The Hakomi Method of Body-Centered Psychotherapy was founded by Ron Kurtz in the mid-70’s. A perfect fusion of traditional theory, body-mind science, taoism, native american philosophy and more, Hakomi is a synthesis of philosophies, techniques, and approaches that has “its own unique artistry, form, and organic process.”
Hakomi is grounded in the five guiding principles of Mindfulness, Non-violence, Unity, Organicity and Mind-body Integration. Mindfulness implies the open and non-judgmental observance of the self. In studying our personal organization around a particular problem, we use mindfulness to discover the underlying emotional and historical aspects. The principle of on-violence requires that not only will the client be kept safe as they process deep material, but that any self-violence will be attended to and transformed. Unity speaks to the understanding that all living beings are essential to one another and all parts of the self or self-experiences are important and included/connected. Organicity allows for and reflects the understanding that with safety and mindfulness a climate is created that allows for the emergence of the organic Self and give room for the real self to move, speak and express it’s deepest needs. Mind-Body Integration acknowledges that the body is as essential as the mind in the transformation of traumatic and emotional wounding.
In the Hakomi process, the therapist pays close attention, not only to the content of the client’s story, but to the body experience as well. Clients learn to study, in mindfulness, their experience whether it is a certain body sensation, movement, thought or emotion that arises as an avenue of deepening into the full meaning of an experience. Tracking closely, the therapist watches for indications of safety and depth, guiding and/or following the client’s focus as deeper experience/insight emerges and clarifies itself. Together, client and therapist discover what the body knows or remembers about the origins of the issue about which the client is curious. Including the body, they work together to identify and provide the missing experience and bring the self back to wholeness, new perspective and possibility.