For licensed mental health professionals, including psychiatrists and psychologists, social workers, counselors, addiction specialists, etc., who are seeking a holistic integrative training in:
Professionals who come to our course
Professionals who come to our spiritual psychology course are aware of the strengths and limitations prevalent in contemporary psychology theory and practice. They may have sought answers and solutions from eastern psychology, unaware that Rudolf Steiner introduced a western spiritual psychology entitled Anthroposophy-the wisdom of the becoming human being. These individuals are earnestly engaged in reconciling the gap between woundedness and wellness. Because of their clinical work they are familiar with the compelling experience of fragmentation, the depths of depression and despair, the paralysis caused by fear, anxiety and trauma, and they see the destruction left by addictions. Clinicians who join our course strive to extend their grasp of these maladies, intuiting that current contemporary schooling, while valuable, is incomplete.
Sometimes our participants have experienced "peak experiences" in their own lives or heard about such happenings from their clients. They might ask: "Was that a psychotic break or a spiritual crisis?" They yearn to work out the complexities of these mysterious events.
The extensive use of psychopharmacology is also being reexamined by those who enroll. They are questioning the effectiveness of reductionistic views of human nature. How can one-sided physical-materialistic analyses generate a successful diagnosis and treatment? The course is a reply to clinical needs for a holistic model of human nature and becoming that is grounded in knowledge of the microcosm (material realities) as well as the macrocosm (spiritual realities).
Our participants are also interested in joining a training that offers more than a lecture approach to learning. They value the importance of experiencing and embodying concepts. The anthroposophic psychology seminars offer a range of enlivening experiences involving mythology, storytelling, color and clay work, music and movement, psychodrama and role play, and more.
For further comments on the AAP approach, and for a critique of psychopharmacology click here.
Our Three-year Certificate Course covers many topics of mainstream psychology, with an approach to pathology out of salutogenesis (i.e., what is healthy in the human being), how we stray from it, and how a therapeutic relationship can assist others to find again their way. The curriculum covers many aspects of the human experience that one must know in order to meet another human being with increased insight and compassion.
Evidence-based approaches to pathology: Well aware of research on the efficacy of various techniques, practitioners of Anthroposophic psychology are able to understand why these techniques are efficacious.
The AAP Anthroposophic Psychology seminars provide a meaningful context for application thru substantiating and grounding constructs and practice in a three-fold understanding of human nature as consisting of body, soul, and spirit. This epistemology, along with its accompanying methodology, integrates natural scientific principles while giving equal value to hidden life forces and processes, to the soul, and to spiritual realities.
Self-care: We are surprised by how many training programs neglect the self-care of the counselors that they send into the world. We emphasize experience and practice, and finding ways to nourish the soul and spirit of the counselor.
Self-Development: Participating in Anthroposophic Psychology seminars can help us understand the scale of who we are by intentionally and gently engaging our depths while embracing our heights. In the addiction profession there is a notable saying that is relevant: "Wherever we go there we are." We can't escape ourselves, although we often attempt to do so through all sorts of defenses, distractions, and amusements. As professionals we often minimize our role while blaming the symptoms of a mental health disorder. We intellectualize and rationalize. We shift the responsibility towards administrators, staff, or attribute it to clients' shortcomings.
A schooling in Anthroposophic Psychology emphasizes, and most importantly employs, self-development activities. Doing so helps us unpack transference and countertransference. It can neutralize professional burnout. Activities in self-development help us pull back our defenses discovering how our woundedness is sabotaging our efficacy, while simultaneously offering us a pathway towards healing. Learning to manage egotism and power issues rest upon activities of self-development.
To be truly helpful is contingent upon our ability to create empathic relationships with others. Empathy is not an absolute, as so many professionals have learned; instead it is subject to one's development. "Wherever we go there we are." Our academic achievements are necessary and beneficial but it is the quality of relationality that heals the wounded soul. Attending the seminars helps one clarify the relationship between self-development and a clinician's aptitude to aid healing.
Continuing Education hours (CE): We have applied for CE-status with NBCC (National Board of Clinical Counselors). Some blocks in each seminar are appropriate for NBCC approval as professional CEs. Other blocks do not have CE status, as they employ concepts that mainstream psychology has not yet verified. As such, we present research ideas at the cutting edge of psychology, ideas which we hope our participants will study and make "evidence-based" someday.
For those professions that do not recognize NBCC CEs, we can provide you with materials (course descriptions and learning objectives) that you can send to your local CE-awarding agency.
International: Become a part of an international network. There are trainings in six countries, and international conferences. You will have colleagues in this approach that can greet you in many places in the world.
Affiliations: AAP is under review for full membership in AAMTA (Association of Anthroposophic Medicines & Therapies in America) and in IFAPA (International Federation of Anthroposophic Psychotherapy Associations, based in Dornach, Switzerland).