The AHA Approach
The Anjali Healing Arts (AHA) Approach
Anjali Healing Arts offers mindfulness-based and body-centered psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic modalities that aim to facilitate mind-body integration and embodied self-awareness. Embodied Self-Awareness is the ability to pay attention to our sensations, emotions, body shape, and movements, in the present moment, without the moderating sway of judgmental thoughts.
In order to create an approach to psychotherapy and holistic wellness that addresses the unique needs of each client, Anjali Healing Arts draws from a variety of somatic/psychology/psychotherapeutic theories and techniques, which include: Hakomi, Humanistic, Gestalt & Gestalt Dreamwork, Jungian & Jungian Dreamwork, Existential, Experiential, Bioenergetics, Body-Mind Centering, Compassion Focused, Cognitive-Behavioral, Dialectical Behavioral, Trauma-Focused, World Wisdom & Spiritual Traditions, Transpersonal Psychology, Somatic Psychology, Positive Psychology, Buddhist Psychology, and Yoga Psychology.
Areas of Focus
- Personal & Spiritual Growth
- Disordered Eating
- Weight & Body Image Issues
- Anxiety & Depression
- Mindfulness-Based Stress Relief
- Queer / Sex / Sexuality
- Spirituality/ Spiritual Abuse & Recovery / Belief Systems
- Somatic Exploration / Conscious Movement
- Grief & Loss
- Barriers to Nourishment / Intimacy
- Interpersonal / Relationship / Attachment Difficulties
- Transpersonal / Altered States of Consciousness
- Addiction Issues
- Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention
- Racism, Classism, Sizism, Ableism, Homophobia, Transphobia,
As a mindfulness-based, body-centered psychotherapist and Hakomi Graduate, I utilize Hakomi techniques and integrate Hakomi Principles in all my work with clients.
Hakomi is an experiential, body-centered, somatic psychotherapy that helps people change “core material.” Core material is composed of memories, images, beliefs, neural patterns and deeply held emotional disposition. It shapes the styles, habits, behaviors, percptions, and attitudes that define us as individuals. Typically, it exerts its influence unconsciously, by organizing our responses to the major themes of life: safety, belonging, support, power, freedom, control, responsibility, love, appreciation, sexuality, spirituality, etc. Some of this material supports our being who we wish to be, while some of it, learned in response to acute and chronic stress, continues to limit us. Hakomi allows the client to distinguish between the two, and to willingly change material that restricts his or her wholeness. http://hakomiinstitute.com
One of my favorite explanations of mindfulness comes from meditation teacher James Baraz, who says, "Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different. It's enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will), and being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won't)."
The University of California Center for Mindfulness describes mindfulness as "a non-judgmental, open-hearted, friendly, and inviting of whatever arises in awareness. It is cultivated by paying attention on purpose, deeply, and without judgment to whatever arises in the present moment, either inside or outside of us." They also advise that, "by intentionally practicing mindfulness, deliberately paying more careful moment-to-moment attention, individuals can live more fully and less on ‘automatic pilot,’ thus, being more present for their own lives.”
Mindfulness Meditation is a western, non-sectarian, research-based form of meditation designed to develop the skill of paying attention to our inner and outer experiences with openness, curiosity, patience, acceptance, and compassion.
In addition to significant decreases in stress, other clinically proven advantages of practicing Mindfulness Meditation include:
- Improved mental function and intelligence
- Elevated immune system function
- Less frequency and duration of illnesses
- Improved management of pain
- Decreased heart rate and blood pressure
- Improved sleep and digestion
- Increased energy
- Improved decision-making ability
- Less irritability, anxiety, and depression
- Improved interpersonal relationships
- Increased resilience to change
- Aid smoking cessation efforts
Soma is originally from Greek meaning, Body. Thomas Hanna named the field of Somatics to reflect study of the Soma (body) viewed as a first-person perception. Anjali Healing Arts offers Somatic Exploration and Mindful/Therapeutic Movement as gentle approaches to mind-body integration, using self-reflection and inner focus from the body. Focus is placed on internal awareness, bodily senses, and experience from stillness to action. This subjective knowledge allows you to become inner directed, as you learn how to notice your own senses and feelings in order to trust and work with the information and wisdom of your inner experiences.