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

The Foundation Training is the basic training of the Bodynamic Somatic Developmental Psychology education. Further three years will then provide certification for Bodynamic Practitioner. Certification recognized by the European Association for Body Psychotherapy (EABP) when exams and sessions requirements are met with the possibility to transfer the certification to UKCP.

Alternatively, this training can be attended as a standalone education in the Character Structure Model and in the somatic work on developmental trauma.

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 emotional coercion, a rigid toilet training or 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 their 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 Trauma. 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.

The Foundation training program will cover:

  • History and principles of the Bodynamic System;
  • Childhood developmental stages: themes and psychomotor development;
  • Character Structures;
  • Body reading;
  • Group work;
  • Bodynamic model of communication: Bodyknot;
  • Physical exercises and role playing related to each Character Structure;
  • Developing resources: centering, grounding, boundaries and more;
  • Demo sessions on each Character Structures.


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 five-day workshops which will be taking place in Toynbee Hall, 28 Commercial Street E1 6LS, London, UK. 

  1. Module 1: May 18 – 22, 2022, Michael Rupp
  2. Module 2: Sept 21 – 25, 2022, Michael Rupp
  3. Module 3: Nov 2 – 6, 2022, Michael Rupp
  4. Module 4: Jan 18 – 22, 2023, Michael Rupp

Meet the Instructor

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

The training cost is £ 2960. Early bird by April 15th £ 2750 (paid in full). £ 740 nonrefundable deposit to reserve the seat (which also covers module 1) paid by April 15th. £ 740 for each following module paid at least one month prior the beginning of the module.

The training will happen in London, Shoreditch at Toynbee Hall, 28 Commercial Street, E1 6AB.

A brief interview will be part of the admission process.

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. 

Any Questions? Please contact Prahlad at

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