East West Center for Counselling & Training | Indian Institute of Psychodrama | Magdalene Jeyarathnam | Eric Miller

Dr Eric Miller (PhD in Folklore, MSc in Psychology)

Eric Miller, Ph.D.

Dr. Eric Miller was born and raised in New York City, and has settled in Chennai. He was trained

1) In Storytelling in NYC (by Ms Laura Simms and other Professional Storytellers).

2) In Folklore in Philadelphia (PhD, University of Pennsylvania), and

3) In Psychology in Chennai (MSc, University of Madras; and one-year certificate course in Psychological Counselling, Chennai Counsellors Foundation).

Director, World Storytelling Institute.
Assistant Director, East West Center for Counselling and Training.

Dr Eric Miller

Director, World Storytelling Institute


Assistant Director, East West Center for Counselling and Training https://www.centerforcounselling.org

Dr Eric is a Psychological Counsellor, using methods of Storytelling Therapy (with individual adults, in English language).  He is a founder, practitioner, and trainer of Storytelling Therapy.  Storytelling Therapy is one of the Expressive Therapies, and is a component of Expressive Arts Therapy.

Dr Eric usually teaches the Storytelling Therapy component of the one-year Expressive Arts Therapy course presented by the East West Center for Counselling and Training, and Women’s Christian College. He also trains adults in Storytelling (Parents, Teachers, Businesspeople, Writers, and Performers).  Many of his trainees have become Professional Storytellers.

About Storytelling Therapy

Storytelling Therapy utilises a client’s Life Story, Favorite Stories, and Original Creative Stories to help the client grow and heal.

For more about Storytelling Therapy, please see

“There’s a New Therapist in Town: Storytelling Therapy”, Indian Express, 11 Sept 2019, https://tinyurl.com/11-9-2019-article

About Dr. Eric Miller

Dr. Eric Miller is a native New Yorker, transplanted to Chennai. In NYC, he studied with and worked for professional storyteller Laura Simms. He completed a PhD in Folklore at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia). He has taught college courses in Folklore, Expository Writing, Creative Writing, Analysing Literature, Public Speaking, and Storytelling at St. John’s University, Fordham University, and New York University (all in NYC). In Chennai, he has taught at IIT-Madras; the Image College of Animation, Arts, and Technology; and the University of Madras (Dept of Communication and Journalism). In 2007 in Chennai, Eric co-founded the World Storytelling Institute, which he directs. He also directs the annual Chennai Storytelling Festival, which began in 2013.

Dr. Eric has earned a Master’s degree in Psychology from the University of Madras, and has completed a one-year course on Psychological Counselling
conducted by the Chennai Counsellors Foundation. He practices and gives training in a form of Storytelling Therapy ( http://www.storytellinginstitute.org/2.pdf ). He usually teaches the Therapeutic Uses of Storytelling component of the one-year Expressive Arts Therapy course at Women’s Christian College. Dr Eric has also worked in the video industry, in which he specialises in facilitating videoconferences.

Dr Eric leads a variety of Storytelling-related Workshops and Courses for individuals and groups, including,

* Course on Exploring Stories through Drama (with Ms Magdalene Jeyarathnam), https://www.centerforcounselling.org/courses/exploring-personal-stories-through-drama

* Course on Storytelling Therapy, https://storytellingandvideoconferencing.com/3a.html

* Workshop on Storytelling Therapy, http://storytellinginstitute.org/22p.html

* Storytelling Workshop for Adults, http://storytellinginstitute.org/22.html

* Storytelling Workshop for Teenagers, http://storytellinginstitute.org/22c.html

* Storytelling Workshop for People in the Business World, http://storytellingandvideoconferencing.com/97.html

* Storytelling Workshop for Teachers,


As a Visiting Professor, Dr Eric has taught college courses in Writing Essays, Creative Writing, Writing about Literature, History of USA Drama, The Modern Short Story, The Folktale, Public Speaking, and Storytelling –

1) In New York City, 1998-2002, at St. John’s University, Fordham University, and New York University.

2) In Chennai, 2008-2017, at IIT-Madras, University of Madras, and Image College of Animation, Arts, and Technology.

Contact Info:

Dr Eric Miller


(Chennai) 98403 94282

Immediate Academic Goals

  • To teach at Colleges, Universities, and Institutes in Chennai and elsewhere in India, in-person and via videoconference.
  • To facilitate videoconferences for Faculty Members and Students.
  • To lead various types of Storytelling and Story Writing Workshops.
  • To theorise and practice “Storytelling Therapy”, along the lines of Drama Therapy.
  • To develop interactive, collaborative, and project-based teaching-and-learning methods.

Teaching interests include

  • Story Analysis. Story Writing (Creative Writing). Storytelling. Acting.
  • Ways to conduct “Storytelling Therapy”, one of the Creative Arts Therapies, and a component of Expressive Arts Therapy.
  • Public Speaking. Soft Skills and Communication Skills.
  • Expository Writing (the Writing of Letters, Research Essays, Persuasive Essays, Dissertations, etc).
  • Tourism and Museum Studies: Specialising in Eco- and Cultural-Tourism, and focusing on Sea-Fishing Communities along Tamil Nadu’s eastern coast, and Tribal Communities in Tamil Nadu’s western mountains.
  • History of Communication (emphasis on Videoconferencing and other forms of Interactive Telecommunication).
  • Teaching via Videoconference.

Research Interests include

  • Storytelling (Oral Narrative), in conversation (Conversation Analysis), performance, and ritual. Therapeutic uses of storytelling (storytelling as a healing art).
  • Storytellers’ visual accompaniments. Narrative as presented through various communication technologies.
  • Communication technologies (oral, literary, and electronic). Interactive telecommunication, especially Videoconferencing (design, sociological, and regulatory issues).
  • Educational uses of technology. Methods and technologies for teaching written and spoken languages. Methods of simultaneous translation.
  • Folklore in relation to Education, Tourism, and Business. Eco-Tourism, Cultural Tourism.
  • Tourism Studies and Museum Studies (especially “Living Museums”, in which the objects on display are still in everyday use, and are explained by community members).
  • Tamil Nadu’s Sea-fishing Communities, and Tribal Communities. Culture and Nature.
  • The Epic of the Anklet, Silappathikaram.


  • MSc in Psychology, in process (graduation projected for 2016). University of Madras.
  • PhD, 2010. University of Pennsylvania, Folklore Program (Philadelphia). Dissertation, “Ethnographic Videoconferencing, as Applied to Songs/Chants/Dances/Games of South Indian Children, and Language Learning”, www.storytellingandvideoconferencing.com/280.html.
  • MA, 1996. New York University, Gallatin School of Interdisciplinary Studies. Self-designed course of study in “Storytelling Studies”. Thesis, “Storytelling Accompanied by Visuals”, www.storytellingandvideoconferencing.com/15.html.
  • BA, 1984. New York University, Gallatin School of Interdisciplinary Studies. Area of Concentration: “Cultural History of the West”. (Also studied at Swarthmore College, and Oberlin College.)

Work Experience

Jan-Dec 2012.
Guest Faculty,
Indian Institute of Technology – Madras.
Short Story Classics, Jan-April 2012.
Creative Writing, August-Dec 2012.

April 2008 – June 2011.
Professor of Story and Storytelling,
Image College of Animation, Arts, and Technology (Chennai).
Subjects taught: Storytelling, Story Writing (Short Stories and Screenplays), Public Speaking,
Art History, History of Communication Technology, Academic Writing and Research.

2007, to present.
Co-Founder and Director,
World Storytelling Institute (Chennai), www.storytellinginstitute.org .
Leading Storytelling Workshops for Parents, Teachers, Therapists, Screen Writers,
Corporates, etc.

Spring 2002.
New York University, School of Continuing and Professional Studies (NYC).
Course: Storytelling.

Fall 2001 – Spring 2002.
Fordham University, Department of English, Lincoln Center campus (NYC).
Adjunct Professor.
Courses: Expository Writing (twice), Introduction to Literature (twice).

Fall 1998 – Spring 2001
University of Pennsylvania, School of Arts and Sciences (Philadelphia).
Teaching Assistant (for Prof Roger Abrahams, Folklore of the African Diaspora), Spring 1999.
Teaching Assistant (for Prof Franklin Southworth, Male-Female Communication, East and
West), Fall 1998.
Research Assistant (for Prof Roger Abrahams, Folklore Program), Fall 1999 – Spring 2001.

Fall 1996 – Summer 1998.
St. John’s University, Division of Humanities, Staten Island campus (NYC).
Adjunct Professor.
Courses: Public Speaking, Expository Writing (twice), Introduction to Literature (twice),
The Modern Short Story (twice), American Drama, The Folk Tale.


  • Child Development, Arts Therapies, Education — and Storytelling“, Teacher Plus Magazine (Hyderabad), Nov 2014, www.storytellinginstitute.org/888.pdf.
  • Marina Beach Deserves a Living Museum“, Deccan Chronicle, Chennai edition (10 Nov 2013), www.storytellinginstitute.org/12.jpg.
  • Storytelling in the Age of Videoconferencing“, New Moment Magazine for Art and Advertising (Belgrade, Serbia; and Ljubljana, Slovenia) (Nov 2013), www.storytellingandvideoconferencing.com/55.pdf.
  • Videoconference Interviews in the Folklore Classroom”, Folklore and Education E-Newsletter of the American Folklore Society, Spring 2008, www.storytellingandvideoconferencing.com/7.pdf.
  • In Praise of Citizen Kannagi”, The Hindu (Chennai edition), Op-Ed Article, June 16, 2006, p. 13, www.storytellinginstitute.org/14.pdf.
  • Public Presentation of Folklore: Politics of Technology, Culture, and Discourse”. In Folklore as Discourse, M.D. Muthukumaraswamy, ed., Chennai, National Folklore Support Centre, 2005, pp. 211-27, www.storytellingandvideoconferencing.com/23.pdf.
  • The Asian Century of Folklore Scholarship: Reflections on the Chennai Conference”. Editorial in Indian Folklife (the Newsletter of India’s National Folklore Support Centre, Chennai) Vol. 3, No. 2, (March 2004), pp. 3-6, www.storytellingandvideoconferencing.com/16.pdf.
  • Cultivating a Forest Language: Development Ideas for Kani Tribal People of Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari District”, co-authored with Velmurugan Kani. In the Proceedings of the First Annual Conference of the Kanyakumari Academy of Arts and Sciences, Nagarcoil, 2004, www.storytellingandvideoconferencing.com/22.pdf.
  • The Public Sphere, Folklore, and Interactive Telecommunication in Rural India”. In Folklore, the Public Sphere, and Civil Society, Molly Kaushal and M.D. Muthukumaraswamy, eds., New Delhi and Chennai: Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, and National Folklore Support Centre, 2004, pp. 303-12, www.storytellingandvideoconferencing.com/8.html.
  • Book Review: Changing Tribal Life: A Socio-Philosophical Perspective”, Indian Folklore Research Journal (Chennai), Vol. 1, No. 3 (2003): 113-118, www.storytellingandvideoconferencing.com/8.pdf .
  • Child’s Play, Language Teaching and Learning, and Videoconferencing”, Madhyam: Issues in Culture, Communication, and Development, Bangalore, Vol. 18, No. 2 (Oct. 2003): 13-19, www.storytellingandvideoconferencing.com/6.html.
  • Tamil Nadu’s Silappathikaram (Epic of the Anklet): Ancient Story and Modern Identity”. Self-published booklet, Madras, 1991, www.storytellingandvideoconferencing.com/18.html.

Papers Presented

20 September 2013.
“The Value of the Multi-Discipline Approach to Research”, Kanyakumari Academy of Arts and Sciences, Annual Meeting. www.storytellinginstitute.org/28.pdf.

2 August 2011.
“Aspects of the Storytelling Revival in India”.
Seminar on Dynamics of Religious Trajectories: Continuities and Changes, Traditions and Improvisations”, at MOV Vaishnav College for Women, Department of Sociology, Chennai.

24 June 2010.
“Methods and Options for Videoconferencing in Relation to the Tamil Language”, International Forum for Information Technology in Tamil, at the Chemmozhi Conference, Coimbatore. www.storytellingandvideoconferencing.com/28.pdf.

21 April 2010.
“Educational Uses of Videoconferencing”. Conference on Embedding Information and Communication Technology in Higher Education, at N.K.T. National College of Education for Women, Dr Besant Road, Triplicane, Chennai.

11 February 2009.
“Storytelling and Place: The Sea-Fishing Communities of Chennai”. Conference on Regionalism and Nationalism in Literature, University of Madras, Department of English.

7 December 2009.
“Story and Storytelling Tourism: Kinds of Eco-Tourism”. Conference on Environmental Issues in Emerging and Advanced Economies: Canada and India. At Gujarat University, Ahmedabad.

16 September 2009.
“Storytelling Eco-Tourism, and the Places of Kannagi Tour”. Conference on Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability in India and Canada: Approaches and Strategies, at University of Madras.

5 January 2007.
“Cultural Tourism in Chennai’s Fishing Villages”. Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, at University of Madras.

20 July 2006.
“Storytelling and Videoconferencing”. Keynote Speech, Storytelling in Higher Education Special Interest Group Pre-Conference, USA National Storytelling Conference, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

20 June 2006.
“Ethnographic Videoconferencing”. Guest Lecture, Stella Maris College, Department of Sociology, Chennai. www.storytellingandvideoconferencing.com/44.pdf .

28 July 2005.
“Nature and Language: Nature-related Proverbs of Kanikaran Tribals”. Guest Lecture, with co-presenters, Velmurugan Kani, and Rajammal Kani. Association of British Scholars (Chennai Chapter), and Department of Tamil Language. University of Madras, Marina Campus Auditorium. www.storytellingandvideoconferencing.com/22.pdf.

21 August 2003.
“Chennai and Videoconferencing”. International Forum for Information Technology in Tamil, Chennai, www.storytellingandvideoconferencing.com/07.html.

27 September 2002.
“Videoconferencing and the Teaching of Tamil Language and Verbal Arts”. International Forum for Information Technology in Tamil (annual conference), San Francisco, ww.storytellingandvideoconferencing.com/87.html

16 August 2000.
“The Performance Tradition of Villupattu in Rural and Urban Contexts”. Guest Lecture, University of Madras, Department of Tamil Literature. 10 August 2000.
“Storytelling in Different Cultures”. Guest Lecture, University of Madras, Department of Indian Music.

21 October 1999.
“Videoconferencing for Folklorists”. American Folklore Society Annual Meeting, Memphis, Tennessee, www.storytellingandvideoconferencing.com/52.html.