Anthroposophic Psychotherapy

Course Availability: Part Time

Training course in Anthroposophic Psychotherapy, Psychopathology and Psychosomatics


Attachment styles and the lower senses: blackboard drawing by Henriette Dekkers



Many people become therapists because they are aware that the human being today has great potential, that our powerful self can withstand the most difficult life circumstances but that all manner of problems can prevent its healthy unfolding. This course is for practising and qualified psychological therapists and so applicants will already have embarked on the journey of unfolding both their own and their clients’ potential. Graduates of the first course in the UK in 2016 recognise this aspect of the course:

'… a very serious commitment; it takes time and effort but your life will be changed'
'...has come at a most potent time in my life and has had a profound impact not only on the way I work with clients, but also life in general'

If you wish to join us on this journey then please read on.

The Course

This part-time modular four-year course provides a professional psychotherapy post-qualifying training in anthroposophic psychotherapy for adults.

In the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi in Ancient Greece the pupils for higher wisdom were met with the challenge ‘know thyself’. In its modern form the challenge has been adapted for contemporary life by Rudolf Steiner: know thyself in body, soul and spirit’.

The course addresses this challenge and provides many practical tools for helping our clients to do the same thing. It aims to extend existing methods of psychotherapy and counselling such as attachment theory and it recognizes the complex way in which contemporary life affects our body, soul and spirit. As such, inspired by the work of Steiner, it is holistic, bio-psycho-social-spiritual in orientation and will extend the training of psychotherapists, counsellors and other psychological therapists whose primary therapeutic intervention is a talking therapy, who can demonstrate a capacity for postgraduate study and have experience of working with a variety of psychological and physical problems. There are a growing number of publications in English which describe both this approach to psychological therapy and the way in which it extends such existing psychotherapeutic methods as attachment theory see publications.

The course works with human developmental laws and the health-bringing potential of the human individuality with its capacity to overcome the most serious human crises. It takes the view that individual healing is essential for social healing.

The interactive seminars will include lectures, group tutorials, discussions and workshop exercises developed for training in anthroposophic psychotherapy, as described in A Psychology of Human Dignity by Ad Dekkers.  Each seminar will also incorporate three student presentations of a case over an evening session, continuing overnight and concluding at the beginning of the following morning based on a unique community methodology developed by Ad and Henriette Dekkers to enable participants to identify with clients’ suffering and their experience of difficult and complex psychological problems. The interim seminars will enable participants to link their learning with their ongoing clinical practice. 


The course in Anthroposophic Psychotherapy, Psychopathology and Psychosomatics for adults is for students who have already completed a basic training in psychotherapy, counselling, clinical psychology, counselling psychology or doctors who have experience of working with psychological problems and are working in clinical practice. Applicants should either be registered with the UKCP, the HCPC or the BMC (or accredited with the BACP in the case of counsellors) or qualified and working towards registration or accreditation, or the equivalent in other countries. The course is only open to qualified and practising psychological therapists from the disciplines above.

As this is a part-time course over 4 years, it is not eligible for visa applicants. Participants must hold a passport from the UK or EEA. See application information. Training and experience in one of these fields are an essential pre-requisite for the course.  So enquirers whose training and experience is predominantly in the field of education, art therapy, social care and social work will generally not be eligible to apply unless they can demonstrate that they also have substantial training and experience in a predominantly talking therapy such as psychotherapy and counselling under clinical supervision and working to a code of ethics of such organisations as the UKCP, BACP and the BPS.

Full course Qualification and Progression

The course awards an international certificate which confirms proficiency in Anthroposophic Psychotherapy. The certificate also confirms that graduates have completed an International Federation of Anthroposophic Psychotherapy Associations (IFAPA) Postgraduate course in Anthroposophic Psychotherapy, Psychopathology and Psychosomatics. It will be awarded to graduates who have one of the following UK registrations or accreditations: registration with the UKCP as a psychotherapist, the HCPC as a clinical psychologist or counselling psychologist, the BMC as a doctor or accredited with the BACP as a counsellor/psychotherapist. The award is made by the Medical Section of the School of Spiritual Science at the Goetheanum and will reflect the national registration or accreditation of the student

Some graduates may be able to apply for UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy) psychotherapy registration.  This will involve an optional extra add-on course (and extra costs) over a period of twelve months with three long weekend seminars in October 2021, March 2022 and June 2022.  This course will facilitate students’ preparation of a portfolio of evidence to meet the UKCP humanistic and integrative section criteria (including written work at university postgraduate level) for assessment by a university organisational member of the UKCP.


Between two and four members of staff will attend each weekend seminar. John Lees will provide continuity between the weekends and will be responsible for organising the interim seminars. One graduate of the course will attend each seminar as an assistant see staff details for more information.


Please contact course registrar Chiara Carones This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">


Dissociation as a result of trauma: blackboard drawing by Henriette Dekkers


This course will be running for the third time in the UK. The first UK course, was completed in 2016 and the second course is currently underway.

2014-2016 course

Eight students were awarded a certificate and one student gained an extension due to extenuating circumstances. Below is a list of some of the student feedback:

'...this course has come at a most potent time in my life and has had a profound impact not only the way I work with clients, but also life in general. I feel very grateful, inspired and motivated …. ready to engage further with whatever direction this will take me.'
'It has given me a new perspective on how to approach counselling/psychotherapy; it is not just about symptom relief.'
'I have been fascinated to learn more about psychosomatic disorders …. the relationship between them and one’s spirit …. this insight will enable me to treat the whole person.'
'…. can see the patient in a wider context including their culture, history and intergenerationally thorough, interesting ideas and practices to take you further.'
'I appreciated the variety of approaches by the different lecturers. Many excellent presentations.'
'This course was very relevant and timely for my needs and future aspirations.'
'...such a varied, talented, deeply professional research-based ways and attitude in teaching styles.'
'...supported individual styles and places for growth – as an individual and together.'
'This is a very serious commitment; it takes time and effort but your life will be changed.'

Since the late 1980s, Ad and Henriette Dekkers have successfully delivered the course inHolland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia, Israel, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and the UK.

Students who successfully complete the course will be eligible to join the International Federation of Anthroposophic Psychotherapy Associations (IFAPA): see international student feedback. The Association was formed in 2012 and has held two international conferences at Emerson College in June 2014 (see conference report), June 2016 and June 2018.