Anthroposophical psychotherapy for trauma – Introduction

Anthroposophical psychotherapy sees itself as a psychotherapy of human dignity (1), focusing on the recovery of ego forces and ego development (2). Through specific exercises and techniques, the patient is accompanied and guided through a process that enables his ego to resume its ordering and integrating role for the functions of the soul and body. 

For the prevention of chronic trauma sequelae, measures of early intervention in humanitarian disasters are carried out worldwide by anthroposophical education, psychotherapy, and medicine. Where possible, multidisciplinary teams of the Friends of Waldorf Education (3), Parzival Center Karlsruhe (4, 5), as well as stART-International (6) treat trauma victims on site as quickly as possible. Especially in these first days, the later development of a trauma sequelae disorder can be favorably influenced. Anthroposophical curative education organizations and institutions offer traumatized children long-term integrative treatment and care for acute as well as chronic disorders. 

In international exchange, anthroposophic therapist teams of International Federation of Anthroposophic Psychotherapy Associations (IFAPA) work and research on the different, culture-specific historical factors of their respective countries, as well as their transgenerational mechanisms of action with their implications for individual therapy. Anthroposophic psychotherapy faces the challenge of exploring the complexity of the topic in interdisciplinary collaboration, together with all therapeutic disciplines within and outside anthroposophic medicine. New, innovative methodological approaches are developed, which are applied in an integrative treatment concept (7, 8).

1 Dekkers A. Psychotherapie der menschlichen Würde. Stuttgart: Verlag Freies Geistesleben; 2012.

2 Klünker WU, Reiner J, Tolksdorf M, Wiese R. Psychologie des Ich. Anthroposophie, Psychotherapie. 2. Aufl. Stuttgart: Verlag Freies Geistesleben; 2021.

3 Siehe auch www.freunde-waldorf.de.  

4 Siehe auch https://www.parzival-jugendhilfe.de/ueber-uns/parzival-zentrum/.

5 Ruf B. Trümmer und Traumata. Anthroposophische Grundlagen notfallpädagogischer Einsätze. 2. Aufl. Arlesheim: Verlag des Ita Wegman Instituts; 2012.

6 Siehe auch www.start-international.org

7 Mancini A. Psychotraumatherapie und ihre Erweiterung durch die Anthroposophie. Der Merkurstab 2017;70(4):278-286. DOI: https://doi.org/10.14271/DMS-20818-DE.

8 Straube M. Versuch eines Konzepts der Traumatherapie. Der Merkurstab 2016;69(6):431-438. DOI: https://doi.org/10.14271/DMS-20709-DE.


Research news

Anthroposophic Medicine is an evaluated part of CRF treatment   
Cancer-realted fatigue (CRF) is one of the most frequent and prevalent symptoms expressed by cancer patients and cancer survivors. A current systematic review aimed to identify different clinical evaluation scales and interventions available for fatigue associated with cancer. Therefore, 2611 research articles were screened and revealed also non-pharmacological interventions such as exercise, complementary therapies, nutritional and psychoeducational interventions, sleep therapy, Anthroposophic Medicine, and various pharmacological agents effective in managing CRF. The results are published open access: 
https://doi.org/10.25259/IJPC_455_20.
Supplementary note: The impact of misteltoe therapy in CRF has been evaluated by a research group at Havelhöhe Community Hospital: 
https://doi.org/10.1177/1534735420917211


Further information on Anthroposophic Medicine