Kairos Institute

Healing in a World of Need

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Kairos Fall 2024

How can we use pedagogy and healing artistic therapies to address the consequences of trauma?

Emergency Pedagogy: Traumatology II With Bernd Ruf

(Traumatology I is not a prerequisite.)

Bernd Ruf, author of Educating Traumatized Children and founder of an international crisis intervention center in Germany, returns to Wilton July 2-7, 2023 to continue his program of emergency pedagogy. This course will build upon last summer’s overview of trauma and offer further insights into human developmental psychology.

Bernd Ruf is a well-known researcher in anthroposophical emergency and trauma education. His initiative, Emergency Education without Borders, is dedicated to addressing and healing trauma in children and adolescents in war zones and places struck by natural disasters around the world. His work includes countries like China, Indonesia, Japan, Gaza, Kirgizstan, Iraq, Nepal, Lebanon, Kenya, Ecuador, Chile, the Philippines, Columbia, Belgium, France, Germany, Mexico, Ukraine, Turkey. Restoring human biographies lies at the heart of this work. Bernd Ruf’s evening lecture at the residency this summer will feature recent crisis interventions.

Among the topics to be addressed:

  • pre-birth trauma
  • attachment and detachment disturbances
  • sense disturbances
  • trauma and rhythm disturbances
  • heart rate variability
  • sleep research
  • trauma and sleep

The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems will offer the background to better understand the unfolding of adolescence: the search for identity and I development. Bernd Ruf will describe pathways for psychological intervention and healing processes. 

In the afternoons, participants will sing with Jason Child, Music Director at the Emerson Waldorf School in North Carolina, before joining their choice of workshop on trauma prevention. Each workshop will consist of five sessions (one per day). The week will culminate with a celebratory sharing of the various workshops.

Bernd Ruf will offer lectures each morning and daily Q and A sessions in the time slot before dinner. Evening events will include a public lecture on Emergency Pedagogy and cultural events. 

Participants will receive a Certificate of Completion from the Center for Anthroposophy (CfA), as well as a Certificate from the Emergency Pedagogy Center in Karlsruhe, Germany. Participants can apply these certificates towards a full diploma in international crisis intervention. CfA is offering at least the 4 Modules in Emergency Pedagogy most suitable for educators and art therapists (2022-2025), and may add other Modules if this becomes possible. 

Choice of workshops will include: Clowning, Music Therapy, Painting Therapy, Speech and Drama, Healing Storytelling, Eurythmy, and Animal Therapy. 

Click the image for a printable PDF version of the schedule

Summer 2023 Afternoon Workshops

Workshop description:
Clowns have big emotions, big hearts and great empathy. They mess up, they make mistakes, but they are eternally optimistic. They remind us of what it is to be human. As a practice, clowning affirms relationship and we learn not from what we know but by how much we are connecting to ourselves, to the world and to others. As such, clowning is a social art.

As teachers, parents and therapists we can fortify ourselves tremendously by accessing our inner clown and utilizing a clown’s outlook. In these afternoons together we will take a few small and playful steps to confront fears associated with being seen, not knowing what to do and trusting to stay in authenticity with what is most present. We will also laugh and have fun.


Laura Geilen
Laura Geilen studied dance at the Boston Conservatory of Music, started a family and took a degree in Human Development from Leslie University. She completed the Curative Education and Social Therapy course while living in a Camphill community. She has training certificates in childbirth education, Spacial Dynamics, CircusYoga and clowning. She has taught movement education and circus arts in Waldorf schools and therapeutic movement in Camphill for 20 years. She runs a number of circus arts summer programs and leads clowning workshops in many settings as a member of the team of Nose to Nose of North America. In all her work she enjoys bringing people of all ages and abilities a renewed experience of their creativity, authenticity and aliveness through the transformative power of play.

Workshop description:

In this course you will learn how to bring pedagogical speech and drama into your classroom or practice. The class will explore how to use pedagogical drama as a framework for helping students process their experiences, help heal trauma, and grow as free human beings. By gaining a deeper understanding of the twelve senses and how they relate to drama, the class will use the pillars of Creative Speech – sounds of language and imagination – to enliven and transform story, poetry, puppetry, and plays.


Debra Spitulnik

Debra Spitulnik, M.Ed.

Debra Spitulnik is an adjunct professor of Creative Speech at Antioch University New England, and faculty member for the Center for Anthroposophy. As a core faculty member of Kairos Institute she leads the training in artistic and healing Speech and Drama. Debra has led the development of pedagogical speech and believes that Creative Speech brings healing and nourishment to the soul and empowers the voice. She infuses all her classes with three decades of her unique experiences as a class teacher, subject teacher and speech teacher. She teaches speech, drama, storytelling, and curriculum to teachers nationwide.

Goetheanum Diploma in the arts of Speech and Drama., PerformInternational; M.Ed., Waldorf Education, Antioch University New England; B.S. Elementary and Special Education, Syracuse University.

Course description:

Trauma has in most cases a polarizing effect on a person(s) ability to feel safe in themselves and the world at large. One polarity (but there are many), goes towards a gesture of condensing, that of hardening, where the soul/physical becomes fixed and entrapped. The other polarity goes towards a gesture of dispersing, of loosening, and becoming lost from the world.  

The aim of this workshop is to explore, discover and practice movement inspired therapeutic modalities, with the intent to support the individual whohas experienced trauma in the past, the present and (the future). To provide a supportive protective gesture, so that the individual may find the place or rather the space ‘in-between’ thepolarities encountered.  

The practical skill activities, practices and applications presentenced in this workshop are primarily inspired out of the research and practice of the art of eurythmy/eurythmy therapy, and Curative Education and aspects of anthroposophical informed nursing homecare practices. 



Over the course of the last 35+ years, Carsten has lived and worked with children, youth, and adults with developmental disabilities in Camphill communities in Scotland, England, and the United States. In true Camphill style, he has tried his hand at almost everything. He has carried responsibilities as a houseparent, workshop leader, teacher, administrator, counselor, and therapist. Carsten holds a Bachelor of Arts in the Art of Eurythmy and holds a diploma in Eurythmy Therapy. Furthermore, holds acertificate of completion of the Anthroposophical Nurse Training (Home healthcare). 

He currently lives at The Camphill School, Glenmoore, Pennsylvania, where his overall responsibility and focus over the past 15 years has been in the medical and therapeutic field. He serves as The Director of Medical and Therapeutic Services, is a licensed EMT. 

Carsten is a faculty member in the Camphill Academy (Curative Education) and adjunct faculty member of Transdisciplinary Healing Education Program Studies, Antioch University. A motto he lives by is that in life we find a true path of learning in the contemplation of the in-between. He is a therapist at heart, where the listening ear is at the core. 

Course description

Through artistic exercises in pastel and watercolor, we will create images that arise from the light of the heart. We will paint the mood of this inner soul landscape, using magenta, cobalt violet and violet together with soothing earth tones to kindle the fire of the heart. 

We will begin with chalk pastels and move to watercolor on the last two days, working with soothing blues that offer us a sense of calm and inner protection, culminating with the carmine red. Finally, we will attempt to express the central light of the heart as an image of a future consciousness that is centered in empathy and compassion. 

Somatic exercises that address trauma, sorrows, and fears will be shared as suggested daily practices. 

Materials: Please bring your favorite brush(es), and feel free to bring your own chalk pastels. Please bring along an image (postcard or photo) of something that you love. It can be anything that is beautiful and comforting to you and that you don’t mind sharing with the class.


Portrait of Karine Munk Finser

Karine Munk Finser, M.Ed.

Director of Kairos Institute. Director of Transdisciplinary Studies of Healing Education, Antioch University New England. Director of Professional Development at the Center for Anthroposophy, art therapist with diploma from the Medical Section, Goetheanum. Karine is also an active painter.

Karine Munk Finser was born on the Baltic island of Bornholm, Denmark, and later lived in Belgium, France, Switzerland and England before finding her home in the United States. Karine is an art therapist with a diploma from the Medical Section, Goetheanum. She ran the Center for Anthroposophy’s Renewal Courses for 21 years while being employed as a faculty member at Antioch University New England. In 2014, she began the Transdisciplinary Studies in Healing Education program (TSHE)

Course description: 

We will explore improvisation in melody, harmony, rhythm and the voice as a pathway to freeing trapped trauma in the three soul-forces of thinking, feeling and willing.

With simple, easily playable, beautifully sounding instruments, we seek expression of different soul states, moods, and emotions, to bring about inner

movement, release and harmonization. With the most intimate instrument, our voice, we finally allow the vibrations of sound to stream through and out of the body.


Monica Talaya Armstutz

Monica Talaya

Monica Talaya completed the Dorion School of Anthroposophical Music Therapy (AMT) in 2005, after her training as a Certified Music Practitioner. Since then, she has worked as an AMT with different populations, age groups and in varied settings, most consistently in the Camphill Communities. She also teaches the lyre to children (from 5 years old onward) and adults in groups and individually.

Monica has given presentations about AMT and has lead courses and workshops for early childhood teachers and parents of young children about the importance of the ‘mood of the fifth’, providing an in-depth experience and understanding of the different stages of a child’s musical development and needs. She wishes to inspire parents for and teaches the singing of lullabies.
Earlier in her life she trained to be a kindergarten- and later a special education teacher and raised her own five children.

Course description: 

We live in an age of nonstop storytelling. Streaming media, social media, text threads, and now chat GBT deliver more content than our imaginations can comprehend. This is not only overwhelming—it makes us question how we got here, where we are going, and what is the point. When we take the time to breathe, to be still, and to sit in quiet contemplation, our answers to these questions tend to arrive at the same place: everything we do, we do for each other.  What we want and what we have always wanted … is community.  

Time and time again, we remember that community is the antidote for all that ails us. In this workshop, we will take time to connect to the moment, to the place, and to each other and allow the emergent narrative to guide us.  Stories are what connect us to everything—it is our mycelium, and over the course of this week, we will learn to see our web of narrative like a matrix. We then use ritual and rites to tease out the stories that bring us closer, make us more resilient, and help us spread a restored sense of wonder. 


David McCain

David Sewell McCann has been working with narrative his entire life. He’s been a fresco painter, a filmmaker, a class teacher, an author, he wrote and told all the stories for Sparkle Stories, and through it all, storytelling has proven to be the most enduring and clarifying form of connection. It works when nothing else can, and it is teachable. He teaches the Twelve Tools for Telling and Attending to children and adults at How to Story. 

Course description: 

Curative agriculture-the healing capacities of the animal/human relationship:
In this course you will begin to understand the healing capacities of the animal/human relationship. We will observe and work with a variety of farm animals and explore how the group soul of the animal relates to the temperament and needs of the children. 
All people, especially those who have experienced trauma, benefit from forming safe trusting relationships with animals while they increase confidence, self worth, and a sense of purpose. 
We will engage in simple and practical ways to incorporate meaningful work surrounding animal care. We will focus on the rhythm of nature as a healing force and the life of the animal in the context of the cycle of the seasons. Discussions will include how to integrate animals as healers in the realms of thinking, feeling and willing life.  We will focus on the healing effects of biodynamic agriculture and the senses, particularly, the sense of well being, touch, balance, and self movement. We will also consider how domestic pets and wild animals can positively influence the healing process of the traumatized child. We will visit the therapeutic animals on Earth and Sky Farm Community and Temple Wilton Community Farm (both locations are within 2 miles from High Mowing and transportation will be coordinated) 
Participants should come dressed appropriately for the weather and farm conditions.
Michaelann Murphy
Michaelann Murphy is a biodynamic farmer, Waldorf educator, and founder of Earth and Sky Farm Community. She holds a masters degree in Waldorf Education, and her teaching certification encompasses early childhood through high school. She is an experienced educator, having taught nursery, kindergarten, and grades children in a number of Waldorf and private schools. She is the prior director of several early childhood centers and farm based education programs. In addition to teaching, Michaelann has served in Waldorf schools as pedagogical chair, a member of governance groups, and as an early education mentor. Michaelann has long held educational circles and studies for the benefit of adults in community, through movement, parent education, therapeutic agricultural activities, and teacher enrichment. As a trained and experienced biodynamic farmer, she is passionate about creating and guiding programs for the healing of the earth and the therapeutic effects of agriculture and nature in both children’s and adult’s lives.

Fall Faculty. More Information Coming Soon.

10/2 Whose Bodies are They? The role of transference and countertransference in art therapy
When a therapist and client meet it is more than a meeting of two people, it is a union of two souls. In this session we will explore how the biography of the therapist intersects with the biography of the client and how this can become either a tool for the healing process or an instrument for antipathy. It is here that we begin to grow our consciousness of how our bodies interact with the other and engage our I in the therapeutic process.

10/9 Self care in the therapeutic encounter
As therapists we are drawn to supporting others in their healing process. What we often put lower on our priority list is taking care of ourselves! This session will explore ways in which we can identify in consciousness our own need to for care and protection and the effects of not attending to our needs in the therapeutic encounter. We will delve into different techniques that can support our own ways of maintaining health as we support others on their journey.

10/16 The new human landscape in therapy
We have witnessed in our lifetime a change in how human beings relate to each other in the increase of technology, medications, changes in parenting styles and changes in theories of child development. This has brought an unprecedented landscape in which the therapist must find new ways to map out the paths of supporting clients. In this session we will consider different forms of working therapeutically to support human beings in today’s world.

10/23 Who Am I as a therapist?
As an aspiring therapist it is sometimes difficult to know who we are as a therapist. In this interactive session we will  look at our core beliefs about ourselves and how that informs our engagement with our clients in the therapeutic encounter. Questions such as, “Why did I choose art therapy?” or “How does anthroposophy guide my understanding of myself and human development?” will guide us on this journey. Exercises will be given that will enhance our ability to continue this exploration of ourselves as we recognize that we are ever-evolving human beings.

Tonya Stoddard

Tonya Stoddard, LCSW is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Master’s in Social Work and completed the Anthroposophic Psychology program. Tonya has more than 20 years’ experience working in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sonoma County. She has worked psychotherapeutically with diverse populations and issues, including children and adolescents in both nonprofit and private practice settings. Currently Tonya is working as an Education Support Specialist at The Waldorf School of Tampa Bay in Tampa, FL. Tonya continues to work in private practice as well as collaboratively work with the healing arts community. She is an adjunct faculty member of the Healing through Art program in California and a faculty member of the Association for Anthroposophic Psychology as well as serving on the Leadership Team of the Anthroposophic Health Association.

Kairos Fall 2024 and Spring 2025

Sundays from 1:30-3:30 or 4:30 EST. Wednesday evenings  7:30-9:30 EST



  • 9/15 Convocation Kairos 2024/25 Keynote Peter Selg:
    • Celebrating 100 Years of Curative Education
    • Online 1:30-3:30 EST
  • 9/29 Dr. Gans
  • An Overview of Anthroposophical Medicine: Healing the Whole Human Being
  • Online 1:30-3:30 EST


Tonya Stoddard, LCSW

Online 7:30-9:30 EST

  • 10/2 Whose Bodies Are They? The Role of Transference and Countertransference in Art Therapy
  • 10/9 Self-Care in the Therapeutic Encounter
  • 10/16 The New Human Landscape in Therapy
  • 10/23 Who Am I as a Therapist?


Online 1:30-3:30: for Kairos Students

Jennifer Fox

Biography and Social Arts

The Great Mysteries of Comings and Goings: Sculpting our Destiny Vessel

  • 11/3 The Journey Toward Loving -part 1
  • 11/10 The Journey Toward Loving- part 2 
  • 11/17 The Journey Toward Loving- part 3 
  • 12/8 Class Presentations 6:30-9:30
  • 12/11 Class Presentations 6:30-9:30


Online 7:30-9:30

Torin Fiinser

  • 12/4 Karma Studies 
  • 12/18 Karma Studies
  • 12/21 Lakshmi Prasanna, MD
  • 11:30-3:00 The Seven Life Processes and The Etherization of the Blood


  • Extra online course with Bernd Ruf. February 29,30 and March 1,2. 

Note: There will be no Bernd Ruf course taught in the summer 2025. He will return in summer  summer 2026. 

  • Module 4 will be taught Online by Bernd Ruf: February 27, 28, and March 1, and 2. 
  • 3/30  Dr. Gans 
    • The 4 Cardinal Organs in Normal Relation to Cosmos and Earth 
    • Online 1:30-3:30
  • 4/6 Dr. Gans
  • Human Being and Post-Traumatic Pathology
  • Online 1:30-3:30

April 2025

Residency in Keene, NH. Gathering Waters Charter School

  • 4/22-4/27 Dr. Gans, Sylvia Borau, Karine Munk Finser

Dr. Gans: 

Cardinal Organs Hands-On! Anatomy, Physiology, Embryology: Meet the Organs

3 hours per day

Sylvia Borau, Clay Therapist from Parzival Center, Karlsruhe, Germany: possibly sculpting organs/or embryology? Sylvia will let me know what she’s planning to teach, 2 sessions a day. 

Karine Munk Finser 

The Image Consciousness of the Cardinal Organs: Fairy Tales and Other Stories


Spring 2026

Rudiger Janish and Dr. Prasanna

Evolution of Consciousness in the Light of Michael-Raphael-Christ

Painting with Pastels, Karine 

May  wish list, not to publish

Dr. Lakshmi Prasanna 7 Life Processes 

More on the Nervous System/Glands/ Endocrine System

Form drawing 

Dr. Lakshmi Prasanna Etherization of the Blood

  • 5/4: Dr. Gans Other organs: Intestines, Bladder, Skin

Further needs: wishlist, not to publish

Ruediger Janisch: 1st Goetheanum, Representative of Human Being , Statue

Colored Windows in the Goetheanum

Dr. Adam Blanning: Children who need soul care, “disorders”

Dr. Meron Barak: Restless Children and ADHD