Hakomi is a distinctive body-inclusive psychotherapy developed by Ron Kurtz and members of his original training team. More than a method or set of techniques, Hakomi is a way of looking at the world that is compassionate, mindful, curious, non-invasive and respectful.
First and foremost, Hakomi is a mindfulness-centered approach. Mindfulness is an ancient tool that trains attention and promotes a compassionate, non-judgmental attitude. An important feature of mindfulness is the cultivation of an “internal observer,” which has strong integrating features. The observer enables clients to work with emotionally charged memories without being flooded.
Since the late 1960s, when Kurtz pioneered the use of mindfulness in psychodynamic therapy, mindfulness has been used in Hakomi to establish an attuned healing relationship, access deeper psychic structures and promote transformation. The Indigenous American Hopi Nation meaning of Hakomi – ‘How do you stand in relation to these many realms?’ (or more colloquially, ‘Who are you?’) reflects the method’s fundamental emphasis on awareness and self-observation.
Hakomi provides a unique framework on healing and growth, incorporating elements of the wisdom traditions of the East, contemporary body-psychotherapy and the new sciences. A major influence has also been General Systems Theory, which views individuals as self-organizing systems that contain their own blueprints for growing and becoming. The Method, itself, continues to grow and evolve, readily absorbing new ideas and influences. For example, aspects of interpersonal neurobiology and attachment theory have been incorporated into the curriculum, along with research findings on the effects of attention on learning and change. The faculty also utilize diverse teaching methods to accommodate a wide range of learning styles.
Hakomi Experiential Psychotherapy is based on five principles: mindfulness, non-violence, unity, organicity and mind-body holism. These principles can be viewed as resources the therapist draws on to cultivate an attuned and compassionate healing presence. The principles undergird the overall method, which is based on collaboration with the client and trust in the client’s ability to spontaneously self-correct.
Hakomi is effective with individuals, couples, families and groups and blends well with other modalities, such as expressive arts, pastoral care and body work. As a method, it is appropriate for various therapeutic situations, but finds its fullest potential in supporting personal and transpersonal growth.
Hakomi clients are encouraged to study the organization of their experience – how they meet the world, what kind of world they perceive , what unconscious beliefs they hold about themselves and so on. Becoming aware of these “core organizers” creates opportunities for change, particularly of the implicit models that shape emotional reality in painful and limiting ways.
There's no question that the Hakomi training is the best psychotherapy training I've ever done. The Hakomi trainers, without exception, embody and constantly demonstrate the Hakomi principle of loving presence towards all the students they train which powerfully facilitates the students' learning of the method.
The biggest attraction was seeing the change in people who had done the Hakomi training before me—they were more centred, more confident, more themselves. This was what I wanted for myself, too.
A strong sense of safety, allowing room to learn and show up at my pace. From the beginning there was a real sense that this really works in a way it was hard to explain just cognitively.
Great instructor teamwork from very credible instructors. Thank you for the perfect home exercise. We will be forever thankful!
The trust, lightness and humor were great.
Energy and pace was really good. Maci and Halko worked/presented beautifully together, timing, etc. Nice combination of mindfulness meditation and teaching with facts and statistics. Loved their ability to track where the group was, to check in and be flexible with the training/teaching.
Lovely blend of styles, ease, gentleness clarity. Felt really held.
"Hakomi is the absolute cutting edge of modern therapeutic technique".
"Hakomi presents some astounding methods for getting to core material. It is well grounded in theory and revolutionary in its results".
"Hakomi has been a major force in promoting mindfulness in psychotherapy and body psychotherapy."
"Hakomi is a beautiful expression of the partnership model: a way of healing that recognizes not only the essential partnership between body and mind, but between therapist and client".
"Hakomi is an excellent system for learning key emotional intelligence skills".
"A visionary contribution in bringing mindfulness to our therapeutic community".