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Hakomi is a depth psychology which assists you to explore who you are. It was developed by Ron Kurtz in the mid 1970s as the culmination of his previous study in psychology, science and philosophy. The method is now referred to as Hakomi Integrative Psychology indicating the integrative nature of the work. Unlike many other branches of psychology which focus on the mind, Hakomi works with the body, emotions, movement, postures, and gestures as well as thoughts, images, memories, and dreams. It was previously called Body-centred psychotherapy to indicate the focus on the body. The method does not involve bodywork or any attempt to manipulate or change the body; it uses the body as a way of accessing aspects of us which are outside our awareness or conscious mind. This is one of its greatest strengths because the body can be a source of information that is normally unavailable to us. Work that may take months or even years in more traditional talking therapies can frequently be done in less time. Depth psychological approaches do take time because patterns developed in childhood are not changed easily. Hakomi can be used for Brief therapy from one to ten sessions or more, but is generally a psychotherapy designed for deeper exploration of who we are.
Ron has been influenced by modern theories and therapies as well as the traditional practices of Buddhism and Taoism. The Taoist concept of going with the grain and the gentleness, compassion and mindfulness of Buddhism are integral to the practice of Hakomi. Being a scientist, Ron has incorporated aspects of systems theory and information theory. He has also drawn on Reichian work, Bioenergetics, Gestalt, Psychomotor, Feldenkrais, Structural Bodywork, Eriksonian Hypnosis, Focussing, and Neurolinguistic Programming.
Pat Ogden, an apprentice of Ron Kurtz and a student of various body therapies, became intrigued by her clients' pervasive dissociation from the body, which resulted in a variety of psychological issues. At that time, most approaches separated somatic therapy from psychotherapy. Pat Ogden wanted to blend the two approaches into a more effective tool for healing mind-body dissociation and thereby alleviating the ensuing psychological problems. With her private practice as her laboratory, and with Ron Kurtz and her colleague Bill Bowen as consultants, she worked to join body therapy with the Hakomi Method, and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy was born.
In Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, the body is viewed as a living source of intelligence, information and change. The body, its sensations, and direct, sensory experience are referenced throughout the therapy process. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is based on and committed to principles of mindfulness, non-violence, organicity, unity, and mind/body holism. By proceeding slowly, gently, and non-violently, an atmosphere of safety is created in which the client's defences can be examined and willingly yielded, rather than confronted and overpowered. New resources, especially somatic resources, can then be developed.
You can read more about Hakomi in the following articles:
- Click here to continue reading about Hakomi Integrative Psychology
- Click here to continue reading about Sensorimotor Psychotherapy
- Click here to read Mindful Self-Observation by Nina Cherry
- Click here to read Hakomi and the Heart and Soul of Change by Rosemary McIndoe