Hakomi Experiential Psychotherapy was originated by Ron Kurtz over 30 years ago and further developed by the Hakomi faculty since then. It is a body-centered, depth psychology based in mindfulness, and an elegant, comprehensive, and highly effective approach to human change and transformation. Hakomi is most often used in individual psychotherapy, but there are also Hakomi-based approaches to couples and group therapy, and it can be integrated with many disciplines.
Cultivating an atmosphere of loving presence, safety and acceptance are central to Hakomi. The "active mindfulness' used in Hakomi is a state of non-judgmental, inwardly-focused awareness. And although many therapies currently use mindfulness as an adjunct practice, Hakomi is unique in that most of the therapeutic process is actually conducted in mindfulness.
When Hakomi body-centered (somatic) techniques are used in this mindful state, unconscious "core material" surfaces very rapidly, but safely. (For this reason, Hakomi therapists consider the body to be the "royal road" to the unconscious.)
This "core material" consists of the unconscious key memories, experiences and beliefs that shape our behavior, attitudes, habits, preferences, and perceptions - all without our knowledge.
When unconscious, these can create projections, conflict and disharmony in our lives and relationships. Once conscious and directly experienced, these patterns are available for transformation.
Core material tends to come to consciousness with a strong "felt sense" for the client. Powerful emotions, memories, and trauma may surface at times, and these are handled gently and effectively.
Once core material has become conscious and the client is aware of how it creates limitations in their lives, there is a conscious desire for change and the therapist helps the client experientially explore new options. These new or "missing" experiences can actually help to create new neural pathways, a foundation for change and transformation. Modern neuroscience is currently revealing the basis for the effectiveness of many aspects of Hakomi Therapy, including mindfulness, loving presence, empathy, and how neurological change occurs.
Hakomi's experiential approach is empowering, allowing the client to genuinely take ownership of the material. The client's experience is primary, reflected in the Hakomi principle of "nonviolence in psychotherapy" - in which the therapist does not impose their beliefs, observations, or analyses upon the client. Although they may help to highlight insights and use their expertise to guide the client toward his/her internal experience, the client is encouraged to discover what is right or true for them. In Hakomi the practitioner does not insist they are right, know what's best, or that their professional expertise supercedes the client's internal wisdom.
~Content provided by The Hakomi Institute
Last updated: 05-14-2013