Soulful Journaling: Writing Circle for Women in Sonoma County

The soulful journal writing circle in Sonoma County offered by Patty Bechtold of

The whispers of your soul. You hear them, don’t you?

Maybe you hear them when you’re feeling a little empty. Or when it seems like you’re just skimming the surface of life.

And perhaps you’re tired of the routine, the endless to do’s. You’re so ready for something different.

You’re pretty sure there’s more for you.

Call it what you will: soul, spirit, intuition, depth, quiet knowing, essence, core, creative force, the mystery, inner wisdom, higher self.

Whatever you call it, it’s time to give it more room in your life.

And the Soulful Journal Writing Circle is made for you to do exactly that.

That is what the intuition is for: it is the direct messenger of the soul. -Clarissa Pinkola Estes

The Soulful Journal Writing Circle is…

–> mindful + creative

  • Pause, breathe, savor, drop into your senses.
  • Write down into what is just below the surface.
  • Practices that inspire creativity: active imagination, inner dialogues, sense memory, character sketches, future scenarios, metaphor-making.
  • Soulful poetry, prose and other resources to prime the pump.

–> healing + transformative

  • Well documented mental health and wellness benefits.
  • Gain personal insight through immersive experiences of writing, creating, savoring, imagining and giving voice to our stories together.
  • Therapeutic? You bet, but the writing circle isn’t group therapy.

–> intimate + welcoming

  • A small writing circle, no more than eight women.
  • Feel connected, seen, heard and witnessed, and be that for other women too.

A woman needs…an embracing, open-armed space where she can…remember herself. -Sue Monk Kidd

Your Invitation to the Soulful Journal Writing Circle.

patty-bechtold-therapy-counseling-santa-rosa-women-anxiety-depression-writing-circle-portraitHi, I’m Patty Bechtold, and I facilitate the writing circle. I’m a psychotherapist and coach, with training in therapeutic writing.

I’m truly excited to invite you into this intimate and unique experience. Because: I’m a huge believer in the power of soulful journaling!

About a year ago I reached out to several women to see if they wanted to start writing regularly together. We’ve been building something special, and are looking forward to adding new members in 2020 as space opens up.

Writing Circle 2020: FAQ

How often do you meet in 2020, and what are the days/times/location?

We meet 6 times during winter, spring and fall seasons, with summers off.

  • Winter 2020 Dates: 1/8, 1/22, 2/5, 2/19, 3/4, 3/18
  • Spring 2020 Dates: 4/1, 4/15, 4/29, 5/13, 5/27, 6/10
  • Fall 2020 Dates: 9/2, 9/16, 9/30, 10/14, 10/28, 11/11
  • Location: My cozy private office at 725 Farmers Lane, Suite 15, Santa Rosa
  • Day/Time: Wednesdays, 6:30 to 8:30pm

How much does it cost, how do I register, and what’s the deadline to enroll?

  • Cost: $210; pay in full at the time of registration or pay $70/month for 3 months (installment plan only available for credit card payments). Your fee includes handouts and optional writing prompts by text.
  • To Register: Your payment of at least $70 for the first month holds your space. Pay by credit card (full amount or installment) or by check/cash (full amount only).
  • Deadline: Our winter 2020 session is now full. Add your name to our waitlist below to be the first to hear about openings and get registration info.


What are the requirements to join the circle?

We’re welcoming women who want to step away from life’s distractions to write and connect with other women. We also ask for a commitment of at least one season of Soulful Journaling. You do not need to consider yourself a writer to join.

What if I have to miss a session?

We’ll miss you! But we understand that life happens. If you have to miss, you’ll still get the handouts. Depending on my/your schedule, I may also be available for a quick phone chat to catch you up.

What’s your refund policy?

  • Winter circle: Full refund (less a 15% administration fee) before 12/26/19.
  • Spring circle: Full refund (less a 15% administration fee) before 3/11/20.
  • Fall circle: Full refund (less a 15% administration fee) before 8/12/20.
  • Refunds after above dates: Only if another woman wants your spot.
  • Refunds if you have to miss a session: None

How many women are in the circle?

No more than 8.

Soulful journaling will help you…

  • Create or strengthen a writing practice that brings you back to your own deep wisdom
  • Gain insight and inspiration from other women’s stories
  • Find time to regularly visit, nourish and replenish your well
  • Step away from life’s distractions, and reflect/return to yourself


The story of my own soulful writing journey.

soulful journal writing circle for women in Sonoma CountyThis is a photo of my journals from the past few years. They reflect a new story for me, and that’s important. Because the story I used to tell was that I always wanted to be one of those women who say they’ve been journaling since they were 8 years old.

But as my journals stacked up and the months went by, I started to wonder why I kept telling that story. It turned out that my own deep longing for meaningful, shared and soulful writing experiences hadn’t yet caught up to my current reality.

Now, when I look at that stack of journals, I understand how the story has evolved. My journals remind me of what is possible when we long for something deeply and move toward creating it in our lives.

In fact, I often return to my journals, mining for wisdom nuggets that seem like they came from a soulful voice other than my own.

These days, I think of journal writing as a companion that helps me…

  • find insight in the midst of life transitions
  • practice self-care
  • discover the extraordinary in the ordinary
  • reconnect with my wise soul self
  • begin writing a book!

I’d love to support you in bringing soulful journaling into your own life too. I’m happy to answer any further questions you have about it. Contact me here.

And all the while, lost though you may be in the forest,
drop your own words on the path like pebbles

and write your way home.

-Pat Schneider