The Importance of the Relationship in Therapeutic Change
Human beings can indeed help other humans to change. The most important way we do that is through the quality of our relationships. Studies have shown that it is not the techniques used in therapy but the therapist-client relationship which has the greatest effect on a client’s ability to change. Hakomi therapists learn to develop an exquisite sensitivity and attunement to others, and to convey this understanding to their clients. This empathy and responsiveness helps to create a deep sense of safety and connection, and facilitates the effectiveness of the therapy. Hakomi’s highly innovative techniques and the self-development of the therapist are the core of the training.
Hakomi combines the mindfulness and non-violence of Eastern spiritual traditions with a unique, highly effective Western methodology. Using the Buddhist principles of mindfulness and gentle curiosity, the Hakomi therapist creates an atmosphere of safety for deep processing that can result in increased self-awareness, a sense of personal empowerment and a richer appreciation for life. By going slowly and gently protecting the spirit, the client’s defenses can be willingly yielded and examined, rather than confronted or overpowered.
The body as a powerful gateway to change
Hakomi is a body-centered, somatic psychotherapy. The body is experienced as a door that can be opened to reveal the whole character and belief system of the individual. The body’s structures and habitual patterns become a powerful access route to unconscious core material. Hakomi therapists are trained to track nuances of voice and body language in order to tune into the present experience of the client, thus gaining a greater understanding with more efficiency and depth than most “talk” therapies. The Hakomi Method allows the hidden beliefs which shape our lives and relationships to emerge safely into consciousness. Once conscious, they can be directly experienced and re-evaluated, and new dimensions of awareness can be integrated.
Two-Year Professional Skills Training
OFFICIAL START DATE: June 1, 2018
In Hakomi training, students learn to develop an exquisite sensitivity and attunement to others, and to convey this understanding. This empathy and responsiveness helps to create a deep sense of safety and connection, and facilitates the effectiveness of the therapy. The self-development of the therapist coupled with Hakomi’s highly innovative techniques together form the core of the training. Using the Buddhist principles of mindfulness and gentle curiosity, the Hakomi therapist creates an atmosphere of safety for deep processing that helps the client’s defences to be willingly yielded and examined, rather than confronted or overpowered. The relief and empowerment of increased self-awareness and freedom provides the client with a sense of personal empowerment and a richer appreciation for life.
Curriculum for Year 1 Includes:
- The Hakomi Principles and how to embody them
- The body as map of the psyche
- Developing the healing relationship
- Character theory and developmental issues
- Working with the Child State of Consciousness, core issues, and emotional release
- Ethics and right use of power
- Resolving Trauma using Hakomi and other Somatic Techniques
- The precise use of touch
- Specific therapeutic techniques for eliciting information, awareness, and healing through the body
- Jumping out of the system—transference and counter-transference
- Barriers to Nourishment, clarity, and completion
- How neurobiology is shaped by past wounds and how therapy can impact brain structure in a positive way
In the later stages of training, special attention is paid to each therapist’s personal character and style to help them fine tune their own creative, individual approach. Emphasis is on increasing fluency, refining skills, developing artistry, and studying advanced character strategy. Hakomi is an excellent base for any therapeutic modality and so we support students in finding their own style and creativity in the unique application of the work.
Our professional skills training program takes place over the course of twenty weekends. The weekends are spaced out once per month in order to allow time in between for integration of the learning as well as practice of the techniques with your clients and fellow students. The first ten weekends introduce the arc of the Hakomi process as well as the techniques used; the following ten weekends deepen the learning through an exploration of Character and developmental injuries as well as the ethical underpinnings of the Hakomi method.
Learning occurs through a combination of lecture, practice, and deeply experiential work. Hakomi trainings focus on expanding the practitioner’s range of skills and abilities while also creating a safe container in which to explore and more fully understand ourselves as therapists and as individuals.
“When you can assist someone, spontaneously, by your presence alone, to feel worthy and welcome, then you have achieved the personhood of a therapist”
– Ron Kurtz, founder of Hakomi Therapy