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German puppetry therapist surprised by thirst for knowledge in Iran

Source: Tehran Times

An experienced German puppetry therapist was surprised by the thirst for knowledge among the Iranian people. The founder of the German Association for Therapeutic Puppetry, Barbara Scheel, began a series of workshops starting January 20 on the sidelines of the 31st Fajr International Theater Festival in Tehran.

German puppetry therapist Barbara Scheel holds a workshop in South Korea in an undated photo.

"My workshops in Iran have been a special experience. The Iranian people's capacity to absorb the information is amazing. It has increased my motivation for holding the workshops," she told the Persian service of ISNA on Monday.

Scheel has previously held similar workshops in Japan, South Korea, Portugal, Brazil and several other countries.

"Puppetry is not taken seriously in some countries. For example, some traditions in South Korea hindered my workshops in the country," she said.

"But, I am really gratified to hear the expert and profound questions by the Iranian people in my workshops," she added.

Photos: "Hafez" opera puppet show goes on stage in Tehran

Scheel, 75, established the Association for Therapeutic Puppetry in 1984 to exchange information, to document, to research and to support those people who work with puppets, shadow puppets or masks in situations of healing in psychological, physiological and pedagogical surroundings.

"The reactions of people on puppets deal with the so called 'interims object' well known in psychology. It says that in childhood we all had things: dolls, puppets, pillows, etc., which we took as a substitute for persons that we needed to survive emotionally," she wrote in an article.

"It is possible to work with puppets in groups of disabled, mentally retarded, physically handicapped or other handicapped people, people in hospitals who have cancer or are near death, seniors and small children," she added.

She said that puppets can reduce the level of medicine given to them. Clients become less aggressive, can deal better with their emotions and have a better understanding of their surroundings.

Scheel's workshops come to an end in Tehran on Tuesday. She said that four days is very short time to achieve the desired results.

... Payvand News - 01/24/13 ... --

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