Experiencing Laura Apol’s “Writing for Healing” workshop was life-changing for me. With her quiet, calm, and experienced guidance I was able to not only face several difficult personal life situations, but I was also able to find enough distance from them so that I could examine them, write about them, listen to constructive critique about the writing, and find real healing in the process.
I have been in workshops with Dr. Laura Apol numerous times. Dr. Apol is a facilitator who always provides safe space for both reading and writing, nurturing the writers in ways that extend far beyond the workshop setting. She is a writer along with us, sharing process as well as actual writings. She offers a safe sanctuary for writing, which is always a healing space. The gifts she gives each of us as writers, honoring our fears and vulnerabilities, resonate long after the workshop. I am a far better writer for having been in the wise and loving learning presence of Dr. Apol.
Rosalie Sanara Petrouske
As a participant in several workshops led by Laura Apol, I have found Laura to have a gift for helping participants through writing prompts and other exercises to examine both joys and griefs they have experienced in their lives. Through self-knowledge, sharing and writing, Laura has helped me and others find a new voice and move toward healing.
About a year ago, I attended a women’s writing retreat hosted by Laura Apol at her lodge high on a bluff overlooking the Grand River in Lyons, Michigan. I appreciated the fact that Laura encouraged me, a fledgling writer, to feel relaxed enough to write that day; and, when I read what I had written, she listened and then responded with humor, respect, and empathy. She helped me to see that my ideas were worthwhile. She created a serene space where we participants could explore our inner selves. This was one of the first writers’ retreats that Laura had organized at that spectacular site. The electricity was out for the first half of that cold day – and Laura showed her resourcefulness and calm ability to handle the unexpected, by guiding us through the retreat with candles and blankets for wrapping up. I look forward to participating in another writing workshop hosted by Laura.
Laura Apol is a gifted teacher whose writing workshops empower students to tap their own deep intelligence and inner wisdom. Her honesty and compassion invite each participant to embark on a journey of self-healing and discovery. Under Laura’s gentle guidance and encouragement, writing becomes a path towards wholeness.
I am immensely grateful to Laura Apol for her sensitive and skillful way of creating and leading writing retreats that are welcoming and healing. I especially benefited from the multi-day retreats, with Laura’s ability to organize our writing experiences and conversation in such a way that I felt liberated to write what I needed to write, to share what I wanted to share, and to listen attentively to other participants in an atmosphere of utmost respect for each person.
Mary P Sharp, M.D.
I had the opportunity to attend one of Dr. Apol’s writing workshops in 2017. She created a very supportive and safe environment for the group. Her prompts and comments were insightful. The experience was rejuvenating which was just what I had hoped to come away with. She is insightful and wise in her ability to educate older students.
Laura’s workshop introduced new concepts for me – new approaches, new ways of unearthing ideas and putting them to work. The workshop was only one day, but it has lived with me ever since. I am grateful that I had that day and I’d love to be able to have it again.
Laura Apol is a gifted guide to the power of writing as a healing art. We laughed, we cried, we savored the light-filled spaces of the ranch. Laura helped us each tell the stories that we needed to tell. I return to my notes and memories from her class over and over again. The week we spent together teaches me still to trust that writing can lead me through confusion, pain or fear to a deeper beauty.
Dr. Melanie Morrison
As the former director of a retreat and study center in mid-Michigan, I know Laura Apol to be a highly skilled designer and facilitator of writing workshops who brings knowledge, expertise, and passion to every workshop she designs and leads. Laura also possesses the experience and commitment required to effectively lead a group that is diverse with regard to race, gender, age, sexual orientation, and spiritual affiliation. Laura led a writing workshop at the retreat center annually for ten consecutive years and the evaluations we received consistently testified to the many ways that Laura inspired participants and called forth the best in them. Several participants who returned each year to take Laura’s workshops told us that they considered Laura one of the finest teachers they had ever encountered.
Dr. Marilyn Frye
As a philosophy professor (now retired) I am an accomplished essayist, but I was never schooled in creative writing and was not very attuned to or appreciative of poetry. I was right to think that my life was impoverished by my lack of access to poetry, as writer or as reader. Laura’s workshops brought me in to poetry, and showed me I was very right to think I had been missing something of great value. She does a beautiful job of designing and running a workshop. The activities she engaged us in were such that each of us could find our separate ways into them from whatever level of skills or kinds of life experience we brought to the moment. She introduced them with enough explanation, and not too much explanation. There was room for everyone to respond uniquely and imaginatively and yet to be doing enough “the same thing” to be participant with others, to be working together. When we shared our writings and Laura responded and facilitated the conversations, we were learning both how to be artists, and techniques/ skills — improving our craft. For me, a lot of it was taking the craft of writing over from one form, where there is a premium on precision and explicitness (leaving little to interpretation) to another where a sort of structured openness to interpretation and multiple readings is where the wealth is. I had a lot to learn about how to write, and how to hear, poetry. Laura’s workshops provide both context and content for that learning. She is a master teacher of the art and the work of creative writing.