Life in Camphill is in itself a kind of social school. How can we get on with those with whom we live and work, but with whom we do not always agree? How can we help folk who are having obvious difficulties which we don’t experience ourselves, and struggle to understand? Do I have to change my expectations in order to resolve a situation, or is it time for me to take a stand? These questions are all part of our daily lives.

After a lifetime of living and working in Camphill centres, where I have endeavoured to create healthy surroundings for those who need extra help, it was a treat to be able to take part in the Mental Health Seminar. Under the inspiring and creative guidance of Dr. James Dyson, Dr. Michael Evans, and therapists Marah Evans and Michael Chase, we were helped to approach the questions already mentioned (and many others) with fresh eyes. In small groups we looked at different events in our biographies, which enabled us to understand ourselves better and to experience how helpful it can be to see the world from a different point of view. We studied many aspects of human life – child development (including how children learn and form attachments) and later life phases, the organisation of the human being from an anthroposophical point of view, the 12 senses, our organs, the life processes, different personality types, mental illness, an introduction to some therapies …   the list goes on. 

The Mental Health Seminar can be experienced as a wonderful foundation for an introduction to anthroposophy and the human being. It is an invaluable training for anyone who is connected to the work of Camphill, or who is working anywhere as a therapist, or with anyone who needs some extra help. It also provides a space in which we can learn to understand and appreciate our own lives, for which I personally am most grateful.

Much of the course takes place in the beautiful, peaceful estate of Emerson College in Sussex, U.K., but there may be the possibility of visiting other centres. If you would like to take part, or know of anyone who may be interested, please apply soon to join via Emerson College. The next course will begin in November of this year – provided there are sufficient applicants. If you are hesitating, consider the fact that your joining may help this inspiring course to take place.

Betty Marx (a grateful participant of the previous course)