The monster within. A talk by Dr Chris Nicholson

Dear Friends,

Chris Nicholson is giving a presentation at Kypseli TC in Athens on Saturday 8th April @ 12.00 – 1.30pm

‘The monster within:  the psychological function of monsters in fairy tales and children’s fiction‘


The monster is powerful motif in fairy tales and children’s fiction and, some would say, the stuff of nightmare, terror and distress.  Should children be exposed to threatening and frightening images and events typically found in fairy tales or should impressionable children be protected from such experience?  In this talk I will explore this question along with the possible function of monsters in these tales.  Starting with at attempt to categorise monsters into certain types, I will then go on to concentrate upon one of these types – the monster within.    Exploring both old and new versions of the monster in fiction I will consider what the psychological benefits there are for children who become familiar with these stories early in life.  By contrast, what might the consequence be for those not brought up with the cultural reserves which fairy tales and monsters provide?  I will also explore how monsters can be viewed through a psychoanalytic lens: how might monsters relate to monstrous kinds of behaviour, such as racism, violence, and terrorism and what are the underlying psychological mechanisms involved?


Dr Chris Nicholson is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Education at The Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies. He is the author of a book Children and Adolescents in Trauma: Creative Therapeutic Approaches, co-edited with Professor Michael Irwin and Dr Kedar Nath Dwivedi, published in 2010.  His academic papers are mainly about trauma, looked after children and therapeutic communities, which reflect his experience working in these fields. Chris is currently interested in the synergies between literature and psychoanalysis, and all aspects of group experience.  He teaches and consults to Therapeutic Communities in the UK and Greece.

Venue: Kypseli TC, 8 Glafkou street, 15451, Neo Psychiko, Athens, GREECE and telephone number: 00302108619577 and email [email protected]




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