Marla Estes, M.A., teacher, workshop facilitator and writer, is
the founder of The School of the Examined Life. Marla
received her degree from the Institute of Transpersonal
Psychology. Her use of film as an avenue to understanding
ourselves has made her classes a popular event that students
return to again and again.
Her overarching mission is to help students allow the
unconscious to become conscious. This includes working with
the Shadow, “the long black bag we drag behind us,” those
dark aspects of ourselves that we hide, repress or disown.
Until we integrate all parts of ourselves we will never be
Marla’s classes take place primarily in small groups in an
intimate setting, offering a safe place for inner exploration.
Through film, inquiry exercises, relevant readings and group
discussion, students begin the journey inward, inviting all
parts of themselves to be seen and heard. Eventually the
satisfaction of living more and more from one’s depths
becomes its own reward. Students’ feelings about themselves
tend to improve as well as their relationships with others. At
The School of the Examined Life, this life changing passage is
taken seriously, yet humor and laughter inevitably become a
part of the process.
Although she is not a therapist and her classes aren't meant as
group therapy, students often find the experience therapeutic.
Attentively and with empathy, Marla invites students to
experience their own unfolding at their own pace. The close
network of the group provides an additional web of support
for this process. With her experience and expertise, by
providing a safe space for others to explore what is true for
them and by modeling her own vulnerability, Marla allows her
students the freedom to truly become themselves.
Marla lives in Ashland, Oregon and is available to come speak
to your group on tailor-made topics, both locally and in other