Bodynamic Psychotherapy Institute: Ethics Complaint

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Ethics Complaint Against Bodynamic Psychotherapists 

Ditte Marcher

Lene Wisbom

Hadi Adam Bahlawan Marcher

Yorgos Piaditis

and

Board of Bodynamic Institute

 

 

Submitted by:

Roman Torgovitksy, Ph.D.

President and Founder, Healing War Scars

President and Co-Founder Warrior’s Heart

CEO and Founder, soma system®

 

DOWNLOAD PDF OF THE DOCUMENT:

Letter-to-EABP-Ethics-Committe

 

 

 

Introduction

I am submitting an ethical complaint against EABP members:

Ditte Marcher

Lene Wisbom

Hadi Adam Bahlawan Marcher

Yorgos Piaditis

This letter summarizes problems I experienced while studying and working with Ditte Marcher, Director of Bodynamic Institute. I intentionally chose to skip over some details to shorten this letter.

In February 2017, a conflict started between Ditte Marcher and myself. The conflict intensified when I learned about several ethical transgressions Marcher had committed. I discuss these issues in this letter. Ultimately, this conflict culminated in the Board of Bodynamic Institute expelling me from Bodynamic Practitioner training.

Throughout this conflict, I repeatedly proposed conflict resolution and mediation first to Ditte Marcher and later to Lene Wisbom, who represented the Board of Bodynamic Institute (hereinafter, the Board). Both Marcher and Wisbom repeatedly refused to engage in conflict resolution. I informed Marcher and the Board that unless we set up conflict resolution or a mediation session, I would have no other choice but to appeal to the Ethics Committee.

I waited for more than a year, hoping that Marcher and the Board would have time to calm down and engage in conflict resolution. Unfortunately, my hopes have not materialized, and I have no other choice but to appeal to the Ethics Committee.

Below is just a partial list of the unethical actions committed by Marcher and the Board:

Exposing Psychotherapy Clients to Harm (violating EABP ethics principles #4/#8)

  • publicly exposing client’s traumatic experience & breaching client confidentiality (violating EABP ethics principle #4);
  • Teaching psychotherapeutic technique that endangers client to experience re-traumatization. Failing to critically assess safety of and collect data on an unproven experimental technique. Unscientific and religious confidence in effectiveness and safety of Bodynamic methods;  (violating EABP ethics principle #8);

Providing Poor Quality Education & Potentially Harming Bodynamic Students  (violating EABP ethics principles #2)

  • Marcher fails to practice what she “preaches.” Marcher and the Board avoid conflict resolution and mediation while teaching conflict resolution methods to Bodynamic students;
  • expelling student from Bodynamic training without due process;
  • expropriation of student’s funds;
  • providing unprofessional education materials containing multitude of errors to students;
  • employing poorly trained teachers to teach Bodynamic students;
  • failing to collect feedback data from Bodynamic students to improve training quality;
  • attributing conflicts between Bodynamic teachers and students to students’ character structure, and thus blaming students;
  • creating culture of fear and hopelessness among Bodynamic students;

Misleading Public and Professionals (violating EABP ethics principles #2/#2a/#8)

  • using sensationalism and exaggeration to misrepresent Bodynamic shock trauma training and its effectiveness (violating EABP ethics principle #8);
  • forcing non-profit to provide free PR to Marcher and Bodynamic Institute;
  • misleading public and professionals in Ukraine to believe Marcher was a volunteer while getting paid 1000 euros per day
  • misleading public and professionals in Ukraine by misrepresenting Bodynamic as a system recommended by United Nations.

Misleading Communication Practices (violating EABP ethics principles #2/#2a/#8)

  • repeatedly telling students and colleagues that Marcher’s “word is as good as written contract”.  Marcher fails to practice what she “preaches”: avoiding written contracts in real life while teaching importance of contracts in Bodynamic training; making written communication practically impossible.
  • failing to deliver on verbal agreements;

Taking Advantage of Non-Profit

  • Introducing multiple roles, dissolving roles and boundaries to derive financial benefit from and take advantage of non-profit organization.
  • charging non-profit organization twice Bodynamic Institute’s commercial rate in Ukraine while being an intrinsic part of the non-profit organization.

Illegal Activity (violating EABP ethics principle #3)

  • illegally recording and distributing recorded conversations without consent
  • engaging in alleged tax evasion

Conducting Poor Quality Research on Bodynamic to Mislead the Public and Professional Community (violating EABP ethics principles #6/6c/10)

  • Improperly conducting research on the effectiveness of Bodynamic. Using the sub-par research to mislead the public and colleagues about Bodynamic effectiveness.
  • failing to disclose research study authors and provide acknowledgement
  • stealing data for research study
  • failure to disclose research funders
  • failure to disclose conflict of interests
  • hiding research results that show harmful effects of bodynamic shock therapy
  • misuse of research data and misrepresentation of program effectiveness;

When I consider these facts, I understand that my dignity has been abused. I have a right to protect my dignity, even if this requires appealing to the Ethics Committee. 

Within the past couple of years a number of Bodynamic teachers were expelled from the Institute. Only recently I have learned that co-founder of Bodynamic psychotherapy, Erik Jarlnaes, and his student and Bodynamic assistant were also expelled from the Bodynamic Institute.

I am even more motivated to write this letter to the Ethics Committee with the understanding that Ditte Marcher has a prominent long-term pattern of suddenly cutting connection and expelling a number of former good friends & colleagues. Unless EABP intervenes, Ditte Marcher and the current Board of Bodynamic Institute will continue harming people in the future.

Those of us who have been expelled and who have strength, stamina and time to protect our dignity will do so by appealing to the EABP ethics committee. But there are many people who have no energy to fight. These people came to Bodynamic Institute with the hope of healing their trauma. And these are the people who are and will be most vulnerable to be harmed by numerous unethical practices of Ditte Marcher and the Board of the Bodynamic Institute.

According to conversations with several (former) Bodynamic teachers, some of the current members of the Board repeatedly abuse dignity of Bodynamic teachers. As a result, some teachers leave, others are expelled and many others stay because they are afraid to speak up and stand up for their own dignity as well as for the dignity of their fellow teachers.

Many Bodynamic students are also not happy. These students strongly disliked many of the educational and communication problems they encountered while studying at Bodynamic Institute. They are afraid to come forward because they fear that they, too, would be expelled from the training. I do not believe EABP would want the new generation of students to learn in an environment of fear and hopelessness.

It has also been my experience that Bodynamic Institute has many beautiful things to teach and share with the world. If only the Institute could seriously consider criticism and feedback and move into the mindset of using this feedback to improve the quality of their offerings, both Bodynamic Institute and the psychotherapeutic community at large would greatly benefit.

Please note that I end this letter with section entitled “Requests” where I clearly state my requests to Marcher and Bodynamic Institute.

I thank you in advance for your attention to these issues and concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions or need additional information.

Breach of client confidentiality

I will start with a potential breach of confidentiality, which may violate Principle 4 of EABP ethics guidelines.

In November 2017, Bodynamic Institute published the following report on their website: https://www.bodynamic.com/blog/overcoming-shock-trauma-and-ptsd-bodynamic-for-ukrainian-veterans/.The report reveals individual data for fifteen trainees in the chart below.

In section “Data process of BDI”, the following statement is made: “It should be noted that increase in symptoms according to several tests observed for participant #14 during the 3rd training module could be related to coping with a sudden death of his son.”

 

The report discloses PTSD scores for a participant and then reveals a recent tragedy this trainee experienced. It would be relatively straightforward for anyone to find out the name of this individual.

I think it is extremely unethical for Bodynamic Institute to disclose such tragic and private information about a project participant on the internet. This action seems to violate EABP Ethics Principle 4.

Misrepresentation of Shock Trauma Training

In my initial conversations with Marcher in late 2014, she presented her shock trauma training for veterans as a unique training she created, that runs like a well-oiled system, had already been successfully conducted in Denmark, and is wellknown and respected in Denmark. Many of these statements are false.

I later realized that the training is a mixture of methods borrowed from different psychotherapeutic approaches. The material contained in levels one and two is widely available in many books on trauma psychotherapy and psycho-education authored by Peter Levine, Pat Ogden, and Bessel van der Kolk. The third level of training is dedicated to an exercise called “Life Story,” which has been used in group therapy with veterans for decades [1, 2]. This exercise is also a key part of Narrative Exposure Therapy [3], where it is called “Lifeline.”

Finally, the third and fourth levels are dedicated to an exercise called “running,” which is similar to the running exercise created by Peter Levine, Ph.D. [4-6], with one major difference: the Bodynamic running approach does not use titration. In fact, Levine warns about the possibility of re-traumatization if titration is not used during “running” exercise [6a, p. 11]. Demonstrations of Bodynamic running technique can be seen here: https://www.facebook.com/BodynamicInternational/videos/592772681061832/. I discuss instances of Bodynamic shock trauma training harming clients in the next section.

While I acknowledge there is nothing wrong with borrowing methods from other modalities and compiling these techniques into a new training, an ethical therapist should reference and acknowledge all the contributions. Failing to disclose that the program is heavily based on other programs and failing to acknowledge the authors of those programs, while presenting the program as a unique Bodynamic trauma program, can be in violation of EABP ethics code #8:

“Body Psychotherapists present the science and art of psychotherapy and offer their services, products, and publications honestly, fairly and accurately, avoiding misrepresentation through sensationalism, exaggeration, or superficiality. Body Psychotherapists are guided by the primary obligation to aid the public in developing informed judgments, opinions, and choices.”

Both Marcher and her son, Hadi Marcher, claim that Ditte Marcher created the concept of peer-to-peer support for veterans and that it was her idea for all trainings to be led by a team of psychotherapists and veterans who have already graduated from the training. Both Ditte Marcher and Hadi Marcher used their claim that Marcher is the author of a unique shock-trauma training to force non-profit organizations to provide free PR for Bodynamic Institute. As I discuss below, Ditte Marcher forced Healing War Scars and journalists writing about the organization to always state Marcher’s name as author of the program.

The conflict with Marcher that ended with Bodynamic Institute expelling me started with Marcher becoming enraged because she was not acknowledged as the author of the “unique” program for veterans in one of my TV interviews. Below is a screenshot of an exchange with Marcher in which she insists on being presented publicly as the sole creator of this approach and forces non-profit to provide free PR for the Institute and Marcher.

Marcher’s claim that she is the author of a unique training and that she pioneered the peer-to-peer approach for working with veterans is simply not true. This approach has been around since at least 1999, and was pioneered in Canada by Dr. Marvin Westwood, Ph.D., at the University of British Columbia (https://vtncanada.org/our-story-founders/). According to the Bodynamic website, Marcher conducted the first training program for veterans in 2013-2014. Incidentally, according to the Bodynamic website, Marcher spent some time living in British Columbia around the time this Canadian program was created.

Even though Marcher borrowed many of her training methods from other psychotherapeutic modalities, she could have created a solid training program. She did not. There were no manuals, no educational materials. There were no well-defined goals for each training and no assessment plan to test how well students learned the material. There was not even a training description. Moreover, Marcher prevented my organization, Healing War Scars (previously known as Wounded Warrior Ukraine) from creating written materials because she was afraid somebody would steal her work.

Marcher claimed the training would teach a veteran to provide peer-to-peer support to other veterans. However, our experience demonstrated that before a veteran could give peer-to-peer support, the veteran would need to complete an additional educational program combined with extensive individual and group psychotherapy.

Unfortunately, over the two years Healing War Scars worked with Bodynamic Institute, we realized that there were numerous problems and deficiencies with the training, which Marcher did not disclose upfront.

Harmful effects of Bodynamic Shock Training

After two years of witnessing and participating various Bodynamic shock trauma trainings, I have serious concern about the training’s potential for harming clients, especially the running technique. I know several people who might have been harmed psychologically and/or physically. At least one person I know entered a state with the person’s limbs moving and striking in an uncontrollable manner while performing the “running” exercise. When Marcher tried to use physical force to subdue the person, Marcher severely injuring her hand.

I have also heard reports of other people who were re-traumatized during the training.

The Bodynamic shock trauma training is two years long. The first year is therapeutic, the second year is focused on training therapists to work with trauma. The first-year training is divided into four sessions. During the third and sometimes fourth sessions, attendees practice the Bodynamic version of “running.”

It was my observation that Bodynamic Institute accepts people into the firstyear training who need serious psychological and sometimes psychiatric assistance. Within the first levels of training, many people who have been previously traumatized do not develop sufficient bodily resources. This is especially relevant for veterans. Two trainings several months apart are not nearly sufficient to develop self-regulation and bodily resources. The combination of insufficient training of bodily resources and self-regulation, and lack of titration in the Bodynamic “running” technique means some people are likely to be re-traumatized.

I would like to emphasize that “running” as taught in Bodynamic is dramatically different from “running” as taught by Peter Levine, Ph.D [4-6].

Levine emphasizes the importance of “titration,” which assures client safety, while the Bodynamic running approach does not use titration. On the contrary, the client is instructed to run as fast and as powerfully as s/he can, thus hyper-activating the nervous system and potentially leading to re-traumatization and endangering the client. You can see demonstration of Bodynamic running technique here:

https://www.facebook.com/BodynamicInternational/videos/592772681061832/

In fact, Levine warns about the possibility of re-traumatization if titration is not used during “running” exercise [6a, p. 11]:

“In SE one is walking the tightrope between not enough activation, in which case there is no discharge because there is no activation to discharge; and full-blown reactivation of the trauma memory, in which aspects of the trauma are relived and the person again experiences overwhelm. This can actually be harmful, and can compound the original trauma. Such a “dive” into the black hole, the “vortex of trauma,” involves a self-reinforcing positive feedback loop, in which the proprioceptive and interoceptive feedback, becomes a trigger for further activation; a runaway loop which can lead to extreme simultaneous activation of both sympathetic and parasympathetic (dorsal vagal) bringing about a dissociated state within seconds;”

Re-traumatization may not be a serious issue if it occurs during regular psychotherapeutic sessions. Indeed, repeated contact between therapist and client creates a sense of safety, and the client knows that if something goes wrong between sessions, s/he can always get in touch with the therapist.

Bodynamic shock trauma training lacks this sense of safety and repeated contact with a therapist. Bodynamic Institute does not do any follow up with trainees between sessions. Even more dangerous, Bodynamic does not do any follow up after the training has ended. There is no way for Marcher to know if a trainee has started experiencing a severe side effect or re-traumatization.

What is even more dangerous is that Marcher has an almost religious belief in the effectiveness of the Bodynamic system. She lacks an understanding of and interest in modern scientific methods of treatment validation. Moreover, on several occasions, she said that she is not interested in research and thinks it is useless, as she knows that her methods work.

The combination of these factors – her unscientific confidence in the effectiveness of the Bodynamic system and “running” technoque, lack of follow up to ensure the safety of trainees after training, lack of methodical and long-term strategy for increasing trainees’ body resources, and lack of titration in the running exercise –  create ample opportunity for re-traumatization and client harm.

Assuring client safety and preventing harm to a client are the basic tenets of any health-related profession, including body-oriented psychotherapy. Current Bodynamic practices can be considered negligent, can endanger clients, and contradict EABP ethics rules, for example #2.f

Avoidance of written communication and contracts

I have had over three years’ experience communicating with Marcher, both as a Bodynamic student and as President of Healing War Scars, which hired Marcher. In my experience, all written communication with Marcher is exceptionally challenging. She failed to respond to most emails, and some she responded to weeks later, usually with a multitude of errors to the degree that meaning was exceptionally confusing. Below are just three examples out of dozens of experiences that taught me the futility of written communication with Marcher and others at Bodynamic Institute.

Example 1

At the end of 2014, I had an initial conversation with Marcher by Skype about hiring her to deliver a series of training programs for Ukrainian veterans. After our discussion, I asked her to email me a description of the 16-day program she proposed. It took her almost one month to send the document, which was one page, replete with typographical and grammatical errors. The language was confusing and very hard to understand. Since I needed the training description to fundraise for Marcher’s financial compensation, I had to personally interview Marcher over Skype and write the program myself.

This was the beginning of Marcher’s consistent and repeated actions to create multiple roles,  dissolve boundaries, and make it very hard to control the deliverables. Prior to this, I was in the role of a potential client interested in contracting Marcher’s services. Once I realized that she is incapable of producing a training description and realized that I have to create it myself, our roles changed. Now, I was both in the role of a potential client hiring Marcher as well as her assistant.

This experience also taught me the futility of trying to obtain an in-depth written contract between my organization and Marcher detailing all the deliverables. I understood that if it takes her several weeks to respond to a single email, and still I had to produce the training description myself, it may take months to produce a written contract and we would not be able to start the training on time,  and could potentially even miss an entire year. By that time, she had built a high level of trust, and the need for PTSD work was great in Ukraine, so I decided to take a chance and start the work without a contract.

Example 2

As a Bodynamic student in 2016, I received student manuals that had multiple typographical and grammatical errors, which made the text very difficult to understand. I assumed that Marcher’s assistant and course manager Yorgos Piaditis sent the wrong files by mistake. I emailed Piaditis requesting he send me the edited files. Piaditis responded that he does not have other reading materials, and I should contact Marcher. He wrote, “The material you get is not my responsibility.” Given his years of experience working with Marcher, I expect he knew very well that it is practically impossible for students to get in touch with her between sessions, as she rarely respond to emails.

This incident is just one example demonstrating the culture of brushing off students’ requests and complaints. From my conversations with Marcher, I know that Piaditis and Marcher have regular meetings. If Bodynamic had a culture of taking student requests seriously, with the mindset of improving service and the quality of education, Piaditis could have responded that he would discuss the issue with Marcher and get back with a response.

Example 3

Later in 2016, I had an email exchange with Lene Wisbom, who was representing the Board of Bodynamic Institute. As I detail below, Wisbom emailed me 12 days before the start of a Bodynamic Practitioner training session, stating that I needed to pay for the next session “within a reasonable time before the start.” Two days later, she wrote to inform me that I was expelled from the training. I replied asking why in the initial email she did not inform me that I had only two days to pay. She did not respond to my question.

These are just a few of the many experiences that showed me the futility of written communication and agreements with Marcher and the Board.

Marcher also avoided written, signed contracts, and, in fact, our organization never obtained a single signed agreement from Marcher or the Bodynamic Institute before work began. Ultimately, we did receive a signed one-page contract at the end of 2016, after all the trainings had been delivered, as it was required for filing U.S. taxes. The contract simply stated that Marcher was responsible to deliver trainings.

One may wonder why would a U.S.-based non-profit organization agree to pay Marcher without a written contract outlining deliverables. Several factors impacted this decision, most of all was trust in Marcher. Since our first meeting, she presented herself as a world-renowned psychotherapist, the top world expert on war-induced psychological trauma, a trauma survivor (on many occasions, she passionately shared stories from her own experiences of living through and dealing with war-induced trauma), and someone with unique skills and personal experiences to help people overcome trauma.

These stories created a very high level of trust in Marcher, her words, and her promises. She also has many wonderful character traits and a big heart. For example, the last time I visited her in Greece, she adopted 15 street dogs.

Very soon after our first meeting over Skype, in late 2014, Marcher started publicly referring to me as ‘my friend Roman.’ Naturally, I followed suit, and I thought we considered each other friends. We also passionately shared many interests, ranging from politics to psychotherapy and personal growth. Instead of maintaining a professional relationship with written contracts, Marcher chose to avoid written contracts and almost immediately created multiple roles in our relationship, combining friendship and professional matters. As our collaboration progressed, even more and more boundaries dissolved.

Marcher shared many trauma stories, and this created mystique around trauma. She repeatedly shared that she has dyslexia, which led me to understand it was hard for her to deal with written contracts. And she repeatedly stated “My word is as good as a written contract.” Here she is in her own words (Facebook messanger, May 3, 2017):

The combination of all of these factors created a sense that I should have a special attitude towards her, and that I could trust her words and verbal contracts. One time after another, I repeatedly trained myself to come up with excuses for Marcher’s behavior. Based on conversations with many of her students and colleagues, I know I am not the only one who had similar experiences with her. There is a culture of avoiding written contracts. There is a culture of breaking verbal agreements. There is a culture of coming up with excuses for Marcher’s oftentimes inappropriate and unethical behaviors.

I fully accept that part of the responsibility for failing to have written contracts rests on me. Indeed, I agreed to invest hundreds of hours of my own time, and the time of my friends and fellow volunteers, to organize and fundraise sufficient resources to pay Marcher, and I did so without any written contracts with her.

This raises the obvious question of why so many well-educated people agreed to volunteer their valuable time to fundraise for Marcher’s compensation. We were all driven by the spirit of Ukraine’s Maidan revolution and a sincere desire to assist, first to Maidan protesters and then to civilians and soldiers defending their country. There were thousands of volunteers all over the world giving their time and financial support to Ukraine at that time, when the Ukrainian government was in disarray and not able to fulfill many of its roles. We were all inspired to provide assistance and help Ukrainians. Regular rules of business transactions, like formal written agreements, were out the door and replaced by trust. People trusted each other and many very successful projects were born.

I find it inexcusable and unethical that a European psychotherapist, who was being paid exceptionally well (€1,000 per day), chose to avoid formal written contracts and ultimately failed to fulfill her obligations. The lack of written contracts allowed Marcher to later change the verbal agreements as she saw fit. As a result, Healing War Scars lost thousands of euros, and I was expelled from Bodynamic training.

Ironically, Marcher teaches the importance of written contracts in Bodynamic training.

Failure to deliver on agreements

As described above, using verbal agreements and avoiding written contracts outlining deliverables allowed Marcher to fail to deliver on her obligations without any consequences. Below, I provide three examples.

Example 1

At the end of 2014, I had a verbal agreement with Marcher for Healing War Scars to pay her €16,000 for a 16-day training for Ukrainian veterans. The 16 days of training spanned a four month period. The deliverables from Marcher included:

  • Selecting the most motivated and well-prepared Bodynamic therapists who were willing and able to conduct the Bodynamic shock trauma training for veterans in Ukraine after graduation;
  • Involving these therapists in assisting Marcher with the training for veterans;
  • Providing supervision to these therapists;
  • Graduating four Bodynamic therapists prepared and ready to lead these same trainings for veterans in Ukraine.

After the first session, one of the therapists disappeared. Nobody knew what happened to her and Marcher did not provide any information. I later found out that Marcher had a conflict with this therapist and expelled her, without giving any explanation to me or explaining how she was going to replace the therapist.

After the training was completed, I found out that another therapist was not even interested in working with veterans, begging the question, why did Marcher even select this therapist for this mentorship?

A third therapist was very motivated and eager to work with veterans, but after the training, Marcher informed me that he was not ready to lead shock trauma trainings for veterans and needed additional training. This was a surprise to me, because Marcher had not even mentioned previously that there is a possibility of one of the therapists failing to be ready after the training.

If Marcher had informed me about this possibility beforehand, I would have asked her to clearly explain how she was going to assess the therapists’ readiness to lead trainings, and I would have informed the therapists-in-training about this. The reality was that even the therapist-trainees did not know that they may not “graduate” from this program. According to one therapist, when Marcher invited them, she simply asked them, “Do you want to assist me, and I will provide supervision and you will get certified in leading Bodynamic shock trauma trainings for veterans?”

The fact that she judged one therapist as not being ready was in clear violation of my agreement with Marcher.

By this time point, I was in the role of an individual who hired her and paid for her services, an individual who was writing training descriptions for her program, a student who was studying Bodynamic from her, and a friend. If we had had a written contract and Marcher did not create multiple roles in our relationship, I would have inquired why she did not deliver and why our non-profit organization needed to pay extra for additional training for one of the therapists. I would have insisted on her either providing a refund to the organization or training the therapist without any additional charge.

Ultimately, Healing War Scars had to pay Marcher thousands of euros more for the therapist to complete two additional educational programs to finally get certified by Marcher to lead shock trauma training.

Only recently I found out that Marcher also did not fulfill her promises to the therapists. When she invited them, she promised them regular supervision. In reality, she did not provide supervision sessions. Thus, one of the reasons she judged that the therapist was not ready was due to her own failure to provide supervision to the therapists she had chosen.

Example 2

In 2016, Marcher offered to give me a discount for a Bodynamic Practitioner training in Greece. At that time, I had been a full-time volunteer president of Healing War Scars for over 18 months and had been living off my personal savings. Marcher offered to provide a 50% discount for three students, me and two veterans who took the organization’s training and started working with Healing War Scars after graduation.

One of my goals was to train veterans to become body-oriented psychotherapists. Therefore, after agreeing with Marcher, I conveyed the following proposal to two Ukrainian veterans to study Bodynamic:

  • Bodynamic Institute committed to provide them with a 50% discount.
  • As long as Healing War Scars has sufficient funds from grants, it can provide scholarships in the amount equal to 50% of the regular full tuition.
  • The veterans would be responsible for paying for transportation from Ukraine to Greece and lodging in Greece.

Thus, there were two agreements. One agreement was between Marcher and three students, whereby Marcher provided a 50% discount to all three students. Another agreement was between Healing War Scars and the two veterans who graduated from the organization’s training and were working with the organization at the time. Neither Marcher nor Bodynamic had anything to do with the agreement between Healing War Scars and veterans.

Soon after the veterans began their second year Bodynamic education, it became clear that the National Endowment for Democracy was not likely to renew the grant for 2017 and Healing War Scars had no additional funding to continue supporting veterans’ participation in Bodynamic trainings.

It is important to explain here that Marcher was not an external consultant/trainer for Healing War Scars, although she tries to portray herself as one. In reality, Marcher always said that the project was an equal collaboration between her and me, and she was always part of the organization. She was listed on the Healing War Scars website as a head therapist and, effective July 2016, she joined the Board of Healing War Scars. Here is an interview with Marcher where she presents herself as a “Board Member” of Wounded Warrior Ukraine (which is now named Healing War Scars):

 

Marcher was fully aware of the difficult financial situation of the organization. She was present at a Board meeting in November 2016 when we had a long discussion about the most pressing issue: the organization had run out of funds and had no money to pay for trainings.

In February 2017, Marcher became enraged that I had not mentioned her name in a TV interview (described below).

Soon after, Piaditis, representing Marcher, informed me that Bodynamic Institute was cancelling my 50% discount. He accused me of discontinuing scholarship support for the two veterans because I wanted to involve them in my “personal war” with Bodynamic.

To this day, I do not understand how canceling scholarships for veterans would get them involved in “my war” with Bodynamic even if I wanted such a confrontation! Marcher made this accusation while being fully aware that Healing War Scars had no funds.

Piaditis further stated that since I discontinued scholarships for veterans, Bodynamic was discontinuing the discount for me.

I reminded Bodynamic that Healing War Scars offered the scholarships directly to veterans only for as long as the organization had funds and was forced to end the scholarships for veterans because the organization had no funds. There was no agreement between Healing War Scars and Bodynamic regarding any scholarship for veterans; the scholarship agreement was between Healing War Scars and the veterans.

To explain canceling my discount for studying Bodynamic, Piaditis and Marcher changed their story and claimed that Marcher offered me a 50% discount if Healing War Scars would pay 50% of the tuition directly to Bodynamic Institute. As there was no agreement between Healing War Scars and Bodynamic regarding veteran scholarships, Healing War Scars also had no commitment or obligation to pay 50% of tuition directly to Bodynamic Institute.

Around the same time, I learned that Bodynamic Institute was charging Healing War Scars double their commercial rate in Ukraine. I decided that if Bodynamic was going to renege on our training discount agreement using a fake excuse, Healing War Scars could also change other financial agreements with Bodynamic. Therefore, I informed Piaditis that I would happily pay 100% of my tuition if Bodynamic would return the amount they overcharged Healing War Scars for Marcher’s services.

Marcher and Piaditis refused to provide any refunds.

I repeatedly offered conflict resolution and mediation, and Marcher repeatedly refused.

Marcher and Bodynamic Institute ultimately used this situation to expel me from Bodynamic training.

This is yet another example of Marcher engaging in a verbal agreement, failing to put this agreement in writing, and then changing the story as she sees fit.

Example 3

Marcher teaches about the importance of written contracts, yet, in my experience of working with her, she tries to avoid written contracts. I raised this issue with Piaditis, secretary of Bodynamic, and wrote that I regret not having signed written contracts with Bodynamic Institute and Marcher. He responded, “I can ensure you Roman, if we knew you better before we would certainly ask for a contract.”

This is a very aggressive statement. Why does Marcher and her representative choose the path of making accusations over email instead of engaging in conflict resolution?

This response may imply that Piaditis and Marcher (since Piaditis represented Marcher in this communication) believe that Bodynamic should have signed contracts only because I was allegedly “untrustworthy” (“if we knew you better”) and not as a matter of rule, irrespective of how trustworthy the person is.

I expect more from Bodynamic psychotherapists and the Institute, who profess the importance of dignity, connection, and conflict resolution. I expected them to acknowledge that both Bodynamic Institute and Healing War Scars made a mistake by not signing a written contract. Furthermore, I would have expected them to say, “OK, both of us made a mistake. We cannot change the past. But let’s keep the connection and arrange for a conflict resolution to resolve the conflict.”

Unfortunately, this was not what Piaditis, representing Bodynamic Institute, did. Instead, he chose to insinuate my ill intention in a passive-aggressive form and rejected all my suggestions to conduct conflict resolution and mediation.

Marcher travels around the world; she trains hundreds of body-oriented therapists. She lectures thousands of people about the importance of conflict resolution. When Marcher and members of the Board of Bodynamic Institute get into a real-life conflict, they fail to practice what they preach.

Possible tax evasion

Marcher requested her €16,000 payment in cash for the first 16-day training she conducted in 2015. Initially, she did not provide any explanation why she wanted to be paid in cash, but later she explained that it was so she would not have to pay VAT. This means that Marcher and Bodynamic Institute might have engaged in tax evasion.

I would like to be clear here that I am not making a claim that Marcher did not pay taxes. What I do say is that, based on Marcher’s words, it was logical to assume that she did not pay taxes on the income she earned from Healing War Scars.

This alleged unethical practice is especially egregious considering one of Marcher’s favorite lecture themes in Ukraine. In most trainings I attended, she talked about how Denmark is so much more advanced than Ukraine due to the rampant corruption and tax evasion common in Ukraine. Marcher also talked about the much higher level of social services and medicine in Denmark, as compared to Ukraine, which obviously are paid by taxes. It seems that Marcher professes one set of values in public and applies a different set of values in her own life.

Since Marcher might have indeed paid taxes on the amount Healing War Scars paid her, I would like to request Marcher and Bodynamic Institute to present proof that they indeed paid taxes on the income received from Healing War Scars.

Misleading professional background

On multiple occasions, Marcher stated that her Bodynamic shock trauma training was recommended by the United Nations. Here is one reference from an English-language publication (http://ukrainianweek.com/Society/171659):

“Ms. Marcher is a community and human rights activist, body-oriented psychotherapist with years of experience, co-author of shock trauma and post-traumatic stress reaction treatment methods recommended by the UN for use in flash spots.”

Below are links to several Ukrainian-language news episodes stating the same claim:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gLTESaFPXk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KnP2F44-D0

I have contacted several high-ranking officials at the United Nations, and they all told me the UN could not have recommended any methods. They said there might be guidelines, but such guidelines are not produced by the UN; instead, they are produced by UN agencies like the World Health Organization (WHO). Indeed, I found a series of psychological stress guidelines produced by WHO, including “Guidelines for the Management of Conditions Specifically Related to Stress” [7-8]. The report contains recommendations on treatments for a set of symptoms related to stress, and each guidance states the level of evidence for the effectiveness of a particular treatment. According to my conversations with Marcher, there are no research publications investigating the effects of the Bodynamic approach to trauma and stress, and none are listed on the Bodynamic website. It is highly unlikely any UN agency or international health organization would recommend a method lacking any scientific evidence of effectiveness.

If there was a partnership between Marcher and the UN, there should be a written statement from the UN testifying to that effect. According to UN regulations [11]:

“When discussing a potential partnership with an external entity, it is prudent to establish the terms of the relationship in a written document so that the parties concerned are fully aware of their respective roles.”

This implies that there should be a formal written agreement between the UN and Marcher or the Bodynamic Institute. Neither Marcher nor Bodynamic Institute provided me with any evidence of UN recommendations, endorsements, or partnerships, and none are listed on the Bodynamic website.

If the UN indeed recommended Marcher’s methods, I would like to see an official statement from to that effect. If the UN never recommended Marcher’s methods, I would like to see an official retraction from Marcher and Bodynamic Institute with an official apology for misleading the public.

Misrepresenting herself as a volunteer

In public lectures, Bodynamic trainings, and shock trauma training for veterans, Marcher never disclosed that she was a hired contractor who was being paid €1,000 per day for her work. On the contrary, she created an aura of volunteer around herself. Below are just two examples from her interviews.

The first screenshot is from Marcher’s interview with the Ukrainian TV channel EspressoTV (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gLTESaFPXk). Marcher is presented as (translation):

“Ditte Marcher – Director of Danish Bodynamic Institute, social activist, human right advocate, psychotherapist with extensive experience, co-author of method for working with shock trauma and post-traumatic syndrome….”

At the time when Ukrainian media was overflowing with interviews with and reports about Ukrainian volunteers who were taking on some of the most challenging tasks to support the Ukrainian army and state, Marcher repeatedly presented herself as a “human rights advocate and social activist,” thus implying that she was also a volunteer, when, in fact, she was being paid €1,000 per day.

In another interview, Marcher implicitly presents herself as an an activist rather than as a paid contractor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdsKJAPBpuI

I have not seen a single interview in which she discloses the amount she was getting paid, or at least the fact that she was a paid contractor.

This hardly ethical behavior becomes even less ethical when considering that her Ukrainian assistants were being paid 20-50 times less, and an average Ukrainian who was protesting on Maidan in 2014 was making roughly 100 times less than Marcher.

I do not consider this behavior ethical and worthy of a psychotherapist.

Overcharging non-profit organization

In early 2017, I learned that Marcher was being paid €500/day for conducting commercial Bodynamic training in Ukraine. At the same time, Marcher was charging Healing War Scars €1,000/day to lead a non-profit program for veterans. This discovery was shocking.

In early 2015, I asked Marcher to take the veteran trainings under the control of Bodynamic Institute. At the time, it seemed as the most logical step since this was Marcher’s training and most volunteers were Marcher’s students. Marcher rejected this and clearly stated that she wanted me to be CEO of the organization that runs trainings in Ukraine. As I later understood, the reason for Marcher’s decision was simple: if she took the trainings under the umbrella of Bodynamic Institute, the Institute would be responsible for fundraising.

When the trainings are conducted by an American non-profit, Marcher and Bodynamic Institute got all the perks without any hassles: they were paid very well, they got free publicity, and they represented themselves as “great benefactors.”

Even though officially the trainings were run by Healing War Scars, Marcher has always been part of the organization. As noted above, she joined the Board of Healing War Scars in 2016.

I find it highly unethical for a psychotherapist to be a part of a non-profit organization, to be on the Board of the organization, and arrange compensation for herself that is double her commercial rate.

When I asked Marcher to explain why she charged our non-profit organization twice as much as for her commercial trainings, and more than she charged another Ukrainian non-profit, she initially refused to provide any explanation, arguing that she did not owe me one.

I persisted and reminded her that her financial compensation came out of the funds raised and donated by hundreds of individual donors and volunteers, as well as a grant from the National Endowment for Democracy. Finally, Marcher and Wisbom emailed me the following explanation:

This explanation gives the impression that Marcher was an external consultant/trainer hired by Healing War Scars. If this were true, it would indeed be logical that Marcher can negotiate any compensation she wants. However, Marcher was never an external contractor hired by Healing War Scars.

Starting with our first conversations at the end of 2014, Marcher was consistently dissolving boundaries and mixing roles. She repeatedly stated that we are working on this non-profit project as equal partners, I wrote description of her trainings (something that a client of her services would never do), she was on the Healing War Scars Board of Directors. So, when Marcher and Wisbom state their right to negotiate price for providing their services, this begs a question: Who did Marcher negotiate the price with?

Did Marcher, CEO of Bodynamic, negotiate the price of her services with Marcher, who was a key member of the Healing War Scars team?

This is a conflict of interest and may interfere with EABP Principle 1:

“1.b. Body Psychotherapists appropriately clarify with their clients, matters that might pertain to their working together. They avoid relationships that may create a conflict of interest.”

In reality, there was never any price negotiation. For example, for training she conducted in 2016, the Healing War Scars chief therapist informed me that Marcher is charging €1,000 per day and asked me if this was OK. This was my choice to say yes and approve the cost. And I take responsibility for saying yes. At the same time, I felt like a hostage in this situation. For one, Marcher had successfully dissolved boundaries and mixed up roles: I was a student who had deep respect for what she was teaching; I was a friend; I was also president of the organization which invested €16,000 in 2015 trainings.

Marcher was supposed to train and graduate four therapists with this training. She did not. Instead she informed me that our chief therapist was not ready to lead trainings and needed to take an additional “Turbo training.” The organization paid for this training with the hope that he would be able to teach once he completed this training. Instead, after the turbo training, Marcher informed us that he is still not ready and he needed to assist her with level 3 and 4 trainings. This meant that we had to pay Marcher once again to lead the trainings. So, I said yes, hoping that finally after this training our chief therapist would be certified to teach.

I also completely understand that Marcher and Wisbom can negotiate any price when providing services to a commercial company. However, Healing War Scars is not a commercial company, but rather a non-profit organization. Charging a non-profit twice what a for-profit is charged is astonishing and unethical.

This is an especially questionable practice in light of Marcher’s multiple interviews in Ukrainian print media and on TV where she created the impression that she was a volunteer. In interviews and during shock trauma training she would often say something like, “This training is my contribution to supporting Ukrainian people and Maidan protesters in their search for dignity.” This language created the misleading perception that she was volunteering her time. Instead of misleading the public, she could have clearly stated that her work and fees were paid for by Healing War Scars and hundreds of volunteers and donors who kindly supported our project.

Moreover, Marcher knew that Healing War Scars was a small non-profit created by Maidan volunteers. She knew all the funds were either donated by individual donors or by one relatively small grant. Marcher also knew that her “dear friend Roman” was a full-time volunteer president of Healing War Scars, receiving no salary and living off his personal savings.

Later in 2017, I learned from one of psychotherapists that she approached Marcher and asked why Marcher charged Healing War Scars twice as much as she did for her commercial training and twice as much as she was charging another Ukrainian non-profit organization for the same kind of trainings for veterans. According to this psychotherapist, Marcher responded that Healing War Scars is a U.S.-based organization, and since the U.S. is a rich country, she can charge this organization twice as much.

To me, her response shows that Marcher lacks absolutely basic human decency and honor. She can not even acknowledge she was wrong. Instead, she continues to defend herself, coming up with more and more bizarre and unethical excuses.

Forcing Non-profit to provide Free PR to Marcher and Bodynamic Institute

While Marcher was overcharging Healing War Scars, at the same time she also required us to state her name and name of Bodynamic Institute as the creators of the training in every one of our interactions with media as well as at each veteran training event. 

As a result, in 2015-2016 over 3000 veterans learned about Bodynamic Institute by attending Healing War Scars training. Tens of thousands of people learned about Bodynamic Institute and their commercial programs through PR program launched by Healing War Scars. The goal of this PR campaign was to inform Ukrainian veterans about Healing War Scars trainings. This PR campaign included dozens and dozens of articles and interviews in some of the top Ukrainian newspapers, TV channels and online resources.

This is how Marcher and Bodynamic Institute managed to both make good money on selling training to Healing War Scars and get free media exposure and PR at the same time.

Ditte was always very open and outspoken about requiring us to state her name to spread the word about Bodynamic:

Please note that the above Facebook exchange happened the night before Marcher delivered a talk at a psychotherapy conference in Poland to some 300 therapists. As I discuss below, Marcher did not even mention in her talk that trainings were sponsored and run by Healing War Scars. Instead, she stated the following (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBRo9hapgZI  starting at 7:50):

“…I developed a system for Ukrainian veterans. Right now we have had 2600 veterans through the training in two years. We have started a study and until now the study showed that this program is about post-traumatic growth, and it shows that in all the international requirements that the people who have been through the program, 90% are doing better. I am very happy for that. Because Ukraine when they entered revolution and the war, they did not have any rehabilitation program before except the old Soviet one and that was drinking, drink and get drunk.”

This shows that Marcher does not walk her talk. Marcher accepts as obvious free PR and exposure to tens of thousands of people she and Bodynamic get while getting paid 1000 euros per day. She gets enraged by a single time when her name is not mentioned.  At the same time she does not attribute due recognition to Healing War Scars as she clearly states that “We” or “Bodynamic” run trainings in Ukraine. She does not mention that soma system was also an essential part of the trainings.

There were several occasions when Healing War Scars’ members stated Ditte’s name in the interviews, but the journalists chose not to mention her name in the published interview.

These incidents enraged Ditte.

She would either call or send Facebook messages full of raw anger. She forced our therapists and administrator to email and call journalists and forced them to include Bodynamic Institute and Ditte Marcher’s name into the interview.

Journalists are free to choose what they include in the published articles and what parts of interviews they exclude. This is especially relevant to any mention of an organization, such as Bodynamic Institute, that markets paid training in Ukraine.

After all, it was natural for journalists to avoid mentioning Ditte Marcher’s name and Bodynamic Institute. Veteran shock trauma training was just one of the projects that Healing War Scras spear-headed.

Marcher’s and Bodynamic’s attitude of forcefully getting their free PR and exposure was exactly what started our conflict that ended up with Bodynamic Institute expelling me from Bodynamic Practitioner training. Hadi Marcher and Ditte Marcher threatened to complain to TV station because Marcher’s name and that of Institute of Bodynamic were not mentioned during the interview.

Interestingly,  Ditte Marcher and Bodynamic Institute could have easily made arrangements to dramatically increase chances of their names being mentioned in Ukrainian press. In early 2015 I offered and suggested Ditte Marcher take the training under the umbrella of Bodynamic Institute.

She refused.

If she did take the project under the umbrella of Bodynamic Institute, Ditte would have assured much higher chance of getting the publicity she wanted. It would be natural for journalists to include the name of the organization that runs the training. In fact, this would have been much more natural than mentioning the name of the author of the training when interviewing Healing War Scars for which running the shock trauma training is just one of many activities it conducted.

Why did not Ditte Marcher want to take shock trauma training in Ukraine under the umbrella of Bodynamic Institute?

I assume that she understood very well that if she were to take the veteran training under the umbrella of Bodynamic Institute, she would have been responsible for getting funding for the training. It seems that Ditte Marcher wanted volunteers to get the funding to pay her 1000 euros per day while getting free publicity in the Ukrainian media.

Recording conversations without consent

In February 2017, a Ukrainian TV station invited me for an interview (in English) about Healing War Scars’ plans for 2017. Marcher saw the interview and became enraged that I did not acknowledge her name as author of shock trauma training for veterans. Marcher and I exchanged several messages on Facebook and seemed to resolve the conflict.

However, several days later, her son Hadi Marcher started sending me messages on Facebook. He said he would write the TV station to complain about Bodynamic and D. Marcher not being mentioned in the interview.

We talked by Skype to discuss the conflict. This was a very heated conversation and I messaged Ditte Marcher right after the conversation:

 

 

Later, I learned from D. Marcher that H. Marcher recorded the conversation, which he did without my consent. D.Marcher also stated that the Board of Bodynamic Institute routinely records conversations:

 

Please note that in the above exchange Marcher states, “How do you record all conversations just like you do.” I assume that she was actually trying to state, “We record all the conversation just like you do.” What she was probably referring to was that Marcher and myself had an agreement that when we meet in person, we make audio recordings of our meetings for the record, so that if we have a misunderstanding, we can go back to the recording and figure out what happened. This consensual recording of business meetings is drastically different from Hadi Marcher’s recoding of a conversation with me without my consent.

I also learned that Ditte Marcher listened to the recording:

While U.S. and European law largely forbids recording of conversation without consent, Danish law allows recording, but does not allow sharing recording or playing this recording to other people [9]:

“Calls and conversations may be recorded by any active participant, with no requirement to make other parties aware of the recording. But forwarding or playing calls considered private is illegal.”

It was illegal for Hadi Marcher to forward a recorded call to Ditte Marcher. Ditte Marcher clearly listened to the recorded conversation, which means both Hadi Marcher and Ditte Marcher broke Danish law.

This incident also demonstrates that the Board of Bodynamic Institute engages in illegal activity. This may go against Principle 3 of EABP ethics guidelines:

3.b. As employees or employers, Body Psychotherapists do not engage in or condone any practices that are inhumane or that result in illegal or unjustifiable actions. Such practices include, but are not limited to, those based on considerations of race, handicap, age, gender, sexual preference, religion, or national origin in practice, in hiring, promotion, or training.

3.c. In their professional roles, Body Psychotherapists avoid any action that will violate or diminish the human, legal and civil rights of clients or others who may be affected.

Rejection of mediation

When it became apparent that Marcher and I were engaged in a  conflict, I proposed we use the Bodynamic method of conflict resolution she teaches (Body Knot) or mediation. I made multiple requests for conflict resolution. Initially, Marcher agreed, and we started “body knot” over Facebook chat messenger.

It is shocking that a supposedly professional negotiator and mediator, who frequently lectures on the importance of contact in negotiations, started “body knot” over chat messenger, which lacks visual and personal contact.

Unsurprisingly, our “body knot” ended within 5 minutes. Once I provided more details about what actually happened between the journalist and me during the interview, Marcher cut the communication. She expressed that she felt that I am changing the story and accused me of manipulating her.

Subsequently, I repeatedly asked her to go back to the body knot or to set up a mediation and conflict resolution session.

Instead of finding a path to connecting and understanding each other, Marcher started communicating in a dictatorial manner. Her message was simple:

  • we stop communication;
  • there will be no conflict resolution about professional or personal issues;
  • Roman’s educational discount is cancelled;
  • Marcher agreed to mediation at some point far in the future, but said the mediation would only be about our teacher-student relationship.

This is an excerpt from Marcher’s message:

Marcher knew very well that the core of our disagreements came from our professional interaction. Yet, in a very dictatorial and manipulative way, she sent me a message that I must do it her way or else I would be expelled. She was trying to portray herself as being open to mediation, when in fact the only mediation she was open to was about her role as being a teacher!

I persisted in my attempt to maintain contact while protecting my boundaries and dignity. I offered Marcher a different solution: if she wanted to stop communication and she did not feel that she had the energy for conflict resolution, then I offered her to leave things in a status quo until she was ready to participate in conflict resolution.

For me, status quo meant that we agreed to disagree and did not require the other side to change. I did not require Bodynamic to change their behavior, for example, to refund the amounts they overcharged our non-profit organization. And Bodynamic did not retract my discount.

For me, this would have been an acceptable scenario. This was not about trying to maintain my discount, but about maintaining dignity in communication and understanding that Marcher and the Board have no right to dictate their requirements without engaging in a dialogue first. They either engage in dialogue and conflict resolution or we put aside our difference for some time. The path they chose was to refuse conflict resolution while dictating what I needed to do. And I experienced this as abuse and disrespect.

Since I was part of Bodynamic practitioner training, the Board and Marcher could have offered me to come to the third session of the training and conduct body knot there.This would have been logical because when conflicts came up during the first two sessions between participants or participants and teachers, body knot was used to resolve conflicts. Instead of doing this, Marcher and the Board expelled me from the training and took time to explain their side of the story to the entire group on the first day of the training. As I learned later, Marcher’s presentation made many students feel disgusted with me to the point that they did not want to see me or talk to me.

In my mind, this is a pathological and dangerous manipulation on the side of Marcher and the Board. I do not understand how this is even possible in the context of a psychotherapy training.

If Marcher and Bodynamic behaved once like this, they will do this again and again. If someone less stable is on the receiving end of Marcher’s manipulation and aggression, the Board and Marcher will cause severe harm to the person.

I find it shocking that an experienced psychotherapist and teacher of body-oriented psychotherapy, who has been teaching conflict resolution for decades and who claimed to have worked as a conflict mediator in many countries, refuses to set up a conflict resolution session.

Expulsion without due process

On April 28, 2017, I received an email from the Bodynamic Board of Directors informing me that I needed to make full payment within a “reasonable time” before the first day of the third training session of Bodynamic Practitioner, that is, before May 9, 2017.

This communication was the first time I had ever received a letter from “The Board,” and I did not know with whom I was communicating. Based on Bodynamic principles and to establish a safe space for communication, I responded to the email and asked“The Board” to introduce themselves:

The next communication I received was on May 1, when I was informed that Bodynamic Institute had expelled me from the Practitioner training:

The student agreement Wisbom refers to was an agreement every student must sign before starting Bodynamic Practitioner training. I signed this agreement and left it with Marcher before the training started; apparently, Bodynamic Institute misplaced this signed agreement. Piaditis asked me by email to sign another copy of the agreement, and in the same email he informed me that Marcher had canceled the discount. Naturally, I started a discussion of this matter with Piaditis.

I made one last attempt to establish communication with Marcher and the Board.

 

Wisbom’s response made it clear that Marcher and the Board were not interested in conflict resolution.

When I asked Wisbom to clarify the reasons for expelling me, she responded:

I see no due process in the way I was expelled and tried to inquire about this process. I started from reminding Wisbom about our recent communication and then inquired:

This is how Wisbom, Marcher, and the Board responded:

Please note that I asked Wisbom and the Board two simple questions:

“Could you please clarify the logic behind first telling that I need to make payment within a reasonable time before the start of the training and then expelling me from the training 3 days later. Expelling me 8 days before the start of the training, meaning that according to instructions provided in your first email from April 28, I still had a week to transfer the funds before the start of the training.

“Also, please clarify if you will be returning me the payments I have made so far for participating in Practitioner training.”

It would have been logical if Wisbom and the Board responded by practicing what they teach, that is, agreeing to a mediation session. They could have even simply refused to offer any explanation. But Wisbom responded by stating that I was expelled because I did not sign documents and did not pay for the training, which did not address my questions at all. I was asking Wisdom to explain the contradictory statements she made, which led to the Board expelling me.

This exchange clearly shows that Wisbom and the Board fail to practice the principles of dignity in connection and conflict resolution that they teach in Bodynamic. And these are the people who educate the new generation of body-oriented psychotherapists!

There does not seem to be any due process for expelling a student from Bodynamic, and the communication from the Board is unclear, haphazard, and misleading. The Board was aware that there was a deep conflict between Marcher and me, complicated by a multitude of roles and the dissolution of many boundaries. Yet, just like Marcher, the Board refused mediation and conflict resolution, and decided to use brute force.

I see two likely options here. Either there is a cult of Marcher’s personality within the Board and the entire Board follows directions from Marcher. Or the entire Board consists of therapists who do not believe in conflict resolution and would rather use brute power to resolve conflicts disrespecting their students’ dignity.

In either case, I do not feel this behavior is worthy of psychotherapists.

Expropriation of student funds

At the beginning of the 2017 Bodynamic Practitioner training, Bodynamic Institute required students to pay not only for the individual upcoming training sessions but also for an exam scheduled for 2018. By the time I was engaged in the email exchange with the Board, I had already paid for several training sessions I had taken as well as for an exam I had not yet taken.

During the second training session, Marcher expelled another student, and she publicly promised him a full refund for the sessions he had taken. Based on this, I expected Bodynamic to refund my payments. At the very minimum, I expected a refund for the exam I had not taken.

In one of my emails presented above, I inquired, “Also, please clarify if you will be returning me the payments I have made so far for participating in Practitioner training.” The Board never responded to this question and has never provided any refunds.

Once again, I find this behavior is not worthy of therapist members of EABP.

Unprofessional training materials

I participated in three Bodynamic programs over two years: Foundation Training, Shock Training, and Practitioner Training (first two sessions before being expelled). Some of these programs I took several times. Students received training manuals for foundation and practitioner trainings, all of which had a multitude of typos, grammatical errors, and incorrect anatomical and kinesiological terms. I found anywhere from 20 to 40 errors per page.

I have spent over 12 years in academia, first studying for my undergraduate and graduate degrees, and then working on post-doctoral research. I have been on both sides of a classroom: as a student, teaching assistant, and lecturer. Never in my life have I encountered educational materials with so many mistakes.

I was not the only one who was shocked by the poor quality of educational materials. Here is just one email from a Bodynamic student:

Piaditis, the course administrator, brushed off student requests for better quality materials and directed them to Marcher, knowing very well that students have no way to reach Marcher in between sessions.

Among students, Bodynamic is infamous for its inability to produce good quality training materials, as every time we were given even “newly edited” training materials, we would immediately see numerous mistakes.

After a series of email exchanges with Piaditis that contained rude and unprofessional responses full of grammatical errors, I finally requested the following clarification from him:

I never received a satisfying answer explaining why the Institute constantly produces training manuals of poor quality.

Low quality of teaching

I found the quality of Bodynamic teaching and teachers sub-par. Some teachers had poor command of English and insufficient English vocabulary. Some spoke so quietly that it was hard to hear them. Many teachers made multiple mistakes in anatomy, kinesiology, and fascial physiology. In all my years studying, I never before encountered teachers who made so many mistakes. While some teachers openly acknowledged the errors and appreciated the corrections, other teachers simply dismissed and ignored the corrections.

By employing a number of poorly qualified teachers and supplying poor quality study materials, Bodynamic provides poor training for future therapists and Bodynamic teachers, who will later make a multitude of mistakes when teaching future Bodynamic students.

No mechanism for student feedback

I took five Bodynamic Institute training programs. Not once did Bodynamic Institute ask students to assess the quality of the training or teaching staff, nor did they collect written course feedback. Even top Harvard University professors review their students’ written course feedback forms with great interest, hoping to improve their teaching.

The culture I observed at Bodynamic Institute is different. I have heard Marcher boasting about how well the training went, even though some students left it and other students had problems with the poor quality of teaching.

Marcher’s sense of self-grandeur and religious belief in how amazing Bodynamic is pervades all the Bodynamic courses I have observed. This self-grandeur and religious belief do not allow the Institute to implement methods of collecting feedback. After all, feedback is needed only when one wants to improve the teaching and the system, and there is apparently no reason to improve Bodynamic’s trainings as they seem to think the program is perfect.

Blaming students

I experienced and witnessed conflicts between Bodynamic students and teachers, and I know a student dropped out from the training because she was tired of the mediocre education level and mistakes.

On many occasions, I have heard Marcher blaming conflicts or drop-outs on students. She would explain this by students’ “character structure.” I was shocked by this attitude every time I encountered it. I would think that a different mode of action should be natural for a psychotherapy teacher. While students’ character structure obviously impacts students’ behavior, introspection on the part of Marcher and Bodynamic would also seem appropriate to assess if Bodynamic Institute can learn something from this experience and improve training or communication. There were plenty of conversations about students’ character structure, but I am not aware of any conversations focused on introspection and identifying possible avenues for Marcher or Bodynamic Institute to improve.

Many Bodynamic students experience this tendency to blame conflicts on students as an abuse of their dignity. The concept of protecting dignity to maintain mutual connection is a concept central to the Bodynamic school of psychotherapy.

I think it is important to state that they are misusing their form of “psychotherapy” to judge and accuse by explaining student’s behavior of not liking course by their “character structure.”

Creating fear among Bodynamic students

Some students in the Bodynamic practitioner training were also deeply bothered by Bodynamic teachers making a multitude of errors, by their poor English, by manuals filled with mistakes and grammatical errors, and by the culture of blaming students for conflicts. They were also troubled by the often bizarre communication with course manager Piaditis and the inability to reach Marcher. Students described Piaditis and some teachers as being defensive and unreasonable (see below).

When students heard that Bodynamic Institute had expelled me from the training, some of them were shocked at first, and then they became upset and angry. They were upset that Bodynamic Institute would refuse conflict resolution and expel a student without due process. Some of them wanted to confront Bodynamic teachers and ask for an explanation, but ultimately all of the students decided to stay silent. According to our conversations, they were afraid that they, too, would be expelled from the training if they spoke up.

After Marcher manipulated information by presenting her side of the story while I was not there to present my side of the story, many students felt disgusted with me. Ironically, Marcher knew that I was literally 20 meters away (outside of the compound where Marcher runs trainings) and she could have easily invited me in to conduct body knot. I firmly believe that, to make things right, we need to get together in the presence of students and conduct a conflict resolution session. Otherwise, these students will learn from the experience that the way Marcher behaved is the right way to behave. I hope this is not what EABP wants.

Other students have experienced many of the same problems I experienced with Bodynamic Institute, yet they did not believe the Institute would change. This is a combination of fear and hopelessness. Below is just one example from Bodynamic student:

Misleading “research”

Throughout 2016, Healing War Scars administered questionnaires to participants of the veteran training to assess the training’s effectiveness. Unbeknownst to me, Marcher paid a “researcher” to analyze the data collected by Healing War Scars. According to Marcher, the report showed the effectiveness of Bodynamic shock training for veterans.         

When I read the report myself, I immediately realized that the statistical methodology was deeply flawed. I contacted the contractor to assess his expertise, and found out that he was not a statistician, but rather a psychologist who had learned the basics of statistical software to crunch data. I informed Marcher that the report results should not be made public as the “statistician” had made severe methodological mistakes in the analysis.

During a Bodynamic Practitioner training a couple weeks later, Marcher proudly stated that international scientists recently demonstrated the effectiveness of the Bodynamic shock training by analyzing data collected by Healing War Scars. I repeatedly informed Marcher that she should not be making these claims based on the study.

In response, I heard her attributing my statement to my character structure. My arguments that I have a Ph.D. in Biostatistics from Harvard University did not have any impact.

Since that time, I have heard her state numerous times that an international team of scientists demonstrated the effectiveness of Bodynamic Shock Trauma training. For example, she recently made the same statement at a conference in Poland (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBRo9hapgZI, starting at 7:50).

“…I developed a system for Ukrainian veterans. Right now we have had 2,600 veterans through the training in two years. We have started a study and until now the study showed that this program is about post-traumatic growth, and it shows that in all the international requirements that the people who have been through the program, 90% are doing better. I am very happy for that. Because Ukraine when they entered revolution and the war, they did not have any rehabilitation program before except the old Soviet one and that was drink, drink and get drunk.”

This excerpt from Marcher’s speech at the conference has the following unethical and incorrect claims:

  • Marcher repeatedly states “we”, meaning Bodynamic Institute, when the training was conducted and paid for by Healing War Scars. Marcher fails to state that all of the trainings were conducted and paid for by Healing War Scars.
  • What are the “international requirements”? With this vague and misleading statement, Marcher creates an impression that the training is exceptionally effective. This is an example how Marcher manipulates.
  • Marcher fails to state that these 2,600 people went through a program that was a combination of Bodynamic approach and soma system® approach.
  • Marcher claims that 90% of veterans are doing better, yet there is no documentation or evidence for this figure.

More recently, Bodynamic Institute published a report analyzing the effectiveness of the shock trauma training based on two groups of veterans who were part of Healing War Scars training. The report “Statistical Data Processing Results of the ‘Overcoming Shock Trauma and PTSD’ Bodynamic Training for the Ukrainian Veterans. Group 1.0 and 2.0” can be found on the Bodynamic website: https://www.bodynamic.com/blog/overcoming-shock-trauma-and-ptsd-bodynamic-for-ukrainian-veterans/.

There are numerous ethical problems with this report. In my analysis of it below, I rely on widely accepted ethical rules for publishing research, as defined in “Best Practice Guidelines on Publication Ethics: a Publisher’s Perspective,” (hereinafter BPG), an article freely available online: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1804120/

Failure to disclose authors and provide acknowledgement

According to BPG, “The list of authors should accurately reflect who did the work. All published work should be attributed to one or more authors.” The Bodynamic report lists no authors, and it is not clear who designed the research methodology nor who performed the statistical analysis. If a group of researchers worked on this report, their names and affiliations should be listed.

Aside from those who analyzed data and wrote the report, there were over a dozen people from Healing War Scars who took part in this investigation, and their contributions should be acknowledged. These people researched literature, designed questionnaires, acquired funding for the training, conducted interviews with trainees, and conducted the training. There is no acknowledgment of any of these researchers, psychologists, volunteers, psychotherapists, veteran co-trainers, and veteran trainees, without whom this research would not have been possible.

Oxford English Dictionary defines plagiarism as, “The action or practice of taking someone else’s work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one’s own; literary theft.” A number of people who have never been affiliated with Bodynamic Institute and who were working and volunteering with Healing War Scars made significant contributions to researching and designing the study and preparing questionnaires. Their work and ideas are used in the publication, but their role is not acknowledged. This report is published on the Bodynamic Institute website, I believe Bodynamic Institute has plagiarized their work.

One of the core principles of Bodynamic is a mutual connection with dignity. If Bodynamic Institute and Marcher practice these core concepts of Bodynamic, I do not understand how they can disregard so many people who were essential to this work.

Stealing data

As President of Healing War Scars, I asked the chief therapist to collect data exclusively for internal use. These data were never meant for publication, and on multiple occasions, I stated the data belong to Healing War Scars. Bodynamic never requested nor received permission from Healing War Scars to use, analyze, or publish these data.

Failure to disclose research funders

According to BPG guidelines, “Research funders should be listed on all research papers. Funding for any type of publication, for example, by a commercial company, charity or government department, should be stated within the publication. This applies to all types of papers (including, for example, research papers, review papers, letters, editorials, commentaries).” Contrary to this guideline, the Bodynamic publication has no statement about funder(s) of the research.

Failure to disclose conflict of interests

According to BPG guidelines:

  • “The role of the research funder, as well as the role of all parties contributing to the research and publication, in designing the research, recruiting investigators/authors, collecting the data, analyzing the data, preparing the manuscript or controlling publication decisions should be stated in the publication, unless this is obvious from the list of authors/contributors.”
  • “Editors, authors, and peer reviewers have a responsibility to disclose interests that might appear to affect their ability to present or review data objectively. These include relevant financial (for example, patent ownership, stock ownership, consultancies, speaker’s fees), personal, political, intellectual, or religious interests.”
  • “Other sources of support for publications should be clearly identified in the manuscript, usually in an acknowledgment. For example, these might include funding for Blackwell Publishing OnlineOpen (open access) publication, or funding for writing or editorial assistance.”

There is no statement in the Bodynamic publication on the role of the funder and parties contributing to the research and publication. This seems to be a clear ethical breach by failing to state that Bodynamic Institute had a financial interest in the outcome of this statistical analysis and publication. Moreover, Bodynamic Institute was likely a funder of the study.

There is also no statement about other sources of support in the Bodynamic publication. Healing War Scars funded all the training activities, the chief therapist’s salary, and payments to all other therapists. Healing War Scars also paid for the development of questionnaires and data collection. A grant from the National Endowment for Democracy covered 90% of the costs for Healing War Scars to conduct the trainings, with the remainder contributed by several private donors and one Ukrainian non-profit organization. The important role of these donors is also not acknowledged by Bodynamic Institute. 

Misrepresentation of Bodynamic training effectiveness

The report introduction contains the following description of the training:

“The training is created by Ditte Marcher, Director of Bodynamic International, and is based on the 30 years of experience working in the war zones. The training was first carried out in Denmark for the Danish veterans in 2013-2014, and the veteran organization VaKa was established as the result. The first training in Ukraine was taught by Ditte Marcher and the Ukrainian assistants in 2015 based on the contract and the request of the Healing War Scars organization.”

The report conclusions state the following:

“In general, the analysis suggests that attending the Bodynamic training contributes to decrease in PTSD symptoms (at the statistically significant level), depressive and dissociative disorders. Moreover, the training promotes post traumatic growth.”   

There is no mention that the programs conducted by Healing War Scars were different from the training Marcher conducted in Denmark. In particular, the Healing War Scars training was a combination of the Bodynamic approach and soma system® approach. I developed soma system® while a graduate student at Harvard University. There are numerous articles published in peer-reviewed journals demonstrating the effectiveness of some of the methods used in soma system® to resolve sleep disturbances, depression, anxiety, and other common post-traumatic symptoms [12].

The Bodynamic report fails to mention that 40% of participants in “Group 1.0” were practicing soma system® on a weekly basis under the guidance of a trained therapist.

The following TV news episode from 2015 clearly shows that soma system® has been part of the training since the first training in 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xtggs3nY_k

All Group 1.0 trainees also practiced soma system® daily during the four training sessions, spending about 80% of the time on Bodynamic approach and 20% on practicing soma system®. Therefore, no conclusion about the effectiveness of Bodynamic approach based on data collected by Healing War Scars can be made, since any effect observed is due to the combined impact of Bodynamic and soma system®.

Therefore, the statement about the effectiveness of Bodynamic training made in the report is deceptive to the public and community of Bodynamic and body-oriented therapists.

To summarize, the report’s conclusion about the effectiveness of the Bodynamic shock trauma training stated above is incorrect due to the following reasons:

  1. The training program was a combination of Bodynamic shock trauma training and soma system®. Therefore, collected data cannot be used to make any conclusions about the effectiveness of Bodynamic shock trauma training.
  2. Statistically significant differences were detected using data fishing and failure to adjust for testing for multiple hypotheses instead of testing one hypothesis (see below for details).
  3. Even if soma system® was not part of the training and the report’s authors found statistically significant difference after adjusting for multiple hypotheses, Bodynamic Institute still could not claim that “Bodynamic training contributes to decrease in PTSD symptoms.” All the observed differences could have been due to the factor of time rather than Bodynamic shock trauma training or soma system® practice. It also could have been that the trainees would have changed over time in the same way even without the training. The authors do not even acknowledge the limitations of their study based on the lack of a comparison group.

Statements about the effectiveness of Bodynamic training are deceptive, misleading, and unvalidated. I do not mean that Bodynamic shock trauma training is ineffective, but rather that no conclusion about the effectiveness of Bodynamic training can be made based on this experimental design.

Data fishing and lying with data: multiple comparisons

In Table 1 below, the authors test a series of null hypotheses of no change in symptoms throughout the training using ten different PTSD-related criteria. For example, column “2 and 3 levels” should be presenting test of the null hypothesis that there was no difference in symptoms measured by IES scale between the 2nd and 3rd level of training.

It is notable that most cells in Table 1 are empty. The authors explain this as, “The absence of data is not always due to the absence of change in the symptoms but is rather because comparison was carried out only for the tests technically administered at the certain training levels.”

Once again, trying to overcome the highly confusing language, it seems the authors tried to state that a subset of eight tests was administered at all training levels and, therefore, they did not have data to test the null hypothesis of no change in test scores. At the same time, the authors state that some cells of Table 1 are missing because there were no statistically significant changes in test scores over training duration. They do not state how many hypotheses they tested.

What is clear is that the authors tested multiple hypotheses and failed both to acknowledge a need for adjustment when testing multiple hypotheses and failed to adjust for multiple hypotheses testing. Failure to adjust for multiple comparisons is one of the easiest ways to deceive the public by using statistics. More information on this topic is available in reference [10].

According to Table 1, the authors might have tested as many as 60 different null hypotheses. Assuming that all 60 hypotheses were indeed null, it means there were no changes in trainees’ symptoms over the course of the training. Since data is noisy, a statistician would likely find at least one test that shows statistical significance. In fact, the probability of having at least one statistically significant test when each test is conducted with type 1 error of 0.05, all 60 null hypotheses are true, and tests are independent is 0.954. This means the authors would have been very likely to find at least one statistically significant change even if the training had no impact on the trainees whatsoever.

The authors repeat Table 1 for the second group and again failed to acknowledge the need to adjust for multiple hypotheses testing.

No discussion of difference in effectiveness for Group 1.0 and Group 2.0

The report suggests that out of 27 hypotheses tested for Group 2.0, there was not a single statistically significant difference. Surprisingly, the report does not discuss potential reasons for the difference between findings in Groups 1.0 and 2.0. Among other factors, this difference could be attributed to the following:

  • Statistically significant differences found in group 1.0 were spurious. This could be a consequence of data fishing and failure to adjust for multiple hypotheses.
  • About 40% of the first group were engaged in weekly soma system® classes throughout the training. There were no such weekly groups for group 2.0. Moreover, Group 2.0 had minimal exposure to soma system® practice during the 5-day sessions.

Failure to state hypothesis and discuss limitations

This report does not provide information that must be included in any research study. It does not state the aim of the study nor the hypothesis the study aimed to test. It does not provide background information on the therapeutic modality. It does not even present the experimental design or state the number of trainees in each group, nor does it discuss limitations of design and data analysis.

The report does not discuss missing data issues, and a missing data analysis is essential for any research study. For example, the reason a trainee may not respond to a question could be related to his PTSD symptoms. In this case, missing data is informative and ignoring this data point leads to misleading conclusions.

Considering these flaws, this report’s conclusions are misleading about the effectiveness of Bodynamic shock trauma training.

Typos and grammatical errors

Numerous grammatical errors throughout the report attest to Bodynamic’s continued practice of failing to invest in proof-reading, thus undermining trust towards the Bodynamic system. Ensuring educational and research materials have no grammatical errors is less challenging than designing and conducting a valid study.

If Bodynamic Institute is so sloppy in assuring the quality of its written materials, students and clients cannot be confident that the research on which Bodynamic system is based has been properly conducted and published.

Allegedly hiding research results showing harmful effects of Bodynamic therapy

Bodynamic Institute conducted shock trauma trainings for veterans in Ukraine via two organizations: Healing War Scars and Pobratymy. As I discussed above, Bodynamic Institute published results of research conducted using data collected by Healing War Scars. However, it never published results of research conducted by Pobratymy. I discussed this issue with the researcher who conducted analyses of data collected by Pobratymy. According to the researcher, data collected within 6 months after the training, showed potentially harmful effects of the training on veterans. When researcher reported this to Pobratymy, allegedly they instructed her to stop analyses and discontinued financing research.

I ask Bodynamic Institute to make the data and research analysis public and publish it on Bodynamic Institute website.

i also ask Bodynamic Institute to provide public explanation on why they never made results of theses studies public as they have done with studied based on data collected by Healing War Scars. 

Requests

Based on the letter I submitted to the ethics committee, I have the following requests for Ditte Marcher and Bodynamic Institute:

(1) A public and written commitment from Marcher and the Board that Bodynamic Institute will have written contracts clearly outlining deliverables for any work with non-profit organizations. Marcher will stop using the concept of “my word is as good as legal contract.” After all, it is self-contradictory to teach the importance of written contracts to Bodynamic students, while failing to write contracts for professional collaborations.

(2) Publish on the Bodynamic website:

 – Marcher’s CV with clear information on her education and places of work;

 – Marcher’s educational diplomas from various psychotherapy trainings she completed;

 – Documentation that Marcher worked at the UN and Doctors Without Borders;

 – Any formal agreement between UN agencies and Marcher demonstrating that Marcher worked with the UN and that Bodynamic methods are recommended by the UN.

If there is no proof that Marcher worked at the UN or that her methods are recommended by the UN, then publicly display a retraction on the Bodynamic website. In addition, since Marcher spread this information in Ukrainian media, she should publicly retract this information via the same media channels on which she spread this information. An official apology would also be in order. In this respect, I use Marcher’s logic: when we failed or journalists failed to mention her name in interviews, Marcher forced us to still get her name into the interview. It is then only fair that if she provided misleading information to the public,  Marcher should also, by her own methods and standards, publicly retract the information.

(3) In Ukraine, officially retract Marcher’s aura of volunteer and publicly state that within the past three years she was a well-paid contractor working in Ukraine, and that Marcher regrets she might have created an impression she was a volunteer.

(4) In regards to Bodynamic’s “running” technique:

 – Publicly disclose all injuries and harm that ever resulted from running to students, assistants, and teachers;

 – Explain why people who do not have sufficient body resource are offered to “run”;

 – Explain why titration is not used, when a recognized and published scientist and expert clearly warns that lack of titration may lead to re-traumatization;

 – Explain what Bodynamic Institute does to record potential side effects of running, and how it records the condition of trainees after training to detect any potential side effects of the technique.

(5) Make a clear public statement that Marcher does not religiously believe in the validity of Bodynamic and that the absolutely ESSENTIAL way to determine the effectiveness of Bodynamic is through scientific research and not through Marcher’s inner body sensations and beliefs about the validity of Bodynamic.

(6) Explain why, at a conference in Poland, Marcher attributed all work to Bodynamic at the time when trainings were conducted and paid for by Healing War Scars. Explain why there was no mention that veterans were exposed not only to Bodynamic, but also to other modalities such as soma system® and craniosacral therapy. Make a public apology that Healing War Scars was not mentioned during the conference in Poland, inform the conference participants that Marcher made a mistake, and provide attendees with the correct information.

(7) Bodynamic Institute commits to creating training materials that are well-edited and have no mistakes, both in content and in grammar. This should be supervised by an official from EABP.

(8) Explain how Bodynamic Institute plans to change the way they train Bodynamic teachers to avoid situations when teachers have poor preparation and make multiple mistakes when teaching.

(9) Acknowledge that on occasions Marcher explains conflicts with students by students’ character structure, thus completely taking responsibility off of Marcher and Bodynamic. Publicly acknowledge the problem and commit to stopping this practice.

(10) Marcher and Bodynamic Institute commit to collecting meaningful written feedback from students after each and every training session. Display this feedback publicly on the Bodynamic website.

(11) Publicly demonstrate tax returns showing that Marcher is paying tax on her earnings from Healing War Scars, Pobratymy, and her other trainings in Ukraine.

(12) Marcher makes a public apology for setting herself up to be paid €1,000 per day, or double what she is paid regularly in Ukraine, while being on the inside of the non-profit organization.

(13) Initiate an open public dialogue among Bodynamic students and teachers, so that all students and teachers are being heard and have an opportunity to express their feedback on how the Institute can and should change. Resolve the issue that many Bodynamic students feel that it is pointless to provide feedback because Bodynamic Institute is not ready to change.

(14) Publicly retract any and all statements made about the validity of Bodynamic shock trauma training based on faulty research studies. Make a public apology for incorrectly conducting the studies and thus misleading both the professional community and the public.

(15) In shock trauma trainings, Marcher acknowledges that the course was developed together Peter Levine. I would like to have an official statement that he is indeed a co-creator of the course. Does Peter Levine know that as a co-creator he is also responsible for the quality of the course? If Peter Levine is indeed a co-creator of the course, please explain why does Marcher claim ownership of the shock trauma training and why Marcher made Healing War Scars always state her name as creator of the training, and did not make us state Peter Levine’s name as co-creator of the training?

(16) Commit to providing email communication training to Bodynamic administrator Yorgos Piaditis, so that he learns to communicate politely. Ask Piaditis to commit to start communicating politely and with respect.

(17) Piaditis and Marcher publicly retract the accusation that Healing War Scars and I cut funding from veterans to involve them into a “war” against Bodynamic.

(18) Bodynamic provide me the opportunity to come back to the Bodynamic Practitioner training session to have a group mediation session, to correct the manipulation that Marcher committed by talking about me in my absence. This goes to the core of re-establishing my dignity, connection within the group, and resolving fear among students. At least some students were fearful if they were to contradict Bodynamic, they would also be expelled.

(19) Make a public apology to me and Bodynamic practitioner students for telling students Marcher’s and Bodynamic’s side of the story in my absence, thus pushing some students to feel disgust with me. Make an apology to the students for creating an unprofessional educational environment.

(20) Commit to publishing research reports only in peer-reviewed journals. Commit to stop manipulating public opinion by claiming that Bodynamic is effective based on poorly run studies. Stop claiming that Bodynamic is based on research conduced with tens of thousands of people; this research was not published and, supposedly, was lost. If Bodynamic wants to continue referring to this original research based on tens of thousands of people, it needs to publish this research in peer-reviewed journals and make the data publicly available.

(21) In her explanation about why she charged a non-profit organization €1,000, Marcher claimed that she has a right to negotiate any charge for her services. Explain how and with whom Marcher negotiated the fee for Healing War Scars, and describe the negotiation process.

(22) Make an official public apology from Bodynamic Institute and Hadi Marcher about recording conversations without consent. Public and written commitment from Bodynamic Institute and Marcher that they will change their policy and will stop recording conversations without consent.

(23) Marcher and Bodynamic Institute publicly recognize that it is not ethical to apply pressure on journalist to force them to mention Marcher and Bodynamic. Make an official apology to Healing War Scars and commit to never again apply any kind of pressure on non-profits or journalists.

(24) Bodynamic Institute failed to publish results of research study conducted with Ukrainian organization Pobratymy that allegedly show harmful effects of Bodynamic shock trauma training on veterans. I ask Bodynamic Institute to make the data and research analysis public and publish it on Bodynamic Institute website.

I also ask Bodynamic Institute to provide public explanation on why they never made results of theses studies public as they have done with studies based on data collected by Healing War Scars. 

(25) Refunds:

– Since there was an agreement that the first training in 2015 will graduate four psychotherapists, and Marcher failed to deliver, we expect Marcher to refund all payments Healing War Scars made for training Oleh Hukovskyy. This includes payment for level 3 and 4 training as well as fees for Hukovskyy’s Turbo training.

– Refund all payments I made for Bodynamic Practitioner trainings.

– Compensation in the amount of $5,000 for the time I wasted on studying Bodynamic practitioner, the cost of flying to practitioner training from Ukraine to Greece and the nonsense of repeatedly being refused meditation from psychotherapists who supposedly teach conflict resolution. All the funds will go to a neutral non-profit organization to support their work with injured Ukrainian veterans.

References

[1] Ford, J.D., Si. Stewart, J. (1999). Group psychotherapy for war-related PTSD with military veterans. In B. Young & D. Blake (Eds.), Approaches to group psychotherapy with PTSD (pp. 75-100). San Francisco: Taylor/Francis;

[2] Ford, J.D., Russo, E. (2006). Trauma-Focused, Present-Centered, Emotional Self-Regulation Approach to Integrated Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress and Addiction: Trauma Adaptive Recovery Group Education and Therapy (TARGET).  American Journal of Psychotherapy, Vol.60, No.4, 2006

[3] Schauer, M., Neuner, F., & Elbert, T. (2005). Narrative exposure therapy: A short term intervention for traumatic stress disorders after war, terror or torture. Gottingen, Germany: Hogrefe & Huber.

[4] Levine, P. (1997). Waking the tiger: Healing trauma. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic.

[5] Levine, P. (2010). In an unspoken voice: How the body releases trauma and restores goodness. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

[6] Levine, P. (2005). Healing trauma: A pioneering program for restoring the wisdom of your body. Boulder, CO: Sounds True.

[6a] Payne, Peter, Peter A. Levine, and Mardi A. Crane-Godreau. “Somatic experiencing: using interoception and proprioception as core elements of trauma therapy.” Frontiers in psychology 6 (2015): 93.

[7] http://www.who.int/mental_health/emergencies/en/

[8] http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/85119/1/9789241505406_eng.pdf

[9] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_recording_laws#Denmark

[10] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_dredging

[11] http://www.un.org/en/ethics/pdf/putting_ethics_to_work_en.pdf

[12] Field, T. (2014). Massage therapy research review. Complementary therapies in clinical practice, 20(4), 224-229.