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 Donald Marmara

Donald Marmara

Mobile 0412 178 234
Somatic Psychotherapist

Core Development

Mobile 0412 178 234

Have your attempts at therapy and healing fallen short of the mark? Is it time for a change? Core Development is an in-depth transformational process developed from my professional training and 40 years international experience.


  • 8/8 Jersey Road, Artarmon, Sydney NSW 2064 0412 178 234 PHONE 0412 178 234


  • Counselling, Psychotherapy, Group Therapy, Coaching / Mentoring, Workshops / Courses, Professional Training, Phone Consultations 
  • In my work I draw on what I learnt from my professional training, my experience of different modalities, my own personal therapy and my life experience to enable you to deal effectively with your challenges so you can take back control of your life and live it fully and authentically.

    Areas of Special Interest

  • Adolescent Issues, Anxiety / Panic Attacks, Childhood Issues, Depression, Family / Parenting, Performance Anxiety, Psychosomatic, Relationship Issues, Self Development, Stress Management, Trauma Recovery  
  • MODALITIES / Approach

    Emotional Release, Experiential, Gestalt, Mindfulness, Somatic Psychotherapy

    I have learnt that the symptoms of stress, when listened to and understood, are the key to a richer, healthier and more fulfilling life.

    They are like the instrument panel in an aircraft, constantly providing us with information that is vital to keep us on the right track.

    Responding appropriately to the early signals of stress and any form of discomfort or distress enables us to constantly enrich our lives.

    If we ignore these signals or try to make them go away without dealing with their causes, however, we can end up with serious ill consequences to our overall health and wellbeing.

    More info on www.coredevelopment.com.au


    • Member, Faculty of Physiatrics (UK) - 1978 - International Therapy Examination Council
    • Foundation Training in Biosynthesis (London) - 1981-85 - Centre For Biosynthesis
    • Cert in Developmental Psychology (Padova,Italy) - 1972-73 - University of Padova, Italy
    • Cert Instructor DMA Technologies for Creating (UK) - 1985-87 - DMA, Fritz Consulting
    • Dip in Biodynamic Psychology & Psychotherapy(UK) - 1976-80 - Gerda Boyesen Institute, U.K.

    Quality Provision

    Ethical practice of psychotherapy requires both theoretical training and actual experience of the process.

    As a somatic psychotherapist, I won’t be asking you to try anything that I haven’t experienced myself.
    I believe that one’s own personal therapy is an essential part of any serious training in counselling and psychotherapy.


    I studied Developmental Psychology at Padova University in Italy, trained for several years with some of the leading pioneers in Somatic Psychotherapy & Developing Human Potential in Europe & America, & presented at National and International Conferences in Australia and Europe.

    My primary training is a 4-year(2000 hours face-to-face)) Course in Biodynamic (Somatic) Psychotherapy with Gerda Boyesen, Supervision in Biosynthesis (also a method of Somatic Psychotherapy) over a 4-year period with David Boadella, training in the Fundamentals of Structural Consulting and the Creative Process over a 2-year period with Robert Fritz.

    I also draw on my experience of Gestalt & other modalities, and on my own personal therapy and life experience.


    Monday to Friday by appointment.

    Transport and Parking

    Artarmon Practice:
    7 minutes walk from Artarmon train station
    20 minutes by train or car from Town Hall station
    Easy on-street parking
    Easy access from Reserve Rd Exit off Gore Hill Freeway, and from Pacific Highway


    Individual and couples sessions $120 per one hour session.
    Workshop fees vary.

    Free initial consultation (phone or face-to-face) to determine whether what you are looking for and what I offer match up.

    Payment Options

    Cash, cheque or bank transfer


  • English
  • Italian

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    10 Questions with Donald Marmara

    • What led you to choose psychotherapy or counselling as a profession?

    • I was motivated to train as a somatic psychotherapist following my own experience of anxiety and depression, and the frustration I felt with my lack of success in overcoming them via limited methods of counselling and psychotherapy.

      My search for healing led me to London, where I discovered a form of psychotherapy called somatic psychotherapy, or body psychotherapy, and by having individual sessions myself I was able to transform my life.
    • Which philosophical approaches have influenced your professional/personal development?

    • “As soon as you begin to believe in something,
      you can no longer see anything else”
      Pema Chodron
    • Which particular aspects of health or the human journey are you interested in?

    • Educating people to understand that there is no one right way, and that when conventional approaches don’t work they can often still get the results they want in other ways.

      Also that seeking help is a sign of strength not weakness, and that symptoms that are often labelled in our society as ‘sick’ or ‘dysfunctional’ are in many cases the opposite – they are pathways to creating more fulfilling and successful lives.

      Some of our most creative, intelligent and successful people have at some point in their lives been considered inadequate or dysfunctional.
    • What method/s do you use?

    • Core Development brings together different modalities, making available to you a wealth of techniques to suit your individual needs.

      Core Development is a unique method of dealing with stress by turning stressful situations into constructive rather than disruptive tools.

      Instead of trying to eliminate the symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression, therefore, or labelling them as illnesses, they are recognised as signposts to a richer and more fulfilling life.

      In addition to talking, you can also learn how to deal constructively with physical and emotional tension by using movement, breathing, role-play, visualisation and other bodywork techniques, if and as appropriate in your particular case.

      All the methods used create a feeling of safety so you can trust yourself and have the courage to be who you really are.

      I do not define or limit myself by any particular model, modality or technique. My commitment is to you and I will use whatever model, technique or combination of techniques works best for you.

    • When do you think the client will start to feel that progress is being made?

    • One size does not fit all - some clients start to experience benefits right away, whilst others may take longer. In some cases progress is regular and incremental, whilst others may feel that they are taking two steps forward and one backwards.The process is unique and different for each person.
    • How has therapy made you a better person?

    • As a teenager, I was diagnosed clinically depressive and for several years I was prescribed ever-increasing dosages of anti-depressant drugs. Eventually I moved to London where I discovered forms of therapy - mainly Biodynamic Psychotherapy and Biosynthesis - that enabled me to come completely off the drugs within a few months, and I have never taken an anti-depressant again.

      At first I reacted by wanting everyone to experience the forms of therapy that had such a transformational impact on my life. I was passionately opposed to all forms of drug therapy and western medicine.

      Gradually I came to realise that at the time that I was prescribed the medication, I was not ready to face my feelings and take responsibility for my life. I was too emotionally damaged to do this, and I reckon that the medication gave me the space and time to find the courage I needed to take the next step. I came to realise that, much as I resented being prescribed the medication, it probably saved my life!

      Fortunately, the practitioners who worked with me did not criticise me. They never suggested that I stop taking the drugs or even that I needed to change.

      They accepted me the way I was, in ways that I had not experienced before. They were able to listen to me, and to enter into my perceptual world and meet me there.

      I felt seen, heard and respected, and this more than anything enabled me to find the courage and motivation to come off the medication and change the direction of my life permanently. I am deeply grateful for this.

      I believe that, regardless of who we are, what we know or think we know, and what we do, we can all benefit from suspending our theories and judgements, even if only temporarily, and making a genuine effort to listen, and especially to consider points of view that to date we have dismissed or considered undesirable, dysfunctional or untenable.

      As the Native American saying goes, to walk two miles in each other's moccasins, remembering of course, to take our own cherished moccasins off in order to do this.
    • What do you like most about being a therapist?

    • Being able to help people transform their lives gives me the greatest joy and satisfaction.
    • Do you ever have 'bad hair' days?

    • Yes - whilst I dislike "bad hair" days, they give me the opportunity to reflect on the part I play in creating these, and enable me to get to know myself better.
    • What do you think is the most significant problem we face, in the world today?

    • I believe that we are currently largely motivated by fear, and that is why it is important for us to learn how to deal with our fears so they no longer rule our lives.

      This is not only for our own personal good, but also for that of society and indeed for the world as a whole.

      John Steinbeck makes this comment in one of his novels:
      “as long as there is a hunger in the stomach, the bombs will continue to fall”.

      Yet as a society, we seem to be going around in never-ending circles, dealing with violence rather than with the underlying causes. Often we meet violence with violence. The hunger in the stomach, our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs, are not being met.

      This is what Core Development - my approach to counselling and psychotherapy - is about. Doing what we can to heal ourselves so we are able to take responsibility for our feelings.

      Healing ourselves so we can recover our connection with our heart and feel no need to dump on others, and on our environment, the anger, fear, and other emotions resulting from our own pain.

      And this takes courage and commitment, as it is natural for us to close our hearts and sometimes also to lash out when we are hurt, in order to protect ourselves from further pain.

      It's not an easy process nor a quick fix, but it can be very, very rewarding.
    • Can you share the name of a book, film, song, event or work of art that inspires you?

    • Movies:
      The King's Speech
      One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

      Your Body Speaks Its Mind, by Stanley Keleman
      The Wisdom of Insecurity, by Alan Watts
      To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
      Feel The Fear & Do It Anyway, by Susan Jeffers
      Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse
      Fear of Life, by Alexander Lowen
      Approaching the Corporate Heart by Margot Cairns
      The Path of Least Resistance by Robert Fritz
      In The Wake of Reich, Edited by David Boadella
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     Donald Marmara

    Donald Marmara

    Somatic Psychotherapist

    Have your attempts at therapy and self-development fallen short of the mark? Is it time for a change?

    Core development is a creative approach that offers an alternative that often works when other forms of therapy haven’t been as effective as hoped.


    • Artarmon
    • Emotional Release, Experiential, Gestalt, Mindfulness, Somatic Psychotherapy