“Every woman has to learn where her true source of validation is.”
― From The Heroine’s Journey: Woman’s Quest for Wholeness

Welcome to my website, which is devoted to memoir writing and the heroine’s journey. My work explores the mysteries of the psyche, a fascination with mythology and a love of story telling and memoir writing. In 1990 I wrote the best selling book The Heroine’s Journey as a response to Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey. It was groundbreaking at the time and continues to inspire a new generation of women. A critical stage of The Heroine’s Journey addresses every woman’s yearning to create so my blog will explore memoir writing as a powerful creative expression of each person’s desire to understand their life and the lives of their loved ones. My blog will also explore the public policy issues relating to mental health, addiction and the criminal justice system as they affect our world today. I hope you will also visit my photography gallery Changing Woman: Contemporary Faces of the Goddess where I present portraits and interviews of women whose focus is feminine spirituality.

—Maureen Murdock


Joan Halifax Photo by Maureen Murdock

Joan Halifax


Changing Woman

View Maureen’s extraordinary portraits and interviews with women artists, dancers, activists, and writers whose focus is feminine spirituality.


On Memoir, an Interview with Maureen Murdock

Some of the best memoirMemoir Certification Programs you can read are those that are reflective, those which are informed by dreams, myth, and synchronicities, maintains Maureen Murdock, a Jungian-oriented psychotherapist and the author of multiple memoirs and books about memoirs. In other words, there’s a depth psychological perspective that can facilitate, enhance, and deepen the telling of one’s story in a profound way. Murdock is co-leading a 9-month certificate program on writing memoir at Pacifica Graduate Institute starting in March 2017, along with Dr. Jennifer Selig and Dr. Daphne Dodson, and with the participation of Kelly Carlin who wrote her own memoir about her famous father, in part as a result of her education with Murdock at Pacifica. In a recent interview, Maureen was asked to expound on what it takes to produce a good memoir.
> Read the interview

Poets and Writers Recommendation

I’m honored that Poets and Writers recommended my book Unreliable Truth as one of its “Best Books for Writers.”

“The job of writing memoir is to find one’s truth, not to determine the accuracy of what happened; that is history, a testimony, perhaps even an interesting tale. The memoirist, instead, both recounts an event and makes meaning from it.”
– Maureen Murdock, Unreliable Truth: On Memoir and Memory

For Aspiring Creative Writers…

For aspiring writers looking to earn a degree or pursue a career in creative writing, I recommend looking at “The Top Online Bachelor’s in Writing Programs for 2019,” compiled by The Best Colleges.org.

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What’s New

The Heroine's Journey book coverIn celebration of the 30th anniversary of its original publication, Shambhala Publications is reissuing Maureen’s groundbreaking book, The Heroine’s Journey: Woman’s Quest for Wholeness. The new edition of the book will include an updated preface from Maureen reflecting on the last 30 years of women’s experiences and a new foreword by Christine Downing, PhD.

Pre-Order Now. Release date August 18, 2020.

Join Maureen for Women Writing to the World Webinar: In Poetry, Prose, Drama & Memoir

4 week series: Tuesday, April 21, 2020 to Tuesday, May 12, 2020


The International Women’s Writing Guild’s Women Writing to the World Four Week Webinar offers professional and personal insights into crafting prose, poetry, memoir and monologue, as well as exceptional enrichment of your creative life and writing network with women writers from around the world. Choose all or one of the series, featuring featuring four outstanding Guild presenters: Susan Tiberghien (Geneva), Kelly DuMar (Boston), Vanessa Jimenez Gabb (NYC) and Maureen Murdock (CA).

Women writers from around the globe are invited to this one-of-a-kind Digital Village experience, LIVE on Zoom Videoconferencing: April 21, 28, May 5 and May 12, 2020, from 12:00-1:30 p.m. (Eastern US).

Maureen’s Workshop, Women Writing Their Truth: Using Memoir to Write to the World, is on Tuesday, May 12.

In the last several years, with the emergence of the #MeToo Movement, more and more women are not only speaking their truth but they are writing their truth and putting it out into the world. Whether their truth involves interactions with family members, work associates, clergy, politicians or others, women are finding their voice to honor their identity, heal their wounds, and document their achievements. This memoir workshop will encourage you to write what you have never written before and provide you the support to get your writing out into the world through examples from blogs, social media or op/ed pieces in local newspapers.



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Books by Maureen Murdock

Maureen Murdock’s books have enriched the lives of thousands of people and been translated into over a dozen languages.

“Combining personal experience and painstaking erudition, Maureen Murdock’s The Heroine’s Journey shares with us the essence of the female journey. A fine, warm, and insightful book.”
Carol Pearson, author of The Hero Within: Six Archetypes We Live By

The Heroine’s Journey offers a map of the feminine healing process. Murdock writes in a clear and compassionate voice which draws inspiration from her experiences as a mother, artist, and therapist and from the collective wisdom of the community of women on the path of the goddess. This book speaks to each woman who longs for a spiritually alive feminine self, one who is actively engaged in the world, and who embraces the masculine principle as a mirror of herself. The Heroine’s Journey guides the reader in reweaving the threads of her life story into a mantle of empowerment for herself, for other women, and for Gaia, the Planet Herself.”
Patrice Wynne, author of The Womanspirit Sourcebook 

“Maureen Murdock’s important book on the heroine’s journey contains a wealth of insight that is of great value to contemporary Western women. It explores a rich territory of the feminine psyche and opens an understanding of female development that relates not only to personal transformation but cultural transformation as well.”
—Joan Halifax, author of Standing at the Edge

“Though the book is rich with examples drawn from myths and Jungian psychology, it is surprisingly easy to read. The journey requires serious, often frightening, wandering before one’s true identity and power are known. Like the journey Murdock describes, there are no cheap, easy lessons. There are many rich, rewarding lessons, but these are gained only through integrity, courage, and the willingness to meet challenge with all the resources one can muster.”

“Murdock’s personal journey will surely speak to many women, but I hope also to those men willing to hear these newly awakened female voices—and of the feminine in their own souls.”
Utne Reader

“This ‘map for every woman’s quest, with guided imagery, dreamwork, and creative exercises,’ a companion workbook to Murdock’s best-selling Heroine’s Journey, is an eye-opener. My first jolt came while addressing the author’s initial “Question for . . . Reflection,” which was, “Who are the heroines in your life . . .?” I could have reeled off a whole list of heroes, but even one heroine was a stretch. There’s message enough in that, yes? We’d better get working! And this workbook is a great tool, for individuals or for groups. Skillful prompting and multiple techniques guide readers through various stages of recognition, acceptance, healing, and integration of the feminine. Others’ experiences, myths, and fairy tales further combine with personal realizations to produce a much-needed antidote to an affliction of the spirit that haunts us more than we know.”

“Drawing on her background as a psychotherapist, she richly illuminates questions about memory and the self, the way emotions are embedded in metaphors, and the underlying myths of our stories. A pleasure to read.”
—Kimberly Snow, In Buddha’s Kitchen
Unreliable Truth is both a beautifully crafted book about memoir writing and a rich, honest memoir on its own.”
—Susan M. Tiberghien, Circling to the Center

“An incisive, engrossing book…Murdock has beautifully illuminated an important aspect of many people’s lives.”
Los Angeles Times

“Groundbreaking and dynamic. …a moving exploration of the feminine journey from father’s daughter to peer.”
—Brenda Peterson, Nature and Other Mothers

“Murdock’s work should be fundamental to education, not stuck in the ‘enrichment’ category. Our brain thinks in imagery; imagery is part and parcel of symbolic-metaphoric thinking, on which all higher intelligence is based. This book will surely be on my recommended list to parents, teachers, and everyone interested in development.”
—Joseph Chilton Pearce

“Perfect to turn your Monday blues to pink.” — Goodreads

“A fresh look at mental illness written by a mother who loves her son. Family therapist, psychology professor, creative writing teacher — Murdock has it all but the key to unlock her son’s illness and set him free. What I love about this book and what made me want to keep on reading was the voice that told the story — a mother’s voice. I heard the yearning for answers, as well as the shame in acknowledging mental illness in the family. This is a book full of insight even as the reader feels the heartbreak.”
—Julie F. Maloney

“It provides guidance for those going through this first hand, and is an excellent source of information for family members and friends who what to learn more.”
—Rosemary McGlynn