Participating in the Mental Health Seminars 2014-2016
Participant Caroline Kelly writes about her experiences attending the Mental Health Seminars run by Dr James Dyson and Dr Michael Evans - with thanks to ASinGB for allowing us to reproduce this article here.
"I joined the Mental Health Seminar in January 2014 because my work at the Waldorf College and had led me to more and more contact with young people with Mental health issues such as depression, self-harming, anorexia, often leading them to self-medicate with drugs to help them cope with life. The first year was spent looking at the first 21 years of life, from the formation of the organs to the developing child. Not only did we cover incarnating process against the backdrop from Old Saturn to present day Earth but we also covered the significant developments in Britain, Europe and America outlining 20th and 21st Century psychotherapeutic understanding including anthroposophy and those who have contributed to present day understanding of the psyche. All this was underpinned by the phenomenology of the organs and studied them all in pairs in each seminar looking at their relationship to the planets, and how imbalances in the organs lead to mental illnesses.
So you can see that just from the first year how the whole course was very rich in material, with James Dyson bringing contemporary psychology into a cosmological context and vice versa, Michael Evans bringing phenomenology of the human organism in such a clear way, and Marah Evans bringing experiences and exercises from therapeutic practice. The course was supported by Melanie Taylor from her social medical/therapeutic initiatives, Philip How and Karen Kamp as facilitators and storytellers, as myths were part of the course. We had Eurythmy, singing, role playing, spatial dynamics and art all woven into the content of the course. All this is remarkable enough but the most valuable tool and deeply enriching experiences came from the small group work which from the first seminar was ‘the how’.
Every seminar there would be small groups formed to work on themes, developmental, psychological etc.; small groups to work on the digestion of the content using different processes which were incredibly helpful and finally the Intervision groups. The Intervision groups were formed from the first seminar and from then on we met at least twice in the same group for the rest of the course. In our groups we could bring our trials, tribulations and successes to our group and ask for help and feedback.
The small group work means one practices deepening relationships with others, non-judgement, empathy and sensitivity are all developed and such an appreciation of how difficult the lives of others can be. If the small group work was not at the core of the Seminar then it could become an academic course, instead, it is a course of personal development which is the same as professional development, as we found our relationship with other people in our workplaces improved as we did the work on ourselves during and between the seminars.
A big thank you to the faculty of the Mental Health Seminar – it is truly a life changing experience in the most positive sense."
Teachers and school counsellors are encouraged to apply as the initial four modules will be modelled especially towards issues relevant for child and adolescent work. Tessabella Lovemore PhD, specialist in education as well as child, adolescent and family work will be joining the faculty during for these modules.