Little Red Goes to Therapy

Little Red Goes to Therapy - student project

I know using the teachers example seems like a cop-out, but I always thought Little Red Riding Hood would make a good little story to set the stigma around seeking therapy straight. Lets face it - Red would be absolutely traumatized had she been devoured by a wolf and then cut out by some axe man who just happened to be near by. Real life events can be and are just as scary and traumatizing, and little girls (and woman, boys and men too) could benefit from a positive story about seeking and getting professional help when needed. Fair warning, this accidentally went way darker than I had originally anticipated, so read carefully and I'm sorry in  advance. 


Since the original story beats have been used as an example in the video, I've decided to skip that part for Little Red Riding Hood specifically and do an original story beats example at the end on a different fairy tale. 


Retelling Breakdown:

Key Question:

Show little girls that they can open up about traumatizing things that have happened to them, and they can be helped through it, you don't have to keep things to yourself in fear you wont be taken seriously



Councilor room

Forest/Grandmothers house (to keep in theme with Little Red Riding Hood, and to be used as euphemisms for an underlying theme of real trauma)


Writing Style:

Writing style will be modern but reminiscent of the Brothers Grimm. (As in feeling familiar, but different enough to be almost surreal).The reader will sense the underlying tones beneath the simpler language used. Flashbacks will be used to in-cooperate the classic forest path and "My What Big" sequences.


Character Profiles:

Little Red: Now nervous, soft spoken, anxious and drawn inward. She is the main character and the story is told from her point of view, how she experienced and "remembers" the events that unfolded. She no longer wears a red cloak, but still chooses to wear a red dress

Mother/Grandmother: Briefly discussed to introduce them to the councilor and the reader. Both live in the same house with Red in the modern world. (Remember, original forest path/wolf are euphemisms for what actually happened)

Wolf: Still the predator, portrayed as a wolf by Red. He is actually a human man 

Councilor: The prompter of the story. She gets Red to tell the story, encouraging her to tell it any way she needs to in order to get it out

Cop: Equivalent to the axe man. Saves little Red


Story Beats: 

- Open into the councilor's room. It is not Red's first time, but she is still fairly new to the scene. The councilor re-introduces herself and eases Red into telling her story

- Red starts at the moment where her mother asked Red to go to the store to pick up her grandmother's prescription and some groceries they needed. 

- Melt into a "flashback". Writing becomes focused on the scene, unfolding the inside of Red's apartment where she lives with her mother and grandmother. Now they are in the European forest setting and the task above becomes adjacent to the original story. (Red sets out into the forest)

- Red falters and needs prompting from the councilor. 

- Cut back to the forest scene where Red first notices the 'wolf'. He does not come up right away, he is just in the shadows. 

- Cut to present. Councilor asks questions and Red explains she shook him off and stayed on the path all the way to the grocery store where she would find the prescription drugs and the groceries she needed 

- Councilor offers Red a break, taking the time to ask some questions about Red's mother and grandmother. Red seems appreciative. 

- Red continues on her story. We return to the forest, this time the wolf approaches Red

- At first Red is very good and insists she must stay on the path. The wolf tries and tries to get her to come off the path until he finally goes away

- Red thinks shes safe and gets distracted on the way home. The wolf reappears and steals Red away, capturing her with her own red cape

- Red gets locked away, wolf is a creepy perv and does the whole "My What Pretty" sequence. No more detail after that, but reader has a strong feeling about what the wolf's intentions were

- Red becomes distraught and the forest scene ends, coming back to modern day. Councilor comforts, and asks about the cop that saved her

- Red describes him as the axe man, remembering that she saw him chop down the door to get to her. 

- Councilor comforts Red some more and then calls a 10 minute break on the session. Story ends around here


 Road Map:


Red and the councilor get introduced. The reader gets to become familiar with the room, and the personalities before delving into the story. 



The story is told. Red re-imagined her trauma to resemble closely to the original fairy tales roots, though hints of something even darker and even more real are scattered within the story. It is upsetting to both Red and the Reader, and the councilor interrupts for both parties benefits. Between Red's retelling and the Councilor's questions, the reader learns more about Red's modern life and family



The reader is able to guess what the wolf did to Red and the councilor is able to help Red with some of her questions and fears about what happened to her and what it means now. There will be more sessions, but it is a safe space and Red and the reader both know Red is getting the help she needs (despite being asked to relive her story for the sake of having a story on my pages)


Wow that went way darker than I had intended, oops. Down below is an Original Story Breakdown of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass:


Story Beats: 

- Alice finds and chases the white rabbit, resulting her in falling down a rabbit hole

- She finds herself in a hall of doors and can't find her way out, until she finds a door much too small to fit into

- There is a drink and a box of little cakes. Both have tags that read "Eat me". Alice tries both, first shrinking much too small and then growing much too large

- Alice starts to cry while she's much too large, flooding the hall. She drinks the shrinking potion again and floats through the keyhole of the tiny door into Wonderland

- Alice meets the the DoDo Bird and has a Cactus Race

- Alice finds the white rabbit, who mistakes her for his maid. She goes to his house to find his gloves, finding more misfortune in  growing too large again from eating a cake, but resolving it by fanning herself with a hand fan that ends up making her shrink

- White Rabbit and a lizard chimney sweep both panic while trying to get Alice out of the White Rabbits house

- Alice finds a garden of talking flowers and gets harassed about being a weed 

- Alice meets the Caterpillar with the hookah. She is still looking for the White Rabbit. She's given a mushroom, where one side will make you grow taller and the other side will make you grow smaller

- Meets Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum

- Alice meets the Mad Hatter, the Dormouse and the March Hare and experiences a very odd tea party

- Eventually Alice meets the Cheshire Cat and gets directed to the Queen of Hearts, where the White Rabbit is

- Alice plays against the Queen of Hearts in a game of croquette. The game goes awry and the Queen demands that Alice's head gets cut off

- Alice gets tried and found guilty. She flees to avoid getting beheaded

- Suddenly she finds herself very alone and lost, and she sits down to weep only to open her eyes again to the real world.

- She realizes it was all a dream, and she's by the river with her sister and her cat and all is well in the world



By the river bank

In Wonderland


Character Profiles:

Alice: Imaginative, impulsive, naive, a little stupid

Mary: Alice's sister, a brief character, seems to be level headed and logical

Dinah: Alice's cat, whom is her best friend and gets left behind when Alice goes to Wonderland

White Rabbit: Cause for Alice being in Wonderland, the thing that pique's her interest and causes her to fall down the rabbit hole

Mad Hatter: The host of the mad tea party, positively bonkers

March Hare: Mad Hatter's neighbor, very agitated

Dormouse: The second neighbor, very sleepy

Cheshire Cat: Mysterious, mischievous, gets Alice to the Queen of Hearts, but also almost gets her killed

Queen of Hearts: Temperamental, likes to get her own way, will cut off heads willy nilly 

Dodo: Minor character, inventor of the Cactus Race, a very meddlesome and tiresome character to Alice

Flowers in the Garden: Judgmental, racist(? Question mark here because I'm not entirely sure if their disdain for weeds could be racist because of the fact that they're flowers and weeds aren't good for them in reality, but just going to put it down anyway). 

Caterpillar: Snobbish, uppity, prefers his own company over the company of others

Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum: Twins, eccentric, boisterous, storytellers



Less popular characters that are in the original story:

The Duchess: Loud, angry, always sneezing and throwing plates

The Duchess' Maid: Uses too much pepper in the soup, good at dodging plates

Pig Baby: Loud crying, is actually a pig when Alice takes him away from the Duchess' house

Giant Dog: A very cute, very large good boy that appears for a short time


Writing Style:



Key Question: How to keep a grip on reality vs. imagination, alternatively, how to keep an imagination active