is a form of body-centered, somatic psychotherapy
developed by Ron Kurtz
in the 1970s and furthered by a group led by Kurtz in the 80s.
Approach and method
According to the creator, the Hakomi method combines Western psychology, systems theory, and body-centered techniques with the mindfulness and non-violence of Eastern philosophy. Hakomi is grounded in five principles: mindfulness, nonviolence, organicity, unity and body-mind holism.
Practitioners of Hakomi look at people as self-organizing systems, organized psychologically around core memories, beliefs, and images; this core material expresses itself through habits and attitudes that make people individuals. Hakomi is a method for helping people transform their way of being in the world through working with core material and changing core beliefs.
Hakomi relies on mindfulness of body sensations, emotions, and memories, and follows this general outline:
- Create healing relationship: Client and therapist work to build a relationship that maximizes safety and the cooperation of the unconscious.
- Establish mindfulness: Therapist helps client focus on and study how she or he organizes experience. Hakomi's viewpoint is that most behavior is habit automatically organized by core material; therefore studying the organization of experience is studying the influence of this core material.
- Evoke experience: Client and therapist make direct contact with core feelings, beliefs, and memories.
- State specific processing: If the client is ready, the therapist helps the client transition to state-specific processing. Hakomi recognizes three such states:
Transformation: Client realizes that new healing experiences are possible and begins to have these experiences.
Integration: Client and therapist work to make connections between the new healing experiences and the rest of the client's experiences.
- strong emotions
- child-like consciousness
Other Therapies Based On Hakomi
Kurtz left the Hakomi Institute in the late 80s and, along with a new group, has developed the method in new directions. This new version is now thought of as Mindfulness Based, Assisted Self-Discovery
. (See the 2008 Training Handbook
Books on Hakomi
- The Herald (September 22, 2004) Hakomi is the topic. Page 15.
- Johanson, Gregory. (June 22, 2006) Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association. A survey of the use of mindfulness in psychotherapy. Volume 9; Issue 2; Page 15.
- Kurtz, Ron (December 28, 2007) 2008 Training Handbook. Available through Ron Kurtz Trainings, Inc.
- Lauerman, Connie. (November 1, 1994) Chicago Tribune Automatic teller psychotherapy with the Hakomi method, clients trigger their own healing responses. Section: Tempo; Page 1.
- Marshall, Lisa. (October 15, 2001) Daily Camera The power of touch. Body psychotherapy sees massage, movement as adjunct to counseling. Section: Fit; Page C1
- Sowers, Leslie. (September 20, 1987) Houston Chronicle Body work terms defined. Section: Lifestyle; Page 1.
- Sutter, Cindy. (June 21, 2004) Daily Camera Healing the body and the mind Hakomi helps clients heal with mindfulness. Section: Fit; Page D1.