Indian Institute of Psychodrama and

World Storytelling Institute

(both based in Chennai, India)



"Exploring Stories through Drama:

A Course on Storytelling Therapy

and Psychodrama"


An 11-Session Certificate Course (via Zoom),

Wed 13th Jan, to Wed 17th Feb 2021.



Course Schedule


11 Sessions, 5pm-8pm India time.

Wednesdays and Fridays.


1) Wed 13th Jan, 2) Fri 15th Jan.,


3) Wed 20th Jan, 4) Fri 22nd Jan,


5) Wed 27th Jan, 6) Fri 29th Jan,


7) Wed 3rd Feb, 8) Fri 5th Feb,


9) Wed 10th Feb, 10) Fri 12th Feb,


11) Wed 17th Feb.



Course participants would learn ways to use

story and drama in trainings that they might lead regarding Improvisational Drama, Creative Writing, Life Coaching, Healing, and/or Psychological Counselling.



Course Story-processes and Stories


1) Remembering Personal-experience Stories.

Including one's Life Story (the Mother of All Stories), and dreams.


2) Remembering Associative Stories (Echo Stories).

For example: Does one relate to a particular character in a fairytale, epic, movie, literature, history, etc?


3) Modifying (Re-framing, Adding to, etc) any of the above-mentioned stories.


4) Composing Imaginary Creative Stories that may be Metaphorical, and may be Transforming and/or Healing.

One might start by seeking to bring to mind metaphors for aspects of one's personal experiences.  Notes on Healing Stories are here.



Course Overview


Course participants would learn ways to use story and drama in trainings they might lead regarding Improvisational Drama, Creative Writing, Life Coaching, Healing, and/or Psychological Counselling.


Dr Eric would assist participants to consider various kinds of stories (including those related to personal experiences, dreams, fantasies, fairytales, epics, history, literature, TV shows, and movies), and Ms Magdalene would assist participants to explore their stories through Psychodrama.  Story and Drama would be used for exploring one's identity, transforming, and healing.


Aims and Objectives of the course include enabling participants to --


1) Further explore and discover oneself (one's identity), in part by exploring one's individual unconscious and the collective unconscious.


2) Further find one's "voice" and the audiences one would like to address.


3) Further understand the conflicting, contesting messages internal and external to oneself.


4) Further understand where one stands in relation to these conflicting, contesting messages.


5) Further settle upon compromises between conflicting, contesting messages, if this might be possible.


6) Further consciously construct and/or confirm who one is.


It may be therapeutic to one to explore and share some of these matters.


Matters that are meaningful to one, might also be meaningful to members of the general public.  What issues are "in the air"? 


There are personal issues and social issues.  If personal issues are experienced by many people, they are also social issues.


It may be therapeutic to society to explore and share some of these matters.


This is also a course in creativity -- specifically, creativity as applied to story composition.  Stories may be composed and shared via various mediums (in addition to thinking), including drawing, writing, and telling.


For the sake of experiencing different perspectives, participants may at times be invited to --

1) Shift telling of personal-experience stories from 1st-person ("I did this...") to 3rd-person ("She/He/They did this ...), and

2) Shift telling of stories about characters external to oneself from 3rd-person ("She/He/They did this ...) to 1st-person ("I did this...").



To Elaborate:


What internal debates have occurred within one, and have been settled?


What internal debates are still occurring within one?


What are you really good at doing? 

What do you really enjoy doing?


Do you feel you have a mission in life? 

Do you want to have a mission in life?


Who and what do you want to become?


In what ways might you like to affect the world?


Is there something you would like to say?


Is there something you would like to say -- to and/or about people (including oneself) who are living in particular circumstances and places today?


Who are you?  Where do you stand? 

Where are you positioned (sociologically)?


Who and what do you stand with? 

Who and what do you stand against?


What groups are you in? 

What "Communities of Choice" have you joined?


What are some choices people today need to face?  Challenges?  Opportunities?  Dangers?


What are some stories of your self, family, community (including gender, sexual orientation, age-group, etc), profession, caste (if any), religion (if any), language group, state, and nation?


This course is an opportunity to bring one's thoughts and feelings out into the open and share them -- possibly for the sakes of giving and receiving support and inspiration, and helping to build community.



One starting point in this discussion is the thought of Eugene O'Neill (USA playwright, 1888-1953).  He felt a major theme of modern life is "alienation".  (This condition could be re-framed as the need and freedom to make "choices".) 


Eugene O'Neill wrote (to paraphrase):


A primary condition of most humans living in modern times is alienation -- alienation from nature due to one's isolated consciousness, unable to find belonging in any social group or environment.  This has resulted in part from work that is industrialised or otherwise non-fulfilling and non-meaningful.


Whether in a traditional society or in an authoritarian modern society, each of us is trained to be merely a cog in a massive machine -- a sort of automaton with no hope of liberation from the role given to us.  Isn't there more to the human experience?  How can we escape the machine and become true individuals?


The grim futility of modern human existence is to be cursed by alienation from self, society, and the source-of-all-life.  Life is made bearable only by illusions of connectedness.



Course Eligibility


This course is open to any adult who has an interest in psychology and the arts.  The course would be a good introduction to Psychodrama.



Course Co-leaders


Ms Magdalene Jeyarathnam,


TED Talk on "Psychodrama".



Dr Eric Miller,


Talk on "Using Storytelling to Improve Mental Health"

(10 minutes).


Talk on "Storytelling for Lawyers and Law Students"

(8 minutes).


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




Registration, etc


The Course poster is here.


The Course fee for peoople who are not college students and who would be paying in rupess, is Rs 10,000.  One could register for the Course here. 


If you are a college student and/or if you would be paying in another currency -- please inquire.




Contact info


Indian Institute of Psychodrama,

(India mobile) 98847 00135


World Storytelling Institute

(India mobile) 98403 94282







To WSI homepage