For Life on Purpose Episode #26, my guest is psychotherapist, workshop facilitator, and former journalist Kim Schneiderman. She joins me to discuss her brand new book Step Out of Your Story: Writing Exercises to Reframe and Transform Your Life, a self-help writing program designed to help anyone who can compose a simple sentence get a fresh perspective on a familiar story— their own.
As a psychotherapist and freelance journalist, Kim utilizes research-inspired methods to help people who are stuck — in a dead-end job, relationship, or stage of life — to imagine themselves as the star of their own stories with the power to reframe and reclaim their personal narratives.
About Kim Schneiderman:
Kim Schneiderman, LCSW, MSW, is a psychotherapist, workshop facilitator, former journalist, and spiritual essayist who lives and works in New York City. She counsels adults through her private psychotherapy practice and has facilitated therapeutic writing groups at the 92nd Street Y, the JCC in Manhattan, FEGS Health and Human Services, the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services (JBFCS), Art Studio NY, Limmud New York, and various other venues.
When she’s not seeing clients, Kim writes a psychological advice column for the New York, Boston, and Philadelphia Metro daily newspapers, which have an aggregate circulation of roughly 4,000,000 readers. She has also worked as an adjunct professor for the Long Island University’s School of Social Work and served as a Guest Lecturer for NYU’s Post-Graduate Social Work and Spiritual Care certificate program. She also completed a year-long certification at the Association for Spirituality and Psychotherapy in New York.
Before pursuing her MSW at the University of Maryland, Kim worked as a journalist for a chain of weekly newspapers in the Bay Area. Subsequently, she has written dozens of freelance articles, including cover stories, for major Jewish newspapers, including The Jewish Week, the Baltimore Jewish Times, and the Northern California Jewish Bulletin.
Every day we relate stories about our highs and lows, relationships and jobs, heartaches and joys. But do we ever consider the choices we make about how to tell our story?
In this groundbreaking book, Kim Schneiderman shows us that by choosing a version that values life lessons and meaningful personal victories we can redirect our energy and narrative toward our desires and goals. It presents character development workouts and life-affirming, liberating exercises for retelling our stories to find redemptive silver linings and reshape our lives.
As both a therapist and a writer, Schneiderman knows the power of story. By employing the storytelling techniques she offers, you’ll learn to view your life as a work in progress and understand big-picture story lines in ways that allow you to easily steer your actions and relationships toward redefined — and realistic — “happy endings.”
To learn more about Kim and Step Out of Your Story, visit: www.stepoutofyourstory.com.
In JUST the first 10 minutes of our in-depth conversation, Kim and I discussed:
- “Telling our story is a fundamental way that we come to know ourselves and make meaning of our lives.”
- “Story means a journey. That life isn’t just about any particular event. That there’s an element of motion in play. Because your story in constantly unfolding, that means it can move in many different directions.”
- Since she was a young girl, Kim has looked at her own life as a book in which she was the central character.
- “I was an interesting, imaginative kid. I always signed my name, ‘Kim S- in person.’ I really loved reading; I always had my nose buried in a book.”
- “Even as an adult, I would sort of talk to myself in the thrid person. When I was facing a challenge, I would imagine: ‘If I were a character in a story, what would I want to happen right now? What outcome would I root for? And how would I want to see myself evolve?'”
- The premise behind some of the writing exercises in my book.
- Joseph Campbell, Luke Skywalker, and other Jungian archetypes. “I love archetypes and the idea of the hero leaving his familiar place, seeking a better land.”
- “The character that I’ve always most identified with was Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. That was my childhood story. I was definitely always wanting to go over the rainbow and I did when I graduated from school — I moved to San Francisco and the Castro! I felt that I had been a little bit sheltered and wanted to see what was out there. And I returned to the East Coast and had a journey of discovery that in some ways, there’s no place like home. Home is really inside yourself.“
- “Whenever I had a ‘why me?’ moment — times when I felt victimized by difficult people or circumstances, I’d imagine reading about the exact same situation in a novel.”