A Description of HAKOMI Approach and Principles
Excerpts from "Neuroscience and Psychotherapy" by Marilyn Morgan, SRN, B.A., MNZAP
Marilyn Morgan is a master teacher and Certified Hakomi Trainer who has a special interest in the new and exciting developments
in interpersonal neurobiology. In this article she introduces a number of currently relevant advances in neuroscience (2006)
"Many people who have had traumatic childhoods have problems with memory. They sometimes can’t consciously remember most of childhood, yet unwanted feelings and images from childhood experiences may intrude. It is not uncommon to forget a lot of details in daily life as an adult; appointments, where one has put car keys, phone numbers and so on.
"Ron Kurtz, founder of Hakomi, (Kurtz, 1990), described the child as `the mapmaker’. Neuroscience emphasizes that the connections formed within the brain are experiencedependent. A person is born with approximately 100 billion neurons. If these nerve cells were placed end-to-end they would stretch two million miles. There are many nerve connections already in place at birth, the being brain was hard-wired to seek connection with caregivers, and basic bodily functions proceed. However, the major growth of neurons and the wiring of neuronal circuits are yet to take place depending on experiences to come. Eventually each nerve cell is likely to have 10,000 connections.
"Daniel Siegel describes the brain as an anticipatory machine. The infant’s, and child’s, interactions with her world are imprinted in her brain circuitry. She is `wired up’ for a particular world. Her brain is coded with all kinds of memory, and most of the early memory will be unconscious. However, this memory will deeply affect later emotions, behaviour patterns, beliefs, and abilities to process information. In Hakomi we call this core material, and the shaping of character styles. Other models describe ‘deep cognitive structures’, ‘schemata’, ‘unfinished business’, or sometimes ‘the inner child’. 
"When the parent to whom the child goes for comfort and mirroring is also a source of fear this creates massive neural disorganization. Trauma and abuse in the young child has a serious impact on brain structure and function. Those parts of the brain undergoing critical growth at the time of the trauma will be particularly affected. This child is likely to have a smaller brain overall, fewer fibres in the corpus callosum connecting the left and right hemispheres, a smaller hippocampus, and poor development of prefrontal lobe areas. (Teicher, 2002)"
"Implicit memory ...is generally unconscious, and there is not the sense of ‘remembering’. Things feel as if they are happening now, in the present. Implicit memory requires no attention to be encoded. There are different kinds of implicit memory: Procedural memory is the patterns of behaviour and habits we learn. It is mediated by the cerebellum and striatum.
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