What is the Hoffman Process..?
What, you may ask, is the Hoffman Process? In a nutshell, it is the Rolls Royce of all personal development workshops, the workshop to end all workshops. The Hoffman Process was founded by Bob Hoffman, and so far over 80,000 people have done the course worldwide. It is rapidly gaining momentum, with an active centre in the UK.
The Hoffman Process is confidently described by its capable team as “8 Days to Change your Life”, and in my mind it certainly delivered just that. Participants are guided skilfully through a series of experiences and exercises designed to help them uncover and release their inner blocks such as control issues, low self-esteem, chronic shame, impatience, inability to form or keep relationships, under-achievement at work, depression, anxiety etc….
DOES IT WORK?
Statistical research has shown that well over 90% of participants report being radically transformed by the experience in beneficial ways (Caldwell report). I was no exception to the rule. As a Consultant Psychotherapist, I know of no other method that comes anywhere near this kind of result. This is what happened to me: through a friend’s introduction, here I was, sitting expectantly at the Introductory Talk, this time last year, curiously listening to the histories of rapid healing and transformation that were being recounted by Tim Laurence, course organiser for the UK, as well as the group of friendly and genuine course graduates who came to share their experiences.
As a trained Medical observer, I was sceptical of any quick cures, and I was at first a little disbelieving when they talked about the changes they had undergone in their personal and professional lives. How had so many healed chronic emotional wounds, relationships and compulsive addictive behaviours… All in one week.!? After all, I was an expert on workshops. I had run them, and I had attended dozens of excellent experiential and challenging personal growth workshops for myself, and had also experienced extensive one-to-one therapy, over the previous 11 years. Yet here I was, still hitting against those deepest wounds of fear, neediness, and toxic shame, often feeling like vulnerable, frightened child in an adult’s body.
But by the end of the meeting, I just knew in my heart and soul, that somehow this was the opportunity I had been waiting for, to heal all those childhood wounds in one fell swoop. I went home and devoured their literature. They quoted some influential endorsers, including:
John Bradshaw, a well-known TV personality and author of Bradshaw on: The Family, and Healing the Shame that Binds You. “The Hoffman Process is the most effective method I know for releasing your original pain and connecting deeply and joyously with your soul. I recommend it without reservation.”
Joan Borysenko, Co-founder Harvard Mind-Body Clinic, author of Power of The Mind to Heal, said “The Process changed my life. I consider it essential for anyone on a healing path.”
Gary Lapid, M.D., Asst. Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Stanford University commented, “My experience in referring more than 90 clients is that the Hoffman Process effectively removes impasses and enhances the velocity of healing. It produces rapid results that could take years in more traditional settings.”
Michael Ray, Professor, Stanford University, author of Creativity in Business, who like Lapid and Borysenko has first hand experience of the course, adds that “This programme enables executives and entrepreneurs to overcome the inevitable life patterns that stifle creativity and thwart business success.”
THE BIG DAY COMES
Finally, the big day came. I had completed the Pre-Course work and answered a questionnaire that had really made me think about my life up to that moment. Here I was at the workshop venue, a secluded retreat in the country, hopeful and determined to give it my very best shot. I felt I was fighting for my life. Deep down, I was scared stiff that I would be one of the few who wouldn’t ‘make it’, and would return home unchanged after a few day’s high, like every other workshop I’d been on.
The course, which was residential, was hard work. I expressed myself with a freedom and an intensity I had never achieved before. I scrutinised my conditioning and turned it inside out. I exorcised the ghosts of the past by coming to understand and then forgive my parents for all their mistakes and imperfections. I learned to be far more compassionate to them, as well as to my wife and children. At times I felt challenged as never before. At other times, and this surprised me, I had more fun than I’d had for many years. Healing does not apparently have to be all misery-filled! We worked on our Process for 11 hours a day. We were taught to look at all four levels of our personality in a concrete, and perfectly integrated way: the body, the emotions, the intellectual faculty, and the spiritual side. We were introduced to an internal guide, through guided visualisations, and tapped a greater source of energy, compatible with any religious belief. We were given a number of tools to help us on our own life’s progress, to continue to react with natural responses rather than in a conditioned way.
As we parted on the last day, I really felt I had become part of a loving family at last. I had beheld miracles in action. I remember a small, frightened and defensive young woman, who had been severely abused as a child. I kept my distance from her, as I felt strong signals from her that men should stay away. By the end of the week, I couldn’t believe the transformation in her: light literally shone from her face, which was lit up with an open and inviting smile!
THE CHANGE HAS LASTED
Well here I am, two years later. I can honestly say that the changes have lasted. This was no 7-day wonder. I have lost 95% of my toxic shame, and of my chronic fear and body tension. (I was unaware of how much tension I had been experiencing until I felt its strange but delightful absence!) I experience an inner calm and acceptance of life and myself. My relationships with my children, with my friends and colleagues have become much richer and less conflictual. My neediness is healed, except at times of intense stress. It has helped me immeasurably in my work with clients, and in particular in accepting more fully and working more easily with my anger. Yes, I am still human, and I still do get stressed – one thing is that I had recently decided to move myself and family of five to Manchester even before I had arranged work!
I have learned most of the time to let go of that old thought in my head: ‘life is a struggle’ and relaxed into the flow of life instead with a complete trust in G-d. I have made many new friends in this period. Life is unfolding in a new and positive way, and I have no doubt the Hoffman Process deserves a mighty portion of my gratitude. I have since recommended the Process to many of my clients and friends, several of whom have already done the course and benefited tremendously.
Dr. Dov B. Stein, MB, is a Senior Consultant Psychotherapist at Cheadle Royal Hospital, and Founder of Awakenings, the Centre for Human Development, Psychotherapy, and Healing in Dublin.
[Credit: Dr Dov B. Stein]
– IACT Magazine Eisteach