Hakomi psychotherapy

What is Hakomi?

Hakomi Psychotherapy and Mindfulness is like Buddhism in action. Hakomi is a psychotherapy blending aspects of eastern philosophy and western psychology. The principles of this type of psychotherapy are organicity, unity, nonviolence, mind-body holism and mindfulness.

  • Organicity: The organicity principle holds the belief that all humans have within us an intrinsic urge to heal and grow, thrive and blossom. This is happening without any effort on our part.
  • Unity: Belief in the principle of unity encourages the faith in the connectedness and equality of all human beings.
  • Non-violence: The use of a principle of non-violence is accepting that all of us have our own pace of growth healing and discovery and this is respected and honoured.
  • Mind body holism: This links the emotional with the physical person. The information provided by the sensations of the body, along with listening to thoughts, feelings, memories and images, make up a person’s experience. In a Hakomi session all of these aspects make up the wisdom of any person’s inner experience, and therefore are paid close attention to.
  • Mindfulness: This is used here as both a principle, of slowing down thinking and actions, and as an experience, in which the therapist guides the process of the therapy session into a shared meditative state of mind, bringing awareness to whatever is being experienced. The purpose of this mindful, relaxed and yet alert state of mind is to carefully observe, without judgement or censoring, and with acceptance to whatever experience might be occurring at the time. Once we know what we are doing, it is a lot easier to make a decision to do something different.

How does Hakomi work?

Hakomi works well for those who are curious to learn more about their inner worlds, who are able to stand to one side, as it were, while they watch for what comes up in a particularly open state of mind. This relaxed yet alert way of paying attention to one’s own being can help develop sufficient space outside a person’s emotional world, and develop a space which can help to manage emotions and thoughts that otherwise might be overwhelming.

This reflective space can help when deciding what to do with these feelings and thoughts, throwing up information about where they came from in the first place, and whether updating these patterns might be a useful thing to consider. Core beliefs about the world and one’s place in it are laid down in childhood and not necessarily updated or currently relevant. A mindful space, sitting with another person who acts as guide, can be a safe place to attend to such concerns.

The Hakomi way of working feels slow, calm, respectful and sometimes, surprising. It’s not so much about a conversation or even a dialogue, but more of a reported and shared reverie, client and therapist, with curiosity for what makes up one’s inner world.

Find a Therapist

Penny received her Hakomi training in Perth, Australia and has been incorporating Hakomi into her psychotherapeutic work since 2008. For more information or to arrange an appointment please contact Penny Kennett.