HISTORY

 

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The Hakomi Method is an elegant, comprehensive and highly effective approach to human change and development. It was originated in the mid-1970’s by therapist and author Ron Kurtz as the Ron Kurtz Method of Body-Centered Psychotherapy. Drawing from an enormous range of influences - Buddhism and Taoism, physics, body-centered therapies such as Gestalt, Reichian work, the Feldenkrais Method, Bioenergetics, Focusing, NLP and Ericksonian Hypnosis, and General Systems Theory, it synthesized a pioneering approach to somatic psychotherapy, combining mindfulness, gentleness and experiential explorations of client behavior. 

In 1981, recognizing that the work stood on its own, Ron formally changed the name of the work to the Hakomi Method, based on a Hopi Indian word that asks “ how do you stand in relation to these many realms” or, more simply, “who are you?” That same year, Ron and several of his advanced students created the Hakomi Institute, a nonprofit educational corporation whose purpose was to promote the work. 

During the 1980’s, Hakomi expanded in two ways. First, the Method itself continued to evolve, with Ron and the Institute trainers contributing many new or refined elements, articulations and applications of the work. Secondly, the work began to spread geographically, with new staff joining the Institute and new training centers being formed throughout North America, and Europe. One of those centers was the Hakomi Institute of San Francisco, established in the late 1980’s by Dr. Richard Heckler, who had trained in Oregon with Ron, Jon Eisman and Pat Ogden [both  founding members of the Institute].

In 1992, to focus on his own development of the work, Ron separated from the Institute. Since that time, Hakomi has continued to be taught and developed separately by both the Hakomi Institute and it’s many trainers and teachers, and by Ron’s Hakomi Education Network. 

Today, the Hakomi Institute and the work continue to thrive. Exciting new developments in neurobiology, attachment theory, trauma, child development and consciousness studies have all been incorporated into the model. Hakomi remains at the cutting edge of therapeutic theory and technique, while still enjoying its status as an elder in the use of mindfulness and somatics in therapy.

In addition, Institute staff and graduates have taken Hakomi into diverse new directions, including couples work, parenting, working with trauma states, anger management , family dynamics, movement interventions, gender issues, multiculturalism, Selfhood, business consulting, sports performance, ethics, spiritual studies, and coaching.  

The Institute itself has grown into a dynamic network of Training Centers around the globe. Hakomi Professional Trainings and Workshops are now presented across the US, throughout Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. New centers are just arising in Israel and Russia. 

Here in California, this wave of evolution is also evident. In 2008, Dr. Richard Heckler retired as Director of  the Hakomi Institute of San Francisco. Taking over the reins, Hakomi trainers Scott Eaton, Manuela Mischke Reeds, Julie Murphy, Rob Fisher and Jon Eisman created a new Institute branch, the Hakomi Institute of California. Assisted by additional teaching staff, this Teaching team comprises a seasoned and international team of professionals that combine the expertise of the larger psychology field with in-depth knowledge of the Hakomi method and its applications. The the Hakomi Institute of California will continue to present both traditional and new Hakomi and Hakomi-related offerings not only in the Bay area, but throughout the state.

We look forward to having you become a part of our on-going history.