For New Clients
By Ron Kurtz, Hakomi Founder
If you’re thinking about becoming a client of a Hakomi Practitioner, this short description will acquaint you with the method and what you may experience in a private session.
Here’s What You Need to Know About the Method
Hakomi is based on the idea that much of our everyday suffering is in fact unnecessary and is produced by unconscious beliefs that are no longer relevant, true or necessary. The method is designed to bring such beliefs into consciousness. Hakomi is a method of assisted self-study and discovery. It can bring normally inaccessible mental processes into consciousness gently and efficiently. Once these mental processes (such as beliefs, memories, habits and emotions) are made conscious, they can be examined and modified to provide a more realistic and satisfying way of being. This work of assisted self-discovery requires of clients that they can enter into short periods (a minute or less) of mindfulness. Because of this, clients must be able to become calm and centered enough to observe their own reactions, as if they were observing the automatic behavior of another person.
The Practitioner pays very close attention to your nonverbal behaviors, such as your tone of voice, movements, gestures, posture, facial expressions and micro expressions. By observing these, the Practitioner gets ideas about what unconscious material is controlling your automatic, unconscious behaviors. On the basis of those ideas, the Practitioner creates little experiments, often just a statement, that are done while you are in a mindful state. These little experiments often elicit clear reactions, often emotional ones. These reactions are the links to the unconscious mental processes that create them. When a reaction is evoked, moments later, memories, beliefs and associations emerge which will help you make sense of the reaction. Once beliefs and memories are in consciousness, they are examined and modified.
What to Expect
This method is not about talking out your problems. It won’t be a long, speculative conversation about your troubles or your emotional history. It is our belief that your emotional history, the part of it that has created the unconscious beliefs and habits with which you meet the world, is operating right now. Your history is written in the way you do things every minute. It is expressed by your style and your defining characteristics. So, you can expect that the therapist will be looking and listening for these and will bring them to your attention as part of setting up the little experiments in mindfulness that are the core of the work.
The Practitioner will also be very warm and kind and patient. The vulnerability that mindfulness entails, the openness to unconscious material that’s needed, all require a very safe environment, which needs a particularly caring, non-judgmental person. You can expect your therapist to be exactly that.
You can also expect the work to bring up intense emotions at times. At those moments, your therapist will work to contain the process, provide comfort and help you understand what’s happening.
Because the method is based on this very direct route to unconscious material (evocative experiments in mindfulness), it is faster than most other methods. It works very directly with nonverbal expressions and does not spend a lot of time in conversation, analyzing and explaining. Something significant usually happens every session.
There are many. Relief from persistent painful emotions and behaviors is probably the greatest reward. And you will gain a much deeper understanding of yourself and with that, more freedom to choose what you’ll be able to feel, greater pleasure in everyday living, and to engage in fuller richer more rewarding relationships. Assisted self-study can achieve all that.
Used with Permission, Hakomi Educational Resources
What Clients say:
"At first it was strange to not "tell my story" and get advice, but once I learned to be mindful and loosen my judgements I was able to observe my reactions (all of them- not just my thoughts- but my body and images too) and study my experience in a way that opened up so much more awareness, knowledge and options." - RS
Each person is different and there is no standard for how long a person should spend as a Hakomi client. I continue to benefit from being a client myself occasionally. That being said it is a very effective and efficient method that seeks to move you into a place where you do not need to be a life-long client because you have worked through these wounded places and have developed skills to show up to your life with more choices.
I would recommend an initial commitment of weekly sessions for at least 6 weeks.
I work with both individuals and couples. Each session lasts between 60-90 minutes. For individuals I offer a sliding scale of $75-$100 per session.
For couples, a 60-90 minute session is on a sliding scale of $100-$125 per session.
If you are committed to the process but cannot pay the standard rate, limited low-cost scholarships are available. Please inquire for further information.
Please note that I am not a licensed psychologist, counselor, or social worker. Therefore I have limitations on how I work; please contact me to discuss if we are a good fit to work together.