Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy

Understanding the basic concepts
Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy is a process of self-discovery.

The very basics of Hakomi

The meaning of Hakomi, a word from the Hopi language, means who are you and where do you stand in relation to the realms?

Simply put, Hakomi can be described as a gentle unfolding of the soul. It is a process of Self study designed to harness and use present-moment awareness.  The Hakomi method contains many mindfulness-based tools and techniques that are designed to expand our understanding of who we are in order that we may become more of who we wish to be. 

Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy is grounded in five very important principles - these are not unique to Hakomi and are in fact many thousands of years old.  The principles provide a loving and compassionate framework from which the therapeutic works unfolds.

The principles are Mindfulness, Organicity, Unity, Non-Violence, Holism and they guide the process and use of all Hakomi techniques and skills to ensure client and therapist are working collaboratively and effectively.  For a full explanation of what each principle means please visit the Hakomi New Zealand website

A bi-cultural interpretation of the principles would suggest Karakia, Waiata as mindfulness, Papatuanuku as Organicity, Tangatawhenua, whanau and hapu as Unity, Tikanga and reciprocity as Non-Violence and WaimaTanga as Holism.  This interpretation offered by the late Jan Mihaere Hikawai during the sixth NZ Hakomi training.


Why we use Hakomi to help clients

Hakomi is a gentle yet effective method of self-study.  It is a synthesis of many effective modalities, one of Sheree's favourites being an offering from Systems theory that describes the Self as an internal system that is influenced by the external systems it lives, loves and works from within.

This speaks to a Maori model of health and wellbeing, Whare Tapa Wha, or The Four Cornerstones, which has been a significant influence in Sheree's personal life, and later informing her professional life. Hakomi is a great match with this model of wellbeing and understanding.  Indigenous to New Zealand, Hakomi and her understanding of Whare Tapa Wha grounds Sheree's work in nature and spirit.

The Hakomi method is thorough and effective, it is based on observable experience unfolding in the present moment, so is respectful, it is collaborative, unfolding according to the clients pace and experience, yet guided by a professional who works in mindful awareness themselves.

It's productive

It's faster than talk therapy and works with unconscious processes by accessing the body's natural wisdom.

Hakomi skills and techniques are used to bring clients awareness to experience that is observable yet which we may be unfamiliar with or unaware of.

This information then becomes available to be worked with, and because the material belongs with the client, the client is an active participant in determining the outcome and direction of therapy.

It's effective

Hakomi works with neurology and biology to create sustainable change: research shows detectable changes in brain structures and function after 8 weeks of regular mindfulness practise.  Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy has been a leader in mindful somatics in New Zealand for over 30 years.

Where can I find out more about Hakomi?

Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy is offered around the world, although the method originated in Boulder, Colorado many years ago.

For information on what's available in New Zealand, I encourage you to visit www.hakomi.co.nz for more information on local workshops and training.

Hakomi Australia Association has a new website which invites your interest www.hakomi.org.au

You can also find out more by visiting hakomiinstitute.com which explains the background behind the 30+ year old Hakomi concept.

A wikipedia page on Hakomi en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hakomi has some sound basic information.

..the master acts without doing anything
and teaches without saying anything.
Things arise and she lets them come;
things disappear and she lets them go.
Mitchell in Grace Unfolding by Greg Johanson and Ron Kurtz