East West Center for Counselling & Training | Indian Institute of Psychodrama | Magdalene Jeyarathnam | Eric Miller

Magdalene Jeyarathnam

Magdalene Jeyarathnam

“To serve as an essential resource for individuals and individuals who seek assistance with developmental concerns. We provide short-term, culturally sensitive counselling, training, consultation, and other collaborative and programmatic services.”

Magdalene is a board certified psychodramatist. She is the first Indian Psychodramatist to be trained in India. She started her training in 2009 and was certified in October 2016 by the Australia Aotearoa (New Zealand) board of psychodrama through the Psychodrama Institute of Melbourne. She has been elected into the board of Directors of International Association of Group Psychotherapy and Group Processes.

Her teachers included Dr Herb Propper (USA), Sue Daniel(Australia), Dr Jorge Burmiester(Spain/ Switzerland), Saphira Linden(USA) and Donna Little(Canada). Magdalene also founded the Indian Institute of Psychodrama in 2013 in order to pave the way for others in India to be trained and certified within the Indian borders. She has completed more than 25 years in working as a counsellor/ therapist without a break in her career.

She enjoys teaching, art and food.


Aug 1994 – Dec 2004 Counsellor, Substance Abuse Treatment Centre, TT
Ranganathan Research Foundation
Jan 2001 – Aug 2003 Coordinator, Counselling Services SIAAP
Sept 2003 – Feb 2004 Project Director, Health First
Mar 2004 – Dec 2004 Counselling Trainer
Dec 2004 – Feb 2005 Director – Training and Counselling, SAATHII
Oct 2005 – Jan 2007 Counselling Consultant – Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control
 Society supported by UNICEF
Feb 2005 – July 2007 Consultant on various projects 
 Family Health International
Ministry of Health – Bhutan
Ministry of Health – Myanmar
APAC – VHS (USAID Project)
Action Aid International
 Jan 2007 – CurrentCounsellor / Counselling Supervisor / Psychodramatist
 Founder Director – East West Center for Counselling and Training
June 2013 – CurrentFounder Director – Indian Institute of Psychodrama

  Experience in working with Organisations on projects

  • Colombo Plan, Sri Lanka
  • National AIDS Control Organisation – TANSACS, APSACS, KSACS
  • UNICEF, Chennai
  • World Health Organisation – South East Asia Region
  • APAC -VHS, Chennai
  • ILO
  • Family Health International – Delhi, Mumbai & Chennai
  • Action Aid International (Tsunami project)
  • Center for Disease Control

  Experience in working with the following Governments

  • Ministry of Health, Bhutan
  • Ministry of Health, Thailand
  • Ministry of Health, Myanmar


  • Situation Analysis study which was documented and made into a CD as IEC tool on Babies and AIDS. Oral Presentation of the same in the ICCAP, in Melbourne, Australia in 2001
  • Chair person in a session on Coping with HIV – Health Care professionals in the Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University International Conference in Chennai, 2003
  • Presented a paper on ‘Nurse as a Counsellor, at the Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University Conference in 2004
  • Chaired and presented on Faith and Sexuality Conference at an International Conference held at Asha Nivas in 2009
  • Conducted Two Expressive Arts Therapy workshop on the Psychological Aspects of Aging at the 15th Annual Conference of Catholic Psychologists of India, held in Pala, Kerala in 2014
  • Spoke on ‘Psychodrama – For Stress Release” at the National Seminar on Stress and Resilience: In Children, Adolescence, Women and Social Supports Groups in Rajahmundry, 2014
  • Spoke on ‘Psychodrama: Reducing Stress and Increasing Resilience’ at the International Seminar on Stress and Resilience Techniques in Rajahmundry, 2014
  • Spoke on Indian Cultural Contexts Around Therapy and Around Using the Arts for Therapy at the International Conference on ‘Contextualizing Cultural Heritage in Literatures’ in Salem, 2015
  • Spoke on the ‘Clinical Use of Psychodrama’ at the International Conference on Contemporary Trends in the Effective Practice of Counselling, MGR Janaki College of Arts and Science for Women in Chennai, 2015

  Work in Tamil Nadu, India

  • Experience in training of Integrated Counselling and testing centres (ICTC) teams for HIV counselling in almost all districts of Tamil Nadu.
  • Counselling and setting up of counselling supervision services of ICTC in TN in 2001-2003
  • Conducting a Situation Analysis study in 4 districts in Tamil Nadu along with the Macfarlane Burnette institute for Medical Research, Melbourne, Australia – 2001
  • Involved in making a documentary on “Babies and AIDS” which is now shown in all PPTCT sites in Tamil Nadu
  • Recruitment of the first batch of counsellors into the ICTC sites for the Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society – 2001
  • Training of counsellors before they joined the ICTC sites in TN
  • Involved in starting a newsletter for counsellors in TN in 2003

Work in different parts of India

  • Consultant for the NACO – TOT training module for ICTC counsellors
  • Developing of Counselling aids like flip charts, checklists for the counselling sessions
  • Developed guidelines for counsellors working in STI clinics for Family Health International, Mumbai
  • Review of Follow up counselling modules developed by Indiaclen – Center for Disease Control(CDC)
  • Writing a facilitators guide for Project Concern International
  • Consultant on Sexual Harassment team in various organizations
  • Board President for Sangama, an organization that works with sexual minorities and sex-workers

Work in Asia

  • Developed the national guidelines for Voluntary counselling and testing centres (VCTC) for the ministry of health in Bhutan funded by the world bank
  • Developed VCTC counsellors training curriculum and conducted the counsellors training for Bhutan
  • Completed inter country training of counsellors in VCTC and the TOT for the World Health Organisation (WHO – SEARO) and UNICEF from 2003 to 2005 held in Thailand and Myanmar
  • Completed inter country training of counsellors for FHI and UNICEF, 2005 in Thailand
  • Review of VCTC guidelines for Ministry of Health, Myanmar; WHO consultancy

Counselling Training & Module development Experience (1996 -2019)

  • Training of women counsellors from S E Asia and the Pacific for Colombo Plan, Sri Lanka on Counselling in substance abuse in TTK hospital, Chennai, 1996
  • Training counsellors in the diploma course in Counselling for HIV/STI this is in affiliation to the Netherlands Stitching Gestalt Foundation (NSG) and SIAAP for the state of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, 2001
  • Training supervisors in supervision skills (for counselling supervision) in affiliation to the Central School of Counselling training, UK. 2002
  • Training teams for the Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society in counselling issues related to Voluntary Confidential Counselling and Testing Centres and Prevention of parent to child transmission of HIV projects for all the district headquarters hospitals and medical colleges in the state of Tamil Nadu 2002/ 2003
  • Training managers, supervisors (Employee Assistance Programme) in industries on the workplace prevention of substance abuse programmes as part of the ILO project, 1995-2000
  • Training post graduate students from Social work, psychology and Counselling as part of their field work curriculum 1996 – 2004 (MSSW, WCC, Stella Maris, MCC, Loyola college)
  • Training NGOs that are funded by TN State AIDS Control Society and Chennai AIDS Prevention And Control Society (CAPACS) in counselling 2001 – 2003
  • Consultant for the counselling training programme for AIDS Prevention and Control Society APAC-VHS, US Aided project
  • Developing and delivering an advanced counselling training programme for the counsellors in the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh 2001 – 2003
  • Training module preparation for community workers, health workers etc for APAC-VHS, US Aided project in 2003
  • Resource person for the city college intervention project of APAC – VHS, US Aided project through the Madras University 2003 to 2005
  • Capacity building workshop for SLANA, centre for treatment of addiction in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2004
  • Training of counsellors for the Psycho social rehabilitation programme for tsunami affected regions in Tamil Nadu for Action Aid International in 2004 and 2005
  • Developing counselling training modules and training counsellors for the Ministry of Health, Government of Bhutan in 2005
  • Training and developing counselling aids for Counsellors in Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society (TANSACS) Oct 2005 to Jan 2007
  • Training counsellors working in Government Hospital Tambaram, on Follow up counselling for Indian Network of Positive people (INP+) and Center for Disease Control (CDC) ongoing project to end in Oct 2007
  • Training Peer Counsellors for Indian Network of Positive people (INP+) for all the districts of Tamil Nadu
  • Peer counselling training (LGBT community) in collaboration with Shakti Center funded by LLH Norway Nov 2009 to Jan 2010.
  • Developed and delivered the Counselling skills certificate course in Stella Maris College – 2011 and 2012
  • Developed 3 modules on – Sexual reproductive Health, Sexual minorities and Basic counselling for tele counsellors for APAC Feb 2011
  • I have developed several training manuals for various organisations -WHO, FHI, APAC
  • I have developed several 4 day training modules for counsellors and therapists which we deliver through East West Center for Counselling and Training
  • Collaborating with Women’s Christian College we have developed a one year diploma course in Expressive Arts Therapy, the first college course on arts therapy in India
  • Collaborating with Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai on an advanced Post graduate two year diploma course(Part time) since 2019.

Projects currently involved:

  • Planning and organising the Annual international conferences in Expressive Arts Therapy.
  • Founding and collaborating on an association of Expressive arts therapists in India.
  • Collaborating with colleges and universities on certificate courses on Psychodrama or Expressive Arts therapy or Counselling
  • Developing Storytelling therapy modules along with the World Storytelling Institute
  • Expressive Art therapy diploma certificate(one year) course in Women’s Christian College since 2011
  • Advanced Post graduate diploma course in psychodrama in collaboration with Tata Institute of Social Sciences(TISS), Mumbai
  • Setting of board of examiners for all Psychodrama training institutions in India to certify Indians trained in Psychodrama.
  • Completing doctoral study on Expressive Arts – Group Psychotherapy.

Professional Organizations Memberships

  • Founding member of Indian Academy of Supervisors
  • Co – founder of Expressive Arts Therapy Association of India
  • International committee member of American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama
  • Nominated member of the Academic Council of Women’s Christian College since 2018.
  • Co – Chairperson for the membership committee of International Association of Group Psychotherapy and Group Processes.

International Conferences

  •  Presented the India Project which is supported by International Association of Group Psychotherapy and Group Processes  and chaired a session in the 2nd IAGP International Research Congress that happened in Thessaloniki, Greece. The congress happened from 14th to 17th June, 2019 and was themed “Trauma and Crisis”. There was also a presentation made on “Dreams and Trauma” which was pertinent to the theme of the congress.
  • Conducted a workshop in 2nd IAGP International Psychodrama Conference & 8th International Psychodrama Congress that happened in Iseo, Italy on the 5th of September, 2019. The theme of the conference was “Who shall survive?” and the workshop was on “Using Psychodrama with LGBTQI community in India”. There was another presentation made on “Breaking gangs using sociometry in a prison setting”.

Brief Profile:

Magdalene Jeyarathnam is an expressive arts therapist and a board certified Psychodramatist working 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 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 organizations; She also founded the Indian Institute of psychodrama which is the first psychodrama training institute in India. She is one of the founding members of the Indian academy of professional supervisors; she is also on the board of directors of the International Association of Group Psychotherapy and group Processes. She is a co-founder of Expressive Arts therapy Association of India. She is currently pursuing her doctoral study.


Magdalene Jeyarathnam

Mobile : +91 9884700135