Fairytales and Therapy.  Summer Sessions 2022

Fairytales and Therapy. Summer Sessions 2022

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£25 – £70


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Group discussion spaces exploring fairytales to expand our understanding of ourselves, each other, individual and collective psychology.

About this event

Fairy Tales and Therapy workshops are group discussion spaces exploring fairytales and mythology stories to expand our understanding of individual and collective psychology.

Each month there will be a focus on a particular fairytale. Over the months of May, June and July will be exploring The Princess and the Pea, Brother and Sister and the Juniper Tree.

Each session works as an independent experience . People are welcome to attend as many as they would like.

At the beginning of the session there will be a brief presentation thinking about:

- History of the Tale.

- Common interpretations of this story/ Story as a whole

- Symbolism in the tale and Archetypal Imagery.

The group will then spend the majority of time sharing reflections, thoughts and associations to the story. Experiencing in action how through the group ‘s discussion, meeting our reactions, our connection to symbols, imagery and association along the way, we might enable each other to better understand ourselves, each other and some of the stories we all live.

These workshops are for anyone interested in psychology and stories. They may be of particular interest to psychologists and therapists - including those who are professionally established and those just starting out.

Summer Sessions

The Princess and the Pea: May 23rd, 7pm - 8:30pm. (UK)

A story that goes back to India almost a thousand years ago (and that’s only the earliest one we know about: many fairy tales have the ring of oral culture about them, and oral literature is notoriously good at getting itself lost down the centuries). The Princess and the Pea is one of the shortest of the classic fairy tales. It also manages to be simultaneously one of the most straightforward and one of the most baffling. It’s straightforward because its plot is so simple, but it’s almost too simple. What are we to make of this tale of royal oversensitivity to bed-dwelling vegetables? Does the fairy tale (if it even is strictly a fairy tale at all) have any discernible meaning? Perhaps the story is meant to ridicule those people who are incapable of understanding true suffering? Perhaps this is a story of individuation and the experience of holding your own authority?

Brother and Sister: June 27th, 7pm- 8:30pm. (UK)

This tale features a woman rescuing her brother. At times, Brother and Sister has been confused with Hansel & Gretel. In the era and region in which it was collected, many men were drafted by kings for soldiers, to be sent as mercenaries. As a consequence, many men made their daughter their heirs; however, they also exerted more control over them and their marriages as a consequence. The stories have been interpreted as a wish by women for the return of their brothers, freeing them from this control. Modern psycho-analysis interprets the relation between brother and sister in this story as a metaphor for the animalistic and spiritual duality in humans.

The Juniper Tree: July 25th, 7pm - 8:30pm. (UK)

The 'Juniper Tree' is not so well known as some of the Grimms' classics such as 'Cinderella'& 'Snow White.' And yet it is a powerful & disturbing story which can be read at many levels. It contains envy, murder, revenge - and even a dash of cannibalism!

The Juniper tree tells the story of a young boy born as white as snow and as red as blood. His mother dies at birth and his father remarries. The stepmother gives birth to a daughter (Marlene) and as Marlene grew older the Step Mother started to worry that the inheritance would all fall to the son instead of her daughter. The stepmother becomes jealous of the young boy and chops off his head. She then tricks Marlene into thinking she slapped his head off. To hide their crime they chop up his body parts and serve him in a stew to his mother. After his father had consumed all of the young boy, little Marlene takes the bones and buries them under the Juniper Tree. The tree transforms the bones into a beautiful bird. The bird then flies into town where he enchants the villagers with a song about his family’s crime. The villagers are so amazed by his song that they bestow him with gifts. The bird, who is really the young boy, flies back to his home where he continues singing of his death. One by one the family members are drawn outside by the song and receive a gift from the bird. The father receives a gold chain and Marlene red shoes. Finally, the mother driven crazy by the bird’s song ran outside, where she receives a stone that falls on her head and kills her. Once the mother is dead, the bird is transformed back into the little boy and the family life happily ever after.

Words can be strong medicine. Stories can touch our hearts and souls; they can point the way to healing and transformation.

Our own lives are stories that we write from day to day; they are journeys through the dark of the fairy tale woods.

The tales of previous travelers through the woods are passed down to us in the poetic, symbolic language of folklore and myth; where we step, someone has stepped before, and their stories can help light the way." Terri Windling.

Myths, Folklore and Fairy tales can be particularly useful as they can be understood on several levels at once: the conscious, the unconscious, the individual experience and the social world.

Tickets are per person, per session and not per household. Please be aware no refunds are given following booking.

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