Taruna’s Certificate in Holistic Health enables students to begin their journey into multi-dimensional healing.  Taruna has welcomed students from many different parts of the world into these well-respected programmes.

Holistic health is an approach that takes the broadest possible view of illness and disease, identifying both internal and external causes, and then offering multi-dimensional healing as opposed to specific cures. It is as concerned with one’s propensity towards disease as it is with its transmission. Why does one person get colds or infections more easily than another, or at different times? Can we render ourselves more hardy and disease-resistant before medical intervention is necessary, and more resilient when illness does occur?


Taking into account one’s body, mind, emotions, and spiritual life, holistic health combines the best of modern scientific diagnosis and monitoring techniques with both ancient and innovative health promotion methods. These include natural diet and herbal remedies, nutritional supplements, exercise, relaxation, counseling, meditation, breathing exercises, and other self-regulatory practices. It addresses not only symptoms, but the entire person, and his or her current life predicament, including family, job, and spiritual life. It emphasizes prevention, health maintenance, high-level wellness and longevity. It views the client as an active participant in the healing process, rather than simply a passive recipient of “health care.” At once personal, ecological, and transcultural, holism has become the new health paradigm for the 21st century.

Taruna – Holistic Health

Overview of Programme

The programme is delivered around three eight day seminars a year, complemented by independent study undertaken at home.

At the end of the programme graduates will:

  • Have learnt a range of new external treatments that can be incorporated into clinical work;
  • Have a deepened relationship to healing plants and their qualities;
  • Be better able to help patients explore the meaning of their illness;
  • Be better able to support self-management of wellness;
  • Have evolved a contemporary understanding of the human being that integrates a spiritual dimension;
  • Have a theoretical framework and new skills to more effectively meet the need for holistic health (physical, psychological and spiritual).

The Certificate in Holistic Healthcare is NZQA-accredited at Level 4 (although written and delivered at Level 5-6 standard) and domiciled New Zealand residents may apply for Student Loans.

As a guide to the number of hours in studying, there are a notional 10 hours allocated to each credit, with 40 credits totalling 400 hours of study per year. Depending on your prior knowledge, skills and learning style, this may vary. The total hours include the time spent on-campus at seminars, so the suggested home-based study hours to meet the theory and clinical-based requirements associated with the programme are about 7 hours per week.

The programme takes place at Taruna’s Homestead Campus in a peaceful setting of gardens and trees on the lower slopes of Te Mata Peak, in Havelock North.

Programme Topics

Overview of the themes covered during the programme:

Anthroposophic Perspective – Health and Illness | Anthroposophic Nursing Context

• Illness as destiny and karma• Soul types• Life journey – past, present and the future
• Thresholds of birth and death• Organs as archetypes• Awakening to ‘Self’
• Fundamental physiology• Pathology of organs• Healing streams
• The four bodies of the human being• The 12 senses• Approaches to health and illness
• The 4 elements / temperaments• Embryology and human development• Healing through rhythm
• Pathology of the four fold• Evolution of consciousness• The inner path and the Nurses’ Meditation
• The three fold processes of the human beings• Seven year phases• Encounter / conscious meeting
• Soul activity – thinking / feeling / willing• 0 to 21 years – physical development• The gesture and quality of the therapeutic relationship
• Pathology of the three fold in polarity• 21 to 42 years – soul development• Nursing archetype
• The 7 life processes• 42 to old age – spiritual development
Anthroposophic Nursing Context
• ‘Self’ as therapeutic tool

All tuition blocks at Taruna include daily artistic activities such as singing, painting, speech, eurythmy/movement and active self-reflective processes.


Record of Studies

At the end of the programme you will be issued with an Academic Record listing the seminars and your personal performance.

The Programme Director will keep attendance records and along with the Faculty Carrying Group will give verbal feedback and make written reports. You are also expected to give evaluative feedback at the end of each seminar, as well as at the end of each programme. Credits for the Academic Record require 100% attendance at seminars, active personal participation and satisfactory completion of assignments.

Programme Structure

One Year, Part-Time

The Certificate in Holistic Healthcare at Taruna is a course for health professionals looking to extend their practice into a holistic paradigm.  This professional development course deepens participants’ access to their own intuition allowing them to work with patients as a whole person. On-site at Taruna for three seminars during the year (each spanning eight days), the programme also includes directed independent study which takes the learning deeper into the participants’ practices.

This transformative course places a special emphasis on objective self-reflection to enable a greater capacity for therapeutic relationship. Participants will develop archetypal pictures of the human being while working with a range of external treatments that can be incorporated into clinical situations. A contemporary understanding of the human being that integrates a spiritual dimension is supported through a rich arts and movement programme.

Ultimately, graduates will finish the year with a greater capacity to facilitate wellness, self-determination and resilience for themselves and their patients/clients in the face of the challenges of the 21st century.

NB: This programme is a pre-requisite for the Diploma in Holistic Healthcare (Anthroposophic Nursing Aotearoa).

2016 Dates

Seminar 11 - 8 April
Seminar 229 July – 5 August
Seminar 37 - 14 October


New Zealand citizens and residents:$2,201 (inc. GST)
International students:$4,663 (inc. GST)

Taruna receives funding for the first year (Certificate), which enables student fees to be subsidised.

New Zealand citizens and residents (including Australian citizens who are resident in New Zealand for the full duration of the programme)

These fees include a $50 enrolment and administration fee and a refundable library bond of $50 and also course readings and handouts, study texts (through the programme’s library) and therapy and art/craft supplies used on-site during the seminars.

We ask all participants to make a koha donation of $5 per day for which Taruna will provide morning and afternoon tea while studying on site.

Programme participants are responsible for travel and accommodation costs involved in attending the seminars.

Financial Assistance

As the Certificate programme only is approved by NZQA, student loans and allowances are available to New Zealand citizens and residents through application to StudyLink, either online www.studylink.govt.nz or by telephone 0800 88 99 00.

Please apply early to help avoid payment delays!

Crystal Bridge may also be approached for loans; contact ketrimvin@xtra.co.nz

Entry Requirements

For entry into the Certificate in Holistic Healthcare, you should be a qualified health professional in current clinical practice.

NB: Admission to the programme is at the discretion of the Faculty Carrying Group.

All applicants to Taruna College are required to provide a biographical outline, two appropriately qualified confidential references and to make declarations regarding their health and any criminal convictions.

All those applicants for whom English is not a first language must provide an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) results card and have achieved an overall band score of not less than 6.0. Where IELTS is not available, an equivalent test of English must be provided. For further clarification of this please contact Taruna.

Applicants who meet the entry criteria will be accepted on a first-come first-served basis.

Applicants are also encouraged to develop familiarity in the underlying principles of anthroposophy. Workshops and study groups are held in most main centres in New Zealand.