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FAIRY TALE THERAPY

FAIRY TALES
MAKE CHILDREN GROW


Especially if an adult
reads for them.

Let your children listen to
REAL fairy tales, and
read for them
yourself as well.

Fairy tales
Children love fairy tales

The tradition of story-telling

Fairy tales have been recited verbally since the dawn of mankind, long before writing had been invented. In order to preserve the stories for future generations, a specific trade developed early, the Story-teller.

One wanted to know that the fairy tale really was the original, even when it was spread via verbal tradition. Therefore the Story-tellers that knew their stories by heart were highly valued, especially if they knew many stories.

Children asked for certain fairy tales more often than others, and these survived all the way to our time, all through many generations. The reason children wanted to hear certain fairy tales again and again, making these stories survive to our time, despite printed books, TV and the internet, is that just these fairy tales met deep needs in the children.

"Real" fairy tales, versus cautionary stories or just entertaining

These "real" fairy tales spoke on a deeply subconscious level about problems children and adolescents met during their years of growing up: how to reconcile conflicting emotions towards one's parents, sibling rivalry, sexuality, the identification as a developing man or woman, becoming accepted for the unique person one is, etc.

And the "real" fairy tales offer solutions to these problems, in symbolic form, making it possible for the child to work through his or her "dangerous" emotions in a safe and constructive way. "Real" fairy tales have therefore a genuinely therapeutic effect.

All fairy tales are not "real" in this way. Fairy tales can have an agenda for educating or informing. Certain fairy tales have an obvious agenda, like "moralizing tales", for example many of the old fables. Old "real" fairy tales have also been "modernized", or in a well-meant but incompetent way been "softened" by the deletion of "scary" parts. But, they lose their therapeutic effect completely after these alterations.

Let your child choose fairy tale him/herself

PsykosyntesForum offers many of the old "real" fairy tales in the form of audio web books.

"The Fairy Tale Page" is accessible for Newsletter Subscribers. Via each newsletter the page with bonus material can be accessed, and this page in turn has
a link to the Fairy Tale Page:

Real fairy tales
The Fairy Tale Page

<- On this page, "The Fairy Tale Page" the presentation is written for children, and the stories are presented in a concise and interest-evoking way.

Let you child get access to
The Fairy Tale Page,
and let your child choose
by him/herself.

(Note: The last part of the statement above is important, in order to adhere to the old Story-teller tradition !)


We add new fairy tales on a regular basis, which is announced via a newsletter.

The symbolic meaning of the fairy tales

In the list below the fairy tales that have been included so far are presented, first with a short description of the story, and then with a description of the symbolic meaning that will influence the subconscious mind, and the important learnings the story may give.

Where nothing else is noted, the quotes below (denoted with "italics") come from the book"The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales"
by the Jungian psychoanalyst and child psychologist Bruno Bettelheim, 1976.
(Look under the category Psychology in our Amazon Affiliate store.)

The fairy tales, in audio format together with text can be accessed via the Bonus Material Page of the Newsletter Subscribers, which in turn can be accessed via a link at the bottom of any newsletter. To get your first newsletter, click on this link:
Subscribe to Newsletters.

Read yourself for your child !

The fairy tales that have been made available via PsykosyntesForum are few,
even if the number will increase. Children having started to listen to "real" fairy
tales will want to hear more of them.

So, let yourself become inspired by the fairy tales you find here, and which you
might have let you child/children listen to, and borrow fairy tale books by the
Grimm brothers at your library and read yourself for your children!

The therapeutic impact of "real" fairy tales will furthermore increase, if one of the "main characters" in the stories, often symbolizing a parent, is the one reading, thereby giving the subconscious message "your angry or sad thoughts and feelings are OK, and I trust in your ability to cope with it".

Hans och Greta

Hansel and Gretel

The poor wood-cutter's children are abandoned in the forest, as there is not enough food for all.

The children are on the verge of starving to death when they meet an old woman, that offers them wonderful food. She seems friendly, but...

" Hansel and Gretel is one of several fairy tales in which siblings co-operate in saving each other and where they thanks to mutual efforts also succeed in this. These fairy tales lead the children towards the transition from a childish dependence of their parents to next higher step in their development, and also towards appreciating help from their peers at the same age."

”The children's experience in the house of the witch have freed them from their oral obsessions. When they have crossed the water they arrive at the opposite shore as more mature children, prepared to trust their own wits and own initiative in solving the problems of life. As long as they were dependent of their parents they were a burden to them, when they come home again they now are mainstays in the family, in bringing home the treasures they have gathered. These treasures are the childrens' newly acquired independence in thought and action, a new self-confidence, something entirely different from the passive dependence characterizing them when they had just been left alone in the forest.

It is the female characters in the fairy tale - the mother and the witch - that represent the evil powers. The importance of Gretel in the liberation of the children teaches the child that a female character can be a savior as well as a destroyer. Even more important is probably the fact that Hansel saves them once and then Gretel saves them once again, which makes it clear to all children that as they grow up, they will have to trust their peers at the same age more and more for mutual help and understanding. This idea reinforces the main theme of the story in warning for regression and in encouraging the development towards a higher psychological and intellectual level."

"First after the child has overcome it's Oedipus problems, and has succeeded to handle it's oral anxiety, having sublimated the baser instincts that cannot be met in a realistic way and has learnt that wishful thinking has to yield to sensible action, is it prepared to live happily again together with it's parents. In Hansel and Gretel this is symbolized by the treasures the children have brought home to share with their father. The more mature child should not expect that everything good must come from it's parents, it must contribute itself to his or her own and the family's emotional well-being."


Jack and the Beanstalk

Jack and the Beanstalk

Jack swaps the family's cow for five beans. Jack's mother gets angry and throws them away.

But they are enchanted, and they grow up to the sky. Jack climbs up and meets an ogre that eats children for breakfast ...

"The tale describes the developmental stages a boy must pass in order to become an independent person, and the fairy tale shows how this is possible, even fun despite all perils, and very beneficial.

It is not enough to let go of one’s trust for oral satisfaction - or rather to be forced to do this by the circumstances - and to replace it with a phallic satisfaction as a solution to life’s problems, one must also, step by step, put higher values to what one already has achieved.

Before this, one has to get through the Oedipus Complex, that starts with a deep disappointment of one’s mother and which includes competing with and handling one’s jealousy towards one’s father.”


Jack and the Beanstalk

The Princess and the Frog

The Princess' favorite plaything, her golden ball, rolls down into a pond, but a frog brings it back to her.

Little can she guess what he wants in return...

“To regards one’s own sexuality as animalistic has devastating effects. It can go so far that one never is able to discern one’s own - or others’ - sexual experiences from this association. Therefore it is crucial to make it clear for children that sexuality in the beginning may seem disgustingly animalistic, but that when one has found the proper way to it, the beauty will emerge from within the disgusting appearance.

In this respect this fairy tale, that never mentions or points at sexual experiences per se, is psychologically healthier than much in our matter-of-fact information on sexual matters. With our modern way of informing about sex we attempt to teach that sex is normal, pleasurable, even beautiful and crucial for the survival of mankind. But as we do not include the fact that children may see sex as disgusting, and that this viewpoint has an important preventive function, we do not succeed in convincing them.

This fairy tale, in agreeing with the child that the frog is disgusting, wins the child’s trust and makes the child strongly believe that the disgusting frog, as the story tells us, will reveal itself to be the most charming partner. And the story tells us this without even mentioning anything connected with sexuality."



(More fairy tales will be added soon... Look out for Newsletters.)

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