Life Mapping

Stephanie Chong

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Imagine using imagery to share your life story in just one page. Well, that’s exactly what David Oldfield helps people do through life mapping. For 40 years, David has been helping people reflect on their lives in unique and creative ways.

David’s life mapping technique began years ago when he was working with troubled youth whose views of themselves were shaped by trauma and the negative perceptions that others had of them. He used life mapping to help the adolescents create and discover a more balanced perspective of themselves and of their past.

David has applied this technique to his work with older adults. David shares, “The freedom to live full, vibrant, creative lives well into our 90s has never been greater. But no stage of life has remained so untalked about, so mysterious, and so poorly mapped for us than our elder years. Old age is a bit of a frontier, and each of us is crossing it according to our own wits and desires. And those are the stories we want to bring forth and share.”

Through reflection and group discussion, David guides his group in creating their own life map; a map and story that is as unique as the person who creates it. David stresses life mapping does not require artistic skill, and reminds us that we all possess a level of creativity that’s not always tapped into.

If you are interested in learning more about life mapping, you can watch David’s talk which was featured at last week’s NNV Virtual Speakers Series.

Coming up in March, David will guide a small group through a five-week, in-person life mapping experience. The program is so popular that we’ve created a waitlist. If you are interested in being added to the waitlist, please contact us at or 202-935-6060.

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