In order to manage past and present trauma we push the hurt down. We send this hurt part in to exile in our sub-conscious, where it remains stuck and unhealed. Unfortunately, it shows up in our everyday lives causing unnecessary suffering, i.e. anxiety, relationship difficulties , self-esteem to name a few.
My commitment as a therapist has been to support my clients holistically, developing an awareness of all their parts. My Somatic (Body) psychotherapeutic approach has honoured this commitment, because …
“… when we are conscious we have choice and choice brings freedom.”
(Donna Martin, Hakomi Legacy Holder)
The Hakomi Method has been my most precious transformative psychotherapeutic tool and I would like to share my dedicated educational journey regarding this method.
In 2009, I attended a Ron Kurtz workshop, the founder of The Hakomi Method, as part of my Continuous Professional Development commitment …. In 2022 I qualified as a Certified Hakomi Practitioner.”
Upon completion of my degree in 2007, I began my Psychotherapy Practice with vigour incorporating the various therapeutic approaches bestowed upon me in college …yet something was missing … emotions, behaviours, thoughts … but what about the body?
“What is my client not saying verbally yet, their body language seems to be expressing their inner state?”
Indeed, in college we were taught to notice somatic nuances, i.e. a client verbally expressing calmness yet clearly behaving agitated. I was beginning to realise there was more to it than this … a deeper level, a more holistic way to work with mind-body wholeness. I could see an interconnectedness with my client’s past experiences in their present bodily behaviour.
My curiosity and utter conviction of this discovery brought me to a workshop in 2009 given by Ron Kurtz, the founder of The Hakomi Method (A Body Oriented Psychotherapy). 2015 saw me become part of The Hakomi Community in Ireland attending further workshops to increase my knowledge. In 2017, to my delight, Hakomi Training began in Ireland … the journey continued. A three year basic training completed before being invited to participate in a Certification Course to begin Practitioner training. I successfully past examination and was certified as a Hakomi Practitioner in 2022.
During the global pandemic, this method had to be adapted for online. I participated in many trainings to enable me to practice this method online as well as face to face, which I continue to do to facilitate clients who cannot attend my rooms.
My passion for this method continues as I have completed workshops and trainings since qualifying and also enjoyed assisting in a Hakomi training in the summer this year. I am part of different Hakomi communities, Norway, Canada, UK as well as Ireland. I enjoy a regular Hakomi Mentoring group and Hakomi Supervision where I can be supported in my own work.
When I read this article it reminded me of an often used Hakomi Method verbal experiment … “All parts of you are welcome here.” When I work with clients who are struggling with parts of themselves that for whatever reason they dislike, are embarrassed by or indeed ashamed of … I offer say these words, as a verbal experiment with a nourishing intention that perhaps they never experienced before. The client sometimes can hear these words in a nourishing way and integrate this experience in to their self-concept … sometimes they can’t. When a client struggles to integrate such warm acceptance it gives me more information on a deeper level about the client, (the part that the article below refers to as ‘Exiles’) and the session continues on this deeper ‘exiled’ level towards nourishment and integration.
The Hakomi Method
Working with our Inner Parts – Mary-Anne Johnson
“When we experience an internal conflict, it is easy to identify the opposing parts. For example, one part of me (that loves to learn) may want to take a university course while another part of me ( a Banker part) takes an opposing position, arguing strongly and rationally that I can’t afford it, while yet another part (the Critic) may point out that I’m not smart enough and will probably fail. In this internal free-for-all, I will inevitably feel torn and indecisive. Even if I do make a decision, my internal critic part may launch an attack to make sure I feel guilty, stupid, ugly, awkward or selfish. Then, noticing this downward spiral, another part may flood me with feelings of sadness and hopeless because, according to it, nothing ever happens or changes and probably never will. This is an example of any number of patterns that may keep me stuck and do not allow me to expand and explore my life.
Our many parts function like members of a large family or tribe – with all its diversity. According to Schwartz*, each part is with us from our birth, possessing its own temperamental style and gifts. Whether a Part takes a strong position in the psyche, or exists only in potential, it has to do with the individual’s historical experience in her or his environment. Over the years, some parts are rewarded by the family or culture. With consistent positive reinforcement, they become stronger and achieve a centrality which would describe, what we think of as, our personality. These “Managers” initially helped us survive. Managers think ahead and help us fit in and be successful with others.
By contrast, we have Parts that have been rejected and/or punished or ridiculed by the family, school system, or culture. These “Exiles” are banished and exist in a sort of exile in the unconscious. Very often, they are vulnerable infant or child parts – although Exiles can be any part which has been subjected to disapproval or considered threatening in some way to the family of origin. Surviving for these parts is often done by becoming invisible. They are still young because they are frozen in the original time of their exile. Still, years later, they carry the burdens of fear, fragility, doom, anxiety.
All parts are valuable to the entire system in the same way that all parts of an ecosystem are necessary for the smooth running of that system. A “bad” part is simply a valuable part that has been driven into an extreme role by a traumatic situation.”
*Schwartz, Richard, Ph.D.. (1995) Internal Family Systems. The Guilford Press, New York, N.Y..
I offer a space for you to explore what is happening in your relationships with others that is keeping you stuck in a pattern that is not enhancing your life experience.
Tel : 0868034888 Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Laya Healthcare :
A receipt can be issued for reimbursement .
Irish Life Healthcare:
A receipt can be provided for reimbursement pending client's policy eligibility.
VHI have confirmed that the Irish Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy are a recognised body, of which I am an accredited member.
* It is important to check your own Private Health Company's terms and conditions.
I look forward to retuning to my rooms for one day a week to facilitate clients/supervisees who are not comfortable with the online platform. My rooms abide by the Covid 19 government guidelines.
A little reminder:
I am an experienced counsellor and I understand contacting me is difficult. You may be feeling overwhelmed and possibly finding it difficult to cope. I will support you as we explore what you need from counselling and how I can help you. I believe that life doesn't have to be so hard and it is possible for you to live in a more fulfilling way. Counselling is a wonderful opportunity to take stock of your life, to heal old wounds and figure out how to live happily. Let us work together to help you learn to understand why you are feeling and behaving in certain ways and how to make different choices that will enhance your life.
I specialise in a Body-Centred Psychotherapy called The Hakomi Method. I support you as you study your body's language, enabling you to access more information regarding areas of discomfort, pain or trauma. It is possible to create even deeper healing and change with this gentle method of self-discovery. Please read more – www.hakominetwork.net
What is happening at this moment in your life or what may have happened in the past or indeed a worry about the future is important to you because it is your experience. I acknowledge, value and accept whatever you wish to bring to the counselling process. If it helps please contact me for an initial chat at email@example.com
I would like to wish a Happy New Year to all my clients, supervisees, students and colleagues. I look forward to working with you all again this year Online and Face to Face. Stay Safe!
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I am happy to announce my return to Face To Face sessions beginning Tuesday 4th August whilst still maintaining online sessions. My practice going forward will provide both formats. My rooms at 7 Upper Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin 2 can facilitate all the necessary Covid 19 protection protocols.
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