Myth in counselling and psychotherapy – a workshop with Donna Savery in Stockport

Myth in counselling and psychotherapy – A CPD event in Stockport on 16th May 2014

Myth in counselling and psychotherapy 1STOP PRESS – Donna will be returning to Stockport on Friday 21st October to run another session on the use of creativity in therapy.  For further information click here.  This one day workshop sets out to explore the ways in which we can use myth in counselling and psychotherapy. It is an event that links strongly with our previous event Trauma in Counselling and Psychotherapy. For as Wilson and Lindy (2013) suggest, trauma is expressed through metaphors that are either cultural or universally human. And myth is a powerful ways in which these metaphors are captured.

In a transient moment of negativity, I reflected that running events is a bit like the myth of Sisyphus (see ). In this myth Sisyphus, the trickster, is punished by the Gods. He is condemned to continually roll a boulder up a mountain, only to have it roll down again. On the walk back he can choose between killing himself or carrying on. Yet he chooses to carry on in defiance of the Gods.  Albert Camus used the myth to introduce his philosophy of the absurd; in which man searches for meaning in a Godless world, devoid of eternal truths or values.  Fortunately my moment of existential angst quickly passed!

Myth in counselling and psychotherapy 2In her chapter in Emmy van Deurzen’s (2013)new book on relationship therapy, Donna Savery describes her use of myth to work with couples.  She presents clinical material in which she uses the myth of Echo and Narcissus.  This challenges a couple to reflect on their respective roles in the relationship.  And this is worked through with visualisation and role play.

Donna Savery’s therapeutic roots are in psychodynamic and existential therapy.  However, she goes beyond these concepts to consider the ways in which deep existential truths are embodied in myth.  Then she uses her background in theatre to work with these – an approach that goes back to the Greek tragedies.

We are especially looking forward to this event and we hope that other practitioners will be inspired to attend.  For further information click here.

George MacDonald


Savery, D. C. (2013). The challenges of meaninglessness and absurdity addressed through myth and role play. In: van Deurzen, E. & Iacovou, S. (eds.) Existential perspectives on relationship therapy. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

van Deurzen, E. (ed.) (2013). Existential perspectives on relationship therapy, London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Wilson, J. P., Friedman, M. J. & Lindy, J. D. (eds.) (2001). Treating psychological trauma & PTSD, New York, NY: Guilford Press.

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