Current Activities

United Kingdom:

September 2007 through July 2008

Year two Training course in Biographical Counselling:

October 2007– July 2008
Biographical Counselling as a Path of Development
An advanced training course in Biographical Counselling comprised of 3 weeks, 7 weekends and two extended weekend, approximately 270 contact hours. Open to people who have completed a Foundation course in Biographical Counselling and have a Certificate in Biographical Counselling Skills for Social Professions.

Opening week: October 7 – 14

Course Leaders: Ileana Botero and Margli Matthews
Venue: Emerson College, Forest Row, UK

Course leaders:
Margli Matthews
, PG Dip. Couns, Dip. Biographical Counselling, MBACP (accred), UKRC Reg. Ind. Couns, Cert. Supervision, CAHSC Registered is a biographical counsellor and trainer with over 25 years experience in adult education and private practice. A former faculty member of Emerson College and the Centre for Social Development, she is co-founder of the Biography and Social Development Trust and has many years’ experience in designing and running the Training in Biographical Counselling. She leads training courses and workshops and teaches in many courses and conferences throughout the world. She is a contributor to Lifeways and co-author of Ariadne’s Awakening, a book concerned with a new consciousness of the feminine and masculine principles in our lives.

Ileana Botero, Diploma Biographical Counselling, member of BACP is in private practice as a biographical counsellor and has many years experience teaching and carrying the Training in Biographical Counselling. She has over 20 years experience working with people with learning disabilities.

For more information please click here


7 – 9 December
Mood Disorders: Mountains and Abysses of the Mind
Course Leaders: Dr. Annejet Rumke and Natalie Peters

Venue: Emerson College, East Sussex, UK

This weekend will provide an opportunity for biographical counsellors, therapists and other professional caregivers to become more deeply acquainted with the realm of mood disorders. We will examine the phenomena and symptoms of depression and mania, and the fascinating interweaving of this polarity as manifest in bipolar disorder. Exploring the subject from both mainstream and anthroposophical perspectives, we will consider various types of mood disorder, their causes and treatment on various levels (physiological, soul, ego). Talks on the theme, artistic exercises, case studies and experience sharing will all contribute to an increased understanding of mood disorders and the challenges they pose for both patient and therapist. Participants are invited to bring cases from their own practices.

For an application form in PDF format please click here



25 – 29 March
The Art of Listening and the Way of the Counselor

Course Leader: with Michael Lipson

Venue: Emerson College, East Sussex, UK

What is it to help another person?  What is healing?  These questions grow stronger when we begin to wonder over related questions.  What is a person at all?  What is the body and our connection to it?  What are “problems”?  What is the goal of a human life?  What is speech?  What is death?  What is it to listen? No amount of study can answer such questions definitively.  Still, through group and individual work we can deepen the way in which we ask them.  This deepening — also known as meditation — is the help we ourselves need as counselors.

This weeklong course will offer a provisional overview of the structure of human consciousness and the nature of healing.    It will include listening exercises and intensive, theme-based meditation in a communal atmosphere.

Michael Lipson is the author of “Stairway of Surprise: Six Steps to a Creative Life,” as well as numerous articles on meditation and psychotherapy. He is the translator of R. Steiner’s “Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path: A Philosophy of Freedom,” and of several books by G. Kuehlewind. He has a private psychotherapy practice in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, USA.

For an application form in PDF format please click here


11 – 13 April
Understanding the Incomprehensible: The Influence of Trauma In Biographical Development

Course Leaders: Annejet Rumke and Natalie Peters

Venue: Emerson College, East Sussex, UK

This workshop is a training module for people in training to become Biographical Counsellors. It is also an open course for social/therapeutic professionals and others who want to further their understanding of the impact of trauma in biographical development and the ways and means of working with people who have suffered trauma in their life.

The weekend will focus on the different forms of trauma and their consequences in biographical development. Phenomenon such as coping strategies, disassociation and borderline personality will be discussed. These questions will be considered from the point of view of anthroposophical medical knowledge and biographical counselling. We will build a picture of the different approach of the doctor and the counsellor and how the two can support and complement each other to help people in their path of development and healing. There will be case studies and artistic exercises to enable participants to integrate and deepen their understanding of trauma. There will also be time for participants to bring case studies and questions out of their own professional experience.

Dr. Annejet Rumke is a medical doctor who specialises in constitutional and psychiatric problems. Alongside her medical practice she also offers both biographical counselling and psychotherapy. Annejet has been a regular contributor to the Training in Biographical Counselling in the UK and she teaches psychiatry in courses and institutions in both Holland and Russia.

Natalie Peters is an art therapist in private practice. She worked for many years in curative and social/therapeutic communities. Together with Annejet Rümke she offers training courses and has developed an intensive form of group therapy that combines psychotherapy and artistic expression.

For an application form in PDF format please click here


Date: 16 – 18 May 2008
Caring for Relationships: The Art of Dialogue
Course Leaders: Wolfgang Drescher, Cordula Falt and Margli Matthews

Venue: Emerson College

To begin a relationship is easy – but to keep it alive and growing is hard work. Relationships ask to be developed, but so often conflicts, misunderstandings, and lack of communication block this possibility. We clearly need more than good will if we are to foster and care for our relationships.

This workshop aims to explore different ways of caring for partnerships and the individuals in partnerships. One of the main activities of the weekend will be to introduce a unique way of working together for couples and partners – a method of couple conversation known as “Zwiegespräch” which fosters mutual

understanding, self awareness and the further development of both the individuals and their relationship.

The workshop is open to couples, single people with questions about relationship and people in social/therapeutic professions who want to develop their capacities to work with partnership questions.

Course Leaders:

Wolfgang Drescher is a social worker and counsellor with many years experience working with both individuals and couples. He runs courses for couples and works in and with the Institute for Anthroposophical Psychotherapy in Germany.

Cordula Falt is a psychologist and psychotherapist. She trains therapists in the Graduate Course for Relationship Therapy and in the Post-graduate course for Anthroposophical Psychotherapy in Germany and Russia.

Margli Matthews, MBACP (Accred), PG Dip Couns, Diploma Biographical Counsellor, is a Biographical Counsellor, Trainer and Supervisor with many years’ experience in private practice and adult education. She is director of the Training in Biographical Counselling and co-founder of the Biography and Social Development Trust.

For an application form in PDF format please click here

For more information write to: [email protected]

Training in Biographical Counselling

September 2008 – July 2011

Year 1 Biographical Counselling Skills for Social Professions Date: September 2008 – July 2009

9 weekends and three weeks

Course Director: Margli Matthews
Venue: Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex, UK

Dates and Course leaders to be announced

For a description of the training please click here