About Anthroposophic Health and Social Care in the UK
Anthroposophic Medicine is an established integrative medical approach which is holistic and salutogenic in its approach, taking "a whole human being" view into the method, diagnosis and therapeutic approach. It gives equal importance to the physical body, the soul/emotional life of the patient, and the individuality/spirituality of the person at the centre of the diagnostic and therapeutic approach. A wide range of professional disciplines have developed within Anthroposophic Health (anthrohealth) and Social Care. The anthrohealth and Social Care practitioners within our movement come from a range of professional groups. For a number of these groups their anthro-training is a post-graduate training which builds on and extends their conventional training e.g. doctors, nurses, pharmacists.
Outline of the anthroposophic health and social care in the UK:
Other organisations exist in this field and this website does not yet have a complete listing. Please contact us if you can help to complete the information which we hold.
Anthroposophic Counselling and Psychotherapy
Anthroposophic counselling and psychotherapy approaches bring a spiritually informed understanding of an individual's challenges and tasks.
Biographical Counselling is a form of counselling based on an imagination of human potential and challenge in the 21st century that inspires a search for renewed meaning, creativity and connection and links individual development with a path towards social renewal. It offers a new perspective on life crisis that takes account of our bodily, soul and spiritual existence, the cycles and rhythms of biographical development and the dynamics of human struggle. More information is available from the Professional Association of Biographical Counsellors website.
Anthroposophic Psychotherapy is a specialisation which is often taken during or after university-based training in psychotherapy.
Anthroposophic Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy
Anthroposophic Medicine is an integrative approach to diagnosis and treatment which extends conventional western medical training. Put in another way, Anthroposophic medicine strives for a practice of medicine that values the dimensions of self-healing forces, feelings and emotions, and the individual need for meaning and autonomy as much as the physical aspects of health and illness.
Anthroposophic Nursing: according to the International Association the special characteristics of Anthroposophic Nursing are:
Anthroposophic Nurses, Midwives and other Paramedical professionals (as well as students of these professions) are very welcome to join the Anthroposophic Medical Association as Associate Members.
Anthroposophic Pharmacy is derived from two sources: "material" science on the one hand, and "spiritual" science on the other. Neither one may be taken in isolation. Anthroposophy recognises a relationship between human beings and nature through their common evolution. This relationship is the basis for anthroposophic pharmacy. (from the website of the International Association of Anthroposophic Pharmacists (IAAP).
Anthroposophic Therapeutic Arts including sculpture, painting/visual arts, speech, music and singing
Practitioners of Anthroposophic Therapeutic Arts work with visual and musical art forms to support self-discovery, healing and wellbeing. More information is available on the AATA website.
Bothmer Gymnastics: developed by Fritz Von Bothmer in Stuttgart in 1921, Bothmer Movement has grown into a global phenomenon with training programmes all over the world. Bothmer started with one question: ‘What is true human movement?’ Out of this he developed a programme of pedagogical movements for children at different stages in their development. He also recognised the importance of holistic wellbeing and good character in the teacher and developed a range of tools to cultivate embodiment, self-awareness and inner balance in the teacher. More information from The School of Human Movement.
Eurythmy Therapy: according to the Eurythmy Therapy Association of Great Britain and Ireland, the gestures and movements of the performing art of eurythmy are modified for therapy purposes. Eurythmy therapy is one essential element of the system of anthroposophic medicine. This integrates both natural scientific and anthroposophic-humanistic knowledge. It is the aim of eurythmy therapy to help the patient to activate their own intrinsic powers of healing and enable them to find a way to a state of balanced health.
Rhythmical Massage: Rhythmical Massage Therapy uses a gentle rhythmical breathing quality of touch which can penetrate the tissue deeply. The movements are rounded with an element of suction rather than pressure and are designed to influence the flow of fluids through the body. It enables the life processes in the tissues to be stimulated and lifted out of gravity into levity. More about this can be found on the Rhythmical Massage Therapy Association website.
Spatial Dynamics: the Spacial Dynamics Institute describes Spacial Dynamics® as "a growing body of work which is applied worldwide in therapy, pedagogy, performance augmentation, business leadership, and world peace. The moving human being is envisioned here as a fluid continuum of body, space, and awareness. As an approach to Movement Therapy it consists of spatially oriented exercises, hands-on techniques, and postural modification, as well as refined methods of movement observation, movement analysis, movement evaluation, and movement enhancement."
Steiner Waldorf School Health Practitioners: the longstanding collaboration between educationalists, therapists and healthcare professionals within Steiner Waldorf Schools has led in the UK to a pioneering system of training and support for School Health Practitioners.
Research and Publications and further reading
Social Care Professions
The aim of curative education and social therapy is to give children, young people and adults with special needs the opportunity for individual development, helping them to live with dignity and self-determination, to promote their integration into the community and society, and to ensure their contribution to society is visible (from the European Co-Operation in Anthroposophical Curative Education and Social Therapy website). In the UK, there are
A number of centres exist where Anthroposophic Medicine is practised in England and Scotland, including NHS General Practice settings, charities, hospitals and therapy centres operating on a private or charitable basis.
Patients and Friends of Anthroposophic Medicine
PAFAM is an association for the Patients and Friends of Anthroposophic Medicine whose main aim is to promote and enable the furtherance of Anthroposophic Medicine within the UK and to support the individual’s right to choose their own medical treatment whilst becoming more aware of their personal responsibility towards their individual healthcare process. More about PAFAM.