Image by Ria Taylor


Katrien Franken



Katrien Franken is a multiple award-winning photographer, founder of Open Up, and deeply passionate about personal transformation and social change. She is creating the space for a whole new set of generative questions to be explored with learners in order to re-imagine and co-create a rich field of collaborative learning and mutual growth.

There are many dimensions to her work and Cycles of Learning that are experienced by thousands of people. The practice is to help people go to the source of complexity, and learn how to play with it and create from it a better world for themselves and others.


With learnings from 15 years of inner work and extensive and on-going research and study in psycho-somatic breathwork, spiritual and psychological practice and therapeutic training, the skills have formed a holistic approach which gives deep access to information, wisdom and healing.

Katrien was introduced to breathwork in 2004 which completely changed her perception on life. She realised that using this modality produced an increasing sense of wellbeing, cultivating the exceptional. Whenever she encountered presence, she experienced a completeness of being, a wholeness and effortless peace, explosive insights and profound, awakened relaxation. With a history of cancer, "being in recovery" and responsible for her own well-being, she started to re-discover her response and ability to engage with life. Her cancer opened a learning to the psychological and spiritual which manifested itself in a physical form - affecting her whole 'being" and all layers of existence. She journeyed to a number of places with illness and had to address it on all levels. This experience, combined with her intense interest in the evolution of consciousness led to the birth of Open Up in 2015; a place for learning and self-healing through the experience of 'what is most alive to come alive'.

She looks at people, society and the world holistically and works with widely different people, and largely with younger generations, developing self-leadership, and empowering global change makers and decision-makers, individually, and in organisations, in politics, in healthcare, communities, and refugee settlements.

As an educator she developed The Breathwork Group Series and Cycle of Learning, to bring a deeper understanding of the nature of transformation and to generate an innovative form of inquiry and learning in action to unleash insight, which Katrien coined "Alive Learning".


With Open Up she hopes to support deeply meaningful changes in people's lives, and encourages an educational and experiential approach in order to facilitate the exchange of ideas and discoveries for mutual learning, growth and enrichment. To push into our edges, soften and open to our strength and vulnerability, delight in the joy and freedom in our authenticity –and come home, individually and together to our intimate belonging. Ultimately the wholeness she seeks is in the creation of our connected wisdom.

Some things about me:

  • I value an experience as the highest good. 

  • Experiments are central in my work.

  • I hold space for the delicate, the bold and the brave, and value our humanness.

  • I help to open conversations, challenge our beliefs and inner dialogues.

  • My deepest intention is to listen into our human complexity in quest for depth and meaning.

Katrien is a Holistic Counselor and trained as therapist by Rafia Morgan and Turiya Hanover, and is accredited by SIAF and approved by the CRKBO by the Dutch government and within the European Union guidelines for quality vocational education.

Method and teachings she is trained in: ​

  • Breathwork based on the work of Wilhelm Reich and Alexander Lowen

  • Holotropic Breathwork as created by Stanislav Grof

  • BioDynamic Breathwork & Trauma Release System (trained by Giten Tonkov)

  • Holistic Counselor (accredited by SIAF and trained by Rafia Morgan and Turiya Hanover)

  • Warm Data and People Need People Host (certified and trained by Nora Bateson of the International Bateson Institute)

  • Client Centered Therapy based on the work of Carl Rogers

  • Essence work - the Lataif 

  • The Diamond Approach of A.H. Almaas

  • TRE - Tension and Trauma Release Exercise of David Berceli (Level 1)

  • Yin Yoga (Certified - Yoga Alliance)

  • The Enneagram studies

She is a co-facilitator in The Emergent Dialogue as created by Elizabeth Debold and Thomas Steiniger within the Emerge Network.  ​

Open Up is founded in 2015, community focussed and always heart–led, challenging and supporting new ways of thinking, sensing, doing and being. 


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© Open Up 2021