21 > 27 August 2023
France (Villers-en-Prayères)

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

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 goal of this workshop is to study in theory and practice, how to process and heal trauma in the body with the help of the Core Strokes approach. This includes work with deep touch myofascial release, combined with breathwork, gestalt and the restoration of the natural flow of energy (the inner “River of Life”) in 9-stages.  The aim of the workshop is furthermore to learn how to restore a sense of coherence of experience and connection, fostering 3-dimensional expansion of being and the establishment of a deep and stable grounding in and creative expression of the Core Self.

Core Strokes™ is a comprehensive and powerful therapeutic process for self-development that is body-based and trauma-informed. It uses the widely accepted notion that we become ourselves in interaction and that relational alliances are needed to be able to fully connect with and live from our Core (Center of Right Energy) Essence. The work combines attunement, deep experiential bodywork, therapeutic touch and psychotherapy. This workshop, which is the equivalent of the Core Strokes II program, furthers personal development and professional competence on all levels and all quadrants (Ken Wilber).

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, 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 Workshop Core Strokes on Trauma and the body

    Equivalent of the Module II of the Core Strokes Professional Training

    This workshop – which can be taken as your first initiation in Core Strokes – focuses on the many ways we can resource security, belonging, nurturance, support, protection and loving limits and strengthen healing in order to heal and dissolve the dissociated and fragmented energies present in the “trauma vortex”. We will look at the ways in which individuals have a tendency to couple sensation, images, behavior, affect and meaning in unhealthy ways as a result of trauma. We will work with the different defense responses (Fight, Flight, Freeze, Fawn and Fold) in the context of Reichian Character structures (enlarged by Core Strokes’ groundbreaking insights in tissue dynamics). We will learn how to establish healthy defense responses where they got lost or were they were not developed, as well as how to complete and integrate intelligent impulses from the bodymind. We understand “integrated intelligence” as a combination of exteroception, interoception, proprioception, emotion and conceptualization.

    More specifically during this workshop, we will focus on the “middle deep layer” of the myofascial network and the psychological themes of  building confidence, allowing sensuality, reaching out and 3-dimensional expansion of the Core Self.

    In this workshop, we’ll learn how to get in touch with our myofascial system and facilitate the release and integration at the levels of emotion, energy, posture, sensory experience and meaning. We want on that level, free the space between the ribs and the pelvis, which also helps to drop excessive loads and defensive holding in the shoulders, neck and the head that is splitting off. We also want to help the shoulders themselves “find their place”.  We give a comprehensive overview of the anatomy of the rotator cuff and related structures. We will also cover the anatomy of the head, neck and face in the context of the polyvagal theory. In this workshop, we also expose the psychological dimensions of our posture as part of our behavior, as well as the survival masks (e.g. the faux window of tolerance) we wear on our face, hiding our true face. Thanks to the link with neuroaffective sciences, we’ll skilfully learn to sensitize clients to the link between unmet basic needs and the postures and character deficits that result 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 the “energetic breathing cycle.” By learning to breathe in an open, relaxed way, the body begins to create a high energy state called “charge” or “activation”, which allows us to uncover physical, emotional and mental patterns in our clients, after which we help release and integration, 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 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 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 Villers-en-Prayères

    This workshop is hosted in Villers-en-Prayères at 2h from Paris, in the “Domaine des 7 Vallons”. Built on 43 hectares of land with lakes, forests and meadows, the Domaine des 7 Vallons enjoys a natural setting conducive to healing, while being accessible by public transport. It is situated in the Champagne region in the heart of nature,  a wonderful place with a large hosting capacity.

    Practical information

    Dates and place :

    Dates : From 21 August 2023 (16h) until 27 August (16h) 2023

    Venue : Residential, at 2h from Paris in Domaine des 7 Vallons (in Villers-en-Prayères).

    Rates for accommodation and meals :

    Between 46 € and 125 € depending on your chosen option.

    Reserve your accommodation directly via the online form: 

    Participation costs:

    • Early Bird – 880 € (before 31 July 2023)
    • Normal Rate – 930 € (after 31 July 2023)

    Enjoy a 10% discount by signing up another person.

    Languages used :

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


    Write to Solène, 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 and 3 can be taken before module 1. 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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