A Description of HAKOMI Approach and Principles
Excerpts From Hakomi Institute brochure

          Hakomi is a Hopi Indian word meaning, "How do you stand in relation to these many realms," which is their way of saying, "who are you?" The therapy was originated by Ron Kurtz, author of THE BODY REVEALS with Hector Prestera, and BODY-CENTERED PSYCHOTHERAPY, THE HAKOMI METHOD.
          A quote from a brochure says, "like the art of Aikido, Hakomi offers no resistance, but gently follows the flow of the client's energy to the completion of its momentum. More of a dance than a contest, this cooperative exploration of the client's core belief structures is conducted in an environment of safety and acceptance. The aim for the therapist is to help the client arrive at a state of mindfulness in which the tow of them can explore those formative, often self-limiting beliefs, which are locked in the body, and to begin experimenting with more creative options."
          From Riane Eisler, author of THE CHALICE AND THE BLADE: "I find [Hakomi method of psychotherapy] a beautiful expression of the partership model: A way of healing that recognizes not only the essential partnership between body and mind, but between therapist and client."

Defining characteristics of Hakomi
Excerpts From Hakomi Institute brochure; braketed notes [ ] are by Chris Pringer

          The Five Principles of Hakomi (embodied as the therapist's attitude) are Unity, Body/Mind/Spirit Wholism, Organicity, Non-Violence (Change w/o Force), and Presence & Mindfulness [ref: somatic therapy]. It incorporates non-doing [reference: zen] as a mojor methodological principle and trusts in every individual's inner wisdom and power for self-healing. Special attention is paid to body/mind unity, support of client's resistance, and encouragement of respect for and awareness of inner processes. Hakomi is based on the idea that a living system (person) will spontaneously reorganize toward health and wholeness when enough of the right kind of information is available. ["information" here includes far more than what we normally would interpret that to mean. It includes that which the body-mind may "read" as information via it's own, somatic experience, body-memory, current and/or newly recovered] The meaning of physical experience, as embedded in the body (in the form of tension, lack of sensate awareness, habitual gestures, posture, movement, and structural patterns), remains unconscious until we translate these non-verbal habits into words, bringing the unconscious to the conscious. [And yet, not all such information can be put into words, certainly not immediately, but the identifying of "the something" that is felt in a feeling or emotional context can help the recipient/client/patient to form identifiers for that 'information,' making it more recognizable afterwards, towards somatic healing, .] The therapist's job becomes one of helping information about our core material (how we are organized) to become available. We assist in establishment of mindfulness, evoking of experience, process, transformation, integration, and completion.

Ron Kurtz, Daniel Siegel, John Briere, and by Mary Morgan On Memory
Excerpts from "Neuroscience and Psychotherapy" by Marilyn Morgan, SRN, B.A., MNZAP
Marilyn Morgan is a master teacher and Certified Hakomi Trainer who has a special interest in the new and exciting developments
in interpersonal neurobiology. In this article she introduces a number of currently relevant advances in neuroscience (2006)
         "Many people who have had traumatic childhoods have problems with memory. They sometimes can’t consciously remember most of childhood, yet unwanted feelings and images from childhood experiences may intrude. It is not uncommon to forget a lot of details in daily life as an adult; appointments, where one has put car keys, phone numbers and so on.
         "Ron Kurtz, founder of Hakomi, (Kurtz, 1990), described the child as `the mapmaker’. Neuroscience emphasizes that the connections formed within the brain are experiencedependent. A person is born with approximately 100 billion neurons. If these nerve cells were placed end-to-end they would stretch two million miles. There are many nerve connections already in place at birth, the being brain was hard-wired to seek connection with caregivers, and basic bodily functions proceed. However, the major growth of neurons and the wiring of neuronal circuits are yet to take place depending on experiences to come. Eventually each nerve cell is likely to have 10,000 connections.
         "Daniel Siegel describes the brain as an anticipatory machine. The infant’s, and child’s, interactions with her world are imprinted in her brain circuitry. She is `wired up’ for a particular world. Her brain is coded with all kinds of memory, and most of the early memory will be unconscious. However, this memory will deeply affect later emotions, behaviour patterns, beliefs, and abilities to process information. In Hakomi we call this core material, and the shaping of character styles. Other models describe ‘deep cognitive structures’, ‘schemata’, ‘unfinished business’, or sometimes ‘the inner child’. [1999]
         "When the parent to whom the child goes for comfort and mirroring is also a source of fear this creates massive neural disorganization. Trauma and abuse in the young child has a serious impact on brain structure and function. Those parts of the brain undergoing critical growth at the time of the trauma will be particularly affected. This child is likely to have a smaller brain overall, fewer fibres in the corpus callosum connecting the left and right hemispheres, a smaller hippocampus, and poor development of prefrontal lobe areas. (Teicher, 2002)"

         "Implicit memory ...is generally unconscious, and there is not the sense of ‘remembering’. Things feel as if they are happening now, in the present. Implicit memory requires no attention to be encoded. There are different kinds of implicit memory: Procedural memory is the patterns of behaviour and habits we learn. It is mediated by the cerebellum and striatum.
         Emotional memory is related to the significance of events, and whether they feel good or bad. This is mediated by the right hemisphere, the amygdala and basal ganglia. There is sensorimotor memory, consisting of body sensations, posture and body responses. Perceptual memory is implicit, as are our mental schema and core beliefs.
         "John Briere, a traumatologist, describes deep cognitive structures that are narrative in nature, but held in a nonconscious way because when these are activated they trigger associated emotional responses that are distressing to the person.(Briere, 2001) These deep cognitive structures may be triggered by events that bear some similarity to the original memories. Implicit memories do not feel like `memories’ as they have a here and now quality to them, and `blend’ with current reality. Distressing emotional or traumatic memories are not consolidated, or resolved, and are therefore not integrated into a coherent narrative. Memory ‘stacks’
         "The emotional brain circuitry stores memory in a simple way, almost like ‘stacks’ of similar circuits. When a current event has a particular flavour then the whole ‘stack’, going back to early events is activated. The feelings and behaviours are generated, often very quickly and powerfully. Because emotional memory is always in the ‘now’, the old perceptions, feelings and behaviours become blended with the current situation." [For the sake of context with the rest of this material, I would like to qualify that first sentence, if I may, to say "in a simple way with regard to organizing for similar circuits..." -Chris Pringer]

The above was mirrored from "Approaches & Methodologies for Body-Mind Integration"
Suggestions & Resources for Considering Receiving the work as well as for Vocational Considerations.



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