In Biographical counselling you work with your past, present and future, following the red thread of a question or theme in your life. It is a counselling stream that has its roots in Anthroposophy, a holistic philosophy of life based on the work of Rudolf Steiner.
In Biographical Counselling however all that matters are your own experiences in life. Observing what your feelings, thoughts and impulses are in an experience is like putting a drop of the ocean under a microscope and when you look carefully the whole ocean can be found in miniature. Our experiences are completely individual, it is our very own language and key to what we feel, think and most wish to do, deep inside our heart. How we experience the events in our life can tell us also what is needed at this particular time to find the next step in our biography. Thus Biographical Counselling can be working with single experiences as well as working with your whole life by tracing returning life themes, finding red threads or creating a biographic map.
Each life is unique and completely individual, yet if one compares 1000 of lives together, one can often find similarities of experiences around a certain age. This is what biographical counselling can offer in addition to other types of counselling. An extra possibility of looking at events. Maybe it is normal that around 9-10 years old, life can be experienced suddenly differently and it may feel like a loss of paradise? A time were a young being transisions from feeling embedded in his or her family to feeling on its own. It can be scary, it can be adventurous. Or maybe it is normal for a human being around 40-42 to feel more stuck, like lost in a labyrinth or having to be reborn? A deeply personal crisis can at the same time also be a quite normal developmental step that many others have been through. Knowing this might give hope and courage. There is a game people used to play in the 15th-17th century, where such Human archetypal experiences were put on a boardgame: "the Game of Goose". It is striking that these are exactly corresponding with most research in modern biographywork. A similar game can be found in ancient Egypt, played with lions or in the ancient Greek culture.
Anthroposophy is not a religion or a sect, it aims to be a scientific evidenced based modern research of the holistic workings between body, soul and spirit. (Anthropos is Greek for humanbeing, Sophia means wisdom) However the language used is already over 100 years old, using sometimes also words that were used in ancient holistic principles such as from the Indian Sanskrit. This might appear strange when first getting to know more about it.
Rudolf Steiner was a man of remarkable insight who was able to bring much clarity on world evolution and researched how human life develops. He also brought many impulses to find better ways of education and environmental care. His work include many ways of therapies with movement, art, psychotherapy and medicine. His lectures speak of a meaning in life that can in other words also be found in most world philosophies and religions. The contents he brings is often not new, but refreshed in words that fitted around the time of his life. It describes the history of humanity and explains it in such a way that it helps to see the evolution of mankind and the meaning of life as a path of development. Similar philosophies of biographical development can be found in the Christian religion and Buddhism for example, but also the ancient Greek or Egyptian cultures among many others.
His ideas of education and how our youth and childhood continues to work into our physical constitution as an adult have also been researched over the last few decades. The researches on epigenetic (the genes direct our body, but what directs our genes?) and the psycho-neuro-endocrine-immunology researches proves for example how personal experiences and events influence our neurologicalsystem, our immunsystem, our hormonalsystem and our psyche.
The extensive training a biographical counsellor goes through (750 contact hours, 300 hours of client sessions) combines counselling research and approaches (such as humanistic counselling from Carl Rogers, working with the inner child from Charles Withfield) with holistic human knowledge of daily life collected from the work of Rudolf Steiner and Buddhism. The training is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).
For more information you can also look at the site for the Professional Association of Biographical Counsellors (PABC) www.biographicalcounsellors.com
For more information about anthroposophic speaking therapies, biographywork, psychotherapy and psychiatry go to www.anthroposophicspeakingtherapies.org
16th century Italian Biography Game
It is by sharing
the joys, the sorrows,
the wounds, the wonders,
that we experience one human world,
shaped of many continents,
where over, under and beyond,
true feelings flow,
washing old thoughts,
rooting in old experiences,
restoring sense and meaning
coming from our own heartbeat source,
of the ever beating Impulse of Human Love