Dr. Sergio Romano, Psychology Psychotherapy, Psychodrama

A group fairy tale with children: description of work phases

A group fairy tale with children: description of work phases

Sergio Romano

The group stages

The activity of the group in question is marked temporally in the following way:

After the entrance of the participants:

1. Rite input

2. Tale of a Fairy Tale

3. Dramatization of the story

4. Picture

5. Rite output

Let's see in detail the individual steps.

Rite input

E 'was chosen as a rite of entrance the jump in the island that there is no.

The children take turns climbing on a small wooden staircase with three steps and linger a few seconds on the step higher before jumping on the island, consisting of a mat which allows a real "leap into the void", with soft landing. The conductor at this point, asks the child which character wants to become.

You are offered the opportunity to be, at least for the entire session, the character that everyone feels that more can be at that moment.

The characters that are chosen, particularly during the first meetings, tend to be super heroes (Spiderman, Hulk, The Supreme Luminescent, Dragonball, Spider-Man and company). This highlights the need to protect children from the, to turn into a superhero who is not afraid of anything, with super powers, able not only to protect but also to be the bearer of a transformative capacity. The more distressed, as the chosen character is powerful. But not always. Sometimes the feeling of annihilation / debasement is such and so much so that the child can not grasp this opportunity for redemption, albeit symbolic and remains anchored to a reality generally very demeaning, as in the case of Mattia or Diego.

In general we can say that every child tends to become what can, should the, be at that moment. A change in character or the tenacious maintenance of the choice of the character can be read as an indicator of his way of being in the world.

Ia sequence ceremony that is performed, accompanies the transition from a situation (the realtà sociale esterna) to another (the group setting).

Without going into long and complex definitions of ritual, what I want to emphasize here is the character of repeatability and predictability, as evidenced by Bellia(dance origins) that with the rite of entrance, as well as with other activities, implicitly is to determine.

In the repetition and repetition of actions related to the meetings of the group, is precisely the ability to create a rhythm, which becomes a factor of "regularity and meaning"; "The rhythm transforming chaos into event " (Herns Duplan).

The lives of the children who participated in our groups in fact are often characterized by a high degree of unpredictability and no previous rhythms, as well as by frequent betrayal of the expectations or by excessively rigid ritual codes.

So the regular appearance and regulator of the rhythm, quintessence of the rite, becomes in itself a therapeutic factor.

In the rite is at stake is the living body (Body), which is feasible only in relational terms, interaction, pertando the rite involves a relational dimension, groupal in the specific case. The group dimension / relational rite, lies opposite of obsessive ritual, where a solipsistic dimension prevails, reducing the rite sensitive to the representation of the underlying psychopathology.

As he writes Bellia: the ritual arises link between individual and group, between the species and nature, between the group and the world. The ritual forms the border structural, structured and structuring between the known and the unknown( the Neverland), between the definite and the undifferentiated, between the border and the chaos ".

The story of the fairy tale

After entering another dimension from the outside world, Children are invited to take a seat sitting on cushions colorful arranged in a square.

This step always involves, especially during the first encounters some difficulty, as if the knowledge that you are going to go to the point you did stronger and more inevitable if not at the cost of a position that in some cases also includes the actual escape from the room.

The sense of anxiety in the knowledge of having to face their fears before they tackle the really, is more than enough to trigger reactions ranging from 'avoidance to displacement, the assumption of an aggressive attitude to tenants almost to want to annihilate. Are not rare aggressive reactions during attempts to bring and / or keep the kids seated before starting the telling of the story.

The project includes a list of pre-defined between fairy tales which children can / should choose.

The choice, accomplished by majority vote with a count, is again a time complex and extremely interesting; collide here clearly the different stages of evolution that characterize individual children, the reality that they are living in that time as well as personality characteristics.

The scan mode provides a good amount of information about the child: acccettazione outcome of the vote or opposition net, with the acceptance of insurance to choose from the next time, the non-acceptance and subsequent rejection (said at least) to listen for some.

Fairy tales proposals this year were as follows:

Little Red Riding Hood


Puss in Boots

Hansel e Gretel

The Three Little Pigs

The sequence of fairy tales used:

1 meeting: fitness test to peartecipazione group. It is not the fairy tale stat utilzzata.

2 meeting: The Three Little Pigs

3 meeting: Little Red Riding Hood

4: meeting: Hansel e Gretel

5 meeting: Thumb

6 meeting: Hansel e Gretel

7 meeting: Puss in Boots

8 meeting: Top stories

The fiaba

We have chosen to use the fairy tale about the possibility of bringing the inner world of children that it offers. It can be regarded as a representation of the inner dynamics of the subject which produces it

The origin of fairy tales is as old as the World; just think that before the invention of writing the transmission of mythical tales took place orally and many of the stories that have come down to us today are numerous versions, none of which is probably considerable than the official, having their origin not always be identified.

The salient feature of the story is that it is imbued with archetypal content, therefore common to all human beings regardless of culture, although these will declinino then the different versions. Although the authors are often unknown to show that the paternity of Faulty stories is of little importance, from the moment that the content flows from the depths of the unconscious, therefore beyond the limits soggettuali. The themes in fairy tales, those stories that full you can call these, reflect general themes, as well as ancestral fears which transcend cultures of.

Jung claimed:

The deeper states of the psyche lose their individual uniqueness as they descend into the darkness. The farther down you go down, ie the closer you get to functional systems autonomic, they become more collective, up to universalize and become extinct in the materiality of the body, ie in the chemicals. The carbon body is simply carbon. Therefore, in the bottom of the psyche is simply world.

E Marie-Luise Von Franz: “Fairy tales are the simplest and purest expression of the mental processes of the collective unconscious ".

At this point, I would like to reflect.

Although fully agree with the "tightness" of the fairy tale of the cultures, I think it important not to forget that the cultures and historical and cultural moments, are capable of producing the distortions in the original narrative, attributing mostly moralistic-religious character, where possible, the story, the use and consumption of a part of the company rather than another. With this, I emphasize the need to take into account that no story in my opinion can be totally free from cultural reverberations.

So not only will be declined otherwise if it is a story of an African or European, for example if the different ideas of crises that exist in two realities( the first real crisis of survival, in the second maybe a desire, cites as Lafforgue, but reflects sia sia la worldview, perhaps especially, the morals of the time and place.

Just think of the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood; in Perrault's version, references to sexuality and the stigma are easily detected. In fact in that version, the wolf goes to bed, after having devoured the grandmother, without wearing his clothes and wait for CP. When the child arrives he undresses and gets into bed next to the wolf "naively" believed to be the grandmother. Here CP refers then to the great legs and large arms, unusual to be grandmother's. In the version of the Brothers Grimm, these two references are not there and CP note ears, La Bocca ed and teeth.

In Perrault's version also, the fairy tale ends with a short poem which in practice is the moral of the story: the beautiful girls do not have to listen to strangers, otherwise then .....

It 'so obvious as the culture of the time or, to limit the culture of the individual, can change the course of history, depriving it of the original meaning and saturating it with a set of pre-judgments.

That said, the real invariants of the story remain so and no culture can change the, but what I personally suggest a prudent use of fairy tales in the therapeutic.

What will make a difference will be the way to describe, personal style, the ability to adapt the story to the context; not distorting the content of blindly following their anxieties or its ambitions, but relying on their unconscious, do just the story, experiencing and sharing the emotions it arouses.

During the story, the voce, the prosody change and the cause of these changes is not attributed solely to our experiences, but is the result of the interaction of the teller and the listener. Once again it is the relationship that has an influence on the course of the story. The continuous feedback that the narrator receives during the story, in terms of comments, of facial expressions, leak or immobility is a key element to be able to tune in and establish what we call " the narrative pact ". The tale told in this way, capture the listener to the point that his emotions can be tied inextricably to those of the characters that inhabit the story. I remember that humans develop a theory of mind, namely the ability to attribute mental states and intentions to another entity, from the four or five years of age.

Another important aspect of the story is that the characters are that it proposes and describes unique, therefore are not ambivalent. Good and evil coexist in the story but not within the same person, as it happens in reality, and embody it in different characters. Unlike other children's stories, Here we see not ravvedimenti or repentance on the part of the villain who then becomes good or vice versa; The wolf and the witch of the fairy tales are what they are, and this is their property to allow the child to project their own parts of these figures clearly. In other words, the fairy tale oversimplifies the dividing the world into good and evil and that is what makes it understandable to the child's eyes.

As Bruno Bettelheim says about the fairy tale characters:

All the characters are typical rather than unique ".

In fairy tales the existential problems are put clearly and simply allowing the child to catch them. The villain does not stop doing bad because someone punishes him, But he always loses, suggesting that the child should not be bad not because you are punished, but because the protagonist (l'Forever) fate has much better.

The recurring narrative themes,reveal our common desires and needs.

Patrick Colm Hogan, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Connecticut says about the narrative: “involves agents that pursue a goal and purposes most usual are in part the result of the way they are made of our emotional systems ".

This confirms that the stories reveal something of human emotions and their place in the mind.

Hogan claims that seem to be three narrative models: one romantic setting, that focuses on the trials and tribulations love; one scenery heroic, siconcentra that the struggle for power; Finally, one scenario that defines "Sacrificial”, that focuses on the abundance opposed to the famine and the redemption of the company. These three basic themes seem to be always present regardless of cultures and eras.