What is the Hoffman Process?

About the Hoffman Process

Bob Hoffman created the Hoffman Process in 1967, drawing on established techniques and adding a few nuggets of his own. More than 50 years later, his work is even more relevant than it ever was, and the Hoffman Institute now operates from 17 centres in 14 countries worldwide. Many participants see the Hoffman Process as the transition point between their life as it was, and their life as they would like it to be.

The Hoffman Process works on the basis that an intense, condensed experiential programme can speed up someone’s healing journey and is considerably less time-consuming than months or years of traditional one-session-a-week therapy.


Naomie Harris - Actress

hoffman_h“I just want to be the best human being I can be…”
Elle magazine logo

Emma Pearce, Elle Magazine

hoffman_h“I’d never come close to the awakening I had at this retreat”

Rachel Kelly, Author

hoffman_h“When I left, I had a new sense of purpose…”

The theory of Hoffman; childhood as the core

Our early upbringing has a profound effect on our lives. Bob Hoffman recognised that as children we unconsciously adopt the negative behaviours, belief systems, moods, attitudes and insecurities of our caregivers in order to be loved. These patterns of behaviour pass from generation to generation and it is only when we recognise and deal with them that the cycle can be broken. Bob called this ‘Negative Love Syndrome’ (you can watch an intro to negative love in a the short video from Hoffman USA below).

The Hoffman Process teaches us how to release and resolve persistent negative behavioural patterns of feeling unloved and unlovable. We examine the major influences on our lives, trace the root of the adopted negativity, and release any pain, grief, anger, shame or resentment that has been stored there.

The ultimate aim of the Process is to help everyone reach forgiveness and acceptance for themselves and others. This allows for a more compassionate approach to personal relationships and family life.

To read more about the history of the Process and its founder, Bob Hoffman, click here

Matthew Todd

Matthew Todd, Author

hoffman_h“The most powerful single thing that I did in my ongoing journey of recovery”

Patrick Holford, Nutritionist

hoffman_h“By far the most powerful and effective course I have come across.”
Dr Joan Borysenko

Dr Joan Borysenko, PhD

hoffman_h“The most comprehensive, effective programme for healing the wounds of childhood”

What happens on the course?

The Process takes the form of a workshop where each day you’ll be taught tools and techniques to support you for life. Each day will start at 7.30am for breakfast, followed by our first workshop at 8.30am. There are regular breaks and opportunities to get outside into nature, and we aim to finish at 9.30pm each evening. Food and refreshments are carefully planned to ensure that you’re physically as well as emotionally looked after.

In the UK, our Process groups are usually limited to 24 people maximum. The Hoffman facilitators work as a team with a ratio of 1:8. They are highly trained and are licensed to work within a contract of standards of safety governed by Hoffman International. Confidentiality is assured and it is up to you how much you wish to share with others.

The Process has a unique recipe, drawing ingredients from various modalities including Gestalt, NLP, CBT, mindfulness, bioenergetic and psychodynamic work. Exercises are fully explained beforehand and may be done in a group, small groups, in pairs or on your own. Examples include journalling, meditation and guided visualisation, as well as physically expressive exercises. Although you’re supported, encouraged and often inspired by other group members, it’s important you focus on your own journey. For this reason, we do not allow participants to attend a Process week with friends, partners or family members.

In order for you to get the most from the course you’re asked to give up any distractions. This includes mobile phones – although it’s always possible for you to be contacted in an emergency – and other distractions like screens, reading materials or music. We will also ask that you press pause on regular meditative, breathwork, exercise and/or prayer practices during the Process, unless expressly agreed in writing by us in advance of the course. You are encouraged to resume your practices after the Process.

Although our Process venues provide peaceful and comfortable surroundings, often in areas of outstanding natural beauty, Hoffman is not a pampering spa retreat. There will be times of intense emotional and physical experience, some of which may feel challenging at the time. Over the course of the week and in the months and years that follow, you will be able to live your life on your terms, to connect more to those around you, to achieve long-held goals and – though it may sound unconventional – to love yourself.

Everyone’s experience of the Process will be different, because we all have different backgrounds and because we all want different things out of life. This is why the timing of the course and the pre-course work is so important – see our ‘getting the timing right‘ page for more information.

From the moment you first get in touch, our office and enrolment teams are on hand to help and answer any questions you might have. They’ll help to guide you through the registration process and practicalities of attending, until it’s time for you travel to your venue and meet your fellow participants and team of facilitators. After the course, a wide range of post-Process events and materials in on hand for those who have completed the course and choose to stay connected to the Hoffman tools and techniques.