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  • Writer's pictureAlex W

Finding answers in assisted self-study

Updated: Nov 24, 2019

Do you ever find yourself in positions and situations you intentionally attempted to avoid and question "how did I get here"? This happens to me far too often. Speaking with Hakomi therapists, reading material about the modality, and studying the material, I've found unconscious beliefs may have myself leading me to experiences I subconsciously believe to be appropriate. What is Hakomi?

On a surface level: Hakomi was developed by Ron Kurtz, a systems engineer with pursuits in spirituality. The word Hakomi comes from Hopi Indian language and can translate to: How do you stand in relation to these many realms?

Hakomi gently and safely encourages clients to use the power of present emotional and somatic experience to explore the unconscious models of reality that dictate how they live their lives and engage in relationships. It relies on a form of body-based mindfulness as a primary tool to explore the implicit beliefs that organize life experiences and address attachment injuries that shape our emotional realities.

Hakomi is not about talking out problems. There isn't long, speculative conversations about troubles or history. This method is designed to assist in studying the processes which automatically create and maintain the person that has become. It is a method of assisted self-study. It requires that one enter into short periods of time where they become calm and centered enough to observe their own reactions, as if they were observing the behavior of another person, a state called mindfulness. The therapist assists the self-study by creating “little experiments” while the client is in mindfulness. These experiments are always nonviolent and basically are designed to evoke reactions that will be reflections of the habits and beliefs that make one who they are. The implicit beliefs and relationship habits with which one meets the world automatically shape their present behavior. Aspects of their behavior, the aspects that reflect their deepest beliefs, are what the therapist uses to create the experiments.”

The process works best: (1) if one can follow and report on their present experience; (2) if they're able to get into a calm inward focused state and are relaxed enough to allow reactions; (3) if they're willing to experience and report on some painful feelings and speak about them; and (4) if they have the courage and be open and honest about their experience. That courage will be their greatest ally.

They method has been very helpful to me understand my background and how I show up today as a husband, father, friend, and individual. I plan to pursue Hakomi further for both personal and professional growth. What methods and activities have helped you grow most?

[The description of the Hakomi Method can be found in: Hakomi Mindfulness-Centered Somatic Psychotherapy: A Comprehensive Guide to Theory and Practice. Pg 22 Halko Weiss, Greg Johanson, Lorena Monda. W. W. Norton & Company, May 25, 2015


The Essential Method by Ron Kurtz. Pg 3-4,+Paper.pdf]

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