Core Strokes™ Level I ModuleBodymind IntegrationBody oriented psychotherapy

Level I Core Strokes™ - 2021

New Dates 2020

With Dirk Marivoet, MSc., PT, PMT, ECP, CCEP

Core Strokes™ Level I


Methods, Foundations and Techniques for Core Strokes™  I

Core Strokes  Levels I-IV— 2 years minimum to complete all levels

Level I Core Strokes : 2 modules of 6 1/2 days -> Core Strokes Level I Attestation

Level II Core Strokes : 2 modules of 6 1/2 days -> Core Strokes Level II Attestation

Level III Core Strokes : 2 modules of 6 1/2 days -> Core Strokes Level III Attestation

Level IV Core Strokes : 2 modules of 61/2 days -> Core Strokes Level IV Attestation


+ 1 Year of Internship (supervised work with 3 training-clients under supervision -> Core Strokes practitioner Diploma

Why Bodymind Integration?

Bodymind Integration represents the coming together of psycho-dynamic, cognitive-behavioral and system-oriented principles, along with client-centered attitudes, in one integrated philosophy. Tested forms of Bodymind Integration, developed by Jack W. Painter are Postural Integration, Energetic Integration and Pelvic-Heart Integration. Dirk Marivoet developed a new form called Core Strokes, which combines elements of the three above mentioned forms with Core Energetics (after John C. Pierrakos) and the work of Albert and Diane Pesso. “Core” refers to our “Center of Right Energy”, "Strokes" refers to our ability to touch and be touched from the “Deep Soul” level that is fully in accord with the primary evolutionary push in the universe which is Love that embodies.

This unified method is supported by the latest information on both the psychological and physical evolution of human beings. It facilitates the clients' need for fulfillment of long standing deficits in psychological development. Body/mind information and experiences are utilized applying well-defined principles and techniques which are offered to clients in a way that empowers them to stay in charge of their own therapeutic process.

Why a body-based approach to personal growth and therapy?

Recent research on emotion, memory and brain-function, as well as the current understanding of the consequences of physical and sexual traumatization, demonstrates that psychological disturbances manifest themselves in actual life both as mental representations and as bodily experiences, sensations and motor behavior. This underlines the growing interest of clients, coaches, teachers and (psycho)therapists in those treatment modalities which take the body information into account in a professionally organized and methodical way (Damasio 1999, van der Kolk 1996).

Many psychological problems can be understood as the consequence of deficits in the satisfaction of basic developmental needs in early childhood. The need for nurture, support, protection, limits and a sense of a place in the world, have to be fulfilled concretely and symbolically at the right time and in the right kinship-relationships -- all experienced in well-fitting interactions. When these interactive events do not happen, the child cannot sufficiently mature into its adult true self, as it has suffered damaging consequences on three levels: biological, psychological and existential.

Psychotherapy should strive to assist people in re-discovering and becoming who they really are, to help them to broaden their consciousness, to trust their body as a reliable source of information, to express emotions in a safe environment -- and further, to have more positive life anticipations resulting from the integration of new, alternative mind-body interactive memories. All this requires the need for an articulated body-based approach.

How does Bodymind Integration - Core Strokes work?

A. Bodywork, Exercises, Role Playing, Gestalt

Clients prepare themselves by means of a series of exercises which enhance their sensitivity to sensory-motor and emotional information. Physical complaints and symptoms shift from being alienated phenomena to being a source of valuable information. The exercises and the bodywork promote the group's cohesion by paying attention to both individual differences and to universality of human needs. The distinct format of the bodywork and exercises fosters the client's faith in the possibility of change.

The group members are trained to apply Gestalt techniques and role-playing techniques characteristic to Bodymind Integration. The technique of 'polarization', using distinct place holders representing negative and positive aspects of the same historical person, helps with the disentangling of ambivalence-conflicts. The method offers the client a unique opportunity to experience a broad range of feelings from deep grief to unbounded hatred within a safe limiting symbolic context.

B. Process work

Process Work is an individual session in the group, supported by the other participants. One way of doing process work is with a worker standing in front of the whole group. The therapist assists the worker by emphatically tracking affective expressions, bodily states, verbal statements, core belief systems and internalized prohibitions and commands, to make this information more accessible to the client's consciousness. The actual inner mind-body state, the inner screen, is usually enacted outside in the room, with the help of group members, accommodators, in clearly defined roles representing e.g. supporting functions or inhibiting inner voices. The use of props (e.g., a foam cube, a roller, bataka/sword, therapy balls, pillows, ropes for boundary work, etc.) is often helpful to help "move energy”, open the body and emotional expression, and discharge blocked energy. The external stage, created in the arena of the therapy/group room, facilitates emotional reactivation of unresolved conflicts from early historical developmental phases. Actual expression of bodily feelings in interaction with role players (with the help of props) who represent historical figures, helps the client to process stagnated emotions and to grieve about unfulfilled needs and traumatic experiences. In addition the therapist focuses on the client's proactive efforts to bring about those experiences needed in order to heal. The therapist helps the client 'choreographs' the moves of individual group members enrolled as wished for caregivers. They provide alternative symbolic interactions which counterbalances historical events. Though this corrective experience takes place in the present, importantly, it is experienced and internally recorded as if it had actually taken place in the past. From these gratifying symbolic interactions -an "antidote experience”- the client integrates new sensory-motor, kinesthetic and auditory-visual memories, which are stored in the brain and nervous system alongside the original imprints. The availability of alternative synthetic memories will generate more realistic perspectives on self and others and prosper more optimistic expectations and behavior, leading to more pleasure, satisfaction, meaning and connectedness in current life.

C. 12 Paradigm sessions Core Strokes in 4 Levels

  • Level 1: ”A New Beginning and Opening Up”
    • Paradigm Sessions 1, 2 and 7a
  • Level 2: "Lengthening and taking your space”
    • Paradigm Sessions 3 and 7b
  • Level 3: "Reclaiming and balancing your Pelvic-Heart Power”
    • Paradigm Sessions 4, 5 and 6
  • Level 4: “Integration - Uniting all dimensions of Self”
    • Paradigm Sessions 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12

Who can benefit from Bodymind Integration - Core Strokes? 

  • Who ever wishes to achieve more pleasure, satisfaction, meaning and connectedness in life. 
  • Who ever is curious to discover their personal resources and who wants to enlarge their range of potential and interpersonal talents.
  • Individuals searching for better understanding of mind-body connections. 
  • People who tend to rationalize, somatize, and dissociate from feelings and emotions. 
  • Clients who feel that a mere verbal therapy does not offer adequate resolution. 
  • The safe therapeutic working-climate and the attention paid to providing limits makes the method appropriate for clients who carry the consequences of early parental loss and neglect. 
  • The cautious manner in which the body is involved in the therapeutic process, the attention to the expression of emotions without applying pressure, and the focus on ego-integration, all offer clients who have been physically, psychologically, emotionally and sexually traumatized a safe working-method. 
  • Clients need to be able to distinguish between symbolic experience and reality.

Who may apply for the first module of the training Core Strokes?

If you wish to expand your range of competence by integrating bodily aspects into your daily work, both in individual therapy and in various group-settings, you may subscribe to the first module of the Core Strokes - Bodymind Integration training as an independent module. You are prepared to study the relevant training-literature, to participate in local peer-supervision-groups and to bring in therapeutic work for supervision. In case you wish to continue with the second, third and fourth Levels, the first level will be preparatory. The four Core Strokes Levels all together form the route to become a recognized Core Strokes therapist of the International Association for Bodymind Integrators. Admission to the second, third and fourth levels will be in accordance with the requirements of the International association for Bodymind Integration (see supplement).

What is the goal of the first Level of the training (Core Strokes Level I)?

The goal of the first year is to make you familiar with basic principles of Bodymind Integration, to help you to become more acquainted with the body in evolutionary processes, personal growth and psychotherapy and to expand your knowledge and awareness of the non-verbal aspects of communication in a verbal therapeutic setting and vice versa of the verbal aspects in a non-verbal setting.

  • You will be trained in Core Strokes - Bodymind Integration paradigm sessions 1, 2 and 7a—exercises in a group-setting and in an individual context.
  • ‘Process work', individual therapeutic sessions in a group, will have an experiential goal in the training as a means to help you further to discover your own resources.
  • You will be trained to offer a safe therapeutic climate, in which group members feel respected and are allowed to experiment and to discover hidden aspects of themselves.
  • You will learn how to assist the client to understand bodily sensations and impulses as important sources of information, like changes in voice-modulation, facial expression, body-posture and movement
  • You will be trained how to help to awaken and stimulate the observing, integrating, and executing part of the client's healthy ego.
  • You will receive support in accessing your own bodily information as a source of therapeutic knowledge about what is going on within the client.

The training is practice-oriented:

    • demonstrations will support your understanding of theoretical lectures;
    • you will master new interventions and exercises on an experiential and a technical level;
    • you will enlarge your experience as a therapist by practical training in duos, trios and subgroups of colleagues;
    • video feedback, supervision by the trainers, case-discussions and homework in peer-supervision groups are elements for evaluating your learning process.

Guiding Lecture: "Grounding Spirituality. Bringing Heart, Soul and Spirit to the World." 

Group process and individual process work - Guided Therapeutic and Facilitating Work by the Trainer(s)

Theoretical backgrounds : The Soul's Journey - The Cosmogonic Cycle: Emanation - Transformation - Integration - The Map of the Personality (Mask, Lower Self, Higher Self), The Map of Consciousness - Archetypes : The Ego, The Shadow, The Persona/e, Animus/a, Threshold of Consciousness, The Body as Ego, Nudity in Therapy : Collective and Personal Images; Idealized Self Images & the Body; The Culture of Sin; Shame and Guilt - Ego Defense Mechanisms. Proposed concepts are based on The Pathwork Lectures, Core Energetics®, Postural Integration® & Diverse Spiritual/Mystical Traditions, etc.

Bodymind Techniques for Release and Integration:

  • Technical aspects of verbal and the non-verbal interactions of Core Strokes™  Sessions 1, 2 and 7A demonstrated by trainer.
  • Relevant principles of character-analysis in Core Strokes : Myofascial Armoring - Focussed review of Reichian Character Types & Developmental Trauma scenarios as related to the Energetic Breath Cycle and Myofascial constellation: Fragmented, Oral, Inflated, Compressed, Rigid; Rigid Character Types: Hysteric; Passive-Feminine; Phallic-Narcissistic; Masculine-aggressive; Obsessive-compulsive;
  • Survival/Defense Mechanisms -Armoring : Types of Myofascial Armoring, Segmental myofascial armoring, 
  • Structural Body Reading based on Anatomy Trains
  • Anatomy, TCM and Physiology I: Cellular & Developmental Biology;  General Anatomy & Physiology; Special Topics: Neurobiology & Physiology of the Myofascial Network; 
  • Phenomenological Body Reading based on Gestalt principles
  • Bodymind Drama: Elements of theatrical mise-en-scène,
  • Gestalt techniques
  • Bio-energetic & Core-Energetic bodywork techniques for Core Strokes™  Sessions,
  • Body and movement awareness,
  • 5-Elements Theory & Acupressure Points, Energy Meridians and Fine Energy
  • Jack Painter's Natural Energetic Cycle; Blockages in The Energetic Cycle;
    • Charge and Discharge breathwork,
  • Therapeutic Touch - Deep Bodywork & Myofascial Techniques;
  • Verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
  • Triangle Work : Family triangles; Ideal Parents; Transforming roles & possible solutions.
  • Trauma Theories and applications in Core Strokes™ 
  • Movement Awareness & Expression Exercises;
  • Therapeutic Relationship:  Working Alliance; Necessary and sufficient conditions;
  • Problems with Touch, Boundaries, Limits,  
  • Transference-Countertransference
  • Shadow Work: Beliefs, images, experiences held in our unconscious; Shame, guilt, embarrassment; Mask, Lower Self, Higher Self in Core Strokes practice
  • Myth and the Body: Embodied Myth play around relevant mythological archetypes, themes and topics
  • Practical work within the training group
  • Personal training diary.
  • Supervised exchange of Sessions amongst students.
  • Practical work outside the group: Peer Group Meetings, Homework Assignments; Rehearsals, Energy Work, Personal Therapy. Supervision/Mentoring by the trainer or assistants : Online meetings and webinars.

Total number of hours: minimum of 100 hours

Certificates and intermediary Certificates.

There is a total of 4 Levels of Core Strokes. 

After successful completion of a Core Strokes module, one can pursue the next Level ( I ->II->III->IV). A certificate (issued by IBI) in a Core Strokes Level can be obtained when one takes this module a second time. 

After completion of all levels and a supervised internship with 3 training clients, a diploma in Postural Integration® can be obtained. This diploma is awarded by ICPIT.