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

Pilot study  on the clinical effect of yarrow liver compresses  
Liver compresses are commonly applied in integrative cancer treatment and are believed to have an energizing effect. A randomized pilot study was conducted to investigate the influence of yarrow liver compresses on the autonomic nervous system by analyzing heart rate variability in metastatic cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy and suffering from cancer-related fatigue. The study found that this application led to increased sympathetic activity during daytime in the intervention group, whereas in the control group, which did not receive any external application, increased parasympathetic activity. The study is open access:  
https://doi.org/10.1177/15347354221081253


Further information on Anthroposophic Medicine