From: Dr Eric Miller

(PhD in Folklore, MSc in Psychology)


Workshop: "Create your own fantasy Healing-story," 12:30am-2:00am on Sunday 28th Feb, in Chennai Storytelling Festival 2021.


Notes / Outline




What is this all about? -- Improve communication with one's (individual and collective) unconscious -- a resource one could draw upon.


Carl Jung Source: 

A) Explicate. (Regarding one's life experience, "What jumps out at you?"  Identify outstanding elements, archetypes Source, recurring themes, turning points, and defining moments of one's Life Story.) 

B) Amplify. (Make associations. Compare events in one's life with events in fairytales, epics, etc.) 

C) Active Imagination. (Seek to summon images and objects from one's unconscious, and role-play with them.)


Storytelling Therapy Source: 

Adding to Jung's method --

D) Play with the material (make changes, role-play),

E) Compose a healing / transforming story for oneself.


"The right story will do its work on you" (Unknown author).  What work needs to be done on you?  The right story might inspire, guide, and help one to connect with one's inner self, and with aspects of one's culture.



1) Life (and Life Story) Review


What is going well?  What is not going so well?


In what areas of your life (personal and/or professional) are things going well?


In what areas of your life (personal and/or professional) is there "room for improvement"?  In what areas of your life might you like to do more, or do better?


What changes, developments, transformations are you hoping for and looking forward to?


What do you want to make?  What do you want to do?  Where do you want to go?  Who do you want to meet?  What and who do you want to become?


Let us focus on areas of frustration and impatience.  Yearnings for something.  Feelings of incompleteness and not being on track to fully fulfilling one's potential.


? In what areas of your life are you like:  A bird who can't fly.  An airplane that can't get off the ground.


? Is there an area of your life in which -- despite your interests, intentions, and hopes --  to date you have been a "late bloomer" (not yet bloomed).


Challenges.  Yearnings.  Frustrations.  Hopes.  Dreams.  Wishes. -- ACTIVITY: WRITE



To connect you to your culture --

"Dip a memory of an experience in the 'amniotic fluid' of the collective unconscious" (Unknown author).

The amniotic fluid is the protective liquid in the amniotic sac, within which a fetus grows. This fluid serves as a cushion for the fetus, and also serves to facilitate the exchange of nutrients, water, and biochemical products between mother and fetus.


2) Associations / Amplifications. 

See if your experiences remind you of any other character's experiences (from fairytales, epics, movies, or any other realm of culture). --



Breakout Rooms -- ACTIVITY: TALK.


Return to Main Room for sharing and discussion.



Life (and Life Story) Review (continued)


* In your experience, what are some Personal issues, Social issues, and Environmental issues?

* What are some of your strengths and weaknesses, and how have these manifested themselves in specific events in your life?

* What are some of your most favorite memories, and least favorite memories?

* What do you tend to think about, again and again? 

* What are some of your "pet peeves"?

* In what ways would you like society to be improved?

* In what ways would you like your self to be improved?

* In what ways would you like your circumstances to be improved?

* When you day-dream, what do you tend to day-dream about? --



3) Active Imagination Source 

Summon and converse with an object -- 




Use any of the above to create a metaphorical (fantasy) story that encapsulates the challenges you are facing, and the transformations you are seeking.


Present some metaphors, and benefits of using metaphors.

Source -- Metaphor therapy.

Source -- Susan Perrow's essay about metaphors.


Get some distance from the material --


1) Tell it in 3rd person (project it onto a character external to your self.


2) Seek to project it onto figures very different from yourself --

Animals.  Princess and prince, queen and king.  Plants.  Geometrical shapes.  2- and 3-dimensional objects.  A person of a gender, culture, time period, etc, other than yours.


You might want to pretend that there is a character who is bewitched, under a spell, or who has been cursed.  How and why did the bewitchment come about?  How could the spell be broken?  How could the curse be lifted?


In psychological terms, one could compare a person in a fairytale who is bewitched, to someone in whom one structural entity of the human psyche has been damaged in its functioning and is unable to function normally.


To be bewitched means that a particular structure of the psyche is damaged in its functioning, and the whole is affected.


In fairytales, spells are often broken by means of a long period of love, devotion, dedication, and effort -- and then with bold action, a breakthrough.


Is there something that is injured, malnourished, undeveloped, unsupported, blocked, frozen, not-growing, not-functioning, not-developing inside you?

Source: The Psychological Meaning of Redemption Motifs in Fairy Tales, by Marie-Louise von Franz. Toronto: Inner City Books. 1980.


4) 6-Part Story-making (6PSM)


Source (CSF 2021 video interview with Dr Alida Gersie, primary inventor of the 6PSM.)


Summon a character, environment, situation, etc -- ACTIVITY: DRAW.


Breakout Rooms -- ACTIVITY: TALK.

(We did not have time for this.)


Return to Main Room for sharing and discussion.






"Creating one's own fantasy healing-story" is a culminating step in the Storytelling Therapy process that Dr Eric is helping to develop. 


Links to Dr Eric's writings regarding Storytelling Therapy are here. 


Info about training Dr Eric gives in Storytelling Therapy is here.