About This Training

The Hakomi Character Map training (formerly named “Responding to Life”) details a complete set of character strategies—patterns of behavior, feeling and thinking that determine much of what happens in our internal and external lives. Many of the most difficult issues we confront in our personal and professional lives are linked to the unconscious strategies that keep us feeling stuck, small, afraid, and unlovable, to name a few.  

Changing these patterns is possible through awareness, practice and receiving a precise mix of missing experiences that help to shift the limiting beliefs common to each character strategy. The Hakomi Character Map offers a more efficient and accurate way to recognize and transform such patterns. In addition to detailing the character map, this training will provide practical Hakomi tools to allow for deep and permanent shifts of emotions, beliefs and other unconscious material. 

Identifying these patterns and learning how to work with them offers psychotherapists and other helping professionals a guide to navigating the essential issues of human growth and change.


What You Will Learn

This training will support you to recognize commonly encountered character strategies/patterns through lecture, demonstrations and experiential exercises. For each character type we will explore:

- Etiology/developmental causes

- Underlying emotional world and core beliefs

- Body language and postures

- The visceral feel of each strategy from inside the experience

- Strengths and positive qualities

- Relational habits, trances and projections

- How to apply specific Hakomi interventions for each strategy


From the Teachers

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 patterns. The purpose of this training is to provide the opportunity to learn by "walking in another's shoes." We will understand the developmental journey as we uncover the universal responses to how we are attached, loved, received, related to in our lives. This 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.


About Hakomi

The Hakomi Method of Experiential Psychotherapy offers an elegant, comprehensive and highly effective approach to human change. Hakomi combines mindfulness, unique and powerful somatic techniques, and a focus on present experience to access and transform deeply held, life-limiting core beliefs. For over 30 years Hakomi has pioneered and integrated the use of mindfulness in the human change process. It is backed by thousands of hours of clinical applications and research into the neurological underpinnings of mindfulness. Psychotherapists and other mental health clinicians can successfully use Hakomi in a wide range of applications including individual, couples and family therapy and group work. The Hakomi Method also offers cutting-edge skills for coaches, health professionals and others who work to support human change and growth.

Read more about the Hakomi Method.


For Whom

This training is open to anyone interested in personal and spiritual growth. It is also recommended for practitioners interested in improving their effectiveness with clients, including:

- Psychotherapists, psychiatrists, psychotherapy students and interns

- Coaches and other helping professionals

- Body workers and somatic coaches

- Health practitioners

- Spiritual counselors



Training Dates

We will offer this training again in 2017.  To receive a notice about this training when it becomes available, please join our mailing list.

For More Information
Contact us at (415) 839-6788 or email



ShirleysmallShirley Bar-Dvir, MA, MFT, is a certified Hakomi Therapist, Certified Hakomi Teacher and licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She is an adjunct professor at JFK University. Shirley earned her BA in Social Work from Haifa University in Israel and her MA in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology from JFK University in California. She has been practicing psychotherapy since 1997 seeing families, children, couples and individuals. Shirley’s clinical theoretical background is in psychodynamics, attachment, EMDR, Sensorimotor Trauma work, Enneagram, family therapy and Cranio Sacral therapy.  In addition to teaching Hakomi in California, Shirley also practiced, supervised and taught Hakomi in Israel as a member of the “Hakomi Israel” team, and currently teaches and supervises at JFK University.  Spiritual practice and deep meditation supports her healing work and source her teaching. Shirley maintains a private practice at Anam Cara Healing Center in Berkeley CA.

SusanSusan San Tara, MA, MFT, is a licensed psychotherapist, Certified Hakomi Therapist, and Certified Hakomi Teacher. Susan has been in private practice seeing couples and individuals since 2000. In 2007, she co-founded Anam Cara Therapy Center in Berkeley. For many years, Susan has taught both clinical professionals and the general public and has also taught as an adjunct professor at The California Institute of Integral Studies, in San Francisco. Susan received her Masters Degree in Transpersonal Counseling from John F. Kennedy University. In addition to body-centered and mindfulness-focused psychotherapy, Susan has studied eco-psychology, Amazonian shamanism, energy systems, and Earth based healing approaches for over 20 years. In her work, Susan weaves wisdom from the natural world, the poetry embedded in the body, and a love of the divine mystery into her warm, nurturing and friendly style, setting the tone for a dynamic and satisfying growth environment.