So, last week the Magic carpet ( with a little bit of help from a budget airline) took me to the beautiful town of Sintra in Portugal. The occasion was the International Seminar of Fairytales and Storytelling Therapy. This very special conference was truly set in a fairytale setting and included a range of seminars on subjects such as Sandplay, therapeutic stories, expressive arts and more. We spend the days experiencing a little of each of these approaches. The delegates came from all over the world including America, Lativia, Sweden, Poland, France, Germany, Africa and China and from a range of disciplines. Storytellers who wanted to know more about therapy, therapists who wanted to use storytelling in their work and practitioners who already used both and wanted to swap ideas and network.
Personally I came as a storyteller, with a little bit of experience in therapeutic stories. My own experience comes from training with Bag Books while at the library and attending an introductory course in play therapy last year in London.
The Seminars ( a little taster)
Sand Tray Stories
The seminars covered a range of topics. I was partically excited to attend the one on using Sand Tray Therapy, something I have been interested in for sometime. Sandtray therapy involves the client creating a picture or story using objects they are drawn to from a vast collection. The sand in the tray can be moved to create a landscape or even brushed to the side to reveal the blue tray and symbolise water or the sea. Something similar is done in Godly Play (a form of telling bible stories to children and something I will blog on in the future ) something I love and have had some training.
During the conference we had two evenings to share a conversation of stories emerged across the hours. Ranging from folk tales, to real life tales, life death, humour and of course fairy tales. We were also invited to share the ‘Once upon a time’ in our own mother tongue. The wonderful diverse range of languages, many participants spoke two or more languages, was a real treat. We also heard complete stories in participants own languages. For me this was one of the highlights of the week as being English everyone was speaking English, even though we were in Portugal. In the second evening of storytelling I shared the Aesop tales Lion and the Mouse, a firm favourite of mine
This was the second International Conference of Storytelling and Fairytale therapy, created by the talented Adriana and inspired when she experienced her own fairytale therapy, writing a fairytale bringing together cultures. The next conference is set for 4th-8th April next year and submissions for seminar proposals open until 31st July.
I will be interviewing Adriana as part of my ‘Live Your Childhood dream Webcast series and finding out a little more about her inspiration for her culture and tourism company Moonluza, her own fairytales and childhood dreams. Watch this space for more.
Website for Moonluza