Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy

Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy is a powerful modality that helps us learn to track the experiences that are happening beneath our conscious experience. By staying present to the external and internal movements in the body, such as feelings, emotions, sensations, contractions and “attitudes” or postures … we gain so much more information than what is accessible through the thinking mind and the concepts we hold about ourselves and others.  

The early, formative experiences of connection and care that we received as babies and in early childhood continue to live within us as the unseen foundations of our emotional world. Whilst we don’t remember these repeated interactions consciously, they are wired into our bodies and nervous systems and are the hidden movements beneath our world views, relational models and all of our reactivity.

When there was obvious dysfunction and abuse, the impact on later life is more obvious to see.

However, even when we grow up in loving environments with well intentioned parents, we ALL experience rupture and misattunement. As children, the need for connection and love is so fundamental to our survival that in order to maintain it, and ensure our lovability, we split off parts of ourselves that we begin to sense won’t be received.

This splitting is so painful. A defenceless child is unable to understand, manage or digest the overwhelming feelings of the human body that come from rejection, misattunement, injustice, abuse and neglect. Without an adult to help regulate and make sense of our emotions and experiences, our bodies find ingenious ways of tempering the pain.

In order to not feel overwhelming and uncomfortable feelings we: contract, dissociate, hold our breath, or modify our behaviour in a plethora of ways to help soothe or protect ourselves from the intensity.

Bizarrely, regardless of the obvious injustice, we somehow blame ourselves. Again, unconsciously. It’s that sense of wrongness, unworthiness and unlovability that is at the core of the intolerable feelings that we spend our lives not wanting to feel.

In therapy this is referred to as developmental trauma. In spirituality, the development of these protective strategies is referred to as ego and the inescapable suffering of being human.

In order to find our way back to wholeness we have to unravel the unique and creative ways that we ourselves have disconnected from all of who we are. 

Rather than a problem, this is a profoundly beautiful journey. Yes, admittedly this is often painful, but the experience of coming home to our essence and our Self begins to outweigh the feeling of separateness from life itself.

Why the Body?

These unconscious layers can’t be navigated with the mind. Whilst it’s essential to understand how our patterns of behaviour and pain are connected to our childhood experiences, the roots of our unwanted feelings lay deep in the unconscious: the body!

They’re not stored or accessible with the mind. In fact, the mind hinders our capacity to untangle the MIS-perception that’s glued onto the unconscious feeling.

Without learning to recognise the presence of unconscious material (tension, contraction, beliefs, the ways we judge and move away from energy and feeling), we keep believing the apparent solidity of our experience.  

That’s why, as much as we try, we keep finding ourselves repeating the same patterns over and over again.

And why, regardless of the decades of therapy and meditation so many of us have done, our core feeling body remains unchanged. In fact, sometimes the intensity of our feeling body increases!

Mindful, somatic psychotherapy supports us to pay attention to the presence of unconscious material. It helps us learn to follow a thread, down into the body. It helps us learn how to stabilise our awareness so that we can be with our experience for long enough that it starts to reveal information that otherwise remains hidden.

It may seem complex to read it in this way … but when you feel it in the body, everything I’ve written becomes illuminated in a way that makes direct sense to you.

If you would like more information about how I work and what to expect, please download this brochure (read it in a slow and embodied way), or feel free to contact me.

 

Location

Practice room is near Byron Bay (Ocean Shores).

Individual Psychotherapy & Embodied Being

As a Certified Hakomi Therapist, I offer individual session based predominantly on the Hakomi method, however integrate Complex Trauma approaches and Internal Family Systems Therapy. However, I also integrate somatic practices into my therapy to help individuals access, understand and navigate deeper layers of their embodied experience.  This approach is a weaving of my training with 30 years of meditation practice and Tantra.

1 hour = $140
First session is 1.5 hours = $170

Couples Therapy & Embodied Sexuality

I no longer offer Couples Therapy or Embodied Sexuality. As much as I love this work, my focus, passion and skill is really  in navigating the terrain of the unconscious and feeling body. Due to the level of subtlety, my preference now is to work one-on-one.

For more information about Hakomi, please visit the Hakomi Institute website.