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Dramatherapy with Myth and Fairytale


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Table of Contents

Foreword by Alida Gersie. Introduction by Jenny Pearson. Part I. Working with Myth and Fairytale. 1. Getting into a Myth Session: Warming up and Bridging in. 2. Entering the World of Stories. 3. Entering and Leaving the Place of Myth. 4. Making Space for Soul Talk: Recent Research. Part II. The Stories. Abu Kasem's Slippers, Iraq. Akinidi and the Coming of Happiness, Siberia. Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Medieval Arabic, Arabian Nights. Amaterasu the Sun Goddess, Japan. Ash, Native American. The Bad People, Sesame Original. Beauty and the Beast, French Fairytale, Perrault. The Boy who Lived with Bears, Native American. Cap-o'-Rushes, English Fairytale. Chiron the Wounded Healer, Greek Myth. Coyote and the Land of the Dead, Native American. Creation Myth, The Mayans. Demeter and Persephone, Ancient Greek Myth. Elidore, Wales. Eurynome and the Egg of the Cosmos, Greek Creation Myth. The Flowering Tree, Native American. Forever-Mountain, Japan. The Great White Bird, Bushmen, South Africa. The Handles Maiden, German Fairytale, Grimm. The Healing Herb, Sesame Original. The Holy Grail, British Legend. The Hymn of the Pearl, Gnostic Story, Middle East. In the Beginning, Native Australian. Inanna in the Underworld, Ancient Sumer. Iron Hans, German Fairytales, Grimm. Jumping Mouse, Native American. Kaang, Bushmen, South Africa. King Laurin, Austria. Korozuka, Japan. The Lion, the Young Man and the Black Storm Tree, Bushmen, South Africa. The Little Earth Cow, Fairytale from Alsace. Loki and Baldur, Norse Myth. The Magic Drum, Canada, Inuit. Mella, African Story. The Mysteries of Orpheus, Greek Myth. The Myth of Er, Greece, Plato. Prince Ring, German Fairytale, Grimm. Psyche and Eros, Greek Myth. The Queen Bee, German Fairytale, Grimm. Rapunzel, German Fairytale, Grimm. The Sacred Gift of Song, Dance and Festivity, Inuit Legend. The Seal Wife, Scotland. The Snow Queen, Denmark, Hans Christian Anderson. The Star Woman, Bushmen, South Africa. Stone Soup, European Folk Tale. The Story Bag, Korean Folk Tale. The Tengu, Japan. A Thorn in the King's Foot, Scotland, The Travelling People. Thousandfurs. German Fairytale, Grimm. The Three Feathers, German Fairytale, Grimm. The Three Little Pigs, English Fairytale. Tiddalik the Frog, Native Australian. The Twin Warrior Heroes, Native American. Water Jar Bar, Childhood of the Human Hero, Pueblo Indian. Whisky Jack, Native Canadian. The White Snake, German Fairytale, Grimm. Appendix. References. Further Reading. Index of Stories. Index.

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The advantages of using myth and fairy tale as a central theme in a therapy session using the Sesame approach

About the Author

Jenny Pearson is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist (BPC) in private practice. Jenny trained as a dramatherapist and taught on the Sesame Course at the Central School of Speech and Drama. She also edited Discovering the Self through Drama and Movement: The Sesame Approach, published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Mary Smail is Director of the Sesame Institute and has taught Myths and Clinical Practice on the Sesame Course. She is a dramatherapist and Re Vision trained psychotherapist (UKCP). Pat Watts was a psychotherapist and drama teacher. Pat led the Sesame Course and was its first Myth tutor.


I found each chapter very readable, stimulating and I was left enthused and inspired to try some of these ideas... But the heart of the book are the stories themselves and they are a treasure chest of wonderful tales, rich in therapeutic metaphor. Presented in alphabetical order there are creation myths from all over the globe, a good smattering of Grimm's and other classic fairy tales, myths aplenty and some original stories. Many of the stories will be familiar to storytellers but there were plenty that were new to me also... All in all, this is a lovely book and an excellent resource for all those who work with stories therapeutically. -- F & F (Facts & Fiction)
Your great aunts offer you their collected favoured recipes, a locked treasure. "Open," they say, "it is yours now" - and that exactly is this book. With the magic word "Sesame" these three women offer secrets of a uniquely compassionate culture, a form of drama and therapy, melded and seasoned in England over three decades. It is now yours. -- Craig San Roque, Jungian analyst, Northern Territory, Australia
An inspirational guide to the art of bringing myth alive through drama. Written with passionate feeling and lucid simplicity, this book is indispensable for professionals, and indeed anyone who loves stories and longs to explore them with others and dream them onwards together. -- Jules Cashford, Jungian analyst and mythologist, London
A luminous, hospitable welcome to the many years of the work of the Sesame fortunate for therapists, teachers, storytellers, and all who seek and cherish the drama of authentic healing. -- Nancy Mellon MA, Psychotherapist and author, USA
A magnificent resource of key myths and fairy tales. The authors generously impart their prodigious knowledge about the value and meanings of these ancient tales. The book is packed full of ideas and suggestions about how the stories can be taken into movement, voice, and enactment. Along with this the authors give their versions of the tales that have been most important in their work. A collection that is worth its weight in gold. -- Sally Pomme Clayton, performance storyteller and writer, UK
This book is a tribute of love, an indispensable handbook for therapists, and a treasury full of the archetypal wisdom of the human soul. Love shines through the whole volume - firstly for a deeply-missed mentor and therapist of rare talent, who pioneered a unique way of working therapeutically with myth and story. There is love too for the work itself, and for that company of the soul, the band of Sesame-trained practitioners that has formed over the years. Finally there is the love of story and myth, which make up the book's exquisite treasure. Just whisper the Open Sesame, and you will be greatly blessed with what pours forth from this dazzling source. The healing power of story is laid before us with a largesse that is the legacy of Sesame. -- Jim Fitzgerald, Jungian analyst, London
This is a remarkable book. It is written in a mindful way and is accessible to the reader. At the same time it is underpinned by a sound academic foundation. This is an important book not just for therapists but for teachers, researchers and ordinary folk who are inspired to go on a journey that will change their lives. -- Sue Jennings, dramatherapist, play therapist and author, UK
This book draws on a wealth of experience in understanding the way the mind works and will change those who read it through the wisdom both of the writers and of the subject. -- Lesley Murdin, psychoanalytic psychotherapist and writer, FPC
The book is packed full of ideas and suggestions about how the stories can be taken into movement, voice and enactment. Along with this the authors give their versions of tales that have been most important in their work. A collection that is worth its weight in gold. -- London Storytelling News
Here is an invaluable resource book for generations of dramatherapists to come. A treasure trove of stories excavated by three remarkable guides to the unconscious. -- James Roose-Evans, theatre director and author, London
If you ever wanted proof about the power of stories and how they can change lives what you have before you are experienced guides, many pathways and remarkable homecomings. -- Ashley Ramsden, founding director of the International School of Storytelling, UK
I have great pleasure in endorsing this book of story making in the Sesame Approach. I recommend it to all those interested in dramatherapy. -- Marian R. Lindkvist, drama and movement therapist, founder of the Sesame Institute, London
A great resource and welcome contribution to the revival of story and myth in psychotherapy. -- Richard Hougham, principal lecturer, Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, London

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