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Core Patterns and Therapeutic Strategy






General Information
From The Trainers
"How we respond to life is a complex weave of emotions and beliefs often rooted in what we have learned at each developmental milestone. The experiences of early childhood shape our minds and bodies in unique yet collectively recognizable pattern. The purpose of this training is to provide the opportunity to learn, by "walking in another's shoes." You will learn the many ways people have of "Responding to Life" by experiencing them directly. The design of this training is to engage you both experientially and cognitively to the deeper awareness of how we are shaped by our life’s events.  We will understand the developmental journey as we uncover the universal responses to how we are attached, loved, received, related to in our lives. The "Responding to Life" training will give you a deep understanding of people’s actions towards and feelings about themselves and others. The method of study is powerful, imaginative and accessible to those from a wide range of professions and interests."


Scope of Training
Character strategies are patterns of behavior, feeling and cognition that determine much of what happens in our internal and external lives. The issues we most commonly confront, in our personal and professional lives are linked to the preferred life strategies we unconsciously select. Similarly, the issues our clients bring to therapy are intimately linked to the characterological strategies they unconsciously use.


The ability to accurately identify these patterns provides a map for us to unfold some of the thorniest problems facing us in our lives. And, identifying these patterns offers the clinician a guide to the essential issues of deep therapy. This workshop will help you in quickly recognizing characterological patterns and in utilizing appropriate experiential interventions.


A variety of the most commonly encountered character strategies will be studied through lecture, demonstrations and experiential exercises to give you a visceral sense of their characterological terrain. For each type we will explore etiology, developmental issues, core beliefs, injuries, somatic components, strengths, transference, countertransference as well as discuss and practice a variety of appropriate interventions tailored to the each specific character strategy.


Participants Will Learn

• To recognize different character strategies and patterns

• The visceral feel of each strategy from the inside

• How to apply specific Hakomi interventions to each type

• Typical countertransference to each strategy

For Whom
Psychotherapists and Mental Health Workers • Body Therapists • Allied Health Workers • Students of Psychotherapy and Counseling • Clergy • those studying in their own personal & spiritual growth.

This training is open to both graduates and non-graduates of previous Hakomi trainings.

Past Brochure

Topic Outline



   1. The essential feel of this pattern.

   2. Recognizing the pattern

   3. Etiology:

       a. child development and learning tasks

       b. disposing factors: metabolism; culture; etc.

  4. Core beliefs that sustain the pattern

  5. The pattern as a Strategic Response to Life

       a. the pattern as a strategy for dealing with an unbearable situation

       b. The pattern as a response to a particular "world"

       c. The pattern as the creation of a particular identity, a working model of self, others, body and the social world.

        d. The pattern as protection and a limit on natural resources - trance

       e. the pattern as a functional and creative adaptation (strengths)

  6. The Missing Experience



  1. Therapeutic issues:

        a. presenting issues: what they may say needs attention

        b. underlying issues: core material that will need to be addressed

  2. Client behavior: some ways the pattern may show up in the session

  3. therapeutic goals

  4. Strategic approaches:

       a. befriending the defenses

       b. gaining the cooperation of the unconscious

       c. working with core material

       d. helpful adaptations and attitudes of the therapist

       e. what to avoid

  5. Specific techniques to accomplish the above

  6. Stuckness:

       a. how the client gets stuck

       b countertransference: how the therapist gets stuck

       c. What the therapy looks and feels like when it is stuck

       d. Approaches for getting all of the above unstuck



  1. Experiencing the pattern

       a. getting into neutral

       b. doing the missing experience

       c. taking on the pattern through: posture, fantasy and tension

       d. interacting in the pattern

       e. interacting with someone in the pattern

       f. going past it

  2. Working with the pattern in Therapy

       a. tape review

       b. role play

       c. practice: client finds the pattern in themselves & presents it

       d. case studies and questions

For More Information

Please contact:
Hakomi Institute of California, 415 839-6788 contact@hakomicalifornia.org