We have discussed the anthroposophical trauma interventions earlier on this blog. I wish I had found this document long ago, but, as it happens, I didn’t. It’s the Anthroposophy Worldwide January edition, 2011. On page 3, after a list of very real trauma situations and serious symptoms:
Expressed simply, the members of the human being are loosened. When trauma is viewed anthroposophically, this persistent condition can be compared with an initiation experience, a meeting with the threshold in combination with an existential ego experience — it is just that the experience comes without preparation or consciousness.
The issue of spiritual-scientific approaches to dealing with trauma also resurfaced in the conversation about the work of the School for Spiritual Science. Here it became clear that those who pursue the anthroposophical path of schooling as therapists will have a basis for understanding the phenomenon of trauma as a threshold experience, and those who were victims will be able handle it without becoming ill.
Then there are questions that lead beyond destiny—e.g., to a relationship with the world of the dead if the abuser is no longer alive as is often the case. Something is always lost through a traumatic experience, and that brings pain. This pain itself draws attention to the need to move forward if life is to continue.
The question of why this experience gets stuck in a person also requires an answer based on knowledge of the human being.
I don’t so much object to the notion that someone sees or explains his or her own trauma this way; I think it might even be, in some cases, a meaningful pursuit. What I do take issue with, however, is that this is an approach in therapy — that supposed professionals manage their treatment of trauma victims according to these beliefs.
And, sure, superficially it does sound ok to see it as a threshold experience. To some extent, perhaps there are similarities, mostly in subjective experience though. One question is about the content of the anthroposophical threshold experience. And of how we know someone has had it, and thus possesses the ‘understanding’, and is fit to handle trauma patients — if indeed it can be said to lead to greater understanding of trauma in the first place. There’s no way to tell what this supposed threshold experiences looks like for individual anthroposophical therapists and no way of knowing how it shapes their understanding. There’s no scientific research, just spiritual speculation.