The Call to Adventure: Leaving the Known for the Unknown
Central Themes and Issues: Separation and Letting Go; Transitioning from Dependence to Independence; Living Life as a Purposeful Quest; Charting One's Journey So Far
Finding Your Path: Discovering Your Uniqueness
Central Themes and Issues: Independence and Autonomy; Defining Oneself in One's Own Terms; Feeling A Sense of Place and Purpose; Balancing the Need to Fit In with the Yearning to Express One's Uniqueness; Exploring Similarities and Differences (ethnic, gender, familial, age); Uncovering Personal Values and Visions; Honoring Others for Who They Are; Appropriate Risk Taking
The Labyrinth: Walking The Road of Trials and Obstacles
Central Themes and Issues: The Possibilities and Limits of Personal Power; Testing Oneself; Submitting to the Ordeals of Living; The Nature and Deep Purpose of Suffering; The Value of Failure; Sacrifice; Serving Things Greater than Yourself; Proving; Natural Limitations; Death and How to Live With It & Learn From It
The Wood Between The Worlds: Sharing Your Gift With Others
Central Themes and Issues: Incorporating New Insights and Strengths into a Cohesive New Sense of Self; How to Handle "Feeling New"; Distilling One's Personal Gifts & Learning How to Offer Them; Expressing the Beauty of the New You
The Ceremony of Passage: Honoring the Transformation
Central Themes and Issues: How to End One Phase of Life and Begin Another; Changing Status (in families, with peers); Celebration; Honoring Each Other (the parallel passage of parents as their children grow up); Renewal; The Commerce of the Creative Spirit
If these themes sound ominous and serious, our means of engaging them is not. We use every imaginative means at our disposal to help adolescents experience and express their lives creatively. We make masks. We play improvisational games. We make maps of our lives. We imagine ourselves as heroes on our quests and draw and write about what we find along the way. We create sharing circles to deal with the difficult struggles of growing up. What we don't do is judge, analyze or criticize. Ever.
The Journey is roughly 40 hours of experience, broken into the five phases mentioned above. Written in 1987, some 50,000 copies have been sold, for use in 43 states and six foreign countries. Those guiding the program have found myriad uses for The Journey. It has been offered as curriculum in middle and high schools and colleges. As summer camps. As a therapeutic tool in mental health treatment centers. As a "wake up call" to young people in trouble with the law for the first time (first offender programs). As the basis for spiritual growth and development in confirmation classes and religious education.