Article by Ron Kurtz
Hakomi Deals with the Organization of Experience
“A good therapist, shares control with everything present, sometimes moving deeply into the unfolding action, sometimes waiting quietly as the other does inner work, surfing gracefully the changing amplitudes of intimacy.” Ron Kurtz
Hakomi deals with the organization of experience. For people having experiences, that’s you, me and everyone else, an experience just happens, full blown and immediate. We see what we see without feeling or sensing how the brain creates images. We see the shapes and colors, we speak words and sentences, we make hundreds of movements with our eyes, all without knowing how our brains do these things. All experience is the outcome of complex organizing processes of the brain, processes that take place outside of consciousness.
For vision, there are fifty or so different centers in the brain that contribute to the final visual experience. These centers handle things like color, depth and sequence. Their functions become obvious only when they cease to function normally. There are some unconscious organizers that exert a very strong influence on our whole way of being. As Hakomi therapists, these are the organizers we’re interested in. They are emotions, beliefs, attitudes, early learning, adaptations and memories. We call these organizers core material. Often, they are as inaccessible to the ordinary consciousness as are the circuits in the brain that create vision.
material causes unnecessary suffering and the method provides a way to reduce it.
However, using this method, some of them can be made conscious. The method makes core material conscious. Some core material causes unnecessary suffering and the method provides a way to reduce it. Some suffering is unnecessary because the core material that organizes it is no longer applicable. Some beliefs and adaptations developed in early life situations no longer pertain, but are still active. Though the current situation has changed, the old adaptations are still being automatically applied. Outdated or not, they go on organizing experience, causing problems and unnecessary suffering. So, we work to bring core material into consciousness. Doing so offers the person a chance to reduce that kind of suffering. Once in consciousness, core material can be examined and revised and its influence eliminated or greatly diminished. The way we do this is unique.