£25
Stories as Medicine: The Tiger Who Came to Tea.

Stories as Medicine: The Tiger Who Came to Tea.

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£25

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This session the group will discuss Kerr‘s story, The Tiger Who Came to Tea.

About this event

In this session the group will discuss the story of The Tiger Who Came To Tea (1968). It is a picture book written and illustrated by British storyteller Judith Kerr.

The story tells of a mother and daughter who are at home waiting for father to return from work. An unexpected visitor arrives. It’s a tiger who asks to come in. The Mother says of course and offers him tea and buns, but the tiger eats every bit of food in the house, and ‘all the water from the tap’. He then leaves. When father arrives home he takes the mother and daughter to a cafe for dinner, since there is nothing to eat at home. The following day, mother and daughter buy more food at the supermarket, and a can of tiger food in case the tiger comes back. It is revealed on the final page that he never does come back.

For many this is a charming tale of no hidden meaning. Certainly the author maintained it was written only as entertainment for her children. However as Michael Rosen noted, whether created consciously or unconsciously the story carries powerful metaphors. He noted that despite the tiger being depicted as ‘jolly’ within the images ‘it still is a tiger’. Rosen describes the tiger as an unwanted visitor and linked the story to trauma memory of Jewish survivors of Nazi violence.

Whilst there is no fixed interpretation of this story it is a compelling story and offers a potent metaphor of the unwanted visitor that has been taken up in various ways.

Another way of using this story is the Tiger can symbolize the arrival of illness such as that experienced by people living with CFS/ME or long COVID. Interestingly, the tiger is typically perceived by the storyteller as not that dangerous and having been 'invited in' by the mother. The disconnect between the reader's telling and the reality of the situation also echoes that of many people with chronic fatigue - the impact and reality of CFS not really being taken seriously by others.

"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.

This is an experiential space. That through the group‘s discussion of the metaphor, meeting our reactions, our connection to symbols, imagery and association along the way, group members might enable each other to better understand ourselves, each other, our communities and some of the stories we all live.

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

- Context of the Tale and its Author

- Some interpretations

- Symbolism in the Tale

Followed by a reading of the tale.

The group will then spend the majority of time sharing reflections, thoughts and associations to the story. Thinking about how elements of it may fit or shed some light on our own lives.

VENUE: Zoom Platform

DATE: Thursday 13th June 2022

TIME: 7pm - 8:30 pm

COST: £25.00 per person, per session . Tickets are non-refundable.

The session will be run by the Clinical Psychologist, Dr Libby Nugent, BSc (Joint Hons), DClinPsy, C Psychol, AFBPs Registered with HPC: PYL18653 and BPS:175854

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Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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