After reviewing some of my notes taken from that Psychotherapy and Spirituality Summit last month, I wanted to highlight Pat Ogden’s approach to treating clients as one that was holistically attractive for many reasons.
I’m not a psychologist, so much of the content and many of the references that these presenters were describing were new to me. Evidently one big influence on Pat Ogden’s professional life was Ron Kurtz who was the pioneer behind the Hakomi method of therapy.
This method sounded so similar to the spiritual approach that on some level of your being, your body/mind/spirit knows what it needs and is working hard to bring that need to your conscious attention—you simply have to listen and allow it to show you what would help to reorganize your health.
So here is more information on Ron Kurtz and the Hakomi method:
“Ron Kurtz: Hakomi uses several particular, unique approaches to helping people study themselves.
We believe–or I believe, anyway–that self-study, as it’s practiced even in the East, is about reducing the unnecessary suffering that comes from not knowing who you really are. In fact, Hakomi means, “Who are you?” So, the way we do it is to establish a safe relationship–a “bubble,” we sometimes call it–within which the therapist helps the client feel comfortable, safe, and cared for.
Serge Prengel (the interviewer): So it’s really “Who are you?” in the sense of how you organize your experience.
RK: Yes, and how you do it unconsciously, automatically—things that go on, as John Lennon would say, while you’re doing something else. There are wonderful new books about the adaptive unconscious, and that’s an essential part of my thinking.
SP: That most of the processes happen unconsciously, and that there’s a reason behind that.
RK: Yes. There’s usually a habit that was learned as an adaptation to a situation, and these habits are not necessarily verbalized or even made aware; we have to bring them into consciousness.
SP: So that’s very much related to that notion that Hakomi is about, “Who are you?” And by creating the experiment, you give the person a chance to actually realize the belief that they carry inside.
RK: Sometimes they call it “self-discovery.” Assisted self-discovery–that’s how I like to think of it.
SP: That’s a very different approach from the more medical-oriented model of pathology.
RK: Yes, it’s totally not a pathological model. It’s a model of, “You want to study yourself? I’ll help you.”
Here’s a YouTube of Kurtz explaining it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=11&v=rcRda7-tsXU
I guess my comment on this Hakomi method is that it reminded me of the NLP approach championed by the Andreas (Connirae, Tamara and Steve) called “Core Transformation” where the NLPer takes a client deeper and deeper into what his body says would make him reach a Core State, such as to feel at peace, or to feel loved, or to feel okay, or to feel a sense of oneness with all.
It involves digging layer by layer into the question “What would make you feel closer to this desired state” as they explore the client’s present undesired feeling as opposed to unrealized but desired feeling that would improve the client’s life. It’s a bit like peeling an onion down to its core point and then doing “soul-parts recovery and reintegration” for the client, which another technique frequently used in hypnosis, NLP, and shamanic healing.
And it’s also far too complicated a process to elaborate on further now, but basically it involves listening more fully and closely to your own body and mind telling you what it really needs and wants in your life to improve your health condition—mentally or physically, or both.
So overall, the therapist’s focus is less about the standard clichéd line of: “How does that make you feel?” and more along the line of: “How do you WANT to feel, and what would you need to do or to receive, to feel that way?”
Anyway, my notes on Ogden extended beyond the Kurtz reference, but I’ll have to do it in parts or this will go way too long. But overall, I was impressed with Ogden’s presentation and hoped that others would study her approach to more holistic therapy.