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

Psychodrama and Fairytales (Chennai 2024)

Along with the protagonist let’s go on a quest

Location: Chennai
Dates: 5, 6, 7 July, 2024

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER https://forms.gle/Ni6eyU5FBvTfoAMV8

Workshop Description:

In this Workshop we would work with two or more fairytales. Archetypal (universally-familiar) situations, relationships, characters, and emotions in these stories would be identified and explored.  Through Psychodrama we would 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 would increase our awareness of various perspectives.  We might also gain more empathy and compassion towards, and understanding of, ourselves and those around us.

This is an immersive workshop, you will experience the timeless tales from a fresh perspective. So, let’s go on a quest to unlock hidden insights, embarking on a journey of personal growth.
The treasures you may find are:

  1. Self-Discovery through exploring the rich symbolism of fairytales.
  2. Healing and Catharsis by engaging in psychodrama exercises that provide a safe space for emotional release and healing.
  3. Fostering Personal empowerment and resilience by learning how to apply the lessons of fairytales to your own life.
  4. Developing better communication skills, empathy, and understanding through interactive psychodrama method.
  5. Reawakening creative thinking and imagination, offering fresh perspectives and solutions to life’s challenges.
  6. Connecting with like-minded individuals, forming a supportive community that extends beyond the workshop.
  7. Integrating the insights gained from fairytales and psychodrama into your daily life, leading to personal growth and more fulfilling relationships.

Fees: (for 3 days workshop)

Early bird (Until July 1)Rs.9,999/-
Full price (from July 2)Rs.11,999/-

Anniversary offer: Applicable only for 1st time psychodrama participants

Early bird (Until July 1)Rs.4,999/-
Full price (from July 2)Rs.5,999/-

Course Facilitators: 

Ms. Magdalene Jeyarathnam is the first Psychodramatist to be trained in India. She uses Psychodrama to work with individuals, couples and groups. Magdalene is the Founder and Director of the Indian Institute of Psychodrama, which is the first Psychodrama training institute in India. She uses Psychodrama to promote mental health with several marginalised communities, such as sex workers, children infected and affected by HIV, people living with HIV, and LGBTQI+ people. She is completing 30 years as a Group Psychotherapist. The American Society of Group Psychotherapy & Psychodrama (ASGPP) recently bestowed the Neil Passariello award on Magdalene for her work with Psychodrama. Magdalene is currently completing her doctoral study regarding ways of improving mental health through the use of Psychodrama and other Creative Arts. Magdalene’s TED Talk on Psychodrama is at

Dr. Eric Miller is the Director of the World Storytelling Institute, and is the Assistant Director of the East West Center for Counselling and Training. He was trained in Folklore in Philadelphia (PhD in Folklore from the University of Pennsylvania). And he was trained in Psychology in Chennai (MSc in Psychology from the University of Madras, and One-year Course in Psychological Counselling from the Chennai Counsellors Foundation).

Notes about Fairytales (from Dr Eric Miller)

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.

These stories are composed in-part of re-cycled pre-Christian Goddess lore (note the fairy godmothers, and the old women who live in the forest and who have special powers).

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 often 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”. 

Some Psychological Interpretations of Aspects of Fairytales

All elements of a story can be seen as representing aspects of the teller’s (and the listener’s) psyche.

1) Beheadings: Characters, especially men, who have their heads cut off and placed on stakes. This can represent that the beheaded individuals were arrogant, and needed to be “cut down to size”.

2) Marriage: One’s new spouse can represent an aspect of oneself that one has discovered and developed recently. Taken this way, marriage represents awareness and integration of previously unconscious aspects of one’s psyche. Carl Jung called this “individualation” (becoming a mature individual).

3) Being under a wicked spell: Being cursed to sleep, to be an animal, or in any other way can represent a lack of psychological development in one’s self. That is, a development that has not yet occurred. Breaking the spell can represent re-starting the development.

4) “True love’s first kiss”: This can represent human contact, relationship.

5) A long deep sleep, and dreaming: This can represent a process of self-learning, integration, and healing. This can also represent a shamanic journey to divine realms.

6) Physical destruction and death of wicked characters What happens to these characters can represent discontinuation of negative personality traits in oneself.


The fairytales we often use in this workshop are listed and described here.

To discuss any aspect of this workshop please contact us at: 9884700104 / 9884700135


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