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Educating Traumatized Children Waldorf Education in Crisis Intervention by Bernd Ruf


Preface by Peter Selg
Translated by Margot Saar Paperback

“Emergency education relies on timeliness—on intervention at an early stage, at a time when silence, despondency, despair, and regression begin to set in. Emergency education is not trauma therapy. It is pedagogical prevention of trauma in the early stages of a crisis, and as such it attempts to ‘prevent certain developments by cultivating the right attitude and taking the right actions.... Our actions invite the benignity of the gods’ (Ita Wegman).” (from the preface)

Since 2006, specialists, doctors, psychologists, and therapists of Parzival-Zentrum Karlsruhe have taken part in emergency education crisis interventions, carried out by the organization Friends of Friends of Waldorf Education. They work with psychologically traumatized children and young people in war zones and disaster areas, including Lebanon, China, the Gaza Strip, Indonesia, Haiti, Kyrgyzstan, and most recently in Japan following the tsunami there and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

Bernd Ruf, who heads these operations, describes in his book in various ways the basics of anthroposophically extended “emergency education,” including the anthroposophic understanding of trauma itself. In addition, he describes processes and experiences, focusing on recent experiences in Japan at the center of his descriptions.

Educating Traumatized Children offers much-needed insight into this little-known area of education and healing for traumatized children and young people. This book will be valuable not only for those working in areas of disaster and armed conflict, but also for any teacher or parent who is teaching or caring for a traumatized child.

“How do we proceed with such important matters so that, by cultivating the right attitude and taking the right actions, we might even prevent certain developments? Because that also is part of our task since Anthroposophy would be meaningless if we only practiced it privately for ourselves.” — Ita Wegman (1933)

This volume is a translation from German of Trümmer und Traumata. Anthroposophische Grundlagen notfallpädagogischer Einsätze, Verlag des Ita Wegman Instituts, 2012.

C O N T E N T S:

Preface by Peter Selg

1. Earthquake, Tsunami, Nuclear Disaster: Trying to Cope—Somehow
2. Psychological Trauma: When Nothing Is as It Used to Be
3. Emergency Education: Bringing Healing to Injured Souls
4. Healing the Frozenness of Trauma
5. Emergency Education as Threshold Education
6. Competence in Stress Management
7. Crises Can Be Opportunities