I have training in the Hakomi method, which is a Somatic (body
orientated) healing therapy. It is based on principles of non-violence
and organicity, believing that the role of the therapist is to
facilitate the natural unfolding of the clients own growth and healing.
It focuses on techniques of Mindfulness, Organicity, Non-Violence, the
Mind-Body Connection, and Unity .
Process Work, developed by Arny and Amy Mindell, is a holistic therapy.
This means that as well as dealing with the mind, as in more
traditional therapies, it also includes focusing on the body and the
spirit/soul. It is based on a combination of Jungian therapy, Somatic
therapy and Shamanism. I have trained in Process Work, and although I
have no formal qualifications as a Process Worker, my approach is
informed and influenced by Process Work.
Traditionally, there have been two main schools of therapy. Very simply
put, the two main schools have been either insight orientated (i.e.
going back into the clients childhood history to find the cause of
current problems), or cognitive-behavioral (changing current ways of
thinking and/or behaving). What both these schools have in common, is
that they focus primarily on the mind, and their principle techniques
revolve around talking (what is simply referred to as ‘talk therapy’).
Thus the focus has principally been on the mind. The ‘granddaddy’ of
‘mind’ therapy was Sigmund Freud. But there were also ‘granddaddy’s’ of
spiritual (known in the field as Transpersonal) therapy (Carl Jung),
and body-orientated (known in the field as Somatic) therapy (Wilhelm
Until fairly recently, despite the pioneering work of Jung and Reich,
the Transpersonal, and especially the Somatic approaches, were poor
cousins to the mind approach and were not regarded with the same degree
of importance. However, there is an increasing understanding in our
culture of the relevance of a holistic (mind, body, emotions and spirit)
approach, especially in the healing arts. Consequently Transpersonal,
and especially Somatic approaches have been receiving much greater
recognition, although the Somatic approach in particular is still very
much cutting edge. My approach is holistic. I do not neglect or
underestimate the importance of working with the mind, and of talk
therapy. But I add a spiritual overview, learning emotional language and
Somatic techniques and approaches to my work.
Somatic therapy involves bringing focus and awareness to our physical as
well as mental being. This is all about learning to be less in our
heads and more in our bodies. It is not easy to describe this process
(precisely because I am using language, a tool of the mind, which is
largely inadequate in describing an experience of the body). I also use
movement techniques (such as Authentic Movement) to help clients get
more in touch with their body experience. To learn more about Somatic
Therapy, follow my links on the “Hakomi” and “Process Work” pages of
this site, or look up information on the works of Wilhelm Reich,
Alexander Lowen, Peter Levine, Pat Ogden, Arnie Mindel, Ron Kurtz, Mary
Starks Whitehouse, Marian Rosen or Gabrielle Roth, to name a few.
Somatic techniques are very powerful healing tools. They can reach
those parts that most other therapy techniques cannot. When a holistic
perspective is used, focusing on the mind, the body and the spirit, much
deeper and longer lasting healing can result.