Hakomi Mindfulness-Centered Somatic Psychotherapy: An introductory guideFeb 28, 2023
“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child—our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”
"Hakomi" means "here and now" in the language of the Hopi Indians. Hakomi mindfulness-centered somatic psychotherapy is a therapeutic approach that focuses on the here-and-now experience of the client. The therapist uses techniques such as contact statements and experiments to help the client explore their current experience in a safe and supportive environment.
The underlying principles of Hakomi mindfulness-centered somatic psychotherapy are mindfulness, compassion, and nonjudgment. The therapist uses mindfulness to help the client stay present with their experience, compassion to offer them a moment of warmth and understanding, and nonjudgment to help them explore their experience without judgment or criticism. Hakomi is a compassionate and nonjudgmental approach that helps the client explore their current experience in a safe and supportive environment.
An example of a Hakomi experiment would be as follows:
The therapist asks the client to notice what is happening in their body right now. The therapist then points to different parts of their own body and asks the client to notice what sensation arises in response to the pointing. The therapist might say, "As I point to my heart, do you notice any sensations in your own heart?" The aim of this experiment is to help the client become more aware of their bodily sensations and emotions in order to gain insight into their current experience.
A contact statement is another technique used in Hakomi mindfulness-centered somatic psychotherapy. A contact statement is a short, declarative sentence that helps the client focus on their present experience. For example, the therapist might say, "You feel scared," or "You feel angry." The purpose of a contact statement is to help the client stay present with their experience and to offer them a moment of nonjudgmental compassion from the therapist.
Hakomi mindfulness-centered somatic psychotherapy is a therapeutic approach that can be helpful for people who have experienced trauma or who struggle with being present in their bodies. The therapist uses techniques such as experiments and contact statements to help the client focus on their current experience. If you are looking for a therapist who uses this approach, please feel free to reach out to me. I would be happy to chat with you about whether Hakomi might be a good fit for you.
Photo credit: Lesly Juarez @Unsplash
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