Course Availability: Full Time

Cultivating resilience and creative response to trauma

2021 30 Sept - 3 Oct, 3-5 Dec  2022  4-6 Mar, 29 April - 1 May, 1-3 July


Humanity is undergoing a global crisis. We are confronted with many challenges: a global pandemic with consequences for nearly every person on our planet, increasingly observable consequences of a growing climate disaster, an expanding polarization within societies. This situation and its strong implications for everybody’s daily life are stressful and can easily become overwhelming, for children as well as for adults of all ages. 

How can we find the strength and inner balance to live up to the challenges we are facing?

Not only individuals but also professional groups such as educators, teachers, social workers, nurses, therapists are confronted with this question: in regard to themselves and to the people they are supporting.  

How can we approach this question and the new tasks related to it in our professional and private lives with courage, empathy and creativity?

The 5-module course “Uprightness” is a professional development program that works on the new demands that life today places on professionals supporting children or adults from the following points of view: 

  • Trauma/toxic stress
  • Resilience
  • Creativity
  • Social Agility
  • Inner Balance 

COVID 19 Student Information: Updated 3 March 2021

Due to the new Government roadmap to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions, we have taken the decision to postpone the course to the Autumn 2021. This is because there is still a lot of uncertainty about travelling restrictions and when the College will be able to offer accommodation.

The new dates are: 30 Sept - 3 Oct 21, 3-5 Dec 21, 4-6 Mar 22, 29 April - 1 May 22, 1-3 July 22. We warmly invite you to apply for the course.

Should any unforeseen circumstances occur which make it impossible to start the course at the college, we would offer you a full refund of the tuition fees and unused accommodation/meals fees and/ or the option for an online 'live' version of the course.  If the course is interrupted by factors beyond our control after it has started, we will offer the options of a partial refund, postponed attendance, and/or an option to continue in a live online version of the programme.

The course also provides in-depth understanding of subjects such as trauma/toxic stress and resilience, as well as practical and creative tools for a healing, resilience-strengthening interdisciplinary approach in the work with clients in today’s traumatic or highly stressful life situations.

All modules will be combinations of lectures, sharing, discussion groups, artistic exercises, learning practical, creative tools and strengthening one’s own inner balance.


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The course contents were developed by stART International, a German-based NGO founded in 2008. In a world heavily marked by war, natural disasters and migration, stART has been working in emergency situations in and outside Europe for more than 10 years and has developed knowledge and tools derived from field work:  

     - for working with children and adults suffering from trauma/toxic stress in non-therapeutic environments; and

     - for suffering communities and societies in order to strengthen peaceful, social interaction.

In 2019 it published a textbook on the subject: “Strengthening Children, Creating the Future”.

stART engages teachers, educators and artistic therapists with long professional experience. A creative, interdisciplinary, intercultural and holistic approach is the basis for all activities.

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The aim of the course is to provide training for teachers, educators, therapists, psychologists and volunteers working in the fields of trauma, therapeutic emergency aid and social resilience. 


  • A grounding in theoretical knowledge/understanding for people who are working or wish to work in this field.

  • An understanding of the effects of direct and indirect traumatisation

  • Creative skills and practical tools that kind be applied to all experiences of trauma.

  • Ways of being to be able to offer emergency aid in disaster situations

  • Techniques that help people to build their capacity for ‘Uprightness’ and develop systemic resilience.





MODULE 1: 30 Sept - 3 Oct 2021Essential Competences in Challenging Times    

Module 1 has its focus on transmitting a profound understanding of trauma/toxic stress and resilience from a medical and psychological point of view. At the same time the participants will start experiencing their own creativity, discovering the possibility of transforming knowledge into creative tools for working with clients and beginning to use creativity to strengthen their own inner balance. 

The module will be run by 2 interdisciplinary teams: Dr. Marah Evans (medical doctor) and Myrtha Faltin (eurythmy therapist and stART emergency worker) and Dr. Farah Hussain and Christoph Bednarik (stART emergency worker, educator and eurythmist).


MODULE 2: 3-5 Dec 2021 - Community-based therapeutic work     

Module 2 will focus on the challenges professionals encounter today when working with people suffering from toxic stress/trauma in non-therapeutic settings such as schools, youth centres, community centres etc. Many professionals in these working environments – with or without a therapeutic background - struggle with the large number of clients affected. Participants will therefore strengthen their own trauma-therapeutic view in the work with their clients, learn about indirect traumatization and necessary precautions, understand how to deal with large groups of people in a healing way, gain familiarity with interdisciplinary work and learn different creative tools for direct application. 

The module will be run by Myrtha Faltin and Rita Eckart, emergency therapists with long experience in this field.


MODULE 3: 4-6 Mar 2022 - Pedagogy of Resilience

Module 3 focuses on resilience-strengthening work with children and young people. Derived from the distinct phases of child development, different approaches for building resilience with different age groups (early and middle childhood and adolescence) will be developed and tools including storytelling, manual crafts, movement, and land art will be taught for direct application. 

The module will be run by Birgit-Marie Stoewer and Christoph Bednarik, emergency educators with long experience in the field.


MODULE 4: 29 April - 1 May 2022 - Emergency, trauma and social arts

Module 4 will enrich and deepen the professional knowledge and tools of the programme with an introductory course in emergency and trauma art therapy in theory and practice. It will also offer an insight into beneficial approaches to social art in today’s complex and fractured world. These combine the individual and intimate path everybody can pursue on their own to nourish one’s inner balance and strength, with a supportive exchange with others.

The module will be run by Rita Eckart, a pioneer figure in this field, and others.


MODULE 5: 1-3 July 2022Systemic Trauma and Resilience

Module 5 widens the focus to systemic traumatization and resilience-strengthening work in organizations and within society. It will give an understanding of the direct and indirect traumatization of whole systems and the dynamics that may be triggered, as well as exploring the concept of a mindful organizational culture and presenting tools for fostering such a culture.  

The module will be run by Maria Zemp from Medica Mondiale and Barbara Schiller from stART international.



*Prices do not include Emerson College residential accommodation and meals, travel or course specific material. 



Participants need to be:

  • 18+
  • Working or preparing to work with children or adults suffering from trauma / toxic stress

The College will follow its access and recruitment policy to ensure equality and diversity in recruitment for this programme

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You will find all the necessary application information available to download in the 'Booking Information' column in the top, right-hand-side of this page. 

To apply you will need to fill out the Application form and email it along with any supporting documents (listed in the main application form) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The programme has a limit number of places. Applications will be considered in order of receipt and Emerson reserves the right to refuse a place.

The application process, from Emerson’s receipt of completed application and deposit to final acceptance or rejection of application, will normally take 3 weeks.  However, this can be delayed if supporting documents are delayed.  Candidates will receive email acknowledgement of receipt of their application within 3 working days of receipt.  


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