Rudolf Steiner set a new course for understanding the human psyche in a series of lectures in 1909, 1910, and 1911. He added insights to this framework here and there in many other of his five thousand lectures up to his death in 1925. His style was to give hints on a topic—and he did so about education (resulting in the Waldorf School movement, 1500 schools worldwide), agriculture (resulting in biodynamic agriculture, with thousands of acres re-enlivening soil and nutrition), movement (pedagogical, therapeutic and performance “eurythmy”: schools located in many countries), medicine. Professionals in each of these areas have developed Steiner’s hints further. For psychology, major contributions have come from Bernard Lievegood, Karl Koenig, Robert Sardello, Ad and Henreitte Dekkers, Dennis Klocek, James Dyson, William Bento, and others.
In 1997 William Bento, Ph.D., presented at the psychotherapy conference of the Medical Section of the School of Spiritual Science in Dornach, Switzerland. From this initial connection with the international community, Dr. Bento became a founding member of the International Federation for Anthroposophic Psychotherapy Associations. He began to gather a faculty to teach anthroposophic psychology, initially a series of summer workshops, including the Psychosophy Circle, then a formal training originally envisioned as a master’s degree program. This diverse and committed faculty designed the present three-year (nine seminar) program, and has taken two cohorts of twenty students each through the first three-year programs. William Bento passed over the threshold in June 2015.
• Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR);• Non-violent Communication (NVC);• Beyond Trauma attributed to Stephanie Covington;• Dialectical Behavioral Therapy;• Psychodrama;• And, the spiritual or transpersonal psychology introduced by Roberto Assagioli known as Psychosynthsis.
Simon Kuttner, Ph.D.
Simon Kuttner, PhD, is a practicing clinical psychologist in Israel, working with children and adults. In addition, he lectures in Waldorf teacher training and Anthroposophic psychotherapy institutions, teaching courses in child development and psychological theory and practice in relation to Anthroposophy. Simon also teaches in anthroposophic psychotherapy courses overseas, incorporating mainstream psychoanalytic ideas together with Spiritual Science. Born in New Zealand, Simon has also lived in Stuttgart, Germany where he taught in the Waldorf Teacher training and founded the International Masters Course for Waldorf Teachers. As part of his mission to develop a psychotherapy imbued with Spiritual Science, Simon has written several articles that have been published in mainstream journals, focusing on the connection and overlap between Steiner and Winnicott, Intersubjective psychology, Daniel Stern, and Christopher Bollas.
Susan Overhauser, Ph.D.
Susan is a licensed clinical psychologist working in private practice in California, specializing in treating trauma and attachment in all age groups. Susan has taught in multiple venues including university, Waldorf teacher training programs, Waldorf schools, public schools and international anthroposophic psychotherapy programs. She is a faculty member of the Association for Anthroposophic Psychology and regularly contributes to international psychotherapy conferences. Susan’s specialized training includes:
- AAP Certification in Anthroposophic Psychotherapy
- EMDRIA Certification in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
- ISSTD Advanced Certification in Complex Trauma and Dissociation
- SPI Advanced Certification in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy
- Advanced Training in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy
- Relational Psychodynamic Therapy
- Play Therapy, SandPlay, Expressive Arts
- Biography Work, Spirituality, Self-Development
- Paths to Social Healing Anthroposophic Meditation
Susan received her undergraduate training in psychology at U.C. Berkeley, and completed graduate training at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Areas of research and special interest include attachment, lifespan human development, adolescence, personality and identity development, relationships across the lifespan, child maltreatment, sexual abuse, dissociation, trauma therapy modalities, navigating multicultural issues in relationships, and deepening anthroposophic conceptualizations of psychological disturbances and dynamics. Susan has provided numerous articles and presentations on these topics, including academic publications.
Alex Schneider, LMHC
Alex is a practicing Licensed Mental Health Counselor with a group practice in Hudson, NY, having received a Master’s Degree from the State University of New York at New Paltz in 2009. A graduate and continuing student of the Spacial Dynamics Institute, Alex practices client-centered, anthroposophically-informed psychotherapy. He works with a range of diverse clients to hold a warm, safe and relational space with a particular focus on Freedom, Love, Meaning, Purpose, Embodiment, Movement, Myth and Metaphor.
Susan Overhauser, Ph.D.
See bio above.
Tonya Stoddard, LCSW
Tonya is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has completed the three year foundation program as well as a three year internship with AAP; she now serves on the AAP Board. Since 2018, she has been an AHA (Anthroposophic Health Assn.) Board member, representing AAP, and is on the AHA leadership team. Her earlier experience includes a decade + working in supportive housing for adults struggling with mental illness, addiction and trauma in San Francisco. Currently, in her private practice, Threefold Counseling in Sebastopol, CA she offers Anthroposophic psychotherapy for children and adults as well as consults with Waldorf communities on child development, parenting, and how best to support the Waldorf curriculum. Tonya is committed to creating access to anthroposophic psychotherapy for communities that traditionally have been unable to receive these services.
Zheni Nasi, M.A., R.P. (Qualifying)
Zheni has been practicing psychotherapy in the Greater Toronto Area, Canada, since 2017.
She practices from a humanistic and transpersonal approach, along with other modalities such as cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), family system, and Adlerian therapy. She works from a trauma-informed perspective, primarily with adult population, with diagnoses of adjustment disorder, depression and anxiety disorder, PTSD, and OCD, among others. Beyond psychopathology, she focuses on the inner growth and empowerment of the individual, who is in the lifelong journey of knowing oneself, in community with other fellow humans.
Alan Thewless was born in the North of England and through his childhood and youth developed a close kinship with the natural landscapes of Britain, especially its mountains. He studied Fine Art in Sheffield and Liverpool, and Education in Leicester. He studied Waldorf Education in London with Dr. Brian Masters and became a Waldorf teacher in 1984. Alan carries to the present day a deep involvement in education as a healing art. In 2002 he moved to the USA to study Therapeutic Education at Camphill Special School, Beaver Run and also to complete his studies in the Psychosophy Seminar with James Dyson, MD and William Bento, PhD. Alan is presently a faculty member of the Association for Anthroposophic Psychology.
Alan has been a student of Astrosophy for over 30 years and regularly writes and gives courses, lectures and personal consultations on this subject internationally. He also has a deep interest in the therapeutic properties of music and for many years he has been crafting new musical instruments for children and adults, available through Tir-anna Musical Instruments. For nearly 20 years Alan has been involved in the work of the Eckersley Shakespeare Trust, which is devoted to research into the numerical and geometrical structure of Shakespeare’s Plays since this background came to light through the work of the late Sylvia Eckersley. Alan lectures and gives workshops on this subject in England, USA and China and teaches curative education, Astrosophy, Waldorf Education and Anthroposphy in several areas of the world.
Christine has spent decades as a student of anthroposophy, supporting the growth and development of Anthroposophic initiatives – Waldorf Schools, Camphill communities and AAP. With a degree in Education, she worked from 2007 - 2015 as a mentor/life coach to co-workers in a Camphill community under the supervision of Dr. William Bento; graduated from the 3 Year Certificate Program in Anthroposophic Psychology in 2017 and the AAP graduate program “Personality and Personality Disorders” in 2018. She achieved her certificate as an AAP Associate through the 3 year AAP internship program in 2021. She has served on several Boards including a community bank, Waldorf Schools, a local TimeBank, and, since 2015, on the Board of AAP. She is senior partner of Counselors AdVenture, acts as C.O.O. of AAP and serves as AAP’s representative on the Council of Anthroposophic Organizations (CAO). She lives near Kimberton, PA, is active as treasurer for the SE PA Branch of the Anthroposophical Society in America and thoroughly enjoys working with her private clients – through offering services in “Anthroposophic Soul Care.”
Born in Glasgow, Scotland, and trained in Interior Design at the Mackintosh School of Art, Gillian has been active within the Camphill Movement for many years and completed the Eurythmy training in the Camphill Ringwood/Botton School.
In 1997, she joined Camphill Special Schools (a.k.a. “Beaver Run”) in Glenmoore, PA, where she is eurythmy teacher, therapist and mentor, and also a teacher of eurythmy and of esoteric studies in the Camphill Academy Training Course in Curative Education.
Gillian has been engaged since 1997 with Psychosophy conferences, and later the Anthroposophic Psychology seminars, bringing eurythmy as an integral part of the coursework. She teaches eurythmy annually at the Summer School of the Philosophy Department of the University of Athens, Greece, and adds Taiwan and the Philippines to the places where she leads courses in Anthroposophy and aspects of eurythmy and education for developmental disabilities.
Starting in 2002, Gillian organizes and leads small groups in Odyssey Journeys to the sacred places of Greece, Egypt, Italy, Ireland and Scotland.
Vincent Philip Roppolo
Vincent, the son of a coal miner’s daughter, was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. A bohemian lifestyle led to an eclectic destiny path. A thread of teaching weaves itself through Vincent’s life as he followed his path from a young trainer in the banking world and moving on to be a foreign exchange and money trader for a number of International Banks during the 70’s and early 80’s, while studying dance with Merce Cunningham, then transitioning to the Theater world where he worked with a number of repertory companies in NYC, while teaching voice and speech at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC. Meeting Anthroposophy in the late 1980’s, Vincent studied the Michael Chekhov acting technique and worked with the Actors Ensemble in NYC during this time. Vincent is also trained as a Shiatsu practitioner. After 12 full years in the theater world, Vincent returned to the corporate world as a Vice President and Senior Trainer for Citigroup, where he retired after 25 years. During his time at Citigroup, Vincent was involved with studying and receiving the three-year Certificate in Anthroposophic Psychology.
Vincent is currently on the board of AAP, as well as a faculty member, and is certified in the Myers Briggs Typing Instrument (MBTI).
The founder of this initiative, crossed the threshold on June 5, 2015, just before his 64th birthday. He had created many different relationships with many clients as a psychologist, a mentor, and one who consulted the workings of the heavens (astrosophy — astro, star — Sophia, wisdom). In the late 1990’s, with James Dyson, he organized a series of seminars on the East coast on anthroposophic psychology. This became a four-year intensive, three seminars a year, with a committed group of people. It evolved into the Psychosophy Circle which continues to meet annually. At the same time, in Boulder, Colorado, he created working relationships with the StarFire Research Group, who applied intelligent astrology to individuals and world events. At the same time, he nurtured the development of psychology at Rudolf Steiner College, where he worked for several years.
He presented at an international congress on psychotherapy in Dornach, Switzerland, in 1997, creating links with the Dekkers. He was a founding member of IFAPA. He taught seminars in Brazil.
He wrote Lifting the Veil of Mental Illness, contributed to Signs in the Heavens: A Message for Our Time, contributed to The Counselor … As If Soul and Spirit Matter. Every year, many would await his Holy Nights Journal that tracked those important nights between December 24 and January 7, helping many find insights into the year past and the year to come. His final achievement was the establishment of the foundation of AAP, for which he gathered an excellent faculty who continue to offer this program in the United States. His legacy continues to inspire AAP.
Read an obituary of William Bento’s life by Ad Dekkers and Henriette Dekkers-Appel.
Michele Guarino is the Owner and Founder of A Second Office, LLC. Michele brings over 37 years of experience supporting top-level executives in the corporate, legal, real estate, financial, leadership, and software start-up markets.
She has held such positions as Paralegal, Executive Assistant to C-Level and other top level executives, Office Manager, Facilities Manager, and Supervisor. Her responsibilities encompass: Executive Assistance/Management, Office Management, Operating Systems and Procedures, Project Management and Administration, Licensing Agreements and Compliance Processes, Contract Initiation and Management, Right-Hand Support for Mergers and Acquisitions, IPO Process, Employee Supervision and Training, HR Administration, Liaison with Board Members and C-Level Executives, Maintaining Corporate Records, and other related areas too numerous and diverse to list here.
Michele is a National Federation of Business and Professional Women Clubs (NFBPWC) leader. Since 2010, she has volunteered for this international organization and served in various roles, including: President, Board of Director, President-Elect, VP of Marketing, Communications Chair, VP of Technology, Strategy Team Leader, Social Media Chair, Webmistress, Recording Secretary, Grant Review Committee, and Newsletter Chair.
We are also moved by the teaching diagrams of Leonardo da Vinci:
and those by Agrippa von Nettesheim: