is a case history of a student with social problems and
hyperactivity, treated by Katherine Rudolph:
Manual - Patient B
1. The patient was
treated in a Rudolf Steiner school.
2. It was to
benefit one child, through a group situation.
3. Each session
was approximately ½ hour.
4. It took place
during the third of a year.
5. In the
2nd grade classroom, with the teacher present and 12
6. The child was a
boy, 8 ½ years old.
7. The child’s
parents were not compatible.
8. The therapy
took place every two weeks.
9. The school paid
for the cost of the therapy.
10. The child was
very hyperactive at times and utterly introverted and withdrawn at
a. It created social and
disciplinary problems in the class.
b. The doctor diagnosed
constitutional difficulties, possible schizophrenia.
c. He appeared quite alienated
and had been having psychiatric help.
11. He was often
demanding attention through his inappropriate activity. His voice
was weak and mumbled.
12. He has black
hair and eyes and was normal stature for his age. His face was very
pale and he had shallow breathing.
B. Methods of
1. The process was
carefully accompanied with rhythmically repeated
2. This was
inspired by the group situation and represented a
1. ‘Here on the
earth I stand’
2. ‘You can gaze
in dark waters’
3. ‘Whenever the
moon and stars are set’
4. ‘Loudly blew
the bitter blast’
5. Rippling and
6. Which winds
7. Moon on the
field and the fold’
8. Slowly silently
now the moon
9. The child
followed the movement in verse of the story-in-motion. At times he
would hide under a chair and then reappear. The story of a lost
sheep was recounted. Sometimes the movement was more and the
speaking less. In between the narrative was told by the
experience in space was brought about by the children repeating the
sounds and movements in unison.
The child whom the
therapy was made for always wanted to be the lost sheep. All of the
children enjoyed calling him back into the fold. He thereby felt
needed and protected. The sheep had been frightened by a sudden
storm and the shepherd boy had to call them back. The other
children all were hiding like the alienated child, in all parts of
the classroom. Then they slowly returned. This made the one child
feel at home and the children in the class played along. The
moonlight is invoked to bring back the lost sheep ‘Moon on the
field and the foam. etc’. The expectation of the lost sheep coming
back made him feel like he was in the limelight and could
rightfully ‘act it out’ for once.
therapeutic connection became very good. The child felt that the
others knew how he felt, (namely lost) and then, happily found and
wanted. He remembered being the lost sheep months later, and spoke
about it at times.
dramatic story and a similar ‘Christmas Play’, where the child
could again feel part of the whole, helped the classroom situation.
The child’s family moved away from the school not long after. How
he fared later remains unknown.
E. This child
needed much more one-to-one treatment but the time situation didn’t
allow it. Psychological assistance would be
The following work
was brought to life in the Christmas play referred to in the case
Folk Tale, translated by Dan Lindholm and written in free verse by
Of a poor shepherd
boy at the first Christmastide, this tale is oft told. May it
spread far and wide; who weary and wind blown, aching with cold,
long sought a lamb that had wandered alone; lost it was, straggling
Along the trail of
a dried-up brook, behind the shadows of bramble and bush;
everywhere did the shepherd boy search, uphill and down in the land
beyond Bethlehem, city of David.
gripped his heart. How he’d suffered before. Whenever a lamb had
been lost, he’d been scolded and beaten, left without bread in his
room at the inn. Since his father had gone, his master was mean and
Of course he was
troubled, as onward he strode. How could he know that darkness and
fear would be conquered by light that love might shine forth in
every man’s heart, this night at the Turning of Ages.
Yet he steadfastly
sought, he hardly took heed when the wind had died down; the birds
‘gan to sing; the stars were now shining brighter than day. One he
clambered away, e’er steadily upward; straining his ears; but he
could not hear – even the faintest of bleatings; the lamb was
nowhere to be seen.
At last at the
top, he scanned o’er the plane of the ancient land of Judaea and –
BEHOLD – now the wonder that entered his heart, when an Angel
appeared amidst the night stars, and the heavens rang forth to
rejoice in the birth of the babe who was born in a
These words spoke
the angel of peace: ‘Have now no fear, thou keeper of sheep; your
lost lamb is fast asleep, and safe in the lower pasture: A greater
Shepherd has been born to save the world from sin and scorn. A
Saviour, in Bethlehem this sacred morn and shall be Christ the
Lord. Make haste! Make haste to the babe in a manger’.
‘A Saviour is
born; and I so forlorn? What have I to bring him this wondrous
morn? Alas I’m bereft, I have nothing to give.’
But the angel
answered him thus: ‘Nothing to give? See’st though aright? Take now
this flute; let it sing in the light which shineth so bright, in an
Orb around the manger.’
With this the
angel disappeared and uttered not another word, but the shepherd
saw that it was true; on the ground there shone a flute. This he
held then to his mouth and, lo, it played all by itself. O’hear –
Seven pure tones did fill the air, such as one might hope to hear
singing from the heavenly spheres.
So filled was the
shepherd boy’s heart with joy that he hastened too fast down the
steep path. He stumbled alas, and fell on his face with a cry of
dismay, and oh! what pain. Then he saw the flute again and fought
through pebbles and thorns on that rocky terrain; and again it
played. But only six tones remained; still onward he ran, drying
his tears on the way.
Now the path
lightened; he was running in time and steadily faster when he
stopped in his tracks; there before him it sat, the great grey
wolf, the lamb-slayer himself, snarling and baring sharp fangs; and
that monster he hated for barring his way: ‘Aside, let me pass. Get
out of here fast,’ he yelled at the wolf without thinking. Such was
his fury that he threw then the flute at the beast and it vanished
away. But hear the bad news. So did a tone in his flute!
Across the low
pasture astrode he to the plain, where the lambs were all
peacefully grazing – save one, who was curious about all the light;
it seemed to be bleating a question that night. And the shepherd
boy thought that it might get lost; so he followed it foolishly
this way and that, hoping it would return to the fold. At last he
got made though, then the lamb ran and the shepherd boy ran;
forgetting the gift that he held in his hand, he flung the flute at
the lamb in vain.
What woe was his
when the sound of only four tones remained. How he had bungled this
thing. Yet he still must hurry on, for the angel had said, ‘Make
haste, make haste to the babe in the manger.’ Only a pace had he
made when he though, ‘Where are the others this night? Did all of
the other ones leave the night watch while they themselves pass
their time at dice and cheer? I am left along here!’ Such was the
shepherd boy’s thought.
And indeed it made
him right cross; that he only a boy must stay and watch and guard
the flock, how annoying! But how could he know that the others, his
elder s and uncle and brothers awaiting him knelt at the
So he glared at
the fire, and kicked the old jug, distraught at them all and his
plight as the littlest shepherd. But much to his fright an
invisible might knocked the flute from his hand. When at last it
was found, there were only three tones to hear. Still the tones
were so clear; bright and wondrous they were. Might he not play for
And as he pressed
on, nigh to the town; he suddenly found that he was surrounded by
trouble: knocked in the nose, kicked in the shins, fighting a gang
of street urchins, who wanted his glimmering flute. But he had the
flute in his grasp. This time he held on to it fast! At last the
nightwatchman came and frightened the urchins away – ‘I’ll
break up the terrible game that you play!’ said he to the scuffling
children. So bitten and ragged and torn, the poor shepherd boy
blundered on, ‘til he got to the gates of the town.
True there were
only two tones left to ring in the flute yet these from the fields
of wonder. Then spied he the stable whence shone the star, with
glory above from the heavens; and peace in the heart of man. The
lad longed for the sight of the babe; but as he walked past the
door of the inn a savage guard-dog fell on him, and would have torn
him to bits.
Then he brandished
the flute, which smote like a sword – one pure not did him well
serve; the dog was stunned; but he had only one tone for the babe
in the manger. So little was left of the angel’s gift, that he was
sore ashamed. But Mother Mary beckoned him close, and, he sounded
the angel flute round and clear that all might hear the last and
The ass and the ox
pricked up their ears; the other shepherds gathered there heard;
Mary and Joseph beamed with joy at the tone of the poor ragged
shepherd boy. But the Christ Child in the manger low, wrapped in
light and swaddled in clothes, stretched out his tiny hand – to
touch the flute which the shepherd lad had borne through trials and
And – Behold! –
how the flute did glow – O’HEAR. Those seven pure tones both full
and clear did fill the air, as they had before. Such tones as one
might hope to hear ringing from the heavenly sphere – just as the
lad had first received, as gift from the angel of comfort and
peace. High in the hills, the tale is still told how he’d sought
the lamb that fled from the fold; how, weary and heartsick he
hearkened and heard tidings of the Saviour, Christ the
The following is
another case history of a child with social problems and
hyperactivity and antogonistic behaviour, also treated by Katherine
This child was
referred to me by his second grade teacher. Antagonistic behaviour,
not participating in group interaction with speaking and singing,
bullying other children were part of his social
He has a
congenital heart circulation weakness. Indeed his whole feeling
soul is affected.
B. Impulse for
speaking during the word games. He was quick-witted and had no
trouble thinking and remembering words. Large and small balls were
thrown, and he managed to throw on the breath. His voice, however,
was not strong. (Blowing up balloons were a way of increasing his
During the stories
and verses Charlie showed less enthusiasm. He was good at rhythm in
movement (stepping with the syllables), when he was encouraged to
keep up the pace. However he enjoyed it less than the word games.
Stimulating heart and limb forces to keep up with the head helped
to bring his impulse into balance.
C. Flow of
breathing was somewhat shallow. Iambic verses in the story with
galloping helped the diaphragm – breathing to ensue. This was
interspersed with narrative in motion and followed by relaxing
songs. He then opened up and felt the process (the story was about
a ranch and discovering certain activities which coincide with
speech exercises involving vowels which stimulate the blood
circulation). ‘O’, ‘ah’; these are more diastole expressions (in
relation to the breath current) whereas Charlie had a lot of EE
–Asystole already in his character. His temperament tended to be
melancholic, meaning his head activity predominated.
pronunciation of the consonants and the balance of consonants was
normal. Lips – MBPFV, Teeth LNDT, Th, Sz, R, Sh, Ch and Palate VGK,
Ch and H were all articulated, but all were strengthened in
E. Course of
Charlie needed to
feel love and humour. During the therapy humorous songs and verses
were sung and spoken. Speaking and singing with others in the
classroom situation needed to be encouraged. Good humour toward his
fellow classmates was also subtly woven into the story content.
Love of the earth as a place to grow and learn was imaginatively
evoked in the narrative of the story without appearing to be
Clowning may have
been an interest to be developed with Charlie. Therefore, later
events in the story might have included joining a circus.
Generally, efforts were made to reinforce self-confidence and to
realise his intrinsic value as a human being. The friendship
element was naturally deepened in relation to his peers as
Speech, in its
formative element centred Charlie and helped his individuality to
gradually enter so that his true talents would be expressed more
The stories were
built up and carried through in episodes which began with the
former verses and songs and always contained a new
segments (for example, ‘rancho grande’) were finished the texts
were given leading on to the ‘circus adventure’.
The child will
continue to need opening-up. There is much turbulence below the
surface. Work with clowning and or musical development would be
beneficial to the feeling soul.
© Copyright 2005 Katherine Rudolph, Exploring The Word In Colour