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What is Hakomi Therapy?

By: Art Phipps, RCC (BCSMSSA Individual and Group Therapist)

Briefly: Mindfulness-based, Body-oriented (somatic), Experiential

Related to: Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (Ogden), Focusing (Gendlin), Movement Practices (Feldenkrais, Psychodrama)

In Depth: The Hakomi Method was created in the 1970s by founder Ron Kurtz. It continues to be taught around the world through the Hakomi Institute (hakomiinstitute.com) and the Hakomi Education Network (hakomieducationnetwork.org) and through the teachings of Pat Ogden and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy.

Essentially the work flows in three phases. First, therapist and client need to connect and form a therapeutic relationship. This relationship is one of mutual appreciation, trust, safety, non-judgment and compassion. Secondly, and only once there is enough of a therapeutic relationship, the therapist and client can move into a phase of experimentation. Here client and therapist follow their curiousity to discover what potential core beliefs the client holds about themselves and the world around them. This phase of the method may involve the use of body awareness, movement, silence, visualization and other forms of making contact with early learned beliefs which continue to impact how the client situates themselves in the world around them. All of us have beliefs about the world around us and many of them are very helpful and useful, however some of these beliefs may be limiting. In the third phase of Hakomi we aim to work with these limiting beliefs, bringing them into awareness where they can be considered more consciously, rather than operating automatically, outside of our awareness as they have for so many years. We continue to work mindfully and in the present moment, creating experiences for the client to integrate a missed experience, resolve painful experiences, grieve losses, and create a greater sense of wholeness within themselves.

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