May 30, 2014 BY

Hakomi Therapy

hakomiHakomi Therapy

Wendy Ball, Sunday June 29 at 5:30 PM

Shenendewhowa Adult CommunityCenter,       6 Clifton Common Court, Clifton Park, NY

When Ron Kurtz was looking for a name for his unique therapy approach he had a dream in which he saw the word Hakomi.  Searching for the word he found that it come from the Hope language and means:  Who am I in these many realms?  It captured the essence of his therapy and became its name.

The Hakomi Method integrates several time honored spiritual practices with skills common to body work, somatic or body-centered therapy, and more recently the neurobiologically informed therapy approaches that seek effective response to early childhood neglect and trauma and resulting attachment issues.  Hakomi is uniquely known for  creating strategies known as “little experiments,”  designed to elicit self awareness on all levels:  physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.  Resistance, rather than being challenged, is met with gentle contact, a physical, verbal or gestural touch that says:  “I see you,”  and it’s O.K.   As one brings an attitude of loving presence to deep listening, an awareness emerges of what’s missing for an experience of self that is whole and positive.  Support to experience wholeness through acceptance, worth, acknowledgment, contact and connection are provided.

Hakomi was first developed in Ron Kurtz’s private therapy practice 40 years ago in Albany NY.  It became one of the first body-centered therapies, supporting clients to tune in to posture, gestures, sensations, urges, facial expressions; to listen deeply and allow meaning to emerge.  It was also one of the first therapies to cultivate mindfulness:  the use of an open, curious, non-judgmental state of mind, in both therapist and client.  The therapist creates an atmosphere of unconditional acceptance in which they simply bring attention to what they see and find ways to support the clients to notice, to acknowledge their own defenses which then soften and allow contact with what lies beneath.  The Hakomi Method quickly moves beyond words to felt sense and embodied meaning.  Because of this it is an excellent approach for accessing the imprint of early neglect and trauma which is stored as images, sensations and impulses and is beyond the reach of words.  The Hakomi Method can often assist those with chronic pain, somatic disorders and other trauma-based disorders in ways that talk-therapy cannot.

Participants in the Hakomi Method often emerge from a piece of work feeling as though they have been immersed in sacred activity.  In the decade before his death Ron Kurtz found himself drawn to greater and greater emphasis on the practices of Loving Presence and Mindfulness.  He felt that these two practices alone could create a powerful healing environment in which one seeks to see in the other what is inspiring,  attunes to the other with simple open curiosity, and helps catalyse in the other the experience of these healing qualities.  In the end he saw the Hakomi Method as a template for healing relationship which can be practiced anywhere:  at home with family and friends, at work, and in ones community.  The Hakomi method has extended beyond an approach to therapy and is currently integrated into couples work, coaching, organizational development and community organizing.  It is often done in small groups because it is an approach that is all about enhanced connection with self that comes through nourishing connection with others.

Come spend an evening learning more about Hakomi Therapy from Wendy Ball who holds a degree in Counseling at McGill University and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor.   Wendy  earned certifications in both EMDR and Hakomi therapies, and is a graduate of the Collaborative Leadership Institute’s Transformational Coaching Program and Professional Coaching Apprenticeship.  She also incorporates powerful shamanic techniques into her therapies.


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