Case Study


In Search of a Lost Self: Reclaiming Our Missing Experiences


It sometimes seems as if there isn’t a psychotherapy seminar or workshop anywhere in the country that doesn’t have “mindfulness” in the title, yet most therapists these days are still vague about how they can use mindfulness techniques, minute-by-minute, in sessions, and how guiding clients through mindfulness exercises can help resolve difficult, long-standing issues. So what follows is a brief primer on the specifics of incorporating mindfulness into therapeutic practice.

Let’s start with a basic question: what is mindfulness? According to Jon Kabat-Zinn’s pathbreaking 2005 book, Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life, mindfulness is awareness with intention and without judgment of what’s happening—as it’s happening—in the present moment. As with other forms of therapy, the application of this concept requires the structure of selected tools and techniques.

In my work, I draw on two body-oriented mindfulness methods, Hakomi and Somatic Experiencing: the Hakomi Method, originated by Ron Kurtz, helps clients tap into core beliefs held below the level of conscious awareness; Somatic Experiencing, developed by Peter Levine, focuses on resolving traumatic activation in the nervous system. Using these methods, I guide clients into deeper states of body awareness. In the moment-to-moment experience of sensation, movement, and images, clients learn how their nervous system organizes itself around old patterns, and how to…

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1 Comment

Thursday, July 4, 2013 1:01:42 AM | posted by Paul Howard
Shai Lavie's case study paints a vividly clear and touching portrait of Hakomi in action while, at the same time, illuminating the neurobiological theory that supports its efficacy. Bravo!

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