Marcella Hannon Shields
Once Upon a Time There Was a Little Girl: The Healing Power of Fairy Tales in the Lives of Seven Women   Winner of the iUniverse Editor's Choice Award



"Marcella Shields, with a circle of women, explores, in depth, the power of the unconscious in making and breaking our twenty-first century lives...A book that invites us to look deeper into our own confrontations with sorrow and loss and to claim the courage to live a creative, meaningful life." Marion Woodman, Jungian analyst and author of Bone: Dying Into Life, Leaving Our Father's House, and The Addiction to Perfection.

"After finishing this beautiful book (if one can say they have finished...there are so many layers and nuances to the stories and dreams) I realized that I could be mining the gold for years. I love the image of the circle of women and the many metaphors...especially the symbol of the spindle. This book is a daring soul quest...a gift for our times." Deborah Prokipchuk Ackley, author of Born from Silence, and co-author of My Story Listens to Your Story: An Anthology of Women's Leadership Images and Stories.

"I enjoyed the presentation of Once Upon a Time There Was a Little Girl very much and found it very well written. Keeping the book interesting and a pleasure to read was done masterfully. I also found it a great stimulus for deep and serious conversation...the motherless situation resonates with many people. For me, like most great sources, the book gave rise to many other questions, for example the absence of the father, which seemed to be present in so many of the fairy tales. Once Upon a Time There Was a Little Girl presents not only a method but also a tool. I would highly recommend it to psychologists and other psychotherapists working with those who have suffered early maternal loss."

 Henry Guertin-Ouelette, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist


"This is a gem of a book. Shields has provided a poetic history of fairy tales, and presented them in modern terms, using literary images to show the applicability of their universal truth to today's life. Upon first reading, I quickly devoured each tale, eager to discover how it would come out. As I learned more about the participants in the therapy group, I wanted to know how they fared. The book also touches upon beacons in the individuation and separation literature, with revealing insights on how these women grew & flourished. Eventually, I had read the book three times. Themes that arise frequently in therapy, leading patients to learn to nurture themselves, to turn the dross of depression into the gold of creative energy, & tapping into their own forces of competence are represented well in Once Upon a Time There Was a Little Girl. The Reflection Questions at the end of each chapter are valuable tools, and provide a rich model for developing questions for one's own thinking, as well as to guide patients in therapy. The technique of integrating dreams and reflections into clear images for action is a valuable one. Shields decision to forego clinical language and present her text in clear words makes the book accessible on many levels."   Vivian P. Doremus, LMSW Licenced Social Worker