Being with Horses

This past summer, I began my journey to learn about, and become certified in, Equine-Facilitated Wellness (see also www.healinghooves.ca and www.equinefacilitatedwellness.org). I have loved horses since adolescence, when I took a horseback riding class through my junior high school. I still remember the big, beautiful, black horse whom I rode, his name was Christopher Robin. After the class finished, I wanted to continue riding, however, my family did not have the means to support my new-found passion. Fast forward many years to adulthood, and I was finally able to return to riding for several years before I had my children, when my horse time was put on hold again. Then three and a half years ago, I lost three very important women in my life within a short period of time. These losses had a significant impact on me and while I took some time away from my psychology practice, I returned, once again, to the horses. Quite simply, these amazing animals helped me to heal, and, I believe, saved me. Their presence, physicality, being-in-the-moment, and unconditional love and caring are qualities that I want to share with my clients, to help their healing.

Understanding Hakomi

The Hakomi Method of Mindfulness-Centered Somatic Psychotherapy was first created in the late 1970’s by the internationally renowned therapist and author, Ron Kurtz. In 1981, to fully develop the method and promote the teaching of Hakomi, Ron and a core group of therapists and educators founded the Hakomi Institute. Today, Hakomi Trainings and workshops are presented throughout the world, in North America, Europe, Japan, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand.

Touch is a signal that I understand and that I'm present. Touch is essential.
- Ron Kurtz

Integrating scientific, psychological, and spiritual sources, Hakomi has evolved into a complex and elegant form of psychotherapy that is highly effective with a wide range of populations. The method draws from general systems theory and modern body-centered therapies including Gestalt, Psychomotor, Feldenkrais, Focusing, Ericksonian Hypnosis, Neurolinguistic Programming, and the work of Wilhelm Reich and Alexander Lowen. Core concepts of gentleness, nonviolence, compassion, and mindfulness evolved from Buddhism and Taoism.

At its most basic level, Hakomi is the therapeutic expression of a specific set of Principles: Mindfulness, Nonviolence, Unity, Organicity and Mind-Body Integration; these tenets inform every aspect of the work. The first concern of Hakomi Trainings is that our students embody these Principles as a deep and consistent part of who they are and how they work. This means a heartfelt, long-term commitment to their own growth, both personal and professional. Our goal is to foster high quality, caring therapists who are as dedicated to their own self-awareness as they are to the understanding of others. We further support students in discovering their own style, creativity and unique application of the Hakomi Method.