Article

The Hakomi Method: Defining Its Place Within the Humanistic Psychology Tradition

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.

Abstract

Ron Kurtz passed away on January 4, 2010. His legacy is the Hakomi method. The method clearly fits within the tradition of humanistic psychology but has not yet been widely embraced by humanistic psychology. Kurtz’s Hakomi method offers approaches that can be of value to person-centered therapy and further offers a pioneering method of using mindfulness within the therapeutic context, which both predates the current mainstream fascination with therapeutic mindfulness and remains at the forefront of integrating mindfulness practice with psychotherapy. The method, through its impact on the work of some of Kurtz’s senior students, is gaining recognition, including recognition from several well-known neurobiologists. But, both the method and the recognition it is garnering also belong within the humanistic psychology tradition. It is time for humanistic psychology to consider the Hakomi method.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the author.

... THERAPEUTIC PRESENCE FROM A HAKOMI PERSPECTIVE 3 Investigating Therapeutic Presence: A Hakomi Therapy Perspective Therapeutic presence (TP) is defined as the ability to be fully human and fully engaged with another person on multiple levels: emotionally, cognitively, physically, and spiritually (Geller & Greenberg, 2002, 2012, and has been shown to underpin efficacious therapy (Hycner, 1993;Moustakas, 1969;Rogers, 1986). A growing body of research shows that therapist personhood (a concept closely linked to TP) is more important than any particular technique or theoretical orientation to therapeutic success (Cozolino, 2002;Lambert & Ogles, 2013;Mahoney, 1991;Orlinsky & Howard, 1986). ...
... The Hakomi method, developed by Ron Kurtz, is a mindfulness based somatic psychotherapy that integrates the body into the therapeutic process and that places a strong focus on the personhood of the therapist in both training and practice (Johanson, 2009(Johanson, , 2011Kurtz, 1990Kurtz, , 2015Weiss, 2015). This perspective means that Hakomi therapy may offer unique insights into the nature and practice of TP that are as yet unexplored (Bageant, 2012;Himanen, 2015). ...
... Reik (1948) then introduced the idea that the therapist's mind should be actively searching for useful data during a session. Perls (1969) discussed the need for a present moment focus and also linked his understanding of therapeutic presence with Buber's (1966) I/Thou relationship (Geller & Greenberg, 2002, 2012. TP is also important in the humanist therapeutic tradition. ...
Conference Paper
Therapeutic presence (TP) is the ability to be fully human and fully engaged with another person on multiple levels: emotionally, cognitively, physically, and spiritually. TP is a fundamental skill which underpins efficacious interventions, with research showing that therapist personhood is more important than any particular technique or theoretical orientation in facilitating therapeutic change in clients. The Hakomi method, developed by Ron Kurtz, is a mindfulness based, psychodynamic psychotherapy that integrates the body into the therapeutic process. The Hakomi perspective places significant focus on the personhood of the therapist as a therapeutic tool. Relatively little research has been devoted to the exploration of TP, and none has been conducted with a focus on Hakomi therapy. The present research, therefore, used a qualitative framework informed by phenomenology to explore Hakomi therapists’ understanding of TP. Four graduates of the full professional Hakomi training were interviewed about their lived experiences of TP. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis applied to the resultant verbatim transcripts showed TP as comprised of two elements: therapeutic state of being and a dual awareness. Central to creating TP is a particular personhood of the therapist, in which Hakomi practitioners are explicitly and specifically trained. This personhood is inclusive of particular qualities which enables them to invite the client into TP. This unique Hakomi-based understanding of TP may be particularly important for supporting therapeutic change and one that could be incorporated into future training of mental health practitioners, regardless of therapeutic modality. Keywords: Therapeutic Presence, Hakomi Therapy, therapist personhood
... It utilizes metaphors and the witness state as methodological instruments, accessing the transconsciousness (or the superconsciousness according to Jung, 1994) as a way of unifying polarities in the effort to establish a superior equilibrium, to convert experiential difficulties into developmental opportunities through various techniques adapted to the client's needs (Mitrofan, 2000(Mitrofan, , 2004. Mindfulness is used frequently in modern psychotherapy, whatever its orientation (Bageant, 2012;Lebow, 2006). But the practitioners of experiential psychotherapy of unification do not borrow a technique from oriental spiritual practices simply because it has proven effects. ...
... UEP [experiential psychotherapy of unification] depends significantly on the state of living in the moment, in the therapeutic presence, and this, in turn, relies on the authenticity of the connection between the creative minds of the therapist and the clients. (Mitrofan, 2012, p. 43) This kind of connection and the therapeutic process have many common features with the Hakomi method (Bageant, 2012;Kurtz & Minton, 1997). Also, a school-independent theory, resonating minds, identified four stages in the interactions between psychotherapist and client that lead to personal growth: relaxation, experience, connection, and reflection (Mergenthaler, 2008). ...
Article
Being a psychotherapist trained in experiential psychotherapy of unification, I can say that one has to live it to properly understand it, because it is about living and not only about understanding. But an introduction is necessary, and this is the purpose of this article: to make a presentation for psychologists from other countries. Another purpose is to make known how important concepts of humanistic psychology have been integrated, assimilated, and developed by a section of Romanian psychologists. In a few words, experiential psychotherapy of unification is mainly about creativity, authenticity, and a co-actualization therapeutic relationship, which allows integration of the cultural specific aspects and, moreover, individualization of the psychotherapeutic program: It is an application of main humanistic ideas and values and recent advances in psychotherapy research.
... Within the humanistic paradigm, the recognition of the utility of mindfulness is also seen as pre-dating the more recent emergence of MBIs in the late 1970s. An example of a humanistic therapeutic approach that gives mindfulness a prominent role is the Hakomi method (Bageant, 2012). ...
... Within the humanistic paradigm, the recognition of the utility of mindfulness is also seen as pre-dating the more recent emergence of MBIs in the late 1970s. An example of a humanistic therapeutic approach that gives mindfulness a prominent role is the Hakomi method (Bageant, 2012). ...
Book
This book provides an outline and critical discussion of the characteristics of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) research. Since the first reports on the use of mindfulness practices in health interventions, a large body of research literature has emerged to document the effectiveness of MBIs for reducing psychological distress and to increase well-being. The integration of mindfulness into very diverse psychological theories makes it a unique concept in psychology that has generated a large amount of interest both in academic research but also the broader media. With this growing literature, mindfulness researchers have also recognised the need to be more critical of its developments, such as how MBIs are presented to the public or what types of research methods are used to test claims of an MBI's effectiveness. This book examines the large variety of approaches in which MBIs have been studied, including an outline of the philosophical underpinnings of MBI research, definition and measurement of mindfulness, the use of qualitative and quantitative research methods, research design, and research that addresses cultural and religious factors. The book contributes to increased awareness of the current direction of MBI research and thus seeks to contribute to further methodological refinement and sophistication of the research field. This book on the characteristics of research on MBIs is a must read for any researcher or practitioner interested in this fascinating topic. © 2019 Christian U. Krägeloh, Marcus A. Henning, Oleg N. Medvedev, Xuan Joanna Feng, Fiona Moir, Rex Billington, Richard J. Siegert. All Rights Reserved.
... TAP is seen as the starting point for the many researches (Bohart, 1991; Dolliver et al., 1980; Ellis, 1986; Essig & Russell, 1990; Hill, Thames, & Rardin, 1979; Kiesler & Goldston, 1988; Meara, Shannon, & Pepinsky, 1979; Mercier & Johnson, 1984; Rogers & Wood, 1974; Rosenzweig, 1996; Shostrom & Riley, 1968; Stoten & Goos, 1974; Weinrach, 1986, 1990, 1991; Zimmer & Cowles, 1972) examining one or more of the counseling sessions or compering two or three of them performing in Three Approaches to Psychotherapy (Shostrom, 1965a, b, c). Recend years' studies are (Bageant 2011; Brice, A. 2011; Keats 2008; Magai and Haviland- Jones 2004; Reilly & Jacobus 2008; Reilly & Jacobus 2009). This shows continuum of researches on TAP. ...
Article
Full-text available
Shostrom (1965a, b, c)' profound studies "Three Approaches to Psychotherapy" (TAP) scrutinized by 410 Turkish university students. Three deferent programs from one department of fourth grade students evaluated their preference in 29 items Counseling Preference Inventory. There are significant deference between three programs of students in their counseling theories and theorist's preference in terms of gender, program, GPA, SES and worldview. Both genders preferred Ellis but male preference respectively more than female. Although preschool teacher students preferred Person Centered Therapy and Carl Rogers but primary school education students preferred Rational Behavioral Emotive Therapy and Albert Ellis. Preference of science educations teacher students is also towards to Rational Behavioral Emotive Therapy and Albert Ellis. Although low achievers preferred Rogers, middle and higher achievers preferred Ellis. The same sudation which held in GPA also seen in the socioeconomic status. Conservative and democratic students preferred Ellis, tendency of liberal students toward Rogers. This study seems to be very interesting in terms of it is first meet of Turkish university students with Rogers, Perls and Ellis. (C) 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of Dr. Zafer Bekirogullari of Cognitive - Counselling, Research & Conference Services C-crcs.
... This was before he became a psychotherapist. Kurtz has also been described as "uncredentialed", "visionary", "highly charismatic", and "His attention was genuine and complete" (Bageant, 2012). Gerda Boyesen has been described as a "star", representing "a non-feminist and yet self-conscious femininity and motherliness" and had a "great attraction for both women and men", having "icon status even during her lifetime" (Freudl, 2006) -and yet, acting out the "good mother", she could also -on occasion (and particularly when challenged) -easily become the rejecting, "bad mother". ...
Article
Full-text available
This article intends to open a discussion and to begin to name, to reflect on, and gradually start healing some of the wounds arising during the development of Body Psychotherapy, particularly during the period 1960-2000. It highlights inherent problems in individuals single-handedly pioneering new methods, and some difficulties in the organisation of the training courses. These reflections generalise to other psychotherapies and have implications for the wider professional field and the future development of Body Psychotherapy .
Article
The practice of neuroscience-informed psychotherapy (NIP) that aims to refine the existing practice of psychotherapy is a recent topic in psychotherapy research. The researcher interviewed 25 Japanese psychotherapists and investigated the presence, benefits and needs of NIP and the potential barriers that may hinder the learning of NIP. A thematic analysis identified that the practice of NIP is currently limited in Japan due to limited learning opportunities. However, a minor proportion of Japanese psychotherapists practice NIP and experienced benefits, such as developing confidence in performing psychotherapy and effectively guiding clients to normalize problems. NIP may benefit psychotherapists in Japan and other Asian countries as psychotherapy in Japan and other Asian countries share many characteristics influenced by Confucianism, Buddhism and Westernization.
Article
Therapeutic presence (TP) is the ability to be fully human and fully engaged with another person emotionally, cognitively, physically, and spiritually, and underpins all efficacious interventions. Ron Kurtz’s Hakomi method is a mindfulness based, psychodynamic psychotherapy that integrates the body into the therapeutic process, emphasising the personhood of the therapist as a therapeutic tool. The present research used a qualitative framework to explore Hakomi therapists’ understanding of TP. Four graduates of the full professional Hakomi training were interviewed about their lived experiences of TP. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) applied to resultant verbatim transcripts showed that two elements comprised TP: felt state of being and dual awareness. Central to creating TP is a particular personhood of the therapist, in which Hakomi practitioners are explicitly and specifically trained. This unique Hakomi-based understanding of TP can support therapeutic change and could be incorporated into training of mental health practitioners, regardless of therapeutic modality.
Article
This paper focuses on the experiences of a graduate student and a professor who engaged in a thought exercise about found poetry. Through the contemplation of nine found poems that were extracted from the professor’s doctoral research on abortion providers, they consider how found poetry can be read, interpreted, and experienced. The potential role of found poetry for social work research and practice is also discussed.
Article
Full-text available
Psychotherapists can improve verbal psychotherapy by adding a bodily perspective. Different approaches can be situated on a continuum from verbal to nonverbal, and body-oriented interventions can be directed to different aspects of the body. The body as sensed from inside is one source of information. This is different from working with the body as perceived from outside and paying attention to nonverbal communication. In the next stage, major methods are working with the body in action and in movement and other nonverbal expressions. At the end of the continuum, attention goes to touching the body. Different ways of validating the body in psychotherapy are illustrated with clinical vignettes. Effects of body-oriented interventions on the client’s process are greater awareness, engagement in the present, deepening of experience, opening the body memory, cathartic release, resolving blocks, and exploring new possibilities.
Article
Full-text available
There is a convergence between cognitive models of imitation, constructs derived from social psychology studies on mimicry and empathy, and recent empirical findings from the neurosciences. The ideomotor framework of human actions assumes a common representational format for action and perception that facilitates imitation. Furthermore, the associative sequence learning model of imitation proposes that experience-based Hebbian learning forms links between sensory processing of the actions of others and motor plans. Social psychology studies have demonstrated that imitation and mimicry are pervasive, automatic, and facilitate empathy. Neuroscience investigations have demonstrated physiological mechanisms of mirroring at single-cell and neural-system levels that support the cognitive and social psychology constructs. Why were these neural mechanisms selected, and what is their adaptive advantage? Neural mirroring solves the "problem of other minds" (how we can access and understand the minds of others) and makes intersubjectivity possible, thus facilitating social behavior.
Article
Full-text available
Results from a multi-center evaluation study of body-psychotherapies are reported. The design is naturalistic and evaluates the effectiveness of routine applications of body-psychotherapy in outpatient settings. 3 German and 5 Swiss member institutes of the European Association for Body Psychotherapy (EABP: 38 members) participated, the Swiss institutes also being members of the Schweizer Charta für Psychotherapie. At three points of measurement (at intake, after 6 months and at the end of therapy [after two years at maximum]) well established questionnaires (e. g. BAI, BDI, SCL-90-R, IIP-D) were administered. Meanwhile we also have catamnestic data at 1 year after termination of therapy (n = 42). Patients who seek body-psychotherapeutic treatment (n = 342 participated in the study) compare to other outpatient psychotherapeutic patients concerning sociodemographic data, level of impairment and psychopathology. After six months of therapy (n = 253) these patients have significantly improved with small to moderate intraclass effect sizes. At the end of therapy or after two years of treatment at maximum (n = 160) large effect sizes are attained in all scales. These are lasting results according to catamnestic data (n = 42). This naturalistic prospective field study claims to supply evidence for the effectiveness of the evaluated body-psychotherapeutic methods and to classify as phase IV- ("routine application") and level I-evidence.
Article
Humanistic psychology is both a social movement within psychology and an enduring perspective. It was an outgrowth of the psychology of personality, whose leaders participated in founding the movement. Rogers, Maslow, and Mayas its most respected figures established its initial character as a “Third Force” vis-a-vis behaviorism and psychoanalysis. Shortly after its founding, it was captured by the counterculture. The encounter group movement with its human growth centers became its chief focus in the 1960s and 1970s. Other strands included an increasingly prominent spiritual-mystical emphasis on transpersonal psychology, and existentialist and phenomenological emphases. The contrast between theistic and atheistic versions of existentialism is noted, with the observation that the secular humanist perspective of Fromm, Murray, and Chein has been inadequately represented in the movement. It is argued that the interpretative perspective of the humanities and the causal explanatory perspective of the natural sciences playa complementary role in humanistic psychology, but important phenomena of selfhood require interpretation and causal explanation somehow to be joined. Challenges to humanistic psychology in the changed setting of contemporary psychology are identified.
Article
Henry A. (Harry) Murray, organizer and primary author of Explorations in Personality = = w (Murray et al., 1938) and, with his long-time partner and collaborator Christiana Morgan, deviser of the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), was a humanistic psychologist on the grand scale. Since he felt alienated from the irrationalistic, antiscientific aspects of the humanistic psychology movement when it became substantially captured by the counterculture of the 1960s, and therefore limited his participation, probably rather few HENRY A. MURRAY participants in humanistic psychology remember that along with other major figures in the founding generation ofAmerican personality psychology (Allport, Murphy, and Kelly), Murray was part of the Old Saybrook Conference of 1964 that launched the so-called Third Force of humanistic psychology. His name remained on the masthead of this journal until his death on June 23, 1988.
Article
In a recent article Leonard Geller (1982) criticized the concept of self-actualization as developed by Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow on both theoretical and empirical grounds. His critique is based upon an assumption of a psychosocial understanding of self and a linear thinking approach to the human context. In this article it is argued that the use of the term "self" in the human potential movement is fundamentally somatic, and that linear thought as it is usually understood is inappropriate to understanding concepts such as self and autonomy as well as any living system. The roots of such a somatic understanding are explored in systems biology and the formalizations of a logic of self-reference. A development notion of self-image is then sketched based on self-distinction as the central element.
Article
This first-person narrative explores the impact of mindfulness training in the form of qigong, yoga, and meditation on the developing clinical skills of a student in the master's-level counseling program at Montana State University. It explores the ways in which mindfulness helped the author to be more fully present in session and to tolerate both her own internal distress and the distress of her clients.
Article
This paper continues and extends the exploration of the philosophical, theoretical and practice basis to the relationship emphasis within person-centered therapy stressing the relevance of a deeper therapeutic encounter between therapist and client (Schmid, 1994, 1998b). The paper goes on to explore the nature of this encounter in terms of the therapist's presence and the different forms of resonance offered by the therapist to the client. Zusammenfassung Dieser Beitrag setzt die Untersuchung der philosophischen, theoretischen und praktischen Grundlagen darüber fort, weshalb die Beziehung in der Personzentrierten Therapie so betont wird. Die Bedeutung einer tief gehenden therapeutischen Begegnung zwischen Therapeut bzw. Therapeutin und Klient bzw. Klientin wird unterstrichen (Schmid, 1994, 1998b) und, darüber hinaus gehend, die Natur dieser Begegnung untersucht—und zwar aus der Sicht der Präsenz des Therapeuten und der verschiedenen Formen von Resonanz, die er dem Klienten anbietet. Resumen Este artículo continúa y extiende la exploración de la base filosófica, teórica y práctica del énfasis en la relación dentro de la terapia centrada en la persona, remarcando la relevancia que tiene un encuentro terapéutico más profundo entre el terapeuta y el consultante (Schmid, 1994, 1998b). El artículo luego explora la naturaleza de este encuentro con relación a la presencia del terapeuta y las diferentes formas de resonancia ofrecida por el terapeuta al consultante. Résumé Cet article prolonge et élargit l'exploration des fondements philosophiques, théoriques et pratiques de l'accent (porté) sur la relation de la thérapie centrée sur la personne, soulignant l'importance d'une rencontre thérapeutique plus en profondeur entre thérapeute et client (Schmid, 1994, 1998b). L'article explore par la suite la nature de cette rencontre en terme de présence et de différentes formes de résonance que le thérapeute offre au client.
Article
This article looks in two directions in order to contribute to the search for the identity and future of the person-centered and experiential paradigms: into the interior of the person-centered and experiential ‘family’ (where are we and what are our relationships?); and to the outside (where are the other orientations and what could be our contribution to the realm of psychotherapy as a whole?). It examines criteria for a coherent and distinguishing person-centered conception after the paradigm shift we owe to Rogers, gives reasons for the necessity for ongoing dialogue and mutual challenge among the branches of person-centered and experiential therapies, and discusses some of the consequences for psychotherapy in general.
Article
This reprinted article originally appeared in Journal of Consulting Psychology, 1957(Apr), Vol 21(2), 95-103. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 1959-00842-001.) "For constructive personality change to occur, it is necessary that these conditions exist and continue over a period of time: (1) Two persons are in psychological contact. (2) The first, whom we shall term the client, is in a state of incongruence, being vulnerable or anxious. (3) The second person, whom we shall term the therapist, is congruent or integrated in the relationship. (4) The therapist experiences unconditional positive regard for the client. (5) The therapist experiences an empathic understanding of the client's internal frame of reference and endeavors to communicate this experience to the client. (6) The communication to the client of the therapist's empathic understanding and unconditional positive regard is to a minimal degree achieved." (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).