The Hakomi Method is a type of experiential psychotherapy in which the client's present experience is used to access "core material" such as beliefs, memories, emotions and unconscious energy. Hakomi therapy draws not only from science and psychology, but also from Eastern spiritual philosophy and body-centered therapies. As such, it emphasizes self-understanding in the Hakomi therapist as well as the patient.
Hakomi training adheres to five guiding principles: mindfulness, non-violence, mind-body integration, unity and interdependency of life, and organicity of the healing process.
The primary goal of a Hakomi therapist is to first establish a trusting relationship with the client, then use the principles and methods of Hakomi training to encourage the discovery of core material. Mindful examination of core material leads to greater self-awareness in the client, and to helpful, healing change that carries over into everyday life. The Hakomi Method is beneficial in individual, couple, family and group psychotherapy, but it's also useful to other types of healers such as counselors, social workers and bodyworkers.
Training and Education
What You'll Study in Hakomi Therapy School
Besides teaching the basic principles and techniques of Hakomi therapy, Hakomi school also fosters greater self-awareness and understanding in the therapist. Another important part of Hakomi training is learning to understand ideas of consciousness, personality and character and how a patient's unconscious processes may be revealed in their behavior.
Average Length of Study
Comprehensive training in Hakomi therapy includes approximately 360 hours of study over a 2-year period, and can lead to certification. Professional training for psychotherapists and counselors that focuses on specific Hakomi skills is also available; this level of training takes about 120 to 200 hours. Hakomi training for bodyworkers includes about 160 hours of study.
Average Hakomi Therapy Tuition
Tuition for comprehensive Hakomi training generally costs between $4,000 and $4,500 per year. Professional training courses vary in cost, depending on the length of the course; some brief workshops cost as little as $450, while a module lasting several months may cost $2,500 to $3,500.
Hakomi Therapy Certification
While some practitioners simply choose to integrate Hakomi methods into their therapeutic practices, it is also possible to apply for certification. A Certified Hakomi Therapist (CHT) or Certified Hakomi Practitioner (CHP) must complete comprehensive training approved by the Hakomi Institute, as well as undergoing professional observation and assessment by faculty trainers. This part of the process usually takes between a few months and a year to complete.
Various modalities of mind/body medicine are gaining popularity in the United States, including mindfulness meditation—one of the key principles behind Hakomi therapy. Not only that, the effectiveness of these techniques is becoming increasingly apparent in mainstream scientific literature. Practitioners with Hakomi training can expect faster-than-average job growth in the areas of massage therapy, counseling and social work in particular.
Hakomi Therapy Salary
Hakomi therapists can earn a very good salary, depending on your specific job role. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median national annual salary for massage therapists is $35,970, while clinical psychologists earn $67,6500, marriage and family therapists earn $46,670 and mental health counselors earn $41,500. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors.
Is a Hakomi Therapy Career Right for You?
A career in Hakomi therapy requires intimate understanding and acceptance of yourself and your own conscious and unconscious processes, as well as the ability to carefully observe and even gently elicit emotional reactions in your patients. It also demands a deep commitment to non-violence and the other Hakomi principles. Hakomi training provides you with the skills necessary to perform this powerful method of healing others; but beyond that, it can encourage greater compassion and wisdom in your own life.
Learn how Hakomi Therapy is similar to Bioenergetic Therapy and the Feldenkrais Method.
Sources: Hakomi.com, The Hakomi Institute, Hakomi Institute of California, Mindful Experiential Therapy Approaches, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine