Hakomi Psychotherapy

Hakomi is a Hopi Indian word meaning, "How are you in relation to the many realms in which we dwell?" or in modern terms, "Who are you?"

Hakomi Psychotherapy is a gentle and nurturing form of therapy. It helps us to express ourselves and bring what has been unconscious into consciousness. It helps us to understand and change limiting beliefs and habitual behaviour patterns.

Hakomi is a body-centred psychotherapy, which has mindfulness as a core quality for relationship to the self. The principles of practice rest on unity, mindfulness and non-violence. Loving presence can reveal the vivid colours and textures of day-to-day living, when we give ourselves the opportunity to be present. One of the beautiful aspects of Hakomi Psychotherapy is its total acceptance of the individual and their circumstances. People can be living in the most dire situations, but amazingly we can see them acting in inspiring ways. The little acts and gestures that we see, such as the manner in which a small boy holds his little sister's hand, the way someone serves us a drink, the first smile of the day, all these situations and more, entail choices. We can either be awake to their beauty, or we can be immersed in the difficulties of our day, and miss them.

Such acceptance and curiosity is what Hakomi brings to psychotherapy. It invites us to find something in the other that is beautiful. It may be anything from the sound of their voice, a look in their eyes,.....anything! Using this beauty as a departure point makes it easier to surrender into a bigger place, that we call loving presence. It is a place where we can be truly non-judgemental of someone else.

Of course, to have judgements, or a faculty for discrimination, is a natural part of our personalities. That is fine. What we do in Hakomi is to use this energy, or congruent intuition, to imagine how the person is feeling. At this point we contact our client with a simple statement, such as, "You look interested". The important part is that our contact need not be exact. Usually a person will put us in the picture, if we are not already there. We are trained to pick up clues from their body language, such as breathing patterns, energy levels and muscular tension.

So, to define the method simply, in Hakomi we hold someone in a loving space. We get curious about what we are seeing or sensing, then we put some sort of contact statement to them. From that place we then just watch what another person's mind does with that idea. Mindfulness and compassion are very important at this point, as the more spacious we are, the greater the potential will be to feel what is happening at a deep level. We offer a way to support the unfolding of what's wanting to come to the surface, be it sadness, joy, anger etc. We are here to serve our client, and to give them the opportunity to witness their own conciousness, in a safe and loving space.

The Hakomi Experiential Method is based on the work and creative genius of Ron Kurtz, who wrote 'Body-Centred Psychotherapy: the Hakomi Method.'


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