Train The Trainers

IFAPA organizes a bi-annual conference, ‘Train The Trainers’, at Emerson College, Forest Row, UK.  

With the view of expanding an international Anthroposophic Psychotherapy community world-wide, the ‘Train The Trainers’ (TtT) aims to prepare teachers of psychotherapy to form new post-graduate courses in Anthroposophic Psychotherapy.

Presently, the central theme of this conference has been Research in Anthroposophic Psychotherapy and International Community Building. The 1st module was held in 2021 and the next modules would be conducted in June 2023 and 2025.

Prior to the commencement of its Research segment, the TtT was carried out in 3 modules in 2014, 2016 and 2018 with the participation of more than 60 professionals from 14 countries. The interaction and exchange of knowledge between many cultures was an important point in the formation of this community.

The first module of the Research segment in 2021, was held online and in person simultaneously (hybrid format), with the participation of more than 80 people. This Research segment aims to develop an attitude of research within the psychotherapeutic community; deepening scientific enquiry and encourages the publishing of research articles in addition to training teachers. Practical exercises by Ad Dekkers is also a highlight of the conference.

Anthroposophic Psychotherapy is located within the School of Spiritual Science of the Medical Section of the Anthroposophical Society. Consequently, anthroposophic psychotherapists need to be able to work alongside other disciplines within the Medical Section; in particular with anthroposophic doctors. Owing to this, in tune with Anthroposophic Medicine, IFAPA proposes to base Anthroposophic Psychotherapy in contemporary academic and professional knowledge.

IFAPA considers it important to have a broad, practical, lucid approach to applying medical principles to diagnosis and treatment and rise above mere abstract and theoretical ideas. It believes that one should be able to practically use the knowledge acquired through research with strong ethical attitude and a holistic view of the physical, emotional, spiritual and biographical development of the human being.

At this time of world crises experienced in the forms of Covid, wars and shifts in the Overton Window, Anthroposophic Psychotherapy has an enormous contribution to offer. The demands on the field of psychotherapy inevitably, are a result of world situations and changing patterns on the world canvas. 

In response, the TtT conference, examines the world crisis in the light of our practical psychotherapeutic experience from the perspective of practical research in a spirit of dialogue and openness to each other’s points of view.

The conference, through its productive work, brought warmth to the community with Lectures by Henriette Dekkers, Dr John Lees and Dr Gunver Kienle and exercises by Ad Dekkers.

Along with sessions of Text Study and presentations by colleagues from various countries, round table discussions with the following themes were conducted:

  • The impact of the current global crisis on childhood and adolescence 
  • The world crisis as a Threshold experience – Challenges and Possibilities.
  • Inner experiences of an anthroposophic psychotherapist and concrete changes in the clinical approach.

Community building and collegial collaboration through discussions and exchange of ideas between professionals from various countries became the hallmark of the conference.

The forthcoming modules would delve deeper into the dissemination of Anthroposophic Psychotherapy and a richer building of the professional community with the foundation laid so far.