Article by Ron Kurtz
Hakomi is Experimental
We do something that no other therapy that I know of does. We do experiments with clients while they are in a mindful state. These experiments are brief and evocative. They are created on the basis of what we have observed about the individual and they are designed to evoke reactions that will lead directly to emotional release and/or insight. And mindfulness is essential. When a client is mindful, attention is on the flow of moment-to-moment experience. The person in a mindful state is letting things happen without trying to control them. The quality of attention is very different from ordinary attention. Attention is turned inward and just observing. In that state of being, the usual mechanisms that prevent certain thoughts and emotions are suspended. Evocative interventions at such times can produce strong, significant reactions.
When a client is mindful, attention is on the flow of moment-to-moment experience.
Here’s an example: a person who habitually talks rapidly while carefully watching his listener, may be being influenced by a core belief that people do not have time for him. Speaking rapidly is often an indicator of such a belief. One experiment the practitioner could do with the person in a mindful state would be to say something like this: Please notice what happens when you hear me say, “I have time for you.” That kind of statement could get a reaction, like the immediate thought, “No one ever does!” Or, the reaction could be a sudden feeling of sadness. It could be a memory of not being heard by a significant person. A whole scene like that may appear. For the person noticing the reaction, the feelings and memories that arise bring with them the knowledge that this issue is still a source of emotional pain.
At this point in the process, there are things to do that will ease the hurt and modify the core material and the behaviors it is organizing. Getting to this point is what experiments in a mindful state are designed to accomplish.