Method & Principles
The Hakomi Method
According to the Hakomi Method, gestures, posture, facial expressions, and other bodily experiences provide information about a person's core material. This core material can be described as a combination of the images, memories, emotions, and beliefs, even those hidden from awareness, determining a person's individual nature and may also serve to place limits on one's individuality and goals. Through this approach, individuals can eventually develop a clearer understanding of this core material and, with compassionate, gentle assistance from professionals trained in Hakomi, examine, challenge, and ultimately transform any self-defeating beliefs.
The Core Principles
The Hakomi Method is grounded in five principles: mindfulness, organicity, nonviolence, mind-body integration, and unity.
1. Mindfulness refers to a relaxed, alert state of consciousness characterized by a sustained focus of one's attention inward and a heightened awareness of what is happening in the present.
Mindfulness can reduce distraction and quiet the mind, enhancing one’s ability to detect sensations, emotions and thoughts arising in the moment. Unconscious material is typically brought into conscious awareness in this state of mindfulness.
2. Organicity describes individuals as inherently wise living systems capable of self-organization, self-correction, and self-maintenance. According to this premise, each person has an innate capacity to heal, and this capacity includes an inner knowledge of what is needed for healing to occur. The practitioner’s role, then, is to facilitate and support an individual’s natural restorative ability as the individual journeys toward wholeness.
3. Nonviolence implies the cooperation between the practitioner and the person being helped. The practitioner pays close attention to the individual's own innate process and allows it to unfold without interfering.
Defenses are not viewed as obstacles to be broken down forcefully but are recognized for what they are: reactions enabling individuals to manage (whether by containing, minimizing, or avoiding) their emotional experiences. Practitioners offer respect and support instead of challenging defenses, a practice that enables individuals to become better able to work through these defenses.
4. Mind-body integration is the recognition of mind, body, and spirit as entities that continuously interact and influence each other and a person's beliefs about the self, others, and the world. All three systems are believed to manifest what is experienced by the individual at a given point in time. Core beliefs about the self and the world are therefore reflected, not only in one's way of thinking and acting, but in one's physiology and somatic experiences as well.
5.Unity describes the Hakomi view that individuals consist of interdependent parts working together for the overall health of the system. The unity principle also assumes individuals to be both interconnected and interdependent. In a safe setting, individuals can be helped to overcome perceived barriers or power imbalances between the self and others, establishing an atmosphere of loving presence and mutuality.