Myths and related stories describe essential human experience which, requiring use of the imagination, reconcile and give voice to fantasy and reality. Speaking through images which embrace the paradox of possible and impossible, the likely and the desired, they stimulate our personal expressive abilities in a way quite distinct from the absorption of prescribed images which television and radio present. This book is concerned with rekindling that creative power of the human imagination which in the West has atrophied through neglect. It is concerned with increasing an understanding of the need to exercise our imagination as one of our psychic functions, as well as the need to exercise our bodies.
This book contains myths and tales from all over the world which are grouped around seven themes, all reflective of forms of human experience. The authors suggest ways in which these myths and tales can be used to develop our imagination's original and unique voice through educational and therapeutic encounter, and how this expression can be communicated to others who are engaged in the same task.
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Alida Gersie is a London-based dramatherapist and organizational consultant. Her work with deprived individuals and communities inspired her to develop a story-based method that facilitates productive change in seemingly hopeless situations. For several decades she was Principal Lecturer in the Postgraduate Arts Therapies Department of the University of Hertfordshire. She has taught the story-based approach to planned change in many countries, and has authored and edited several books, including Reflections on Therapeutic Storymaking: The Uses of Stories in Groups, Dramatic Approaches to Brief Therapy, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Dramatherapy, Storymaking in Bereavement: Dragons Fight in the Meadow and Storymaking in Education and Therapy, and published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.Review:
The myths themselves are veritable jewels that evoke an immediate response in the reader, and they stand on their own as a valuable asset to any library. This is in essence a "How to" book replete with instructions for achieving personal growth and facilitating creativity in just about every avenue of expression. This book contains many exciting and compelling ideas. -- The Arts in Psychotherapy It is intended primarily for professionals in mental health and education who are interested in using traditional myths and folk tales in conducting group counseling and education classes. However, the stories in themselves are fascinating to read. -- Contemporary Psychology This is a lovely book. There is something for everyone here. The practical exercises suggest ways in which these stories can be used in a group setting. People involved in counselling and therapy will also find valuable insights into the lives of people they help through the common language of myth. Moreover, the book will appeal to anyone interested in literature and story-telling in general. The quality of the presentation of the book adds to its appeal this is a book to keep, use and refer back to again and againIn short, this is a publication for nurse teachers, psychiatric nurse therapists, counsellors and anyone interested in exploring the universal heritage that is handed down through story-telling and the sharing of myths. Buy it. -- Nursing Times The book contains a strong introduction to this particular approach to storymaking, and has within it enough source materials and reflective advice to inspire and guide any group facilitator or teacherThe book contains a rich variety of thought provoking and inspiring material. Within the area of dramatherapy's use of narrative, myth and story form this is easily the most substantial and significant piece of work to date a core text for dramatherapists to acquire. -- Dramatherapy This is an essential and wonderful book for anyone interested in working with stories in education or therapy. It is a true discovery. -- Dr Ofra Ayalon, Haifa University
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