Pathways to the Self - A therapeutic and healing journey towards authenticity

Click on date below to book

For details of registration and programme start time see here.

Maria Olsthoorn

The programme consists of six modules spread out over the year, with a two-week start in October and a completion week in June of the following year.

The purpose of this programme is to transform the relationship with the self/Self. In so doing we deepen into authentic presence and a solid personal container for life. This strengthens the ability to be with whatever arises in the moment. This work on the self is essential as an aspiration towards a deeper sense of presence with the Self and another.

Dates for 2017/2018:

Modules 1 & 2:

7–20 October 2017

Modules 3:

2–8 December 2017

Modules 4:

10–16 February 2018

Modules 5:

21–27 April 2018

Modules 6:

16–22 June 2018

The programme provides a learning room for participants to deepen into authentic presence and expand on their ability to be and/or work with others. It is intended for anyone interested in committed self-enquiry and is also suitable for you if you are in the caring professions such as: counsellors, psychotherapists, all types of body-workers, healers, life coaches, doctors, nurses, complementary therapists and social workers.

The programme content is designed to meet the participant wherever you are on your journey of self-discovery - whether just starting or whether you consider yourself more advanced. You will learn about yourself, how you block your joy, creativity and vitality, and will learn, through deep self-enquiry, how you unconsciously stop yourself from what you most want from life. This work on the self is essential as an aspiration towards a deep sense of authentic presence with the self and with another. Support will be given in making new choices that lead to a more desirable and fulfilling life.

The programme is set within an energetic context. We view our human existence from a multi-dimensional perspective; Physicality, the Aura / personality, Intentionality and Divine Essence. Within this energetic context you'll explore and experience the five Character Styles originated by Wilhelm Reich (expanded upon by Alexander Lowen, John Pierrakos and Barbara Brennan). The programme also offers aspects from Core Energetics, Body Mind Psychotherapy and Pathwork, draws from the world of energy medicine, such as the consciousness of the chakras, energy therapy, and synergises this with the spiritual and educational wisdom of the Findhorn Foundation Community.

This transformational journey will strengthen your container for life and your ability to be a grounding, empathic authentic compassionate presence for yourself and your family, your friends and the people you work with.

Modules 1 & 2: 7–20 October 2017 (two weeks)
Foundations for the Transformation Journey and Grounding into the Self

This module introduces the importance of contact with all dimensions of life and how they flow together. This will serve as our springboard into a holistic understanding of the nature of being. Through personal and group work, reflection, meditation and experiential exercises, we'll explore what it means to be grounded in our physical body, and what keeps us from being present in the 'here and now'. The focus in this module is the Schizoid Character Style and the way in which our life and life choices are influenced by it.

Module 3: 2–8 December 2017
The Self in Relationship

Module 3 deepens the Relationship with the Self and takes us on a journey of discovering who we are in relationship to others; partner, spouse, friends, family as well as other dimensions of life. This module focuses on the Oral Character Style.

Module 4: 10–16 February 2018
Self in relationship to the Divine

The central question in this week is: "Who am I?" and enquires into life from the perspective of being a divine being in a human body. We explore Self-will versus Divine-will, authority and related issues and what it means to surrender to a higher order. We also explore the Masochistic Character Style.

Module 5: 21–27 April 2018
The Self, the Wound and the Life Task.

This module focuses on the connection between the challenges we meet on our path, the task before us and the experience we gain from the journey. We explore our unique personal gifts with which we serve the bigger plan. We focus on the Psychopathic Character Style.

Module 6: 16–22 June 2018
Integrating and Moving On

The week offers a celebration of our journey of self-discovery and transformation as we arrive at the completion of the programme. Each participant presents an art project they have been working on throughout the year. Completing our journey is facilitated through group work and personal reflection on the path towards becoming an authentic human being. In this module we also explore the Rigid Character Style.

Programme content

Each week is a rich tapestry mix of individual and relationship-based learning. We will explore and discover our human energy field and learn how to perceive and work with subtle energy consciousness. Each participant will be facilitated into deep self-enquiry whilst learning to articulate what is happening for them. There will be space and support to release unconscious defensive behaviours that keep us stuck in patterns of failure and separation, and space will be given to empower the Core Self into the driver's seat of your life. In between weeks there will be learning and reading tasks and the course leaders will support you during a weekly online hour for the duration of the programme.

The programme will include the following content:

  • Anatomy and physiology of our energy field
  • Anatomy of the emotional wound
  • What creates well-being and what causes struggle
  • Character structures, defenses and healing responses
  • Tools for Inner Work such as meditation, managing intense emotion, working with core beliefs and others
  • Understanding the dynamics of the self
  • Developing your core qualities
  • Authentic presence with yourself and in relationships


The content of the programme will be enriched and supported by experiential learning and the following activities:

  • Healing Circle and personal process work
  • Inner alignment (intention, purpose, service, divine essence)
  • Movement and creativity
  • Body-mind/ somatic experience
  • Other healing tools

The programme also involves:

  1. Reading in between weeks
  2. Learning in between weeks
  3. Recording your inner transformational journey
  4. Ongoing weekly online support
  5. An art project
  6. Personal therapy sessions

Each module provides a rich and balanced combination of presentations, activities and experiential learning and is based on a holistic approach integrating the mind, body, spirit and the human heart.

Tiered price (click here for more information): £4600 / £3970 / £3430

Tiered Pricing

Before you book your place, please take a moment to consider that the Findhorn Foundation is a Charitable Trust. We believe that the benefits of holistic learning should be available to everyone regardless of their financial or life situation, and that the transformational journey is enriched by a diversity of participants.

We recognise that what is affordable for some can be a financial stretch for others and offer a tiered pricing structure. When you book, please select the price that feels appropriate for you.

Pay it Forward Price covers the cost of your workshop and includes a contribution to our bursary fund. This will make participation possible for one or more people who otherwise would not be able to join our transformational work in the world.

Sustainable Price covers the cost of your workshop and helps us to sustain our learning and guest facilities.

Supported Price reflects a partial bursary toward the cost of your workshop and is intended for those with minor financial need.

Includes accommodation, full board and refreshments for the six residential weeks. Please be aware that additional costs will be incurred for books and therapy sessions in-between the residential programme weeks (participants will be asked to do a minimum of eight therapy sessions over the period of the programme to support the transformational journey).

**** Please note ****

As part of the booking process we ask that you complete and return to us an application form which you can download here. This will be followed by an interview - either via skype or by telephone - with Maria Olsthoorn. Please email if you require any further details. Your booking will not be processed and no payment will be taken until we have received the application form and the interview with Maria has be conducted.


What participants say about the programme:

This course has been deeply nourishing and life changing for me. I arrived at the course with low batteries, not knowing exactly how to change my life to feel more joyful. The programme turned out to be a great composition of valuable teachings, group process time and doing exercises together. That it was held over a period of nine months gave me time to integrate and align my life towards happiness and authenticity. I do understand myself better - and be more kind towards me and others as a result. To have such dedicated teachers was a learning and blessing in itself. I felt in a very loving and safe space with a good structure. It has been a great time of personal growth. Great to have the feeling of being able to create the quality of life I want to live!

Jutta Schmidt, Germany

I am very, very glad, and grateful that I took the step of coming on this programme. The benefits have been great, and the power of the programme as an intense learning experience is more than I expected. I think you could certainly call it life changing. I think it must be rare to have such a very strong, safe, supportive arena for healing and change as this group is. I think this is primarily due to the experience, strength, focus and wisdom of the facilitators, which I am awed by.

At first it seemed like the homework (like all homework) would be a slog, but I now see it as a welcome invitation to again 'check in' with myself, to identify with the 'benign inner witness' which the programme encourages us to develop. Both tutors are so professional and compassionate. The course is a wonderful mix of spiritual philosophy, energy consciousness and psychological development. Basically, I recommend this course wholeheartedly and 100%!

Please note that all our workshops have a Findhorn Foundation community member present either as focaliser or assistant.

Maria Olsthoorn

Maria Olsthoorn is a Barbara Brennan trained Energy Healer, Process facilitator, Group Therapy facilitator and Supervisor, drawing on 30 years' experience working with individuals and groups in a transformational, spiritual and educational context. She loves teaching and exploring the concept of healing and of the awakening consciousness.

Maria has been a member of the Findhorn Community since 1989 where she teaches and facilitates workshops. She gives individual healing sessions and does Supervision work with practising therapists, and also facilitates healing for individuals through group therapy.

Qualifications / Professional Body Affiliations:
Master in Fine Arts NL 1980 Teacher degree
Certificate Colour Therapy & Healing QINS 1986
Transformation Game Facilitator Findhorn 1992
Diploma Aromatherapy & Massage SPICA 1997
Diploma Nutritional Medicine PNMC 2000
Graduate Brennan Healing Science 2005
Graduate Brennan Integration Work Advanced Studies 2010 and 'Hands of Light Workshop' endorsement
Member of Brennan Healing Science Association UK
Member of Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council
Full professional insurance