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Our Courses in Australia

Current training

In Canberra, in 2020, we are teaching the final 3 modules of the 3-year training in Holistic Biography Work.

Each module is partly taught as a workshop open to anyone with a background in Biography Work and/or Anthroposophy. An introductory or Foundation workshop in Holistic Biography Work is recommended but not essential when doing individual workshops.

Each workshop is facilitated by Karl-Heinz Finke assisted by graduates of the 3-year training in Holistic Biography Work. Our venue is mainly a beautiful space within the Orana Steiner School in Weston.

Pre-reading and preparation materials are sent approximately a month in advance, so early registration is advised.


Laura Summerfield: mail@holisticbiographywork.com

Click here for a list of accredited Tutors in Holistic Biography Work who are happy to assist individuals working with issues related to their life story.


Mission & Meaning – Life as a Spiritual Journey

Supporting the Self in search for meaning
Friday evening 24 April to Sunday afternoon 26 April 2020

Spirituality is part of the ‘here and now’ not otherworldly, pre-birth or after life. Images take from world myths and fairy tales – including contemporary movies – suggest that the development of our ‘silent self’ is nourished by a ‘water of life’ which can be found as a hidden fountain within the ‘ordinary world’. Exploring our biographies, we trace life-giving, life-supporting and life-changing influences, and learn how to call on them more consciously.

We also reflect and share about meaningful texts and practices from the various backgrounds represented between us. This includes poetry, verses, meditations, prayers and guidelines for inner work or dynamic meditations.

We share a rich variety from many different backgrounds and indications for very different purposes – from Anthroposophy to Dervish Dances to Zen Meditation and so on. After this workshop we may return home with heads, hearts and hands full of ‘philosophical or spiritual gems’ collected and shared between us. This provides a rich context for reflecting on your own biography or that of another.

Canberra viewed from Mount Ainslie - Source: Wikipedia
Canberra viewed from Mount Ainslie - Source: Wikipedia

Mental Health Crisis – Biography work in learning, coaching & therapeutic settings

Understanding the spiritual structure of human frailty
Friday morning 31 July to Sunday afternoon 2 August 2020

This workshop helps you better understand mental health phenomena. Through workshop presentations and by exploring your own life experiences, we cultivate an empathetic understanding of mental health issues in order to better accompany individuals carrying such phenomena as part of their biography. We discuss what defines Mental Illness and consider Caroline Myss’s message of a possible healthy ‘Spiritual Madness’, indicating a spiritual experience or a chaotic transition phase as a possible part of inner development.
Film documentaries are used to provide a shared experience on this topic.

We raise the question of who and what decides or defines Mental Illness, and what might be the difference between a Psychotic Episode and a Spiritual Experience.
The workshop processes help you recognise when someone may be facing a mental health crisis, and whether they need referral for further support or intervention. Our aim is not treatment for serious mental health issues, as this is beyond the scope of Holistic Biography Work.

In this workshop, there are more presentations or content than usual, but these will be interwoven with group-work and sharing in plenum. We will explore how any of us can be affected at different times in our lives by an inner crisis, leading to possible difficult and challenging experiences that may become the touchstone for change.

3 Ways of Learning – Learning for life, learning from life, initiation through life

Designing effective processes
Friday evening 11 September to Sunday afternoon 13 September 2020

Taking Coenraad van Houten’s research into Three Ways of Learning as a starting point, this workshop focusses on Processes as a theme. Whenever we meet with a client, run a workshop, facilitate an exercise, prepare for a professional or family event, we create – consciously or unconsciously – processes in time.

Trainers and educators have discovered, for example, that some exercise processes work somehow ‘naturally’ and these respective exercises are used for a long time. Other exercises do not work well and are dropped, even if they were thoughtfully designed to serve a specific purpose. A Dutch organisation with its roots in Spiritual Science or Anthroposophy – the NPI, Nederlands Pedagogic Institute – started to research what constitutes a ‘good process’ or a ‘good exercise’ and discovered that good processes or exercises are related to an Archetype or a Being. In the 1970s Coenraad van Houten, a senior consultant at the NPI, discovered that Education and Transformation Processes work best, if they are based on a Seven-step process, i.e. the Destiny Learning Process we teach in our Holistic Biography Work training. He researched and linked the Seven Life Processes within the Etheric-Life Body of the human being with the Seven Learning Processes. The Seven Step Learning Processes are in coherence with the Archetype of the Seven Life Processes and that constitutes their success. Of course, there are also Archetypes behind ‘Three Step’ or ‘Three Level’ processes, or four or nine or twelve …

This workshop provides tools, proven useful for teachers, trainers and consultants, for you to design effective learning processes. Knowledge about learning processes also helps you to better read and understand biographical and developmental patterns.


In 1997, during one of the last Schooling Courses at Hawkwood College (UK), Living-way received an invitation to conduct a Schooling Course in Melbourne, Australia in 1998. This was a stepping-stone for many future Living-way workshops and trainings in Australia and New Zealand.

The Schooling Course in Australia sadly ended after a successful three-year cycle in Armidale.

The first Living-way 3-year Biography Training began in Australia in 2004, under the umbrella of The Melbourne Therapy Centre. The second training cycle started in 2009 in Sydney in co-operation with Sydney Rudolf Steiner College. There were 2 more training cycles in Sydney. The fifth commenced in Canberra in March 2018 supported by the Anthroposophical Society in Australia, Canberra Branch.
In Sydney, there have been 3 bi-annual Gatherings of Biography Consultants (2014, 2016, 2018). The goal has been to strengthen a collegial network and to support local peer support groups. A quarterly communication newsletter, Seasonal Sharings, was initiated at the 2018 Gathering.

In 2020, with the expansion of Holistic Biography Work in Asia, we are supporting a regional Gathering in Bangalore, India in September/October.

Holistic Biography Work Training in Canberra – Course Overview

The 3-year Course in Holistic Biography Work runs from April 2018 to September 2020.
Facilitator: Karl-Heinz Finke; assisted by Laura Summerfield

Foundation Workshop

Take charge of your life. Apply the resources of Holistic Biography Work.

Foundation Workshop participation is mandatory for joining the training.

Parts 1 to 3

All modules include Preparatory Reading and Training Components:

  • Project description
  • Project presentation
  • Peer Intervision

2021 – Part 1: Biographical Keys

Developing individual awareness

Annual Project
Biographical Interview

  • Module 1-1
  • Module 1-2
    The Helping Conversation
  • Module 1-3
    Destiny Learning
  • Collegial Tutorial
    Presentations & Intervision

Please enquire re dates

2022 – Part 2: Encounters

Developing social awareness

Annual Project
Biographical Analysis

  • Module 2-1
    Individual & Community
  • Module 2-2
    Meeting Conflict
    July 2019
  • Module 2-3
    Trials & Thresholds
  • Collegial Tutorial
    Presentations & Intervision

Please enquire re dates

2020 – Part 3: Guidance and Self-guidance

Developing spiritual awareness

Annual Project
Biographical Study

  • Module 3-1
    Mission & Meaning
    April 2020
  • Module 3-2
    Mental Health Crisis
    July 2020
  • Module 3-3
    3 ways of learning
    September 2020
  • Collegial Tutorial
    Presentations & Intervision
    October/November 2020

For Part 3 in 2023, please enquire re dates