Confronting the Challenge of Mental Health in the 21st Century as an encounter with the Threshold with Dr James Dyson.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, the Children’s Society and other similar organisations, mental health problems are now affecting about 1 in 10 children and young people in the UK. They include depression, anxiety and conduct disorder, and are often a direct response to what is happening in their lives.
Recent estimates suggest that some twenty percent of adolescents in western countries are indulging in some form of self-harm and statistics of suicide amongst the young continue to increase alarmingly. When considered alongside comparably disturbing statistics relating to increases in bipolar illness and so-called autism, and correspondingly high rises in prescribing costs, Rudolf Steiner’s forecast of epidemics of mental illness overwhelming civilisation by the end of the twentieth century has clearly already been more than borne out.
What is going on? In this exploratory lecture, drawing from his personal clinical experience in medicine and psychological practice and from perspectives relating specifically to human development as described in Steiner’s anthroposophy, Dr James Dyson will attempt to evaluate these alarming societal phenomena, placing them within a wider developmental perspective. Trauma, dissociation and personality disorders, as increasingly subtle but pervasive elements in society, will also be addressed. The meaning and significance of particular concepts specific to anthroposophy, such as humankind’s “unconscious crossing of the threshold” and the “fragmentation of soul forces” will be explored within this wider context, as a precondition for a deepening understanding of challenges many of us are facing nowadays.
About the speaker
Dr James Dyson was a practising medical doctor and anthroposophic physician for 35 years. Since 2014 his work has been mainly as an adult educator and as a consulting psychologist within Steiner Waldorf Schools and communities for children or adults with special needs. He has a special interest in developmental psychology and mental health and lectures regularly in this country and abroad on these and related subjects. He lives with his wife in Stourbridge.