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

Magdalene Jeyarathnam

Magdalene Jeyarathnam

“To serve as an essential resource for individuals and individuals who seek assistance with developmental concerns. We provide short-term, culturally sensitive counselling, training, consultation, and other collaborative and programmatic services.”

Magdalene is a certified psychodramatist, psychodrama trainer and supervisor. She is the first Indian Psychodramatist to be trained in India. She started her training in 2009 and was certified in October 2016 by the Australia Aotearoa (New Zealand) board of psychodrama through the Psychodrama Institute of Melbourne. She is elected into the board of Directors of International Association of Group Psychotherapy and Group Processes from 2018 until 2025.

Her teachers included Dr Herb Propper (USA), Sue Daniel(Australia), Dr Jorge Burmiester(Spain/ Switzerland), Saphira Linden(USA) and Donna Little(Canada). Magdalene also founded the Indian Institute of Psychodrama in 2013 in order to pave the way for others in India to be trained and certified within the Indian borders. She has completed almost 30 years in working as a counsellor/ therapist without a break in her career.

She enjoys teaching, art and food.


Aug 1994 – Dec 2004 Counsellor, Substance Abuse Treatment Centre, TT
Ranganathan Research Foundation
Jan 2001 – Aug 2003 Coordinator, Counselling Services SIAAP
Sept 2003 – Feb 2004 Project Director, Health First
Mar 2004 – Dec 2004 Counselling Trainer
Dec 2004 – Feb 2005 Director – Training and Counselling, SAATHII
Oct 2005 – Jan 2007 Counselling Consultant – Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control
  Society supported by UNICEF
Feb 2005 – July 2007 Consultant on various projects 
  Family Health International
Ministry of Health – Bhutan
Ministry of Health – Myanmar
APAC – VHS (USAID Project)
Action Aid International
 Jan 2007 – Current Counsellor / Counselling Supervisor / Psychodramatist
  Founder Director – East West Center for Counselling and Training
June 2013 – Current Founder Director – Indian Institute of Psychodrama

  Experience in working with Organisations on projects

  • Colombo Plan, Sri Lanka
  • National AIDS Control Organisation – TANSACS, APSACS, KSACS
  • UNICEF, Chennai
  • World Health Organisation – South East Asia Region
  • APAC -VHS, Chennai
  • ILO
  • Family Health International – Delhi, Mumbai & Chennai
  • Action Aid International (Tsunami project)
  • Center for Disease Control

  Experience in working with the following Governments

  • Ministry of Health, Bhutan
  • Ministry of Health, Thailand
  • Ministry of Health, Myanmar


  • Situation Analysis study which was documented and made into a CD as IEC tool on Babies and AIDS. Oral Presentation of the same in the International Congress of Asia Pacific of Infection Control (ICCAP), in Melbourne, Australia in 2001
  • Chair person in a session on Coping with HIV – Health Care professionals in the Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University International Conference in Chennai, 2003
  • Presented a paper on ‘Nurse as a Counsellor, at the Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University Conference in 2004
  • Conducted a workshop on “Intercountry workshop on voluntary counselling and testing for HIV/AIDS” for WHO -SEARO/UNICEF – EAPRO, Thailand – 2004
  • Conducted a workshop on “Intercountry workshop on voluntary counselling and testing for HIV/AIDS” for WHO -SEARO/UNICEF – EAPRO, Myanmar – 2005
  • Chaired and presented on Faith and Sexuality Conference at an International Conference held at Asha Nivas in 2009
  • Presented two Expressive Arts Therapy workshops on the Psychological Aspects of Aging at the 15th Annual Conference of Catholic Psychologists of India, held in Pala, Kerala, India – 2014
  • Presented on ‘Psychodrama – For Stress Release” at the National Seminar on Stress and Resilience: In Children, Adolescence, Women and Social Supports Groups in Rajahmundry, India – 2014
  • Presented on ‘Psychodrama: Reducing Stress and Increasing Resilience’ at the International Seminar on Stress and Resilience Techniques in Rajahmundry, India – 2014
  • Presented on Indian Cultural Contexts Around Therapy and Around Using the Arts for Therapy at the International Conference on ‘Contextualizing Cultural Heritage in Literatures’ in Salem, India – 2015
  • Presented on the ‘Clinical Use of Psychodrama’ at the International Conference on Contemporary Trends in the Effective Practice of Counselling, MGR Janaki College of Arts and Science for Women in Chennai, India – 2015
  • Presented a paper on  “Holistic approach towards mental health & effective learning” in Rajahmundry, India – 2017
  • Conducted a preconference workshop using Expressive arts therapy including Psychodrama with teenagers and young adults in The Third Egyptian Association for Group Therapies and Processes EAGT International conference on “Hope, Action and Connection” Cairo, Egypt, 2018
  • Presented a paper on ” Sociometry: A powerful method to forge a strong team within a health care setting” in The Third Egyptian Association for Group Therapies and Processes (EAGT) International conference on “Hope, Action and Connection” Cairo, Egypt, 2018
  • Conducted a pre conference session in The 20th International Association for Group Psychotherapy and group processes (IAGP) conference with Dr. Mona Rakhawy on “Introduction to creative arts: using more than words in our diverse world” in Malmo, Sweden, 2018
  • Presented a paper in The 20th International Association for Group Psychotherapy and group processes (IAGP) conference on “Psychodrama and  Expressive arts in group psychotherapy with sexual minorities” in Malmo, Sweden, 2018
  • Conducted a psychodrama conference workshop on ” Using psychodrama with LGBTQI community in India” in The 2nd IAGP conference and 8th International Psychodrama Congress on “Who Shall Survive?” in Italy, 2019
  • Presented the India Project which is supported by International Association of Group Psychotherapy and Group Processes  and chaired a session in the 2nd IAGP International Research Congress that happened in Thessaloniki, Greece. There was also a presentation made on “Dreams and Trauma” which was pertinent to the theme of the congress.
  • Presented a paper on “Psychodrama- An Expressive Arts therapy” in the 2nd IAGP Research Congress on Trauma and Crisis in Thessaloniki, 2019
  • Presented a paper on ” Introduction to group psychodrama and process group training in India” in the 2nd IAGP Research Congress on Trauma and Crisis in Thessaloniki, 2019
  • Conducted a two day International seminar on creative arts therapy at Women’s Christian College, Chennai, India – 2019
  • presented a paper on ” Exploration of multi sensorial rituals and their significance in healing and therapy experience from India” in the Tibilis university, Georgia, 2019
  • Presented a paper on ” Breaking gangs using sociometry in a prison setting” in Cairo, Egypt, 2020
  • Conducted a preconference workshop on ” In search of well being and joy of life through creativity and applied neuroscience by Eva Fahlstrom Borg and Magdalene Jeyarathnam in Cairo, Egypt, 2020
  • Conducted a plenary session on ” Women are acting and connecting, are they really included? An Indian perspective ” in Cairo, 2020
  • Presented a paper on “A Living myth from India” in The Great Arche online conference in 2021
  • Conducted a workshops in “Exploring dreams through the pandemic” in the 2nd international Teledrama conference “Living the dreams” in 2021 and 2022
  • Conducted a psychodrama workshop in the American Society of Group psychotherapy and group Processes (ASGPP) conference in 2021
  • Conducted a workshop in 2nd IAGP International Psychodrama Conference & 8th International Psychodrama Congress that happened in Iseo, Italy on the 5th of September, 2019. The theme of the conference was “Who shall survive?” and the workshop was on “Using Psychodrama with LGBTQI community in India”. There was another presentation made on “Breaking gangs using sociometry in a prison setting”.

  Work in Tamil Nadu, India

  • Experience in training of Integrated Counselling and testing centres (ICTC) teams for HIV counselling in almost all districts of Tamil Nadu.
  • Counselling and setting up of counselling supervision services of ICTC in TN in 2001-2003
  • Conducting a Situation Analysis study in 4 districts in Tamil Nadu along with the Macfarlane Burnette institute for Medical Research, Melbourne, Australia – 2001
  • Involved in making a documentary on “Babies and AIDS” which is now shown in all PPTCT sites in Tamil Nadu
  • Recruitment of the first batch of counsellors into the ICTC sites for the Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society – 2001
  • Training of counsellors before they joined the ICTC sites in TN
  • Involved in starting a newsletter for counsellors in TN in 2003

Work in different parts of India

  • Consultant for the NACO – TOT training module for ICTC counsellors
  • Developing of Counselling aids like flip charts, checklists for the counselling sessions
  • Developed guidelines for counsellors working in STI clinics for Family Health International, Mumbai
  • Review of Follow up counselling modules developed by Indiaclen – Center for Disease Control(CDC)
  • Writing a facilitators guide for Project Concern International
  • Consultant on Sexual Harassment team in various organizations
  • Board President for Sangama, an organization that works with sexual minorities and sex-workers

Work in Asia

  • Developed the national guidelines for Voluntary counselling and testing centres (VCTC) for the ministry of health in Bhutan funded by the world bank
  • Developed VCTC counsellors training curriculum and conducted the counsellors training for Bhutan
  • Completed inter country training of counsellors in VCTC and the TOT for the World Health Organisation (WHO – SEARO) and UNICEF from 2003 to 2005 held in Thailand and Myanmar
  • Completed inter country training of counsellors for FHI and UNICEF, 2005 in Thailand
  • Review of VCTC guidelines for Ministry of Health, Myanmar; WHO consultancy

Counselling Training & Module development Experience India and beyond (1996 – 2022)

  • Training of women counsellors from S E Asia and the Pacific for Colombo Plan, Sri Lanka on Counselling in substance abuse in TTK hospital, Chennai, 1996
  • Training counsellors in the diploma course in Counselling for HIV/STI this is in affiliation to the Netherlands Stitching Gestalt Foundation (NSG) and SIAAP for the state of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, 2001
  • Training supervisors in supervision skills (for counselling supervision) in affiliation to the Central School of Counselling training, UK. 2002
  • Training teams for the Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society in counselling issues related to Voluntary Confidential Counselling and Testing Centres and Prevention of parent to child transmission of HIV projects for all the district headquarters hospitals and medical colleges in the state of Tamil Nadu 2002/ 2003
  • Training managers, supervisors (Employee Assistance Programme) in industries on the workplace prevention of substance abuse programmes as part of the ILO project, 1995-2000
  • Training post graduate students from Social work, psychology and Counselling as part of their field work curriculum 1996 – 2004 (MSSW, WCC, Stella Maris, MCC, Loyola college)
  • Training NGOs that are funded by TN State AIDS Control Society and Chennai AIDS Prevention And Control Society (CAPACS) in counselling 2001 – 2003
  • Consultant for the counselling training programme for AIDS Prevention and Control Society APAC-VHS, US Aided project
  • Developing and delivering an advanced counselling training programme for the counsellors in the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh 2001 – 2003
  • Training module preparation for community workers, health workers etc for APAC-VHS, US Aided project in 2003
  • Resource person for the city college intervention project of APAC – VHS, US Aided project through the Madras University 2003 to 2005
  • Capacity building workshop for SLANA, centre for treatment of addiction in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2004
  • Training of counsellors for the Psycho social rehabilitation programme for tsunami affected regions in Tamil Nadu for Action Aid International in 2004 and 2005
  • Developing counselling training modules and training counsellors for the Ministry of Health, Government of Bhutan in 2005
  • Training and developing counselling aids for Counsellors in Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society (TANSACS) Oct 2005 to Jan 2007
  • Training counsellors working in Government Hospital Tambaram, on Follow up counselling for Indian Network of Positive people (INP+) and Center for Disease Control (CDC) ongoing project to end in Oct 2007
  • Training Peer Counsellors for Indian Network of Positive people (INP+) for all the districts of Tamil Nadu
  • Peer counselling training (LGBT community) in collaboration with Shakti Center funded by LLH Norway Nov 2009 to Jan 2010.
  • Developed and delivered the Counselling skills certificate course in Stella Maris College – 2011 and 2012
  • Developed 3 modules on – Sexual reproductive Health, Sexual minorities and Basic counselling for tele counsellors for APAC Feb 2011
  • I have developed several training manuals for various organisations -WHO, FHI, APAC
  • I have developed several 4 day training modules for counsellors and therapists which we deliver through East West Center for Counselling and Training
  • Collaborating with Women’s Christian College we have developed a one year diploma course in Expressive Arts Therapy, the first college course on arts therapy in India (2011 – ongoing)
  • Collaborating with Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai on an advanced Post graduate two year diploma course(Part time) 2019 to 2021.
  • Developed a 12 day leadership certificate for Women’s Education Project (WEP) in 2022 and trained young women from Hyderabad, Kaddapa, Madurai and Ramnad using Expressive arts therapy.

Projects currently involved:

  • Founding member of Indian Academy of Supervisors
  • Co – founder of Expressive Arts Therapy Association of India
  • International committee member of American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama
  • Nominated member of the Academic Council of Women’s Christian College since 2018.
  • Elected Chair for organisational membership committee of International Association of Group Psychotherapy and Group Processes (IAGP) (2022 to 2025).

International Work

  •  Running psychodrama workshops in Greece, Italy, Georgia, Egypt, Sweden (2018 to present).
  • Faculty in Granada Summer Academy since 2019 conducting psychodrama sessions for international participants.
  • Running group therapy sessions for Psychotherapists from Ukraine since the war.
  • Recogised as International Trainer for International Association of Group Psychotherapy and Group Processes(IAGP) in July 2022

Brief Profile: Magdalene Jeyarathnam

Pioneering Expressive Arts Therapist & Certified Psychodramatist: With nearly 30 years of experience in counseling and therapy, Magdalene Jeyarathnam is a trailblazer in the field of expressive arts therapy and psychodrama. As a certified psychodramatist, she has worked with individuals, couples, and groups, including family groups, in India and globally.

A Legacy of Impact: Magdalene’s extensive experience spans working with addiction, HIV/AIDS, and mental health issues, collaborating with government agencies nationally, and with UNICEF, and WHO on various HIV related projects. She is the founder of the East West Center for Counselling and the Indian Institute of Psychodrama, India’s first psychodrama training institute.
Leadership & Recognition: Magdalene is a founding member of the Indian Academy of Professional Supervisors. She serves on the board of directors for the International Association for Group Psychotherapy and Group Processes(IAGP). She is a certified “international trainer” of IAGP. She is a co-founder of the Expressive Arts Therapy Association of India. Her outstanding work with the LGBTQ+ communicty and HIV/AIDS has earned her the prestigious Neil Passariello Memorial Award for 2024 by the Amercian Association of Group Psyhcotherapy and Psychodrama(ASGPP)
Certified Psychodramatist, Trainer and Supervisor: Magdalene is the first Indian psychodramatist trained in India. She has learned from renowned experts like Dr. Herb Propper, Sue Daniel, and Dr. Jorge Burmiester. She has run psychodrama workshops in Malmo, Melbourne, Thessaloniki, Antalya, Cairo, Zurich, Istanbul, Los Angeles, Iseo, Pescara and many cities across India.
Passionate & Inspiring: Beyond her impressive credentials, Magdalene is a passionate teacher, nature lover, and art enthusiast. Her dedication to expressive arts therapy and psychodrama has transformed countless lives, and her continued pursuit of excellence inspires others to follow in her footsteps. 

Magdalene Jeyarathnam

Mobile : +91 9884700135