Hakomi Method

The Hakomi Method, developed by Ron Kurtz in the late 1970s, is an innovative approach to psychotherapy that combines Western psychology with Eastern philosophical principles, particularly mindfulness. It is a body-centered, or somatic, therapy that emphasizes the role of bodily experiences in the psychological healing process. Hakomi is rooted in the idea that much of our psychological makeup—such as our habits, memories, and emotions—is not only mentally but also physically encoded in our bodies. By fostering mindfulness and exploring the body’s knowledge, the Hakomi Method aims to uncover core beliefs and experiences that shape an individual’s reality, facilitating deep change and healing.

Understanding the Hakomi Method

The Hakomi Method is founded on five principles: mindfulness, nonviolence, unity, organicity, and mind-body integration. It views individuals as self-organizing systems, organized around core memories, beliefs, and images that often operate outside of conscious awareness. Through mindfulness, the Hakomi Method engages these core materials, offering insights and opportunities for transformation and healing.

Core Principles of the Hakomi Method

  • Mindfulness: Utilized as a tool for self-study, mindfulness allows individuals to observe their internal experiences with nonjudgmental awareness.
  • Nonviolence: Approaches the individual’s psyche with gentleness, emphasizing compassion and cooperation over force or confrontation.
  • Unity: Recognizes the interconnection of all aspects of the individual and their environment, promoting integration and wholeness.
  • Organicity: Assumes that each individual has an innate wisdom and tendency toward growth and healing, and that therapy should follow this natural unfolding.
  • Mind-Body Integration: Acknowledges the inseparability of mental and physical experiences, using bodily sensations and movements as entry points to explore and resolve psychological issues.

Methodologies in the Hakomi Method

The Hakomi Method employs a range of techniques designed to deepen self-awareness and facilitate healing, including:

Experiments in Mindfulness

Involves small, safe experiments conducted in therapy sessions to elicit and explore unconscious material, using mindfulness to observe the ensuing experiences and reactions.

Nonverbal Cues

Pays close attention to bodily expressions and nonverbal cues as manifestations of inner experiences, using them as gateways to core psychological material.

Somatic Techniques

Utilizes touch (with consent) and movement to explore and shift patterns held in the body, supporting emotional release and integration.

Loving Presence

The therapist adopts an attitude of empathy, acceptance, and compassion, creating a safe and nurturing space for the client to explore deep vulnerabilities.

Benefits and Application

The Hakomi Method is effective for a variety of psychological issues, including anxiety, depression, trauma, and interpersonal difficulties. Benefits include:

  • Increased Self-Awareness: Deepens understanding of oneself, including unconscious beliefs and patterns.
  • Emotional Healing: Facilitates the processing and integration of emotional wounds.
  • Improved Mind-Body Connection: Enhances awareness of the body’s wisdom and its role in emotional health.
  • Enhanced Relationship Skills: Promotes greater empathy and understanding in relationships.

Who Can Benefit from the Hakomi Method?

The Hakomi Method is suitable for individuals seeking a holistic approach to therapy that incorporates mindfulness and body awareness. It is particularly beneficial for those interested in exploring the deep-rooted origins of their psychological issues and who are open to engaging in self-study and experiential learning within a therapeutic context.

Training and Practice

Practitioners of the Hakomi Method are psychotherapists, counselors, and other mental health professionals who have undergone specialized training in the Hakomi Method. Training programs emphasize the development of therapeutic skills that embody the principles of Hakomi, including mindfulness practices, nonviolent communication, and experiential techniques.


The Hakomi Method offers a gentle yet powerful approach to psychotherapy that emphasizes mindfulness, body awareness, and the innate healing capacity of individuals. By integrating mind and body, the Hakomi Method facilitates deep psychological healing and personal growth, supporting individuals in living more consciously and fully.