Sunday, April 19, 2009

Center for Counselling's support to Sahodari organisation working for transgendered women - 19 April 2009

Kalki rightly said: its a one woman show, the show belonged to Kalki right from the start to end. Congrats Sahodari Kalki

Pic 1 - Kalki and Srijith

Pic 2 - Olga, me, Kalki, Selvam(female to male transgender) and Sunil

Pic 3 - Sankari our counsellor being interviewed on Makkal TV.

Pic 4 -The signature campaign

Pic 5 - "Treat transgendered people with respect" speech..

Pic 6 - A good crowd, we had police support too.

This event was held in the Marina beach with the permission of the commissioner of police, Chennai. 

Transgendered Women – The Hunt for Dignity


In the recent days an incident reported in the newspapers may have caused a lot of confusion and fear about Transgendered women among the public. While it is a struggle for transgendered women for basic needs, it is also a struggle to gain the general community’s acceptance.


Sahodari -- an NGO founded by Kalki, a Transwoman herself -- presents:



A Street Play scripted and directed by

Kalki and Srijith (a theatre and cinema artist)


The play conveys the following message:


Transgendered women, also known as Transwomen, do not force men to change into women. Those who wish to become a Transgendered woman after much trials and struggles come in search and join the Transgender community.  Then, when and if they want to emasculate, they go for surgery.  Surgery is a choice they make – it is not forced by anyone else.


  • Families do not accept an effeminate male child. The community ridicules, mocks and bullies him, this abuse leaves deep scars. We do not send him for emotional support like counselling. These young boys run away from their homes, this is where their life path changes. If parents are understanding and accept their children their lives will not ruined. All Transgendered women are either sent out of their homes or have left, unable to cope with the pressure.


  • Transgendered women wish to be part of the society. Just like other men and women, we too make mistakes but then the entire transgender community is blamed. Even in the Transgender community a small number with power and money abuse others. Those who are victimized must be protected under the law just like anyone else.


  • When Transgendered women commit crimes and are jailed, they must be put in prisons for women. When they are imprisoned with men, they undergo sexual abuse and suffer unnecessary stress. Transgendered women must be imprisioned only with female prisoners.


“Pain” -- Poems read by Students, Artists, Social Workers and Transgendered people to convey the lives and struggles of Transgendered people.


Signature Campaign -- Following which a signature campaign in support of the rights of the transgendered women was done.



Founder/ Director

Sahodari Foundation


Phone: 9786211779


Skype: kalki-india


The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising everytime we fall – Nelson Mandela

More pictures of this event is in the link below:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Trainings in September

Center for Counselling will be conducting 

A)  Two week training on Psychodrama in September. The trainer will be Dr Herb Propper PhD, TEP, certified trainer, educator and practitioner from the USA.


Enhacing individual and group creativity …

Sharing our inner world with others …

Opening pathways to self-directed change …

Exploring past, present or future relationships…

"Role-playing comes before the emergence of the self --"

       - Dr. J. L. Moreno, creator of Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy


Psychodrama uses our innate capacity for role-playing to investigate our lives in a mutually supportive environment, to reexperience and change the past, to affirm our strengths, to try out future alternatives and to change what we choose.

It requires no experience or training in formal theater.

Psychodrama draws on the spontaneous and creative process of the group to help each other discover satisfying solutions to individual and collective situations.  It gives us insights into the underlying dynamics of a group, to see the ways people are connected to one another, and to choose our companions or colleagues with increased mutual satisfaction.  It offers opportunities to take more responsibility for and control over our lives, individually and collectively.

Psychodrama is a means of exploring our lives together with other people in spontaneous role-playing action.  It is therapeutic in the widest sense, providing us with opportunities to investigate and integrate body, mind and spirit, and to connect more deeply with others than we often do in our normal day-to-day life.  A fundamental goal of psychodrama is to help us activate and expand our individual and collective spontaneity and creativity.

What is spontaneity in psychodrama?

In psychodrama, being spontaneous is not about acting impulsively or blindly, without thought or consideration for others.  Instead, spontaneity is defined in practical terms as being able to create "a new response to an old situation" or "an adequate response to a new situation," where adequate is measured by actions that satisfy both our own needs and those of the persons with whom we interact.  Using various active role-playing methods, we have opportunities to practice a variety of responses to a person or situation.  We can also experience the impact of our responses on others by stepping into their shoes and feeling the effects of the way we express ourselves or ask for what we need.  Through the creative contributions of others who are participating in the role-playing, we receive a wider perspective on our own life.

Trainer Biography: 

Herb Propper, Ph.D., T.E.P. is a Trainer Educator Practitioner of Psychodrama, Sociometry and 

Group Psychotherapy, certified by the American Board of Examiners.  He has 30 years of 

experience in the field.  He is Director of Celebrations of the Soul Center for Psychodrama, 

Sociodrama and Sociometry in Vermont, USA, in private practice as therapist, trainer and 


Herb is a lifetime member and fellow of the American Societry of Group Psychotherapy and 

Psychodrama (ASGPP).  He has presented numerous workshops at conferences of the ASGPP 

and its affiliated New England chapter. 

Since 2003 he has been a lead trainer for the National Therapeutic Theatre Workshops of 

Bangladesh, and is also a member of the Bangladesh Therapeutic Theatre Institute. 

He has published articles on sociodrama, psychodrama in theater work and role-playing in 

education in The British Journal of Psychodrama and Sociodrama, The Journal of Group 

Psychotherapy, Psychodrama and Sociometry,and The Internaional Journal of Action Methods.  

He has also contributed a chapter on uses of psychodrama in education to Psychodrama in the 

21st Century.

B) Five day training on Art Therapy in November- The trainer will be Jen Kristel, Expressive Arts Therapist, Playback Theatre Director/teacher

Participants will learn aspects of Art as Therapy:

Basic history of Art therapy

Integrating different arts as therapy

Methods of assessment

Color symbol

Symbology of imagery

View case studies

The value of art as diagnostic tool

Arts used in different clinical areas, in western culture

Define, assess and develop concept of using the arts as therapy in Indian culture

Experiential work both individually and group oriented.

C)  Five day training on Playback theater also in November. The trainer will be Jen Kristel, Expressive Arts Therapist, Playback Theatre Director/teacher

Playback, What Is It?

An audience gathers.  After introducing the company, the conductor asks for a story from the audience .A person tells a story about something in their life. The actors receive roles. The musicians begin playing and the action starts. Using theatre improv, movement, sound and spoken word, this person’s story comes alive for all to see. After, the conductor asks “Did that capture the essence? The teller nods and goes back to the audience. A new story is told, and the thread of stories continues as each person in the room, connects to each other and to the shared moments.

The process of Playback is deceivingly simple. At one level, we are playing back a person’s story from his/her life. Yet, the act of creating the safety that allows anyone to tell the story is important, as well as the ability to listen deeply, not so much with our ears, but from our heart to the tellers story, and bear witness to it through the enactment as a way of giving them a gift. As an actor, we receive these stories as a gift, and it is important then to hand back to the individual as well as to the audience as a whole. The conductor holds a presence similar to that of a “shaman,” needing to pay attention to the subtle as well as broad dynamics within the audience as well as the connection between the actors and the audience. There is a balance of art, social awareness and ritual that needs to be present in order for a Playback performance to go well. In Playback as well, one can pay too much attention to any of these areas, and the other areas might lack. As audience members become used to what Playback is about, for many, also become accustomed to the ritual and look forward to it. Many an audience member will come to a performance regularly, because they understand that when they do, there is a basic ritual that they will know- one which includes the ability for them to tell a story of their own, from their own life, and see it enacted.

Playback began over 30 years ago by Jonathan Fox and the original Playback Theatre troupe. It is now done with over 350 companies in 50 countries. Each company, and in each country does Playback in their own way, yet the ritual of Playback remains the same. Whether in a hospital setting, a prison, or an open performance Playback supports people in connecting with eachother through personal story, creating community and supporting people in finding their voices for change, acknowledging their dreams, developing support networks through shared experience.

An evening of Playback can elicit laughter, tears and “ahas” all within a few minutes of each other.

“People need to tell their stories. It’s a basic human imperative. From the telling of our stories comes our sense of identity, our place in the world, and our compass of the world itself.”
-Jo Salas, original member of Playback Theatre

Playback Theatre brings “theatre back from the domain of entertainment to its earlier purpose of preserving memory and holding the tribe together.”
-Jonathan Fox, Founder of Playback Theatre

All the above training will have very limited participants. 
Dates will be announced later this month.