Origins of Hakomi:

Hakomi is a Hopi Indian word meaning “ How do you stand in relation to these many realms?’ or  ‘Who are you?’

The word was chosen by Ron Kurtz (1934-2011), who is the founder of this therapy. Ron trained as a scientist in the 1970′ s and explored psychology in particular. He was influenced  yoga; which gave him the founding principles of non-violence and unity, Taoism; which gave him the principle of organicity and going with the flow, Bioenergetics; which gave him and idea of the body mind connection and how experience brings about change and Gestalt; which gave him the present moment experience approach.
Ron also incorporated the idea that Moshe Feldenkrais had with regards to healing. He believed that healing can be augmented by bringing previously unconscious and automatic behaviour patterns into conscious awareness. This then gives the possibility of choice and an alternative way of being and doing. Feldenkrais had focused on body awareness, Ron took this idea into the realm of psychology.

Ron believed that non verbal expression reveals more than verbal stories about our core material/beliefs and is a faster way in to the unconscious. The use of mindfulness can quickly access the non verbal expression and therefore this pathway. Ron also believed that work needs to be experiential to be transformative.
With research in neuroscience opening up in the 1990’s, and from his experience with clients he formalised the idea of the importance of the therapist to client relationship. Of particular importance is the “Personhood” of the therapist and their state of mind. Loving presence creates a safe non-judgemental environment that allows the client to explore deeper. Being open to listen to and believe in the client’s wisdom is very important. He realised that staying with the old story and beliefs wasn’t as healing as moving into nourishment and the missing experience of the person. So the relationship of the therapist and client became one of the most important elements of the therapeutic relationship.


“Body-Centered Psychotherapy : the Hakomi Method”
, by Ron Kurtz, published 1990.