Body-Centered Psychotherapy, The Hakomi Method, Ron Kurtz, LifeRhythm, 1990.
This is the text on Hakomi. While, for the most part, this book is serious reading, the book is a good introduction to the principles and method of Hakomi and to the therapeutic applications of mindfulness. Inspiring for therapists and clients alike. Available from amazon.com or from the publisher. Read review.
Grace Unfolding; Psychotherapy in the Spirit of the Tao te ching, Greg Johanson and Ron Kurtz, Bell Tower, 1991.
This is a beautiful and clear book on a psychotherapy which sensibly integrates principles from Eastern spiritual disciplines. "Save yourself a lot of time and read this remarkable book" - John Bradshaw. "In a clear, gentle, and sometimes humorous voice, it speaks to us of therapy as partnership, as 'being in communion', with the task of the therapist to help us to be more aware of our unique individuality, our connection with all life, and - above all - our own inner wisdom." - Riane Eisler, author of The Chalice and the Blade. Read review.
Books By Hakomi Faculty
Experiential Psychotherapy With Couples - A Guide For The Creative Pragmatist is the application of Hakomi to Couples Therapy. The book demonstrates how to use Hakomi principles and interventions in couples therapy. It demonstrates with numerous clinical examples how to track non verbal communication and experiences, how to join with a couple, how to use live experience to access and explore deep organizational material, how to name and intervene in repetitive couples systems. It also includes a longer section on character and how the interactions of character influence relationships, and a section integrating experiential work with more traditional theories of marriage and family therapy. Ron Kurtz wrote the forward. Read review. Website.
Practice of Wholeness: Spiritual Transformation in Everyday Life, Lorena
Monda. Golden Flower Publications, 2000.
Book Covers and Reviews
"This book is an absolute must. Ron Kurtz is a healing transformation looking for a place to happen. Hakomi is the absolute 'cutting edge' in modern therapeutic technique. Kurtz belongs to the masters. Perls, Berne, Lowen, Bandler and Grindler would certainly call him brother". John Bradshaw
"In Body-Centered Psychotherapy Ron Kurtz explains how he developed this unique approach and how and why it works. I find it a beautiful expression of the partnership model: a way of healing that recognizes not only the essential partnership between body and mind but between therapist and client; that shows that inclusion, empowerment and nonviolence make it possible for us to listen to ourselves and move to new levels of consciousness". Riane Eisler, author of The Chalice and the Blade
Hakomi is a Hopi Indian word which means "How do you stand in relation to these many realms?" A more modern translation is, "Who are you?" Hakomi was developed by Ron Kurtz, co-author of The Body Reveals. Some of the origins of Hakomi stem from Buddhism and Taoism, especially concepts like gentleness, compassion, mindfulness and going with the grain. Other influences come from general systems theory, which incorporates the idea of respect for the wisdom of each individual as a living organic system that spontaneously organizes matter and energy and selects from the environment what it needs in a way that maintains its goals, programs and identity. Hakomi also draws from modern body-centered psychotherapies such as Reichian work, Bioenergetics, Gestalt, Psychomotor, Feldenkrais, Structural Bodywork, Ericksonian Hypnosis, Focusing and Neurolinguistic Programing. Hakomi is really a synthesis of philosophies, techniques and approaches that has its own unique artistry, form and organic process.
Grace Unfolding: Psychotherapy in the Spirit of the Tao-te ching, Greg Johanson and Ron Kurtz
This sensible and compassionate book relates the principles of the Tao-te ching - Lao Tzu's Chinese classic - to the practice of contemporary psychotherapy. With extraordinary insight it clarifies the roles and responsibilities of both clients and therapists. In addressing such important issues as the meaning of nonviolence and nondoing, the use of the body in therapy, the introduction of mindfulness, the nature of transformation and growth, the concept of the inner child, and the interrelatedness of all things, Greg Johanson and Ron Kurtz offer readers the skills and awareness they need to understand the therapeutic process more fully. The gentle yet paradoxical power and wisdom of the Tao-te ching have guided people for more than two thousand years. Grace Unfolding places this ancient tool in the hands of new generations of those who seek psychological balance and integration of mind, body, and spirit.
“Rob Fisher has outlined an extraordinarily innovative approach to the treatment of couples. Thoughtful and provocative, his book bring together a wealth of disparate perspectives to generate a clinical framework that is altogether original” David Wallin, PhD. Co-author of Mapping the Terrain of the Heart: Passion, Tenderness and the Capacity to Love.
"Rob Fisher has developed a host of effective ways to resolve gridlock by tapping into experience that the partners often don't even know they are having. Its hard to read his new book without repeatedly thinking 'That's how I should be doing couple therapy'" . Daniel B. Wile, PhD. Author of Couples Therapy: A Non-Traditional Approach.
"Rob Fisher has performed the delicate task of integrating classical theories and techniques of couples psychotherapy with such important innovations nonviolence, mindfulness and body-mind holism. His advocacy of freeing ourselves from character strategies that cripple our capacity for relatedness rings true. Using lots of clear clinical examples, he guides the reader through experiential methods of assessing couples problems, and the experiential means to unravel them. Accessible and imminently useable, this book can be used by therapist and couple alike to plumb the depths of relational intimacy. I plan on assigning it to both my students and clients." Christine Caldwell, PhD. LPC, Director, Somatic Psychology Department, Naropa University
" Whether they want to learn a new system or to supplement their existing approach(es), therapists of many persuasions will find Experiential Psychotherapy with Couples: A Guide for the Creative Pragmatist to be an aptly named treasure trove. Both theoretically sophisticated and full of "how to" techniques and illustrating case examples, its also fun to read. I recommend it enthusiastically!" Michael Hoyt PhD. Author of Some Stories are Better than Others, Brief Therapy and Managed Care, Interviews with Brief Therapy Experts and The Present is a Gift.
"Well written and filled with clear examples and exercises, this book offers practical guidelines to therapists interested in applying and experiential orientation to couples work and in integrating it with other schools of family therapy." Richard C. Schwartz, PhD. Author of Family Systems Therapy, co-author of Family Therapy: Concepts and Methods.
My initial experience with this book was probably a classical example of why the author says spiritual transformation does not come easily to most people. I read the book voraciously. The prospect of the wholeness that Lorena Monda described was enticing. The concepts she spoke of were universal. In every section, I found something that resonated: Hiding your grief from your friends because they think you should be over it. Dividing ourselves into "us" and "them." How to be ourselves while at the same time be willing to change for another.
But in spite of the author's insistence that this book was intended to be used as a workbook, I skimmed or skipped through most of the exercises. I had lots of excuses: I didn't have the time; they were for people who had never done much therapy; I couldn't see how doing them would help me; I was already knee-deep in "real" homework. So when I closed the book it was with a deep respect for the author's wisdom, but (not surprisingly) nothing had changed for me. For as Lorena points out repeatedly throughout the pages of this book, insight is not enough. Transformation is in the practice.
In the days after my first reading, I would remember a sentence, a thought, and for a fleeting moment I would again be drawn to the possibility that things could be different from what they are now. I found myself returning to a certain section, a chapter, re-reading parts that had brought tears to my eyes. And most importantly, I found myself peeking at the exercises with curiosity. Thinking, well if she's as wise as she sounds, then she must know what she's talking about when she says this book is meant to be used as a workbook....
So now, I am slowly, cautiously going back, and practicing. Sometimes playfully, sometimes painstakingly, but practicing. In a sense, writing this review is part of my practice of wholeness. One night, I caught myself thinking, "I'll be able to write a great review for this book when my own transformation is complete." And immediately Lorena's words came to mind: We think we'll find happiness once we work through these issues...or we complete that project...or find that soulmate. My transformation is far from complete, but practice has made me mindful of the fact that wholeness is available here and now.
Do the exercises if you can. But even if insight is all you're after right now, pick up this book. Reading it is a delight. Gentleness and patience are interwoven into every word. You can't help but learn to pay more attention to your body, as Lorena skillfully weaves together Oriental Medicine, Western psychotherapy, the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, and a deep belief in the interconnectedness of being.
I'm giving copies of this nourishing book to several friends.
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