Hakomi is a somatic or body-centered approach to counseling that is an alternative to traditional talk therapy.  As such, it incorporates mindfulness and body awareness into traditional counseling methods.  Akin to meditation, mindfulness is your capacity to sustain your attention and curiosity in one area of your experience for an extended period of time.  Mindfulness thus becomes a tool for you to experience yourself in a non-judgmental way.  The depth and the quality of your sustained awareness will lead you to a greater understanding about who you are in this world.   It can help you face the central life issues that you struggle with and provide you with the opportunity to resolve them.  Developing your mindfulness expands your strength and power in your life.   This naturally creates an opportunity for change and transformation into the person you’ve always wanted to be.



Hakomi body-centered (or somatic) psychotherapy is a counseling approach for anyone seeking the following:

  • An alternative approach to traditional talk-therapy
  • An effective way to resolve past trauma and/or abuse. (Is your life being impacted by past trauma? Find out by clicking here.)
  • Skills to integrate your mind with your body
  • Greater closeness & less defensiveness in your relationships
  • A more holistic way to work with your specific mental health issues
  • Resolution of your chronic pain
  • Developing your intuition
  • Spiritual development


A Hakomi session begins much like a traditional counseling session, where we will meet in my Portland office.  You will sit across from me and share what’s on your mind for that day.  As the session unfolds, I will eventually invite you to close your eyes and turn your attention inwards towards your present experience.  You might notice one of the following experiences that are happening inside of you: a specific sensation felt inside your body, the subtle positioning of your physical body, certain imagery seen in your mind’s eye, or perhaps the felt-sense of a particular emotion you might be feeling.  I will encourage you to spend a little time feeling into that experience using your attention and curiosity.

Photo: Rannveig Aamodt

The session then takes a more spontaneous course based on the information that begins to emerge from the content of your experience.  However, each session gradually moves towards a greater understanding of your unique core life-patterns that you have been unconsciously living by.  During a Hakomi session you directly face your pain by turning your own compassionate attention towards it.  The role of the therapist then is to be right there with you in this endeavor. The therapist’s job is not to fix you or relieve your suffering, but rather to bear witness and support you as you begin to make your unconscious patterns conscious.  As your understanding of those patterns expands, so does the opportunity to develop alternate ways of being in the world.  Eventually, this leads to you have more choice in your life about how you would like to be.  As there is more choice, there is then more freedom, creativity, and spontaneity in your life.


To read more about mindfulness, click here.