Psychotherapist, trainer, founder and director of the IBI
Who is Dirk Marivoet?
I was born in a family of seven (I’m the fourth) and raised in the small villages of Eikevliet (that always faced floods) and Wintam in a rural area of Belgium named “Little Brabant” a beautiful place enclosed by the rivers Scheldt, Rupel and the side river “Vliet”. My parents were hard working, capable, courageous and progressive people who always wanted and worked for the best for their children. They loved and supported us and the greater community in admirable ways, always lifting spirits and hopes when they came down. This flow of spirit obviously permeates in my own life and work.
My primary school in Wintam was for boys only : 56 pupils I remember, always eager for a game of fighting on the playground. That and marbles and knuckles. Wonderful time and also helpful and rewarding for creating a securely mirrored male identity. In middle and high school I received a scientific orientation and at the same time learned to speak, read and write in four languages. Gymnastics meanwhile built my flexibility, core strength, balance, power, mental focus, discipline, and dedication. Ready for university at the age of 17, merely and adolescent and so experimenting with freedom and everything a Flemish man later needs to know…the other gender, to sing, to dance, to play, to sport, to enjoy a few bacchanal pleasures, to think critically, to protest and even to revolt and make please…
With a masters (of science) degree and distinctions in physiotherapy and a post-graduate degree in psychomotor therapy (an university taught body-oriented therapy) from the University of Leuven (one of the oldest universities in Europe and in the top 50 of best universities worldwide), I acquired a solid academic basis in medical and human sciences, both reductionist and holistic.
I became fully aware in my second bachelor year that in order for man to heal and change, he must be approached as an indivisible whole: body and mind simultaneously. This motif became my life long search and brought me to “bodymind integration“. Already as a university student I took number of holistic bodywork, massage, breath, psychotherapy, encounter and marathon courses and also immersed myself in the transpersonal / mythological / shamanic themes.
After my graduation, I was lucky to start my professional career right at my Alma Mater, as body oriented therapist (psychomotor therapist) at the Psychiatric Centers (1984-1994). In this academic, medical, psychotherapeutic and sociotherapeutic environment, I was always convinced that therapy should mainly work with the healthy part of the person. For 11 years I have worked with body-mind and mind-body approaches with adult patients (post-traumatic psychoneurosis, personality disorders, chronic pain, psychosomatics, etc.), taught students in training and initiated staff members in the essentials of this work.
After learning a lot from pioneer colleagues in psychomotor therapy and dance and movement psychotherapy, I significantly deepened my knowledge with three main teachers and inspirers in the field of body psychotherapy and somatic psychology : Al Pesso, John C. Pierrakos, MD and Jack Painter, Ph.D.
I also got transmitted deep wisdom first hand from other humanistic pioneers such as Stanislaf Grof (Holotropic Breathwork), Peter Levine, Myron Sharaf, Charles Kelley and spiritual teachers and medicine people like Archie Fire Lame Deer (april 10, 1935 – january 16, 2001, a lakota sioux spiritual leader and medicine man), Philip Carr-Gomm (°1952, Chosen Chief of The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids) and Peggy Dylan (a practical mystic and female founder of the Firewalking Movement). Thus I became a Sweatlodge leader, a Firewalk Instructor, a Bard and an Ovate….integrating and combining conventional and alternative knowledge and wisdom
Birth of the IBI, International Institute for Bodymind Integration
Seen I thought I would better serve outside academia, I founded and became the director of the Institute for Bodymind Integration in Ghent (Belgium) in 1995 where I have helped thousands of people in individual and group settings and where I regularly offer workshops and trainings in body oriented work. IBI is a long time organizational member of the European Association for Body Psychotherapy (EABP).
My main teachers in Somatic Psychology and Body Psychotherapy
With Jack W. Painter, Ph.D. (°1933- †2010) I have worked closely since 1986, and became a practitioner and later an international trainer in the three methods he developed: Postural Integration, Energetic Integration and Pelvic-Heart Integration. As a trainer and as the general secretary of the International Council of PsychoCorporal (Bodymind) Integration Trainers (ICPIT), since 1999 until today, I have been in a responsible position, supporting colleagues and many students worldwide. I gave workshops and lectured in numerous congresses on body psychotherapy and bodymind integration internationally since 1994. After Dr. Painter’s passing away, I was asked by my colleagues at ICPIT to teach the “Advanced Postural Integration” and “Advanced Somatic Centering” Trainings, which I have done in several countries.
With the help of John C. Pierrakos, MD (1921-2001), the co-founder of Bio-Energetic Analysis and of Core-Energetics, I have firmly grounded my spirituality in connection to psychotherapy since 1995. I became an international teacher in 2008 working in the Netherlands, Greece and elsewhere. I gave keynote lectures and workshops in the 3 last conventions that were held in Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. I co-founded the Core Science Foundation in 2017.
With the help of Albert Pesso (1929-2016), I found support and inspiration to broadened my competences as a Psychomotor Therapist and a Body Psychotherapist.
Today at age 60, I am bringing all my personal and theoretical insights and experiences together in a method I have called “Core Strokes”. “Core” here refers to what I call our “Center of Right Energy” and “Strokes” refers to our ability as humans to move and develop energy and consciousness so that we can touch and help each other at the literal and metaphorical levels of being so that we can manifest and radiate more of what we truly are (Love, Power and Serenity/Wisdom). Core Strokes, inspired by Core Energetics works with 5 dimensions of the personality: body, emotions, thoughts (mind), will and spirit. The work simultaneously works with the cognitive, emotional and physical aspect of the personality. I use targeted forms of structural bodywork (including deep work on the myofasciae, inspired by Rolfing and Postural Integration) combined with breathwork (different forms, including Jack Painter’s Natural Breath Cycle), movement expression (Dance, Bio-Energetics, etc.), awareness (Feldenkrais, Alexander, etc.) and body-mind drama ( a structured form of role playing).
Core Strokes and Bodymind Integration (the collective name for all methods that I integrate) is widely applicable for many complaints (ranging from depressed feelings, fears, trauma, raw, chronic pain and fatigue, etc.)
Thinking out of the box
I always try to give the best of myself: my wisdom, experience and inspiration. I am not bothered by “box thinking”and I like to look beyond the limits of my working methods to the factors of “what works” in therapy. The journey of the client or the student is always the main motivation for me. My task is to serve the other as best I can. I want people to reap the benefits of their own efforts. Practical and spiritual wisdom, humor and the power of therapeutic touch are three of my strengths.”
“Waking up is no longer a luxury goal that you strive for in workshops. I believe that in these complex times, where fewer and less uniform certainties exist, there are always new alternatives and thoughtful creativity needed. Modern Western culture exerts an almost imperative pressure to live with a separation between who we are and what we have, making us excellent consumers and separating ourselves from our own truth and intelligence of the soul. I am always looking forward to seeing the soul shine from behind the protective mist of the person playing a role, and to see the magnificence of God’s creation in full light. Being embodied in who you really are is the basis for efficient action. We are all creative forces that have a mission to fulfill.”
I live with bipolar disorder (I could also say: “I have lived many lives and in many worlds…”). Working with Dirk I felt his great humanity and that he really cared about me. The experience was total and radical (new and as going to the roots). All my worlds, lives, mind, body were just one there and in this moment. Thanks to his presence, hands, voice, movement… lost memories came up. I was able to open my treasured spirituality after a manic episode. After this I felt fresher, lively from my bones to my mind and heart.
Dirk Marivoet can find the right words and touches in order to create confidence and security to release blocked energy in your physical and emotional body. By freeing up these areas, he re-connects us to our full potential…. 1000 thanks for helping me to be totally me in my freedom and my fluidity.
Dirk Marivoet’s expertise lies in a profound knowledge of the body´s and energetic systems – obviously many years of deep work flowing through his hands. I enjoyed his precise explanations of body structures and how to work with them very much. The course “Advanced Somatics Practitioner” inspired my work a lot. I can recommend him as a teacher, as well as a therapist for intense body-mind focused processes.
Patrick Pelzner, psychologist (Switzerland)
Dirk Marivoet’s Memberships
- Full Member Belgian Association for Psychotherapy (BVP-ABP)
- Full Member European Association for Psychotherapy (EAP)
- Full Member European Association for Body Psychotherapy (EABP)
- Full Member of World Association for Person Centered & Experiential Psychotherapy & Counselling. (WAPCEPC)
- Council Member International Council for Psychocorporal (Bodymind) Integration Trainers (ICPIT) since 1999- present.
Working with Dirk
Dirk works following the ethical codes and confidentiality proper to the disciplines he practices. Even asking for advice remains confidential.
If you want to make an appointment with Dirk Marivoet please use the contact form and ask any question.
Learn more about IBI
Why Bodymind Integration?