Accessing the Unconscious

An excerpt from Readings in the Hakomi Method, 2012, by Ron Kurtz

The adaptive unconscious operates on the basis of assumptions, expectations, habits and implicit beliefs about ourselves, others and the world of which we are part. These assumptions were created by our earliest and strongest formative experiences. They are not available to consciousness through the usual processes that retrieve memories. They must be accessed using special techniques. The Hakomi Method employs unique techniques, developed over more than thirty years, to accomplish just that.

“The whole world is not the same as the limited one we spent our childhood learning to live in.”

In a very real sense, we start out ignorant of who we are. To gain understanding and control requires deliberate effort. Self-study is a powerful path to change, and it is most powerful when we can discover our unconscious assumptions, when we can examine them with a more mature, experienced and reasoning mind. The whole world is not the same as the limited one we spent our childhood learning to live in. To act as though it is usually results in suffering. The kinds of assumptions that cause such suffering are inaccurate, usually over-generalized, and emotionally charged. Because of this, the suffering they cause is, in principle, unnecessary. It can be lessened or even completely eliminated by changing the assumptions.

“The Hakomi method is designed to access these ‘undigested’ experiences”

Not all formative experiences cause suffering. Positive experiences of love, protection, caring, and enjoyment can also be formative. And, of the negative ones, not all are inaccessible because they occurred too early in life. Some simply happened when the person was vulnerable. They overwhelmed the nervous system. The person simply lacked the inner resources and the external support needed to integrate them. The experiences were “encapsulated” and repressed. The Hakomi method is designed to access these ‘undigested’ experiences and the habits that keep them outside of consciousness. We bring these experiences into consciousness and we find ways to integrate them. And, though the process is at times emotionally painful, it consistently accesses the adaptive unconscious. Doing so makes completion and transformation possible. And this reduces unnecessary suffering.

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