17 > 23 October 2024
France (Albières)

Note: 8 registrations are needed by 17 July for this module to take place.

“(Re-)Establish embodied coherence of experience. Strengthen your confidence and take your place in your spacious body

This Core Strokes training-workshop can be taken separately for your personal development.

Trauma creates fragmentation in the coherence of experience. Sensation becomes separated from images. Affect becomes separated from meaning. Behavior becomes separate from affect. In the words of Yeats, the center does not hold. Our inner experience, literally, begins to fall apart.” Peter Levine, PhD.

The purpose of this training workshop is to study in theory and practice how trauma in the body can be processed and healed using the Core Strokes approach. We will see how, at the “intermediate deep” level of the bodymind’s myofascial system, protection and defense mechanisms have formed, which keep us in too tight a straitjacket, compromising our full length, width and depth. 

Core Strokes™ is a comprehensive and powerful therapeutic self-development process based on the simultaneous work with body, emotions, mind, will and spirituality. The approach consists of the original and powerful synthesis of, on the one hand, the highly effective Neo-Reichian myofascial release and integration techniques developed by Dr. Jack Painter in the 1960s (Postural Integration) and wading through an “energetic breathing cycle (the inner “River of Life”) in 9 phases (Energetic Integration). Insights from Core Energetics, Gestalt, Zen, Pesso-Boyden therapy and awareness through movement are also integrated. The work is based on the generally accepted notion that we become ourselves in interaction and that relational alliances are necessary to fully connect with and live from our Core (Center Of Right Energy). The work combines attunement, deep experiential bodywork, therapeutic touch and psychotherapy.

What is/are Core Strokes ?

The Core Strokes method was developed by Dirk Marivoet after 30 years of practice and teaching.

This psycho-corporal method combines the theoretical and practical aspects of the following approaches:

  • Postural Integration, Energetic Integration and Pelvic-Heart Integration, the different forms of Bodymind Integration that were developed by Jack W. Painter, PhD
  • Core Energetics, developed by John C. Pierrakos, MD
  • Pesso-Boyden System Psychomotor (PBSP), developed by Albert Pesso and Diane Boyden-Pesso
  • Other approaches and systems such as those of William Reich, Carl Jung, Alexander Lowen, Eric Berne…

 In Core Strokes, ‘Core‘ stands for our ‘Center of Right Energy‘ and ‘Strokes‘ for the units of recognition (which can be verbal or non-verbal) and the targeted hands-on manipulations, touches and caresses that help us to come out with a new part of ourselves, or an old part of that has been hiding in the body as symptoms. The presence of the therapist should give the client the courage to begin revealing (and become conscious), what is coming to the surface from their inner depths (the Dynamic Ground, which is the seat of the deepest level of the unconscious, the inherited or collective unconscious), to purify and transform it.


    • The originality and effectiveness of the Core Strokes method lies in its ability to integrate techniques of bodywork and verbal expression that will “touch” us deep within, both in our tissues but also in our emotions, our wounds, our basic human needs, our soul.
    • Core Strokes allows us to discover to what degree the “blows”, the “spikes” that we receive can hurt us, close us, and how much the “caresses”, the “strokes”, can bring us support, recognition, and allow us to open our heart, or “Core” (our “Center of Right Energy”).
    • Core Strokes supports the development of the “pilot self” and allows us to learn to clearly express and satisfy our needs, embody our emotions, release our tensions, and perceive differently. Trauma-based protection and defense mechanisms are effectively resolved and integrated, while developing a deep connection with our Authentic or Core Self.

    Program of the Core Strokes Module 2 on the spacious body

    This training – which can be taken as an initiation into Core Strokes – focuses on the many ways in which we can find safety, belonging, nurturance, support, protection and loving boundaries and enhance healing to address the dissociated and fragmented energies present within to heal and resolve the “trauma vortex”. We will look at the ways in which individuals tend to link sensations, images, behavior, affect, and meaning in unhealthy ways as a result of trauma. Strategies to control the various defense responses (Fight, Flight, Freeze, Fawn and Fold) in the context of Reichian Character Structures (expanded with original Core Strokes insights into tissue dynamics and psycho-emotional working through). We will learn how to restore healthy defense responses where they have been lost or not developed, as well as how to actualize latent potentials in the bodymind. We understand “integrated intelligence” as a combination of exteroception, interoception, proprioception, emotion and conceptualization.

    More specifically, during this workshop we focus on the “intermediate deep layer” of the myofascial network and the associated psychological themes of trust, sensuality, desire and reaching and the 3-dimensional expansion of the Core Self.

    In this training we learn how to get in touch with our myofascial and energy system from a neo-Reichian framework, facilitating relaxation and integration at the level of emotion, energy, attitude, sensory experience and meaning. At that level, for example, we want to free the space between the ribs and the pelvis, which, among other things, helps to relieve chronic tension and excessive strain. shoulders, neck and head. We also want to help the shoulders themselves “take their best place”. We provide a comprehensive overview of the anatomy of the shoulder girdle and flanks. We also discuss the anatomy and neurophysiology of the head, neck and face in the context of the polyvagal theoretical body-oriented application. In this training we also highlight the psychological dimension of our posture as part of our behavior, as well as the “masks” we wear that hide our true face. Thanks to the link with neuroaffective sciences and body-oriented psychotherapy, we learn to skillfully sensitize clients to the connection between unmet basic needs and the attitudes and personality distortions that arise from them. In this context we address the sources of physical, emotional and psychological pain. We also delve deeper into possible blockages in each of the phases of the “energetic breathing cycle,” a further development of Wilhelm Reich’s “Life Formula”: tension -> charge -> discharge -> expansion. By learning to breathe in an open, relaxed way, the body begins to create a higher energy state called “charge” or “activation.” This allows us to uncover physical, emotional and mental patterns in our clients, after which we help release and integrate using Gestalt, tissue work and other techniques.


    We integrate the theory and practice of:

    • Embodied Trauma Work
    • Work with the natural Energetic Wave (The Breath Cycle in the River of Life) in 9 Steps
    • Bodymind work at the middle layer of the fascia network : hands-on and hands-off holistic Core Strokes techniques to unlock the middle deep layer of the myofascial network
    • Work on the parts of the body on all levels (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual): lateral line, torso, shoulders, neck, head, pelvis
    • Developing the Pilot and Core Self and understanding and transforming the structure of personality: “Mask”, “Lower Self” and “Higher Self”
    • Holistic & experiential bodywork techniques: meridian and point work, movement awareness, chakra work, zone/segment de-armoring (release and integration)
    • Basic needs, deficits and reversals
    • “Reading” the body interactively and phenomenologically
    • Trauma-informed relational work – “embodied deep listening” and deep bodywork
    • Transforming “pseudo-solutions”: the dynamics of submission/dependence, aggression/control, detachment/withdrawal/shame and its effects in the Bodymind – structures, attitudes and postures
    • How to create new memories as complements to automatic or unconscious old patterns

    Educational means

    • Bodymind and bodywork practices (awakening, awareness, anchoring, breathing, movement, voice…)
    • Theoretical contributions
    • Demonstrations of individual sessions in large groups
    • Guided practice in small groups and analysis of experiences
    • Analysis of the effects of the methods and techniques tested
    • Q&A time

    Out of class work

    Only concerns those who want to taken the whole Core Strokes training and want to obtain a diploma

    • Individual therapy sessions in Core Strokes with a certified practitioner (min. 6 hours)
    • Working group: regular meetings to exchange and practice on the subjects studied during the workshop with other students
    • Study of recommended resource books
    • Personal reflection and evaluation

    For those who want to obtain the Certificate of Core Strokes Practitioner, please consult the full training program

    Thanks to this workshop:

    • I invite and welcome new ways of being and wholeness.
    • Learn how to heal trauma in the body.
    • In my relationship with the other, I am more connected to my inner resources.

    What about the facilitator?

    Portrait of Dirk Marivoet integrative psychotherapist

    Dirk Marivoet, MSc.

    is founder and director of the IBI (The International Institute for Bodymind Integration). He is a registered accredited psychotherapist (ECP), a certified psychomotor therapist and physiotherapist in mental health (University of Louvain) and an internationally recognized trauma expert. He is also a Certified ICRI Advance Trainer and Supervisor for Postural Integration, Energetic Integration, Reichian Bodywork and Pelvic-Heart Integration (Jack Painter, PhD) and a Senior Core Energetics Teacher and Supervisor (John Pierrakos, MD). After more than 35 years of clinical and teaching experience, both in the academic, alternative and complementary fields of psychotherapy, he created the Core Strokes approach, which he shares around the world. He lives in Ghent (Belgium).

    The place in Albières (F)

    This training workshop is given near Carcassonne (F), in the “Domaine de Marseille”. In Cathar country, 50 km south of Carcassonne, near the inverted mountain of Bugarach, the hot springs of Rennes-les-Bains and the legendary village of Rennes-le-Château. It is a place where you can gain new energy, think, come to yourself, meditate and celebrate life. For more details, see HERE.

    Practical information

    Dates and place :

    Dates : From 17 October 2024 (16h) until 23 October (16h) 2024

    Note: 8 registrations are needed by 17 July for this module to take place.

    Venue : Residential, 50 km South of Carcassonne in the Domaine de Marseille

    Rates for accommodation and meals :

    Around 80 € depending on your chosen option.

    Participation costs:

    • Early Bird – 880 € (before 17 July 2024)
    • Normal Rate – 930 € (after 17 July 2024)

    Enjoy a 5% discount by signing up another person.

    Languages used :

    English (with possible translation into French and Dutch by Dirk Marivoet)


    Write to Agnès Desnos, who is responsible for the organization :

    Sign up for this module

    To sign up for this module, please, fill out the form below.

    Module 1 can be taken as an introductory course. By agreement, modules 2, 3 and 4 can be taken before module 1 or in a different order. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    If you apply for the first time, please describe your experience in the field of psychotherapy, personal development, experiential work, deep bodywork, emotional process work (Individual or Group), body psychotherapy, bodymind integration, systemic work/family therapy/couples therapy…).

    Please, fill up all the fields below before sending your request.
    Read the participation and cancellation policy.

    Other modules

    The Core Strokes training consists of 4 modules of 7 days each. The 4 modules are best taken in sequence, but you are welcome to enroll for the modules in another order at any location. The content is the same all over the world. Find out about other module dates around the world.

    Introductory workshops to discover the method

    No upcoming introductory workshop for the moment.
    Please contact us to express your interest in participating in an introductory workshop.


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