Eranos Yearbooks. Dr. Jung was intimately involved in these conferences prior to his death in 1961. Dr. Progoff published these articles in his book, The Dynamics of Hope.
Wrote a Trilogy of Books on Depth Psychology Describing His Theories of Human Development
The titles are Death and Rebirth of Psychology, Depth Psychology and Modern Man, and The Symbolic and the Real. These works formed the basis for creating the Intensive Journal method
Prominent Advocate for the Integration of Spirituality into an Overall Program for Human Development
Progoff wrote one of the leading introductory commentaries and translations on The Cloud of Unknowing by the 14th century anonymous monk as he describes how individuals can become connected to God.
Created the Intensive Journal Method in the Mid-1960s
Provides a practical way for people of different backgrounds and interests to develop their lives;
Implemented his theories of human development that he termed holistic depth psychology;
Served as director of his organization, Dialogue House Associates, the administrative headquarters for the Intensive Journal program
Taught internationally under the auspices of Dialogue House through its certified leaders.
Refined the Intensive Journal method; professor, lecturer and author.
Added a major section on spirituality (the Meaning Dimension to the Intensive Journal workbook) which he described in his book, The Practice of Process Meditation (this material is now incorporated into the revised edition of At a Journal Workshop (1992).
Conducted hundreds of Intensive Journal workshops nationwide as he refined and developed the method further. Workshops also conducted for low income staff at a geriatric center and for offenders in the criminal justice system.
Graduate school research professor at Drew University in New Jersey studying the lives of creative persons and the processes that made them creative and dynamic.
Well-known lecturer on a broad range of topics related to psychology and spirituality.
Author of numerous published articles on his philosophy of human development and the Intensive Journal method.
Authored Fourteen Books on
The Intensive Journal method;
Meditation (Entrance Meditation readings);
The work of Dr. Jung;
ENDORSEMENTS FROM PARTICIPANTS
The Dialogue House experience is a “must do” for anyone who wishes to explore their inner and outer life in relationship to their world, relationships, spiritual life and more.
I cannot say enough good things about my experience in participating in the Intensive Journal workshop. The process brought me so much clarity on a number of relationship and situational troubling issues in my life. What is fascinating to me is that the program helped me to find the answers and clarifications within my own consciousness.
Santa Barbara CA
I came to the Intensive Journal method at a very difficult time in my life, shortly after my mother died. It was hugely helpful in enabling me to digest what was going on for me, and lovingly witness my own process. At the same time, it allowed me to connect with the larger themes of my life, and understand what I was experiencing in the context of my entire journey.
Now it is a trusted companion, helping me reintegrate forgotten endeavours, access hidden wisdom and move towards ever greater awareness, growth and coherence.
The Intensive Journal program offer much more than I expected. I found a way to access my inner wisdom... The workshop helped with professional direction and transitions.
Transformative is a very mild word to describe the benefits I get from the Intensive Journal method. Every year, I come to the workshops and get a compass for my life. The process takes me both higher and much deeper than any other self-development practice I do. It gives meaning and compass to my life that comes from my own depths, which I find much more valuable, useful, and motivating than trying to get those from an external source. I am deeply grateful to everyone who works together to make this process available
SIMPLE WAYS TO LEARN MORE
We have many ways for you to learn about Dr. Progoff’s pioneering work in depth psychology and the Intensive Journal method. If you find our program of interest, we invite you to join our mailing list and consider attending an Intensive Journal workshop.
Read our two most popular articles
This article originally published in Psychology Today provides an excellent introduction to the program, describing the workshop experience and Dr. Progoff‘s unique background and philosophy.
Dr. Progoff explains his philosophy of human development and key principles and aspects of how he implemented it in creating the Intensive Journal method. Dr. Progoff discusses the importance of each person connecting with their inner nature to realize their potential. He explains how the Intensive Journal method can help us achieve this goal.
“One of the goals of psychology is to help individuals to live and unfold the potentials of their being in terms of the wholeness of their inner nature rather than a partial or fragmented aspect of their outer lives.”
“The creative process in people’s lives takes time to unfold before they can truly realize their potential and know what their lives are trying to become. Before that occurs, people experience cycles of hope and anxiety, success and failure, confidence and uneasiness...
“The Journal provides an instrument that helps people to maintain perspective as they move from the valley of anxiety until they reach the upward phase of the cycle. They learn from these cycles of experience so their awarenesses are enlarged and new capacities are realized. They work through their cycles of experience to realize their potential.”
Listen to a portion of Dr. Progoff’s lecture entitled Active Methods of Spiritual Growth - Develop Meaning in Your Life
Acquaint yourself with the fundamental concepts of Process Meditation techniques, a tangible method for developing your inner life without analysis or intellectual self-consciousness. Covers the importance of drawing from your inner life to enrich your outer existence and vice versa. Dr. Progoff conducts selected Intensive Journal exercises and provides feedback and explanations to audience participation.
Purchase Dr. Progoff’s award-winning book At a Journal Workshop (Rev. Ed. 1992)
Describes each Intensive Journal exercise with background information. An excellent resource to use after attending an Intensive Journal workshop.
"One of the most significant psychospiritual books of the twentieth century."
Common Boundary Magazine Award
Common Boundary’s distinguished committee selected 65 books of the twentieth century which transformed individuals or impacted the fields of psychology and the nature of spirituality, or both. This list included leading figures from the fields of psychology, philosophy and theology such as Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, Martin Buber, Norman Vincent Peale, Carl Rogers, and Rollo May.
Dr. Ira Progoff was selected for his pioneering book on the Intensive Journal method - At a Journal Workshop (original edition 1975).
JOIN OUR MAILING LIST
Receive program updates, including announcements of Intensive Journal workshops;
*Obtain a free copy of chapter 1 from Dr. Progoff’s primary book on the Intensive Journal program: At a Journal Workshop (Rev. Ed 1992)
*You should receive a response within 24-48 hours.
EXPERIENCE A SAMPLE INTENSIVE JOURNAL EXERCISE
One of our certified leaders, Dave Arbogast, will provide you with an overview of the principles for using the Intensive Journal method followed by an opportunity to experience a sample Intensive Journal exercise.
TRY A 3-HOUR INTRODUCTORY SESSION FOR ONLY $25*
This is not a sales pitch; you are learning how to use the method. We let the Intensive Journal method sell itself.
By attending this session, you will have a much clearer idea of what the Intensive Journal method is and whether you want to register for a full Part 1 - Life Context Workshop (LC): Gaining a Perspective on Life, a 12 hour program.
* The $25 rate applies where Dialogue House is handling the registration and includes the registration button on this page. Other organizations that are hosting a 3-hour introductory session may charge different rates and involve a separate registration process.
ATTEND AN INTENSIVE JOURNAL WORKSHOP
An Intensive Journal workshop is truly a life-changing memorable experience. The concepts that you have learned about in this overview will come alive in your life to create a profound experience for your ongoing development.
The workshops are listed on our website. Most are online through Zoom; we are offering a limited number of in-person programs at retreat centers. You will receive announcements about programs that are coming up.
QUESTIONS? CONTACT US!
Contact us at 330-998-6000 or at email@example.com for additional information.
LET'S BE FRIENDS ON SOCIAL MEDIA!
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel. You can listen to sample portions of Dr. Progoff’s Entrance Meditation readings, his lectures, and interviews. Listen to the content of articles that have been converted to audio.