Hakomi Mindfulness-Centered Somatic Psychotherapy

A Comprehensive Guide to Theory and Practice

Halko Weiss (Author), Greg Johanson (Author), Lorena Monda (Author)

Overview | Contents

The authoritative text on Hakomi methods, theory, and practice.

Hakomi is an integrative method that combines Western psychology and body-centered techniques with mindfulness principles from Eastern psychology. This book, written and edited by members of the Hakomi Institute— the world’s leading professional training program for Hakomi practitioners—and by practitioners and teachers from across the globe, introduces all the processes and practices that therapists need in order to begin to use this method with clients. The authors detail Hakomi's unique integration of body psychotherapy, mindfulness, and the Eastern philosophical principle of non-violence, grounding leading-edge therapeutic technique in an attentiveness to the whole person and their capacity for transformation. 

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • May 2015
  • ISBN 978-0-393-71072-4
  • 8 × 10 in / 432 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Endorsements & Reviews

“What neuroscience, my clients, and self examination teach me more and more is that the mind-body dichotomy is a false one. . . . Hakomi takes into account that we carry our memories and traumas and feelings in our physical bodies. . . . Therapists who use Hakomi conduct experiments with clients to help them find patterns and systems on a deep level and to begin to change. . . . Whether you intend to learn Hakomi or not, this book is a worthwhile read to expand your knowledge of how we change.” — PsychCentral

“[A] valuable source for clinicians, coaches, body workers, and students of somatic psychotherapy, as well as general readers who are seeking to understand the role of the body in psychotherapy. . . . [W]ell-written by carefully chosen authors . . . it provides both theoretical and practical (case-based) evidence of why and how the inclusion of bodily awareness is not a novel approach to talk therapy, but a necessary one. . . . I predict this book to be a well-loved, dog-eared staple for every bookshelf. Somatic psychology faculty will appreciate the range of theoretical foundations and explicit explanations of the Hakomi method. For students, case vignettes involve clearly defined elements to help navigate the (often) messy process of psychotherapy. . . . This book is the product of Hakomi’s efficacy and its ability to withstand time.” — PsycCRITIQUES

“Professional psychotherapists and students alike will find the book highly informative and helpful for learning about and practicing Hakomi psychotherapy. For those who are already interested in the intersection of eastern philosophy, psychology, self construction, meditation, and awareness, it is a highly relevant integrative framework to work with.” — Somatic Psychotherapy Today

“A powerful compendium of Hakomi philosophy and body techniques that wonderfully highlights how fundamentally mindful body work is and has always been well before mindfulness rose to popularity. I highly recommend this to all readers interested in what life is all about and how to make its possibilities realized.” — Albert Pesso, Author of Experience in Action and Psychomotor Psychology

“This anthology is indeed destined to be a landmark volume, not only in the advancement of the healing arts of Hakomi, but also in the wider fields of somatic psychology and body-mind therapy. The articles presented here are clearly written, deeply thoughtful, and readily accessible to both student and seasoned practitioner. The book comprises a beautiful balance of theory and clinical practice, of philosophical grounding and therapeutic application. In short, this volume is invaluable and one of the top ten ‘must read’ books for anyone committed to mindfulness and somatic psychotherapy.” — Barnaby B. Barratt, PhD, DHS, Former Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at Wayne State University

“This book has finally arrived! The Hakomi Method is one of the earliest efforts to integrate mindfulness into therapy, beginning in the 1960's. It is a fascinating approach that includes body awareness, investigation of core beliefs, compassionate presence of the therapist, embracing the unconscious, and collaborative investigation. A unique contribution of Hakomi to mindfulness-oriented therapy is the emphasis on exploring the structure of the personal 'self' and the causes of its suffering. This book is comprehensive in every way—historical background, theory, method, interventions, case illustrations, clinical applications—and deserves to be read by anyone seriously interested in psychotherapy and its many wonderful expressions.” — Christopher Germer, PhD, Clinical Instructor, Harvard Medical School; author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion and co-editor of Mindfulness and Psychotherapy

“In reading this volume about Hakomi I find myself thinking that it aims to bring infant multi-level meaning making processes—how infants understand themselves in the world through a simultaneous integration of every level of their being (metabolic, immunologic, physiologic, stress regulatory, emotional, behavioral), which we all still possess—into the co-creative exchange of adults who now have expansive capacities for mindfulness, reflection, and symbolization. It is also working at one and the same time to overcome these adult capacities’ tendency for imperialist dominance and constriction of somatic multilevel experience. Thus this book challenges each of us both personally and professionally to try to make meaning of our own changes and therapeutic change processes. Taking on this challenge is more than worth the effort.” — Ed Tronick, PhD, University of Massachusetts Boston, Director of the Infant-Parent Mental Health Program

“The field of psychotherapy has just been substantively enriched by the publication of this impressive book. Hakomi Mindfulness-Centered Somatic Psychotherapy gracefully navigates the very tricky task of multiple authors, gifting us with an elegant symphony of voices that thoroughly and thoughtfully communicate what is involved in powerful healing experiences. The authors also skillfully connect the legacy of Hakomi's founder, Ron Kurtz, with important emerging developments from a wide range of disciplines, such as neuroscience, attachment theory, emotional regulation, stress and trauma, and evidence-based practices. Both scholarly and easily accessibly, this book can be read by anyone interested in a comprehensive overview of mindfulness, the body's role in healing, relational repair, and unraveling past imprints in order to engage in the present moment with embodied attention and action. I highly recommend it, and will ask all my students to read it, as it captures all the important essentials of the journey from 'just managing' to holistic well-being.” — Christine Caldwell, PhD, LPC, NCC, ACS, Founder and faculty in the Somatic Counseling Psychology Program, Naropa University and author of Getting Our Bodies Back

“Read this book! In this era of cookie cutter therapy, Hakomi Mindfulness-Centered Somatic Psychotherapy stands head and shoulders above the fray. Drs. Weiss, Johanson, and Monda have assembled a masterful collection of writing about the Hakomi method, distinguishing this approach to healing from many other works and depicting how it is being illumined by current psycho-neuro-biological research. The beauty of this volume is its attention to the integration of a strength-focused perspective, which emphasizes that people are not problems, but rather they are stories and struggles that need to be heard and allowed to heal; the importance of the therapist state of presence as essential to facilitating the healing experience; and mindfulness is an experience that empowers the healing process, not merely a technique to be used indiscriminately. The way mindfulness is utilized here maintains its integrity as a profound experience that reconnects the client and therapist to their true and common humanity. It is when an individual feels truly joined by another on their healing journey that the depth of healing is realized. Weiss, Johanson, and Monda, and the contributing authors have elegantly captured this essence!” — Thomas Roberts, LCSW, LMFT, Author of The Mindfulness Workbook

“In examining Hakomi Mindfulness-Centered Somatic Psychotherapy the reader will encounter far more than a handbook on somatically-mindful psychotherapy. Beyond its sheer comprehensiveness one gains an interdisciplinary and supremely practical therapeutic resource that is profoundly wholeness-affirming and fully personhood centered! I suspect it will become an invaluable resource for clinicians for years to come.” — William S. Schmidt, PhD, Loyola University Chicago; Author, The Development of the Notion of Self: Understanding the Complexity of Human Interiority

“Hakomi is a treasure trove of therapeutic wisdom gleaned from a wide spectrum of orientations that represent the best that psychology has to offer. This book will be a fountain of knowledge for therapists of all persuasions.” — Louise Sundararajan, PhD, EdD, Past President of APA Div. 32, Society for Humanistic Psychology

“This essential collection presents the work of Hakomi in a clear light and illustrates the threefold effective integral path of a scientific attitude, a heart presence that takes deep interest in another person, and skilled attention to the body's wisdom. The author-practitioners herein describe a method that is healing for the therapist as well as the client. Among dozens of somatic psychology approaches that I have practiced and taught students over the years, I place Hakomi's effectiveness at the top. It requires mutual transformation of both therapist and client. The pages inside this cover are gems. Anyone who wishes to serve another in self-development will find easy-to-read ideas that work. In a world of increasing stimulation, Hakomi provides a healing balm. I am grateful to have such a resource.” — Edmund Knighton, PhD, associate professor, Department Chair of Clinical Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

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