A four year training in two phases: DETAILS.
WEST Coast Group forming NOW. Start date: TBA. Location: San Diego & Orange County, California.
First year East Coast students share thoughts about the Biography and Social Art Program. Video by Dana Jenks, Physics and Art Teacher at George Washington Carver School of Arts and Science.
Biography and Social Art Certificate Program
Life Gestures and Human Development
Download the certificate application in the right sidebar.
The Biography and Social Art Program is a unique, part-time training for individuals interested in a deeper understanding of what it means to be human. Practicing the art of human encounter, along with inner work, is preparation for leading others toward new possibilities of connecting with life in richer and more meaningful ways.
The Center for Biography and Social Art is happy to announce a NEW DESIGN for our program as we begin our nineteenth year!
The program will include two phases in order to allow more people to experience an intensive immersion into biography and social art before deciding whether to continue to hone their skills and become a facilitator. Each phase takes place over two years (meeting three times per year, summer, fall, and spring).
FOUNDATIONS IN HUMAN BECOMING is for people who want to engage more deeply with their own life story, with others and the world around them, and with ideas of an evolving universe. We take up nature observation, inner work, journaling, artistic media, communication skills and the social artistry of becoming human with the goal of awakening new capacities. The comprehensive nature of this way of working provides an experiential foundation for the picture of human development outlined by Rudolf Steiner. Whether you are new to anthroposophy ‐ “wisdom of the human being” ‐ or have been studying for years, this way of working brings new life and meaning to the idea and practice of an evolving path of consciousness.
It is fundamental to this work that we come together in person, as our emphasis is on finding and cultivating the creative human spirit through the mystery of human encounter. Although we use modern technology to stay in touch, we find there is still no substitute for working together in real time and space. Themes addressed in Foundations in Human Becoming include:
- Fourfold Imaginations of Life ‐temperaments, elements, seasons
- Time and Gender
- Seven‐Year Phases and Planetary Gestures
- The Twelve Senses
- The Uses of Enchantment
- Evolution of Consciousness Through Art
FACILITATOR TRAINING is for those who wish to take further steps toward becoming a biography and social art facilitator. These two years of study and practice will deepen what was begun in the Foundations course through the following themes:
- Group Facilitation and Learning Design
- Biographical Conversation
- Destiny and Karma
- Complementary Streams – medicine, biodynamics, transormative arts, etc.
Facilitator Training places more emphasis on presentation skills and practice in working with others. The support of a mentor and the opportunity for apprenticing are included, as well as advanced courses, where those in training may study alongside those already active in the field. This second phase culminates in a project presentation.
The Biography and Social Art Program is a member of the International Trainer’s Forum which is made up of representatives from biographical training programs around the world. Participants are awarded a certificate, recognized by the School of Spiritual Science in Dornach, Switzerland upon completion of all phases of the training.
For details click here: Admissions, Fees and Policies
An Overview of Biography and Social Art
What is Biography Work, this new approach to human life which is being developed more and more around the world? Rather than merely focusing on the details of an individual life, it expands our human perspective to include an exploration of the larger world within which we live. Learning to read biography–“life-writing” as the word suggests–encourages an appreciation for the cosmic rhythms that sustain life. Discovering the growth process of a rose or drawing the seasons of a tree can bring a sense of order and lawfulness as we look at human life. The Biography and Social Art Certificate Program takes us into the complexities of human becoming and sheds light on questions of meaning.
Social Art describes a way of working in which discoveries and insights are enhanced by entering artistically, with others, into the exploration of a theme. Quiet work with pastels, paint or clay can open us to a new way of seeing; and then sharing in small groups can encourage further openings.
The Biography and Social Art Certificate Program provides a laboratory in which participants are trained through their own activity. Working together with stories–our own and also fairy tales and myths–awakens new imaginations that can break the spell that has enchanted the world and bewitched us into believing only what can be weighed and measured. Working artistically with others, participants cultivate a living understanding of nature, biography, the story of humanity, and the cosmos. Learning to trust process, while lessening the focus on product, encourages a sense of play, risk and adventure.
There is a great need in our present culture for people who can guide explorations into the nature of the human being in ways that reveal wholeness and connection. This program offers professional development for a variety of fields, or it can be a preparation to provide learning opportunities for others seeking personal transformation, healing and a more conscious understanding of life. Former students have brought their learning into a variety of professions: biographical counseling, art therapy, elder care, parent education, health work, death care, adult education and many other avenues of working with personal and community development.
This is an exciting time in the biography of this course. We are always training ourselves to look at life as a continuous process of development and becoming, and this is a time when biography work itself is becoming more recognized and sought after in this country. There are a number of trainings and many ‘biography workers’ in most European countries, as well as in Israel, Japan and Brazil; there has been a slower growth in the United States with this being the only certificate training.Of course, there have always been those pioneers who brought biography work from the Centre for Social Development in England and their own longstanding relationship to Anthroposophy, who have been active in the U.S. and helped to spread an understanding of what an objective look at life could offer. This training, which was founded in 1997 by Signe Schaefer, came with an impulse to bring a unique character to biography work that has a strong component of working socially with both artistic media and the art of conversation. Both of these have a countering and balancing effect on the anti-social forces that predominate today. Maria deZwaan, an art therapist from Holland, was a wonderful and strong influence in the first cycles and helped to realize this impulse. The program continues to evolve with each new group being part of its on-going development. It has never been limited to looking only at the phases of a human life but includes observing and studying the processes of unfolding, transformation and metamorphosis, which occur in all of life. Be it a seed or planet or person, we can trust that we are seeing something that is in process and as we train ourselves to see life as being in process, then the meaning inherent in what we are seeing may be revealed. Recently we have begun to explore what we have termed the ‘biographical conversation’ as something different from coaching or counseling, although it may serve some of the same goals. Since the beginning of the program Margli Matthews, long-time director of the biographical counseling program in England, offered a block on the ‘Helping Conversation’ that has been foundational to the evolving of a one-to-one approach. It is also a time of transition as Signe steps back from directing the program and will be supporting the work from her role as President of the Board for the Center for Biography and Social Art, the umbrella organization of the program. She will, of course, be available as guide and consultant and will also be active in seeking and setting up Master Classes for graduates of the course and others engaged in Biography Work. As sad and even difficult as it is to say goodbye to a founder in a leading role, it is also an opening (as Signe is fond of saying) for next steps to emerge that will take this work into the future. Part of that future is a collaboration of four lead faculty, all of whom have been participants in the course. They are Patricia Rubano, who has been co-director of the course and involved since the beginning; Leah Walker, who was part of the first cycle has incorporated this work into her counseling-psychotheraputic practice; Kathleen Bowen, who after graduating from the program, was an intern through another cycle and is the coordinator for the Center for Biography and Social Art; and Joseph Rubano, who was part of the first cycle and who also did the Biographical Counseling Course in England with Margli Matthews and Anita Charton will take this work into the future.