Process of Change

by Donna Roy, LPC, CHT

The International Hakomi faculty members came together for their annual meeting in August, where they explored the theme of Change and Transformation—in the Hakomi Method, in the Institute and in the human psyche.  True to their heritage, Hakomi Institute trainers and teachers continue to carefully tend this living system of healing. As one of the planners for the faculty meeting, I am feeling inspired by this theme of change and honoring of the clients and students I see who make tremendous changes. So, in this spirit, I decided to be easy on myself for a change and simply share a relevant excerpt from a chapter I wrote for a counseling textbook. You can read the whole chapter on our WEBSITE if you want.

“Hakomi sees change as a natural life process, like the growth of a seed gracefully unfolding into a plant. Transformative change is more than just simple growth, however; Hakomi interventions encourage the client’s evolution into his or her full humanness, into his or her greatest complexity and capacity as a system, much the same way that water braids under pressure, allowing more to flow through the system. Hakomi recognizes that this kind of change requires exquisite attention to safety issues that will foster the willingness to be vulnerable and the courage to move forward in spite of danger, uncertainty, and past traumas. It requires both the existence of a protected and caring environment for the journey, and the presence of an honest, supportive, loving therapist willing to wait and call forth what is true (Kurtz, 1990). Hakomi supports change unfolding in life-affirming ways, trusts that change wants to happen, happens in the present, and occurs when the principles are honored.”

Roy, D. (2006) “Body-centered Counseling and Psychotherapy.” In Capuzzi, D. and Gross, D., Eds. Counseling and Psychotherapy: Theories and Interventions, 4th Edition. Merrill Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ: 2006

A Spiral Language

by Jon Eisman

When my daughter Jade was little, she had a severe crayon and pencil dependency. From the time she could hold them, she was always drawing something [most of the time on paper]. Cards for friends and family; turning 3 random lines into a named object while waiting for our food at the restaurant; even elaborate stick designs on beach sand. Art was her most consistent imaginary friend.

Jade’s daughter Layla, my granddaughter, now 5, has shown almost no interest in such scribblings – she’s been more of a trapeze-swinging, grandpa-wrestling, hip-hop dancing, cat-snuggling girl. That is, until just the other day. She surprised me by skipping up to my desk, and telling me to “look at these!”  In her hand were 15 or so aboriginal-looking drawings of stick figures with long noses, surrounded by a universe of spirals of all sizes.

They’re not people, she explained about the figures, they’re interesting things.

I like all the spirals, I affirmed.

Yes, she replied, the spirals are everything.

This past weekend, on one of my road trips, I emailed Layla, told her I missed her, was looking forward to being home again soon, and that I really liked her drawings and would love it if she felt like drawing me one that could hang by my desk.

She wrote back: I love that email so much! I wish you could see all the messages I drew for mama, with my spiral language on them

My spiral language. Of course! Language is how we represent and express what we experience. Layla’s spiral aren’t just objects, they are her ambassadors into the three-dimensional world.

At my workshop, a tutorial for advanced R-CS practitioners, we spent quite a bit of time exploring the nuances of how best to language various interventions for maximum effect. The difference between, say, that sadness and this sadness, or inviting someone to immerse in their purity, versus into The Pure.

All of us have several languages, some verbal, some somatic, some emotional or energetic. What do you mean when you squint? When you sigh? Does your steely growl mean back off or help me? What poem aches for an untouchable audience when you reach your hand, ever so delicately, to adjust a flower in the vase?

We spend our days absorbing the world, experiencing, being filled and tugged and twisted and soothed and… And, we also spend our days in reply: declaring ourselves, complaining, appreciating, negotiating, wondering, asserting facts and opinions, whispering or howling.

In 1977, we launched the Voyager Space Probes. The equipment on board is mind-boggling. Cameras that can read a newspaper headline half a mile away; tape players that have recorded continuously and flawlessly for over 30 years; gyroscopes that detect angular motion as little as one ten-thousandth of a degree. Tucked in among this astounding scientific apparati are two golden records, each containing sounds and pictures and data about life on earth. Along with wanting to discover and experience the far reaches of our solar system [and beyond], we also wanted to tell whoever may be out there about ourselves – an interstellar declaration of who we are, of how we feel and think and operate.

Right now, after 35 years, Voyager is entering the very limit of our solar system. What space is like out there is unknown, never before experienced, only imagined. New territory; over the edge…

Like Voyager, each of us got launched into space, each of us is recording with amazing acuity the experiences we encounter. and each of us strives and struggles to express all this complexity, all the beauty, nuance, success  and disappointment of our lives, all the spirals we live in and travel through. We aspire to reach our edges, and to discover what may exist beyond our habits and knowings to date.

Every day, whirling through nature, through engagement and response, through imagination and perception, through social and political and economic and spiritual and emotional and relational space. A spiral language. A body language. Poetry and art and Facebook and reality TV.

What are you broadcasting? What are you receiving? What do you hear? What, in your languages, are you declaring?

M.E.T.A. Counseling Clinic Celebrates

The End of Another Successful Year!


Two years ago, the M.E.T.A. Counseling Clinic Opened its doors to the public with two missions in mind.

  1. To offer low-cost, high-quality counseling services to couples and individuals.
  2. To promote and support counseling students in their professional growth by serving as a learning clinic where graduate students could fulfill their university internship requirements under the supervision of Clinic Director, Donna Roy.

The Clinic quickly filled its appointment books shortly after opening its doors in the fall of 2010 and has consistently been well-utilized by the M.E.T.A. community and non-M.E.T.A. community for counseling services. Since 2010, the M.E.T.A. Counseling Clinic has graduated four interns and provided two interns with advanced clinical training after graduation.

It is that time of year once again that the torch is passed from one cohort of interns to the new incoming interns.

Below are the announcements from the graduating interns of the next steps in their counseling careers. Please watch this newsletter and our website for announcements of the new incoming interns!

CLICK HERE for more information about M.E.T.A. Counseling Clinic or to make and appointment, call: (503) 450-9999.

Pearl Waldorf, MS, MSed


I’m excited to announce the opening of my private practice in the Hakomi Institute along side my META Colleagues and Mentors.  I will focus my practice on counseling individuals and couples and I welcome the LGTBQI community.

The way I see it, therapy is a process of uncovering the intuitive clarity within my clients.  Together we will discover and celebrate your unique identity enabling you to more effectively and authentically express yourself. Conscious choice can be a daunting task as we navigate this pressurized world and negotiate relationships.  It is so gratifying to empower my clients to forge their own creative paths.

My background in the literary and performance arts and recent foray into building a business makes me particularly well-suited to supporting art makers and innovators, entrepreneurs and evolutionaries in the distinct challenges they face around living and working with confidence. In my regularly scheduled group, Making Ourselves, I provide professional, closet and cultural creatives an experimental space to identify their blocks to fulfillment and reconfigure their relationships to their work.  I offer a presence based, experiential approach to the self-actualizing task of finding meaningful employment. Get in touch.  I’d love to tell you more about my work!!

Pearl has lived in Portland for 15 years, is a graduate of the California Institute of Integral Studies, and will be practicing under the supervision of Donna Roy LPC CHT.

You can reach her by phone at 971-258-2968, EMAIL or visit her website HERE.

Elizabeth Dissin, MS

Elizabeth Dissin is excited to announce the opening of her private practice beginning August, 2012. She will be offering individual counseling for adults and teens, specializing in trauma, grief & loss, and attachment-related issues.

Trusting in each individual’s internal wisdom and inherent wholeness, Elizabeth views her role as leading clients to their own discoveries by holding space for and accompanying clients on their unfolding journey. She utilizes mindfulness to assist clients in learning about their habitual, automatic responses through direct experience in the present moment, and in challenging and transforming maladaptive patterns for a more fluid and expanded sense of self.

Elizabeth has completed training in levels I & II of Pat Ogden’s Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (Treatment of Trauma; and Attachment, Development & Trauma), and M.E.T.A.’s Year One Comprehensive Training. She expects to complete Year Two of the Comp training in June, 2013.

Elizabeth can be reached at 971-266-3120, by EMAIL or visit her website HERE.  Her office is located at 823 NE Broadway, Portland.

Jon Fox, MS

I am excited to announce that I have recently began my private counseling practice. I provide mindful, experiential, body-centered counseling services for adult individuals and couples who want to understand themselves better so they can make choices more aligned with their truest self. I help those who are feeling stuck in one or more area of their life due to stress, anxiety, depression, and relationship issues to foster increased self-esteem, empowerment, and engage in satisfying and healing relationships.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to be an intern at the M.E.T.A. Counseling Clinic over the past 10 months and to be transitioning my clients from the clinic into my private practice. I now currently have some openings for new clients.

I am a recent graduate of Portland State University with a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Additionally, last month I completed Year-One of M.E.T.A.’s Two-Year Comprehensive Training in Hakomi, RC-S, attachment, and trauma-release methods and will be continuing my training with M.E.T.A. this fall in year-two of the training.

My rate is $75 for a 60-minute session and $90 for a 75-minute session. I offer a limited number of discounted fees for those who are experiencing financial hardship.

If you’re interested in learning more about my counseling services and how we might work together please contact me at (503) 954-4852, or by EMAIL or visit my WEBSITE.

Welcoming the youngest and newest member to the M.E.T.A. Community:

Hope Gabriella Pereira


Born: July 24, 2012 @ 3:33am

21 inches. 7lbs 10 oz

Congratulations to the Proud Parents:

Luna and John Pereira!!

Student’s Corner

by Mark Hashizume

As it is drawing to the close of the first year of my Comprehensive training here at M.E.T.A. as well as completing my Interpersonal Skills Training, I want to make note of what I got out of these amazing experiences.  I entered into these programs based on a leap of faith.  It was not rational for me to move away from my technology focused project management “career” (my series of jobs did not make up a career) to this touchy-feely unknown world of M.E.T.A., especially Comp.  It was scary to make such a commitment to spend a significant amount of time, money, and effort in order to enter into this foreign place of non-analytical and non-corporate way of doing and being.

But you know what?  I feel at home here.  This is where I belong.  The amazing hearts and talents of Donna, Jon, Jessica and all the teaching assistants have created a safe bubble for vulnerability and greater learning, something I have craved for in my life.  I look forward to every weekend I have Comp and IST and feel renewed each time.  This is a place where I can safely, fully be myself.  This is a place where I can practice my authenticity, being in touch with my heart, and to allow my Organic self to emerge so I can bring that more to my world away from M.E.T.A.

I cannot help but notice how all my classmates are getting in touch with their preciousness, their Organic selves.  I delight in how each of us notice and practice the positive changes that we are exhibiting both to the outer world and with our inner world.  I love how some shared that they have spoken up from their big “I” to honor their Needs.  For me, I find myself more at Peace with where I am at in my life and that I am not as Attachment anxious.

So as we are winding down for both trainings, I know I will miss being in such a gathering of mindful ease and (safe) fragmentation every month (for me it is twice a month not counting my small group sessions and informal practice sessions).  I treasure my classmates for they are my teachers, my friends, my comfort and my irritation, in other words, my family.

I am grateful for the whole hearted support from them, directly or indirectly, consciously or inadvertently.  This experience with all of you has been literally life changing.  Thank you.


Mark Hashizume