Hugh Smiley, BA, ARCT, CHT www.hughsmiley.com
Hugh practices Hakomi and bodywork in Toronto since 1983. Various areas of experience including depression, anxiety, relationship and vocational challenges, sexuality and spiritual crisis. He provides a safe place within which nourishment and support can be offered and received. The client’s inner “sage” or essence and the unconscious with its vast treasury of valuable information are welcomed into the therapy session which can be quite creative, weaving together elements of dreamwork, shamanic journey, and gestalt along with Hakomi and the Korason Method (see below).
At a young age, Hugh’s intention to study and practice bodywork was first activated by his father’s healing hands. Then his mother coached him as he learned music through the piano eventually receiving an ARCT (Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto) at the age of 17. During university years, spiritual and metaphysical studies quickened his heart and mind and interest in esoteric astrology was born. Years later, while living among indigenous peoples of Paraguay, he began to meditate in nature and was inspired to begin a healing practice combining the use of shamanic chanting with bodywork (massage, shiatsu, reflexology, energy-work). This led to the evolution of the Korason Method of Authentic Voice and Dialogue workshops and training.
In 1979, Hugh met Ron Kurtz, the founder of the Hakomi Method, in Florida, and over the next few years became certified as a therapist and teacher in this method of somatic psychotherapy and mindfulness-based assisted self-discovery, going on to teach Authentic Voice and Hakomi in 10 countries and 4 continents. Before returning to Canada from South America, a vision came to establish a holistic healing centre in the countryside. This manifested in 1988 as Heartsong Hill, a 50-acre forested retreat on Georgian Bay. After 8 years of transformative learning and teaching experiences there, he moved full-time to Toronto and offers sessions in counselling, creative voicework and meditation coaching. In 2007, Hugh completed a degree in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Toronto and continues to explore how interpersonal and international dynamics are related and mutually enlightening.
Hugh leads an ongoing Hakomi Practice Circle as well as co-facilitating a biweekly men’s group. He has presented workshops at numerous conferences such as for the Hakomi Institute (US), the International Association of Facilitators, the Canadian Group Psychotherapy Association and Hakomi Institute Europe.
Awarded the U. of T. Beattie Scholarship in 2006, Hugh travelled to Cairo to research dialogue methods used by Egyptian and international NGOs. This led to the creation of NACAD, the New AndaLuz Centre for Authentic Dialogue, which is now an online community providing experiential learning seminars and facilitator training as well as hosting small brainstorming conferences in Canada and Europe.