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mindful body-based 

About » Hakomi

the hakomi way

5 PRINCIPLES » Many modalities of somatic psychotherapy are available nowadays, but what distinguishes Hakomi from the field are the Five Principles of Hakomi that make this modality especially accessible and empowering.

SELF STUDY » 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.

RELATIONAL » As Dick Shawtz himself says; "For a healing relationship to happen, more than just safety is needed; what is needed is the cooperation of the unconscious. It required a relationship at the level of the unconscious, a deep, person-to-person connection – and that’s a two way street. Not only did I learn that I needed the cooperation of the unconscious, I also learned that I had to be worthy of it. I needed to earn it."


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What is Hakomi?

A leading modality in mindful body-based (somatic) psychotherapy, Hakomi's Founder Ron Kurtz, stands alongside Peter Levine's Somatic Experiencing; Pat Ogden's Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Intervention for Trauma and Attachment; and Dick Shawtz's Internal Family Systems.


As well as all of the above, Ron Kurtz integrated a spiritual dimension into the therapy. He describes this here:


"When I built Hakomi on the principles of non-violence and mindfulness, it gave the therapy a strong spiritual foundation. Working out of those principles which require respect, sensitivity, presence and compassion on the part of the therapist, leads very naturally to loving experiences and finally to spiritual experiences."

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.

 » You can read more about Ron Kurtz and how Hakomi has evolved for him at his website.

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Why Hakomi?

When there are so many psychological healing offerings available, why use the Hakomi method?

1. Because Hakomi is a psycho-spiritual-emotional-somatic therapy, addressing every layer of being

2.Because Hakomi is the container that allows YOU to heal YOU

3. Because Hakomi allows you to "live the question" (as Rielke puts it) and discover the answer through direct experience

4. Because Hakomi is about integrating All of you

5. Because Hakomi orientates towards your impulse to move towards your Essential Self 

6. Because Hakomi offers the opportunity to step out of Victim Consciousness

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.

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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.

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But I've tried Cognitive Behaviour THERAPY, how is this different?

If you're used to cognitive behavioural techniques, you may already know everything there is to know about your problem; you’ve analysed it, explored behavioural technique, strategies for positivity, and yet clarity, or ease, or resilience still evades you.


Let's try something different together! With the Hakomi method, we turn on the Witness, and we start to notice there are aspects of the problem that may be living in your body, and in your silences. Our sessions will gently explore these spaces; using your present moment, felt experience to inform and discover your inner clarity and strength.

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 and Root Cause Healing

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What is root cause healing?

It addresses underlying root causes of your body’s pain messages, taking into account your lifestyle choices and core beliefs… so you can fully heal.

I may recommend complementary modalities to support your healing journey, such as nutritional support, acupuncture, myofascial release, craniosacral work, Qigong, Yoga, Dance, Singing etc.

How do we get to Core Material?

When we pay attention to our direct experience, we may find that there is a lot going on that we don’t normally notice (or want to notice). Uncomfortable feelings, sensations and emotions which we are conditioned to avoid carry wisdom if we learn how to listen. 


Attending to what is happening right here and now gives our feelings the opportunity to unfold, reveal, express and move in whatever way they need to. This helps us get in touch with core material. 


Core material is made up of memories, beliefs, neural patterns and deeply held emotions which are unconscious but shape the way we see ourselves, others and the world. Some of this material served the purpose of protecting us when we were young, but may now be outdated. 

This is when it becomes a limiting core belief.


By bringing this material into consciousness it can be observed and explored with curiosity and gentleness. This provides the opportunity to see and change unhelpful patterns in our lives which may keep us feeling stuck, powerless, anxious or depressed.

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What does 'being with hakomi' inspire?

For me it is about developing the capacity to be with what ever is arising within the present moment experience.  


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.

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