Holistic counseling or psychotherapy is a modality of therapy that will help you understand how interconnected your mind and body andspirit are. This can be a powerful resource for healing anxiety, depression, or managing any troublesome situation or relationship. Through slowing down and learning to first observe thoughts, emotions, and feelings, you can start to track the various sensations and body experiences you are having in response to these mental activities and learn to work with them. Your thoughts, emotions, and actions have a direct affect on your body and brain chemistry, and the state of your brain and body have a direct influence on your thoughts and emotions. Holistic psychotherpy goes beyond conventional therapy that looks at how you think or feel, to explore and utilize how you are organized on a psycho-physical level. You can realize how your body is triggered, alerting you to slow down, breathe, or move to stop the anxious /depressing thoughts and self-talk that pull you into difficult places - like how you distance yourself from or disconnect from others when you are hurt or angry. When you are holistically aware, you can read your phsycial red flags first, understand the simple brain neuroscience of reactivity, have time to sort out the emotions, and then, more easily care for yourself and your relationships.
From a young age, you form your body by what you are told, what you believe, or what you protect yourself from. Your muscles and postural habits follow what you have been told about yourself and life. "You can do anything, keep trying" allows your body to find strength through doing. "Shut up and sit down, who do you think you are?" lends to hiding yourself and pulling back. Included in your self-concept and body development are your spiritual concepts and beliefs about yourself and life. Hope; trust; optimism; love; friendship; appreciation; self-worth (or a lack of these) - are sometimes defined as spiritual qualities - those aspects of yourself or life that are non-physical and can not be touched. Spirituality can be as simlple as what you find value in, how you connect to people and things, or how you embody your religious beliefs. I have a broad and varied background and training in spirituality that allows me to help people develop a system that will work for them in every day life.
In life, when you find yourself in conflict within or with other people, it is often the result of an inner conflict or an "ego" or personality characteristic - that is stuck or hasn't learned how to get to the next stage of personal development or evolution. These aspects of self are not bad; they've gotten stuck for a reason, as they may have helped us survive in the past but do not work any longer. What are your beliefs about your abilities to change? Changing what you can that does not work and accepting what you can not change in your world are learned skills. You learned them, so you can unlearn them and learn something else in their place, if it would serve you better now. Your personality is just one aspect of who you are. You are born whole, even before you develop your personality. Sometimes, along the way, you lose or are influenced to forget these basic aspects of yourself that know how to be healthy and whole. Holistic counseling and psychotherapy respects the unity between all parts of an individual and works to bring them back together in a harmonious, integrated manner, so that you can feel greater peace and make choices that bring you more enjoyment of life.
Hakomi ~ Body-Oriented Psychotherapy
Below you will find a flyer for a Hakomi workshop (offered by the Hakomi institute), that will describe some aspects of body-oriented psychotherapy. In addition to my many diverse body-oriented therapies I have trained in (bio-energetics, bodynamics, sensory awareness, authentic movement, etc.), I have completed the 2-year comprehensive training and one year advanced training in Hakomi.
Dynamic Mindfulness and the Body
An Introduction to the Hakomi Method of Experiential Psychotherapy
with Melissa Grace, M.A. Certified Hakomi Trainer
“Hakomi presents some astounding methods for getting to core material. It is well-grounded in theory, and revolutionary in its results."
- Association of Humanistic Psychology
“Hakomi is an excellent system for learning key emotional intelligence skills.”
- Daniel Goleman, author of the bestseller “Emotional Intelligence”
“A visionary contribution to mindfulness in psychotherapy.”
-Daniel Siegel, author of “The Mindful Brain” and “The Developing Mind”
Hakomi Experiential Psychotherapy is uniquely effective, integrating the mindfulness and non-violence found in Buddhist and Taoist traditions with a innovative Western methodology originated by Ron Kurtz.
Loving presence and the healing relationship are central to Hakomi. We learn to develop an exquisite sensitivity and attunement to others - both their conscious and unconscious material - and to convey this recognition, creating a deep sense of safety and connection.
Hakomi is a body-centered, somatic psychotherapy. The body is viewed as a door that can be opened to reveal the entire character and belief system of the individual. The body's structures and patterns become a powerful access route to core material.
The dynamic use of mindfulness is a foundation of the Hakomi Method. We teach clients to be mindful during the process, and when unique Hakomi techniques are introduced, we rapidly and safely access the unconscious beliefs and early experiences which shape our lives, relationships, and self-concepts. When unconscious, this hidden material creates projections, conflict and disharmony in our interactions and inner world. Once conscious and directly experienced, these patterns are available for transformation and re-integration. Powerful emotions, memories, and trauma may surface at times during the process, and these are handled safely and effectively.
In this experiential workshop we will also explore the "body as map of the psyche", non-violence in therapy, using empathic skills to read subtle, unconscious cues - and how creating safety, embracing resistance, and protecting the spirit encourage the cooperation of the unconscious.
The workshop will facilitate increased self-awareness for all participants, and introduce practical, evocative skills for professionals. It is designed for psychotherapists, counselors, social workers, and students in these fields, and is also open to individuals in related fields including coaches, educators, and holistic practitioners.
The workshop may also be used as the prerequisite for the Hakomi Therapy Training.
Melissa Grace, M.A., C.H.T. leads Hakomi Therapy trainings throughout the U.S. She is a member of the Hakomi Institute Board of Directors, and has served as Adjunct Faculty Member and Group Process Leader at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. Melissa has facilitated groups for over 20 years, and studied with the National Training Laboratory and the Group Leadership Training. She maintains a private practice in Boulder, offering psychotherapy and life coaching.
For more information, or to register call Hakomi Trainings: 303-266-1866 or email
Hakomi Institute is recognized by the National Board for Certified Counselors to offer Continuing Education for National Certified Counselors. We adhere to NBCC Continuing Education Guidelines (Provider #5476.)
This program is approved by the National Association of Social Worker