Saturday, January 21, 2023

Counselling Skills training workshop - January 2023

January 21, 2023 marked the end of a four-day training program by East West Center for Counselling and training for Nirangal and their collaborators. We had 12 participants. The training focused on creating a cohesive group environment and a safe space for our future counsellors among the LBBTQI+ community.

The training covered many of the basic concepts of counselling, from counselor skills and relationship building between the client and counsellor, to developing a good counseling atmosphere. Our aim was to provide the participants with the knowledge and experience they need to become successful counsellors.

The collaboration between Nirangal and East West Center for Counselling is an ongoing relationship and this training is just one of many that have been put on in the past. The training was a great success and the participants left with a better understanding of the counselling process and a stronger commitment to the profession.

Counselling is an important part of mental health care and having well-trained professionals is essential to providing quality, compassionate care particularly among the LGBTQI+ community. We are proud of the work we did with Nirangal.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Counselling Skills training workshop - October 2021

Counselling aids one to express their emotions and it promotes well-being in the society. It facilitates individuals to be self-sufficient and to be connected with social environment and to gain insights about their feelings, thoughts and behavior about oneself. 

As there is an increase in day-to-day stress levels, and stress-related illnesses have increased – the numbers who need counselling has also increased. To match the demand for counsellors, East West Center For Counselling and Training organized a workshop for those who have the aptitude and the need to use counselling skills in their work. This was an experiential learning in counselling and it provide an opportunity for the participants to sharpen skills and also to refresh counselling ideas. 

Counselling skills training workshop was conducted on 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st October, 2021. The timings of the workshop was from 10 am to 4 pm. A total of 12 participants took part in this workshop. various counselling skills were taught both theoretically and practically.  Mock sessions were conducted for the participants to learn and implement the skills learnt. 

Venue: Chennai     


Magdalene Jeyarathnam- Certified Psychodramatist

she is an expressive arts therapist and a board certified Psychodramatist and psychodrama trainer. She works with individuals, couples and groups including family groups in India. Magdalene has more than 25 years of experience in working with addiction, HIV/AIDS, and mental health issues, she has worked with several state and central government agencies in India, she has also worked with UNICEF and WHO as consultant on various counselling projects. She is the founder of East West Center for Counselling which is an Expressive arts therapy center providing therapy services to schools, universities and organisations; She also founded the Indian Institute of psychodrama which is the first psychodrama training institute in India, since 2009. She works with corporate trainers, therapists, and those from marginalised communities in India – sex workers, prisoners, People living with HIV, LGBTQ+ communities. She is currently pursuing her doctoral study.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021


Storytelling is an art that uses facts and narrative to convey something to the audience. Thereby, it enables the individual to embrace and own the story of their lives. Whereas, psychodrama is a deep spontaneous action method that helps the individual to gain insight into their lives. 

Thus, the combination of the profound personal engagement in storytelling, and the equally profound exploration of image and character uncovered through psychodrama made this 4 session workshop unique and significant. The workshop was conducted on 6th,13th, 20th, 27th of August 2021 (Fridays) at 6:00pm to 8:00pm. It was facilitated by Laura Simms and Magdalene Jeyarathnam.

 Laura Simms is a Storyteller, Writer, Humanitarian, the Artistic Director of the Hans Christian Andersen Storytelling Center in NY and also the founder of The Center for Engaged Storytelling (new). 

Magdalene Jeyarathnam is a Certified Psychodramatist, Expressive Arts Therapist and the Director of the Indian Institute of Psychodrama. she is also the Director of the East West Center for Counselling and Training (an Expressive Arts Therapy Center based in Chennai, India); and a co-founder of the Expressive Arts Therapy Association of India.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Teachers retreat workshop at Kodaikannal International School - 8th July 2021

 East West Center for Counselling and Training in collaboration with Kodaikannal International School conducted a teachers retreat workshop using Expressive Arts Therapy. This workshop was held at KIS campus on the 8th of July 2021. 

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

India’s LGBTQ struggle and breaking down diversity barriers- 2nd July 2021

 India’s LGBTQ struggle and breaking down diversity barriers

India – ancient or modern have acknowledged sexual orientation exercisable by an individual though the same have been dogged with struggles of discrimination and criminalization. However, these are changing times and there is an acknowledgement that sexual orientation is not a choice and therefore those with different orientations have a right to live just like anyone else, which is part of the right of life. Multinational research firm IPSOS LGBT+ Pride 2021 Global Survey released this year reflects the changing nature of the Indian Population where sexual orientation reflects identification of at least 2% of the population to genders other than male or female and these include transgender, non-binary, non-conforming, gender-fluid and others. Further the report reflects that about 3% of the Indian Population identify as homosexual and 9% identify as bisexual with 1% as pan sexual and 2% identifying themselves as asexual. Hence we are looking at a population of 17%, which is no mean number, identifying themselves with different genders and sexual orientations. This 17% of the population have had to hide or deny or evade their sexual preferences and identity as society might call them unusual or not in conformity with the ordinary. This struggle with their inner selves has led to several battles with authority, selves society and family, one of which recently culminated into a victory of sorts with the Supreme Court of India decriminalizing Homosexuality and considering any discrimination or criminalization due to sexual orientation to be unconstitutional and an infringement of the rights to autonomy, intimacy, and identity and above all the fundamental right to privacy. The Supreme Court also directed the Government to take all measures to properly broadcast this message among the public to eliminate the stigma members of the LGBTQ community face.

Today CII-IWN bring in this very important discussion where though the judgment did open a world of possibilities for this group, the societal acceptance has not changed. The  discrimination continues and acceptance of sexual orientation to be a right by choice and preference is not forthcoming. Individuals struggle and hesitate to come out or freely live their sexual orientations and paths or support partners they have come to love. This hesitation is more identifiable or visible at the workplace. Today as the discussion on diversity has taken greater proportions and there is recognition of the fact that workplace has no place for one section or only a singular population to be visible, this dialogue or discussion on diversity needs to encompass that diversity is about humanity, it is about visibility and its about acceptance that an individual is known for their accomplishments or talents, they be identified for their work and their paths and the same should have little to do with gender, sexual orientation, class or caste.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Breaking the Silence: PRIDE MONTH CELEBRATION- 30th June 2021

The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Consulate General Chennai cordially invites you, your friends, and colleagues to our Pride Month commemoration program “Breaking The Silence,” that includes a screening of American Film Showcase (AFS) short documentary “Share” followed by a panel discussion with filmmakers Barna Szasz and Ellie Wen and protagonist Tim Chau.  Moderated by Magdalene Jeyarathnam, Expressive Arts Therapist & Psychodramatist the discussion will focus on LGBTQIA+ perspectives on identity, family, and communication.   

Date: Wednesday, June 30, 2021  

Time: 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  

All interested individuals are requested to register at CLICK HERE with their First Name, Last Name, College/University Name, Contact Number, Email Id, and City to receive an invitation for the film screening and discussion.  Registered participants will be provided a ticket to watch the short documentary anytime between June 26 9:30 a.m. IST to June 30 10:00 p.m. IST via Eventive platform.   Please register at the earliest as the slots are limited and participation is on first-come-first-served basis.   

About the American Film Showcase (AFS): The American Film Showcase brings award-winning contemporary American documentaries, independent fiction films, and documentary know-how to audiences around the world, offering a view of American society and culture as seen by independent filmmakers. Funded by a grant from the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and produced by the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts (SCA), the Showcase highlights the value of film in fostering understanding and cooperation, dialogue and debate.  

 About AFS documentary “Share”: Share is a short documentary following Tim, an Asian-American 18-year-old, who has 3 million followers on Instagram (@3.1415).  He lives online, grabbing his phone first thing in the morning and even taking baths with it sometimes.  Although Tim usually shares funny memes on his massively popular page, he occasionally posts about mental health.   As the film explores his reason for these posts, we discover that he has created a different identity for himself online than in real life.   Will he be able to reconcile the two identities?  Tackling issues of identity, family, and communication, the film is a heart-breaking yet ultimately uplifting story about a Generation Z teenager at an important crossroad in his life.  


For any questions or clarifications write to  We look forward to seeing you all at the screening and panel discussion.   

Monday, June 21, 2021

Diploma in Expressive Arts Therapy - Transgenerational Trauma

East West Center for counselling & Training conducted a joint diploma program with the Department of Psychology, Women’s Christian College (WCC), Chennai offering Diploma in Expressive Arts Therapy (DEAT). Expressive Arts Therapy (EAT) is an integrated approach that combines modules of Psychodrama, Art therapy, Dance/ movement therapy, storytelling as therapy, Music therapy, Counselling, and Expressive Arts Therapy.

On the 21st of June 2021, Hande Karakılıç Üçer Psychiatrist & Psychodramatist - Expressive Arts Therapist from Turkey facilitated a one day online session for the Diploma students of batch 9 & 10 on the topic Transgenerational Trauma.