When you hear the word “therapy,” you might think of a stark, clinical space where your practitioner asks you about your emotions, interrupting only to say, “And how does that make you feel?”
Hakomi Somatic Psychotherapy aims to be anything but that. In this unique approach to mental health care, practitioners use methods like mindfulness and consensual touch to support their clients’ holistic healing.
While many people are unfamiliar with Hakomi, it holds powerful healing potential for people with a wide variety of different issues. Learning more about this method can help you get a sense of whether it’s the right fit for you.
How does Hakomi Somatic Psychotherapy work?
Hakomi Somatic Psychotherapy, also referred to as simply “Hakomi,” was first developed in the 1970s by therapist Ron Kurtz. Unlike many more popularized forms of psychotherapy, Hakomi integrates traditional Eastern healing practices as well.
One of the main goals of Hakomi is to help clients embrace uncomfortable emotions as an inevitable part of the human experience. By learning how to be with these sensations rather than trying to push them away, people can experience greater peace, acceptance, and overall well-being.
Hakomi has five guiding principles that define the approach.
Mindfulness. The concept of mindfulness refers to observing their thoughts, feelings, and actions from a nonjudgmental perspective. This practice can help us separate our core selves from our struggles and stressors.
Non-violence. It can be tempting to villainize certain parts of ourselves that we see as contributing to our suffering. However, the principle of non-violence encourages us to have compassion for ourselves and view these defenses as the protective strategies they are.
Body-mind integration. Hakomi takes a holistic approach and sees the body, mind, and spirit as inextricably linked. Your practitioner will help you explore the mind-body connection using a variety of different methods.
Unity. This principle challenges us to view ourselves as part of a larger whole. We have multiple parts that make up our Selves, and we’re also part of a family, community, and the human race at large. Exploring these different systems and relationships is a key part of Hakomi Somatic Psychotherapy.
Organicity. Hakomi practitioners believe in each person’s innate wholeness, inner wisdom, and ability to heal. Because of this, practitioners follow their clients’ lead instead of imposing their own beliefs and goals.
By following these principles, your practitioner can help you find true healing.
What happens in a Hakomi session?
While your sessions will be tailored to your unique situation, Hakomi Somatic Psychotherapy typically consists of four components;
Contact. In the contact phase, you and your practitioner will work to co-create a safe, welcoming environment. This is an essential part of Hakomi as you need to feel comfortable with your practitioner in order to effectively engage in your healing journey together.
Accessing. From here, your practitioner will help you access your internal experience. This typically involves the use of mindfulness methods to help uncover feelings as well as unconscious beliefs.
Processing. As the name suggests, the processing phase involves processing the feelings and beliefs that arise during the accessing stage. You’ll work with your practitioner to evaluate whether these beliefs are true and draw on your inner wisdom to gain insight and understanding.
Integration. Finally, you’ll make sense of (integrate) what you learned in the earlier phases and discover how this information can be applied in your life outside of the session.
Remember, your Hakomi practitioner will guide you through each of these steps in a way that works for you.
Who is Hakomi Somatic Psychotherapy for?
Hakomi isn’t designed for one specific issue, situation, or type of person. People of all backgrounds can benefit from this holistic approach.
Hakomi may be an especially good fit for you if you identify with any of the following.
Trauma survivors. Traumatic experiences can fundamentally shift how we view ourselves and the world around us. Working with a Hakomi practitioner can help you process these underlying beliefs and find new discoveries.
People with attachment issues. Exploring attachment issues is often a major part of Hakomi Somatic Psychotherapy. You’ll discover how your early relationships with caregivers have shaped your relationship with yourself and others.
Relationship issues. On a similar note, Hakomi can also be used to help couples navigate relationship issues–particularly those that stem from attachment issues in one or both parties.
People seeking spiritual growth. Since Hakomi focuses on the relationship between self, others, and the world at large, it may be of particular interest to those seeking spiritual growth.
Anyone looking to improve their well-being. I’m a firm believer that everyone can benefit from learning more about themselves. If you’re interested in a unique, holistic way to do so, consider Hakomi.
If you’re interested in Hakomi but are unsure if it’s the right fit for you, feel free to reach out to me directly.
How can Hakomi help?
Hakomi Somatic Psychotherapy has numerous benefits for people with mental health issues, relationship challenges, unresolved trauma, and more. Here are just a few of the ways in which it can help.
Increased awareness of the mind-body connection. Since Hakomi focuses on building mindfulness skills, you’ll leave with a greater sense of your emotions, bodily sensations, and the relationship between the two.
Greater self-acceptance. Your Hakomi practitioner will help you turn toward difficult feelings and break through negative beliefs. This can help grow your confidence and self-esteem.
Spiritual growth. In Hakomi Somatic Psychotherapy, you’ll discover how you’re connected to systems much larger than yourself, which can contribute to your spiritual growth.
Hakomi has many other potential benefits. You’ll uncover plenty of your own during your healing journey.
Explore the holistic healing power of Hakomi Somatic Psychotherapy.
If you’re ready to discover a new approach to emotional and spiritual growth, consider Hakomi Somatic Psychotherapy. As an emotional wellness practitioner, I use this method (and several others) to help people reach a deeper layer of healing.
Together, we’ll process the experiences that keep you stuck and discover new perspectives that can help you find more peace, self-acceptance, and connection.