Year Founded: 1981
Model of Therapy: The Hakomi Method of Experiential Psychotherapy
Available training types: In Person
The Hakomi Method is a highly refined form of psychotherapy drawing from scientific, psychological, and spiritual sources. Using systems theory as a model and taking influence from Buddhism and Taoism, Hakomi expresses itself according to the Principles of Mindfulness, Nonviolence, Unity, Organicity, and Body-Mind Holism, all of which are embodied in the therapy itself. It is intended for students of the Hakomi Method to integrate these Principles into their lives with commitment to both personal and professional growth.
The Comprehensive Training offers in-depth instruction of the Hakomi curriculum with several goals in place as students enter different stages of understanding. The initial goal is to gain an understanding of Hakomi's principles and apply them with an attitude of loving presence. Next, students are guided to understand how personality and character are organized and how to use this understanding selectively. The third goal is to understand the various maps of the therapeutic process and how to properly and accurately use these maps and skills. The fourth goal in this series of steps is to understand one's own character and personal process as an instrument for therapy.
Hakomi Training is closely supervised and utilizes a variety of teaching methods to provide for a complete learning experience, including experiential exercises, lectures, demonstration, discussion, group process sessions, expressive arts, video, and study groups. The Hakomi Institute also encourages self-awareness and conscientiousness in therapists. Following the Training, therapists and counselors will learn to integrate skills and principles learned from the Hakomi Method into their practice while developing their own personal and creative approach to the model.
The three levels of training offered by the Hakomi Institute are:
- The Comprehensive Training, a two-year (375 hour) course open to professionals and graduate students in fields related to psychotherapy, counseling, and bodywork. This is the main program for Hakomi-based training.
- Professional Skills Trainings, which range from 120 to 200 hours and are open to professionals actively practicing counseling and/or psychotherapy. These courses offer training in specific skills with less emphasis on the Hakomi Method as a whole.
- Hakomi for Body Workers Trainings, intended for body workers with an interest in applying aspects of the Hakomi Method to their practice; these courses generally run 160 hours.
About the Founder(s)
The Hakomi Method of Experiential Psychotherapy was created during the 1970's by Ron Kurtz and a dedicated group of therapists and educators. An internationally recognized author and therapist, Ron was greatly inspired by systems theory and informed by his background in computer engineering, science, mathematics, as well as an interest in eastern philosophy.
After completing his graduate studies in experimental psychology, Ron's development of Hakomi was influenced by Gestalt, Albert Pesso, Wilhelm Reich and Alexander Lowen, as well as his experience as a client of Bioenergetics founder John Pierrakos. Ron's interest in Buddhism, Taoism, Ericksonian Hypnosis, Focusing, and Neuro-Linguistic Programming also played an important role in shaping the Hakomi Method's emphasis on somatic awareness and an exploration of deeper consciousness.
Ron was assisted by Pat Ogden, Phil Del Prince, Jon Eisman, Halko Weiss, Greg Johanson, Devi Records, and Dyrian Benz in developing the Hakomi Method's teaching model. As a group, they founded the Hakomi Institute in 1981 in Boulder, Colorado, and in 1982, Weiss founded the Hakomi Institute of Europe in Germany. The Institute continued to expand shortly after, offering trainings in the US, Canada, and Europe.
Ron stepped down as leader of the Hakomi Institute in 1992, staying with the Institute as an instructor. He also created two additional organizations, Ron Kurtz Trainings and the Hakomi Educational Network, which would become a personal focus during his later years. In 2008, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy and was also the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Santa Barbara Graduate Institute.
Ron passed away in January 2011 and is remembered fondly not only for his contributions to psychotherapy, but also for his sense of humor and loving nature. The Hakomi Institute continues to draw influence from Ron's work while also expanding on his ideas as new discoveries are made.
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