top of page

About » Hakomi

Image by Alex Azabache

What is Hakomi?

The Good Therapy website, describes the Hakomi Method of Experiential Psychotherapy as:

... a body-centered approach [that] combines somatic awareness with experiential techniques to promote psychological growth and transformation.

[The Hakomi method] holds the body to be a window to unconscious psychological material. Trained Hakomi practitioners work to help those in therapy identify somatic indicators of unconscious beliefs and then bring these indicators into awareness, thus aiding the process of change. 

To put simply: we make friends with our body intelligence, and we attune ourselves to hear the whispers of that intelligence.

 

When we move from this place; it is called Wisdom.

The 5 Principles of Hakomi

In 1977, Ron Kurtz established the Hakomi way of Experiential, Mindful, Somatic Psychotherapy; a good 40 years before neuroscience started pointing conventional Psychotherapy in the direction of mindful observation and body based awareness of the present moment in order to respectfully navigate past traumas.

Many modalities of psychotherapy have branched off since then, but what I think distinguishes Hakomi from the many other Mindfulness and Somatic based psychotherapy offerings, are the
Five Principles of Hakomi that make this modality especially accessible and empowering.

The five Hakomi principles are:

  • Mindfulness

  • Non Violence / Loving Kindness

  • Mind-Body Holism

  • Unity

  • Organicity

You can read my reflections of each principle in my Blog.

Read about the 5 Principles

the hakomi way

The Hakomi way is to develop an awareness of our self, we observe, we meet & greet; make meaning and we honour that part in our self and its (protective) role it has taken on in our life in order to deal with life.

How is that done? It is developing the capacity of allowing.

The very act of allowing ourselves to feel the emotions we might be pushing away not only builds our capacity to be more self aware, more resilient and more integrated, it is also a deeply nourishing experience.

We are then able to turn up for our self, and to turn up in the world with free flowing wisdom, clarity and creativity.

As we develop our Witness Self, we experience how we move and engage with life, and how we - when we align with our witness Self, can bear to be with whatever is arising.

We are developing the ability to be with.

We may even find we can delight in being with what arises. This is transformational work.

FAQs

Image by Zoltan Tasi

What does 'Hakomi' mean?

Early in the development of the [Hakomi Method], one of Ron Kurtz’s colleagues had a dream in which Kurtz handed him a slip of paper with the words “Hakomi Therapy” written on it.

 

Hakomi was later discovered to be a Hopi Indian word with two related meanings: “who are you” (current) and “how do you stand in relation to these many realms” (archaic). 

The Hopi Indian meaning of the word resonates with the 5 principles of Hakomi.

Why use Mindfulness?

Because the relevant aspects of bodily experience are often subtle, habitual, or even unconscious, we use mindfulness as a tool to help make them more noticeable to us.

 

We help guide a person towards this type of mindfulness, and many people quickly learn to access this state on their own.

Image by Raimond Klavins
Image by Cornelia Munteanu

What is a Somatic Approach?

Somatic approaches are used to engage the relationship between mind, body, brain, and behaviour. We use these interventions to help calm our nervous system, and create more ease in the healing process.

 

As we learn to make friends with our Nervous System, we discover we have more sovereignty over our life than we ever knew.

Do you use Touch?

Touch is sometimes used in Hakomi therapy, but only with your explicit consent, as I will always ask first. 

When touch is used in Hakomi, it is used in the context of support, or what we call an experiment in mindfulness. An example might be (after gaining consent first); notice what happens to you when I place my hand on your back.

You are very welcome to say you do not want touch. We can work around this very easily, as is the case for my online sessions.

Image by Natalia Zięba
Image by Mike Labrum

Is Hakomi good for Trauma?

Yes...By focusing on the moment-by-moment unfolding of our somatic awareness, it allows us to overhear the unconscious core beliefs that shape our responses to trauma.

This awareness is the first step in moving towards Post Traumatic Growth.

bottom of page