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Dramatherapy with Myth and Fairytale

Dramatherapy with Myth and Fairytale

The Golden Stories of Sesame

Jenny Pearson, Mary Smail and Pat Watts, illustrated by Camilla Jessel

Quick Overview

This treasure trove of 56 timeless Sesame stories can be adapted and applied to the needs of a broad range of different client groups and the style of individual therapists. Complete with introductory exercises, warm-ups and scene setting suggestions, it will be an invaluable source of inspiration for therapists and students.
Details Price Qty
Paperback / softback
2013, 8.98in x 5.91in / 228mm x 150mm, 256pp
ISBN: 978-1-84905-030-2
2013, ePUB, 256pp
ISBN: 978-0-85700-438-3
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Myths and fairytales are our rich heritage; a veritable feast of ancient wisdom passed down through the ages in the memorable form of stories. While almost any story will have deep meaning to some individuals, some of the time, this book presents a collection of stories that these maestros of dramatherapy have found to have a powerful effect almost without fail. These are the 'golden' stories of Sesame.

The authors introduce the Sesame approach and describe the advantages of using myth and fairy tale as a central theme in a therapy session. The Sesame approach has been found to produce striking results with myriad client groups, including individuals with learning difficulties, offenders in psychiatric settings and children with emotional and behavioural difficulties and adults in mental health care. Dramatherapy with Myth and Fairytale provides a treasure trove of timeless stories that can be adapted and applied to the needs of different client groups and the style of each therapist. It also includes introductory exercises, warm-ups and scene setting suggestions.

The book will be an invaluable source of inspiration for dramatherapists and dramatherapy students, creative arts therapists, storytellers, psychotherapists, Jungian psychoanalysts, teachers and play therapists.


'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 Institute…how 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


Illustrated by: Camilla Jessel