Do you ever feel things “in your bones” or rely on your inner certainty to “trust your gut”? These phrases, like many others, allude to “body memory” – the way that information & experiences are stored throughout our nervous system, not just in our brains. Hakomi is a body-centered (somatic) approach to therapy that uses mindfulness to explore and heal. Hakomi is an experiential approach; it pursues not only insight and information, but can also provide new experiences which may have been missing at key points in our development. By actually feeling the sensations of those missing experiences in therapy, we can start to believe in new possibilities and learn to integrate a new sense of wholeness into our lives and beliefs.
Part of the transformational power of Hakomi derives from the therapeutic application of the principles which form its foundation:
- Unity- everything is connected, interdependent, & interactive; outside events impact us; something which impacts part of us impacts the whole; humanity links all people.
- Organicity- each living system (individual or group) has an innate self-regulation which always seeks to sustain the system and to organize in a more self-supportive way.
- Mindfulness- a non-judgmental, compassionate state of consciousness can allow us witness, study, and shift our own beliefs and behaviors.
- Non-Violence- the integrity of each individual must be respected, including methods of organization; healing cannot occur through judgment or force.
- Mind-Body Holism- each aspect of our self may have its own distinct organicity, yet there is a unifying wholeness that unites all aspects of ourselves.
- Truth- honesty and authenticity are integral to healing, including owning our mistakes, not making false promises, and curiosity about new possibilities (distinguishing between truth and belief).
- Mutability- change is an inherent and immutable aspect of reality; effective therapy can help guide this change into directions a client finds healing.
Hakomi is a unique approach which draws on both ancient traditions and the most current research about neuroplasticity and brain physiology. Hakomi therapy sessions differ from standard “talk” therapy in that much of the time is spent in mindfulness, a state not unlike meditation. From that neutral, compassionate, consciousness a client can explore and learn about their own organizing methods and beliefs; and can then chose to heal any wounds or self-limiting beliefs. A common saying in Hakomi circles is “to go deep, go slow”. In mindfulness we can give time and space to the nuances of your experience, and then bring understanding, compassion, and healing in the same level of detail. This approach can make lasting changes in our lives and our sense of self; and can help etablish new depths of happiness.
Cal became a Certified Hakomi Therapist (CHT) in June 2018. Status as a Certified Hakomi Therapist means Cal is recognized by the international Hakomi Institute as being fully competent in the Hakomi Method.
Links related to Hakomi:
- The Hakomi Institute is the original and most extensive organization providing training and information on Hakomi Experiential Psychotherapy worldwide. Their website provides in-depth info about Hakomi, including an international Directory of Practitioners, a Calendar of Workshops and Trainings with links to Hakomi organizations internationally, an online Professional Journal, and many other resources.
- The Hakomi Institute of California is affiliated with the Hakomi Institute based in Boulder (above) and other Hakomi Institutes around the world, and is an independent, collectively run organization with a focus on providing trainings throughout CA and beyond. A list of their currently available trainings can be found here.
- Part of the transformational power of Hakomi derives from the powerful principles which form its foundation: Unity; Organicity; Mindfulness; Non-Violence; and Mind-Body Holism. Two newer principles that have become incorporated into the method are Truth and Mutability. The Original 5 principles are explained int his article.