The Bodynamic Foundation Training

The Character Structure Model and Developmental Trauma

The Foundation training is an ongoing, theoretical as well as practical education in the Bodynamic method. It is taught in 4 modules spread out over a year and is of great benefit for everyone working as a psychotherapist, bodyworker, physiotherapist, psychiatrist, general practitioner, osteopath and whomever wants to expand their somatic understanding and accuracy in intervention in the healing professions.

About the programme

In a 25-year study Bodynamic developed and contributed the most comprehensive and precise model of Character Structure of all the modern psychotherapy schools. It describes the child psychomotoric development in 7 phases from the second trimester in utero until the age of 13 (adolescence).

These Character Structures portray the psychomotoric development of a child as a resource and defense, shaped according to the type and timing of nurture and circumstances children experience affecting them differently in the earlier and later time of the developmental phase.

Developmental trauma plays a crucial role in the development and fixation of these Structures. An early trauma caused for example by abandonment, neglect or an existential threat will severely compromise the person sense of a safe existence and his capability to make and maintain contact with people later in life. A later trauma on the other hand, e.g. caused by rigid toilet training, emotional coercion and physical violence will tend to massively affect the child`s sense of autonomy, self-determination and will.

Since infants and young children have only limited ways of coping with traumatic experiences and very little or no language to communicate, the body and its movements (the Body Ego) are of prime importance in coping with the intensity they experience. Growing up the child will develop through the 7 Character Structures with resources and defenses of a physical and a psychological nature, integrating and coming to term with the learning and the adverse conditions in his or her environment. These Structures shape the developing personality of the child and determine how they will think, feel and interact with others later in life.

The Bodynamic Approach makes use of these individual structures and uses them as resources in dealing with traumatic experience. A later structure for instance might be of help in containing and supporting a younger structure impacted by Developmental Trauma. This is also why the resolution of muscle armor at the wrong time can have a destabilizing or even damaging effect on clients.

Specifically, the conscious movement of the related muscles along with conscious body sensation will strengthen our Body Ego and generate in the individual a sense of self confidence and agency. The muscles activated in that process correspond to a specific developmental phase, theme and structure.

In the therapeutic intervention it is of crucial importance that the client has these experiences in contact with the therapist and later with people in their everyday life in order to be able to integrate it. As a direct result their capacity for stress and affect regulation will increase accordingly.

In this training you will learn how the child responds in the different developmental phases on the psychological/emotional and muscular/motoric level in relation to adverse conditions or traumatic experience. On the muscular level hypertonic or hypotonic responses will lead to the formation of a characteristic body posture with a corresponding expression, mimics, gestures, believe systems, behavior and more.

To recognize and treat Character Structure and the underlying Developmental Trauma we will specifically train body reading in different settings.

Furthermore, the training will teach you a variety of body exercises and therapeutic tools as well as the knowledge to work more precisely and effectively with the Developmental Traumas. An important part of this is the understanding of how to include the resources of the different Character Structures in the therapeutic healing process with your clients.


Who is this for?

The Foundation training is an ongoing, theoretical as well as practical education in the Bodynamic method. It is taught in 4 modules spread out over a year and is aimed at practicing therapists who have completed a degree or a corresponding psychotherapy training, in particular psychologists, dream therapists, cranio-sacral therapists, body therapists and body psychotherapists, but also to practitioners of other healing professions such as naturopaths, osteopaths, etc.


Topics covered

Development of Character Structuers
The focus is on the development of character structures by addressing specific needs and challenges in individual phases of development of all human beings (existence, autonomy, etc.). Here, Bodynamic has developed a unique differentiated model of character structures through a 25-years of empirical study. It describes the child development in 7 phases from the 2nd trimester in utero to the 13th year of life.
Role of Developmental Trauma
Development trauma plays a decisive role in the development and creation of these structures. The term was introduced and used by Lisbeth Marcher even before it became popular by Bessel van der Kolk, one of the leading American psychiatrists in the field of trauma and its effects.
Loss of Self
Developmental trauma emerges when a child experiences massive and persistent rejection, neglect, etc. through the parents, in the context of the central needs of a development phase. This means that the child may not develop central aspects of his or her own self or may end up abandoning them altogether.
Body Ego
The child experiences in its early childhood in relationship to its external world above, all about his body (bodyego) and its movement. In addition to physical milestones such as crawling, sitting, standing and walking, the child must learn a variety of movement patterns.
Character types and positions
In this training you will learn how the child moves through individual phases by developing motor skills and the voluntary use of muscles and muscle tone reacts to specific external developmental challenges. Correspondingly, body and character structures are formed that are divided into either a more hypotonic (early) or a hypertonic (late) type, each requiring a different therapeutic approach.
These create a characteristic body posture and a corresponding expression, mimicry, etc. As part of the training curriculum we explore the ability to recognize and “read” these embodied character structures. This allows you to step into the age-specific “resonance” of your client and to integrate these respective resources optimally into the healing process.
In addition, this training provides you with a variety of specific body exercises and techniques, as well as the knowledge, more precisely, more effectively and efficiently, with the traumatization of your clients.


Below you can find the dates of the four three-day workshops which will be taking place in Toynbee Hall, 28 Commercial Street E1 6LS, London, UK. 

  1. Module 1: Oct 27 – 31, 2021, Michael Rupp
  2. Module 2: Feb 9 – 13, 2022, Ditte Marcher
  3. Module 3: May 18 – 22, 2022, Michael Rupp
  4. Module 4: Sept 21 – 25, 2022, Michael Rupp

Meet the Instructors

Ditte Marcher

Born in 1959. Daughter of the founder of Bodynamic, Lisbeth Marcher. She is a member of Bodynamic since 1994. She did the full Analytic training that she finished in 1995 and choose to be trained to be a teacher in Bodynamic. She is a therapist and supervisor. She is one of the creators of Bodynamic’s shock approach. She influenced Bodynamic deeply with the concepts of Dignity, Me and the different layers of feelings.

She has been teaching in foundation trainings since 1995 and has been a senior teacher in practitioner trainings since 2003. She has been teaching Bodynamic’s trainings in US, Canada, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Japan, Greece, Netherlands, Denmark and Brazil. She was the CEO of Bodynamic International from 2008 to 2019. She is a member of EABP and she was a chairman in the EABP forum committee.
She also has and still doing a variety of workshops and business consulting. From 1986-1992 she was working in war zones with children in crisis, mainly in Palestine, Lebanon and Israel. From 1994-1998 she was working as a consultant for the police in Denmark and Sweden for cases of young criminals. In the same period she was trainer for the teachers of AMU centers that upgrade education of unemployed workers. She was also one of the main teachers in a two-year program, teaching young adults how to be project leaders. In 1999 she was doing workshops in Seattle and Vancouver for police and fire departments for better handling communication during crisis. She has done conflict resolution and support in many crisis areas. She has been a volunteer in different projects in Africa, South America, ex-Yugoslavia and Denmark.
She is the co-author of the book “Resources in coping with shock” with Merete Holm Brantbjerg and the article“Psychophysical Approaches to working with PTSD and the Ego” with Lene Wisbom in 2014.
She has attended many various conferences and she has made a presentation of Bodynamic’s trauma experience in European trauma conference in Edinburg, a presentation in EABP conference in Athens 2004, in the International Scientific Committee (for Psycho-Corporal Psychotherapy) São Paulo 2005, in the conference for Shock and Trauma in Netherlands 2010, at EABP conference in Athens in 2016 around the Veteran Projects – Work With Traumatized Soldiers and at The Body Psychotherapy conference in Krakow, Poland 2017. She also has done presentations in various college and universities in US, Greece, Canada, Poland, Brasil and Ukraine.

Michael Rupp

Michael Rupp is a licensed psychotherapist (Psychotherapeut HPG) working in private practice in Munich, Germany, since 2006. He is a Bodynamic therapist, supervisor, and faculty.

Since 2014 he is part of the international Bodynamic trainers’ team and has been teaching in Germany, Russia, United Kingdom, Portugal and Brazil.

Before his teaching career he has been working as a social pedagogue and therapist for many years, notably as facilitator for 2 pedagogic Healing Centers for children with developmental disturbances (eg. ADHS) and special needs.

Additionally, he has been trained in different humanistic and transpersonal approaches like Bioenergetics, Gestalt, Inner Child Work and Diamond Approach (Logos) with Faisal Muqqadam.

He is a member of the DGK (Gesellschaft für Körperpsychotherapie) and EABP (European Association of Bodypsychotherapy).


Book your place

In order to reserve your place on our Foundation Training, we need you to fill out a comprehensive application form in order to make sure you are a good fit for the course. 

Spaces on this training are extremely popular and limited in order for us to deliver the high standard Bodynamic is known for. If you want to be considered for a place applications must be received by October 15th, 2021.

Any Questions? Please contact Prahlad at

© 2021 Bodynamic UK
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