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

Exploring Fairytales through Psychodrama

Indian Institute of Psychodrama in collaboration with the World Storytelling Institute is announcing a 5 weekend workshop on “Exploring Fairytales through Psychodrama” – A workshop via Zoom – Ten three-hour sessions

About the Workshop

The classic oral tradition fairytales now known world-wide came into being primarily in Europe, Scandinavia, and the Slavic countries in the centuries after Christianity was implemented, and are composed in-part of re-cycled pre-Christian Goddess lore (note the fairy godmothers, the old women who live in the forest and who have special powers, etc).  Fairytales tend to concern the need for the feminine principle (feelings, fertility, nature, love, connection) to join the masculine principle in order to create mature individuals and cultures.  Fairytales take place in a magical realm in which all matter can be transformed instantly.  This realm is the opposite of the laborious, mechanical, scientific realm.  In fairytales, just wishing can make it so (sometimes). 

The principle of reciprocity is paramount in these stories: Mother Nature rewards kind and generous characters; while greedy characters come to bad ends. Fairytales are mostly coming-of-age stories.  Early in a fairytale, the protagonist may seem to be a failure.  The protagonist can’t do things like everyone else can — often due to being dense and/or authentic.  This sometimes leads to the protagonist being sent away from home.  Fairytales present the adventures of young people struggling to make their ways in the world.  In spite of obstacles and pitfalls, fairytale protagonists may accomplish tasks, and gain wisdom and wealth.  The protagonist may undergo trials which may lead to inner and/or outer transformations.  These stories often portray suffering and renewal, and loss and finding of fortune — and of self. Protagonists of fairytales often move to the next stage of life with help from magical allies — friends and teachers found along the way are often essential to the protagonist’s success.  The fairytale protagonist often has a deep connection with the natural and supernatural worlds.  For example, this character can often understand animal languages.  Fairytales typically end with the protagonist’s marriage.  Having earned a treasure and a wonderful life-partner, the protagonist is now on track to “live happily ever after”.

In this Workshop we would work with nine stories: five fairytales collected by the Grimm brothers in Germany in the early 1800s, one traditional story from England about fairies, and three stories from India.  The list of stories is here.

Through Psychodrama we would seek to enact and experience the issues, conflicts, and choices of the characters of the stories, and we would seek to discover related elements in our own lives. In the process we might come to understand various perspectives and as a result might gain more empathy and compassion towards ourselves and those around us.

About the Trainers

Facilitators: Eric Miller and Magdalene Jeyarathnam

Ms. Magdalene Jeyarathnam (of Chennai, India) is a longtime therapist, Expressive Arts therapist, psychodramatist, psychodrama trainer and is the Founder-Director of the Indian Institute of Psychodrama (IIP).  She is a pioneer in bringing Psychodrama, and Psychodrama training, to India (including in partnership with Indian universities).  Magdalene’s TED talk on Psychodrama is at https://youtu.be/CfDUUugbTeY

Dr. Eric Miller (a native New Yorker, settled in Chennai) is a developer of “Storytelling Therapy” and especially “Fairytale Therapy. Storytelling Therapy methods are also useful for Life Coaching, and Personality Development (of self and others).  Eric is a therapist and also a story-writing and storytelling trainer and coach.  He is a co-founder of

1) the World Storytelling Institute (an NGO based in Chennai), and
2) the Indian Storytelling Network, and is the founder of
3) the Storytelling Therapy Association of India,
4) the Chennai Storytelling Festival, and
5) the Storytelling by and for Adults series (on the first Monday of each month).


Sat 29 and Sun 30 May.
Sat 5 and Sun 6 June.
Sat 12 and Sun 13 June.
Sat 19 and Sun 20 June.
Sat 26 and Sun 27 June


8:30 AM – 11:30 AM (New York- USA) / 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM (Rome- Italy) / 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM (India)


For participants from India: Click here to Register

For Participants outside India: Click here to Register

This is a 10 session (5 weekend) online certificate workshop that enables you to attain the experiential value of psychodrama by exploring different stories.

For more information and queries, contact us on 9884700104/106/135

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