new way forward
The Path to Emotional Maturity Naomie Harris
The Path to Better Health Ben Shuckburgh
Miss Moneypenny on spies, life and Hoffman
How I beat cancer and joined the fast lane
The Path to Self Belief Lotte Mullan
The Path Back to Love Family Focus
Taking on the music industry - and winning
Tackling issues and changing relationships
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ho T ld o H in o g ff ev m en an ts G or rad w ua or t ks es ho ps .
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On the brow of Seaford Head, Sussex, sits Florence House; a much loved venue for life enhancing workshops and retreats, weddings, corporate off site training events, Bed & Breakfast and moreâ€Ś Conferences Florence House can accommodate conferences for up to 30 people on a residential basis. We can accommodate larger groups for one day events. The peace and seclusion provides a unique and creative environment for conferences, business seminars or team building away days.
3* Bed & Breakfast We also welcome individuals to enjoy the house as a bed & breakfast. Each of our rooms is individually decorated to create a calm and simple space for you to enjoy a great nightâ€™s sleep free from TV or radio distractions.
Weddings We are licensed for weddings and civil partnerships and believe that Florence House is the ideal place to host your special day because it has none of the limitations of a hotel. We offer you the opportunity to make the house your own for the day and celebrate it in the way you want.
For further information, call Mairin or Steve on t: 01323 873700 or e: firstname.lastname@example.org www.florencehouse.co.uk
When youâ€™re serious about change
would trace where In 2016, weâ€™re certain negative celebrating behaviour the 20th patterns had anniversary of comea from â€“ Hoffman UK. ince the Hoffman Process began in the early 1970s wonderful either inherited Since our very variety of people have been drawn to experience the course. A huge thank from or a reaction ďŹ rst Process at you to all those participants who have shared their stories and allowed us to the behaviour Fawley Court, to use their photographs for our vibrant magazine cover year. or of this parents Henley, weâ€™re surrogates. proud to have hosted over We canâ€™t control everything that happens to us, but we can control how called 300 Processes we react to things, and the articles in this third issue ofHoffman our magazine are this â€˜negativeâ€™ in England love, and dealing with more changing career path following an illness, overcoming addictions, choosing with this became than 6,000 not to passAnd on negativity toBob the next generation or deciding take your one oftothe two attendees. Hoffman principle tenets of itâ€™s all down foot off the pedal, all our contributors have managed to turn life challenges (1922-1997) the Process. The to this man:
other one being the Quadrinity Bob Hoffman, and his vision of â€“ a term he coined to deďŹ ne the â€˜spreading peace in the world, I hope you are stories and that theyofmight four essential aspects self â€“ one person at ainspired time.â€™ by some of these encourage you to seize the life you have and really live it. physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual. Negative patterns Bob Hoffman was born in of behaviour, and the negative New York in September 1922. thoughts that often accompany If Freud and his followers them, interfere with our ability introduced the effect of to achieve a proper balance of childhood on our conditioning, these four life dimensions. Bob supplied a vital missing Serena Gordon piece, love. Hoffman UK co-Founder & Managing Director Bob Hoffman created the Hoffman Process to deal with Love is the glue that keeps the these negative patterns and to family unit healthy. If love is enable each one of us to ďŹ nd missing, we need it so badly that the necessary life balance to looking for it becomes a main lead happy, fulďŹ lling, loving and motivator in our behaviour lovable lives. patterns.
Ben Shuckburgh: Small Steps To A Big Vision
Naomie Harris: Being The Best You Can Be
Joan Borysenko: Control Your Foods, Tackle Your Moods 6 News From Hoffman Graduates
WhereItâ€™s Hoffman began Betty Hughes: Never Too Late To Change3
Stress: 10Toearly 5 Nikki Wyatt: How Makesymptoms Your Holidays Count
Clare Gilsenan: Dealing With Loss Elle Decoration article
Hilary Gallo: Power Of Soft WhatThe a Performance!
Manuela Berger: Make Friends With Your Feelings
Lotte Mullan: Living On The Edge
Many faces of Parkinsonâ€™s
Rising from the Ashes
Stuffocation: Social Trends
20 years of Hoffman in the UK
Susan McGrath: Codependency, Attachment And Addiction Bewildered by Choice?
Are you Addicted to Love?
Putting Your Family In Focus
Julia Pitt: Helping To Heal Relationships Carole Saad: Powerful Parenting Green, Green Grass Of Home
30 32 36
Jekyll & Hyde: Addictions 34 Frederique Bicker: Time Out, Not Burnout
Emotional Reboot: Adoption Course Dates and Events
Running for your Life
Events, info and dates For all enquiries please call:
If you would like to advertise or contribute in our next issue, weâ€™d love to hear from you.
+44(0)Please 1903use 88the99 90 details below. contact
Hoffman UK address: Quay House, River Rd, Editor: Serena Gordon
When Bob started his work, initially with individual clients, and soon after with small groups, he ďŹ rst asked each to complete a comprehensive and emotionally-charged autobiography. From this he
Bob died in 1997 but his legacy lives on robustly through the great work done by Hoffman teachers and Institutes throughout the world.
Arundel, email@example.com West Sussex BN18 9DF Designer: Jo Sennett www.hoffmaninstitute.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org Features Writer: Nikki Wyatt email@example.com
Or email:For all enquiries please call Features +44 Editor: (0) Nikki 1903 Wyatt 88 99 90
firstname.lastname@example.org Hoffman UK address: Quay House, River Rd, Arundel, West Sussex BN18 9DF
For more information about Hoffman in the UK, see page 22.
Photograph by Jo Sennett
international... The Hoffman Process Hoffman Institute International, based inbased the UK. International Processoperates operatesworldwide worldwide under under the umbrella of Hoffman International, in Hoffman the UK. HII was set was set up to ensure the quality, standards and delivery of theofProcess throughout the world. Visit: Visit: www.hoffman-international.com www.hoffman-Âinternational.com up to ensure the quality, standards and delivery the Process throughout the world. Hoffman Institute UK www.hoffmaninstitute.co.uk
Institut Hoffman France
Hoffman Institute Ireland
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Hoffman Institute Foundation USA www.hoffmanireland.com
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Hoffman Institute Russia
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Hoffman Institute Canada
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Hoffman Institute Brazil www.centrohoffman.com.br www.institutohoffman.com.br
SMALL STEPS TO
a big vision
Ben Shuckburgh made some big changes for the better after completing the Hoffman Process. One might even have saved his life. Here he talks to David Wallace about challenges, fast cars and cancer.
n his 42nd birthday Ben Shuckburgh received a surprise no one would ever wish for – throat cancer.
Yet little more than two years later, driving at top speeds of almost 150 mph, Ben fulfilled a life-long dream and took the chequered flag at the prestigious Freddie March Trophy race at Goodwood in his hand-restored 1953 Cunningham C-4R sports racing car. It’s the sort of stuff the Boy’s Own Paper was writing about around the time the C-4R was originally being built. One of the key aspects of the Hoffman Process is its ability to empower participants to make significant changes in their life. Very often people leave their week with hitherto unrealised depths of confidence and clarity in order to shape a new future for themselves. There is no better exemplar of this than Ben. He identifies three life-changing (and in one case life-saving) decisions he has made in the past 15 years that he simply wouldn’t have been able to take without the strength and self-awareness he achieved through the Process.
After the Process, participants are advised to make no life-changing decisions for at least three months but the vision stayed with Ben and gradually, while continuing within his job in the City, he began to take small steps towards it. He started going to the ‘welcome home’ and ‘information’ evenings which are held monthly and he attended the ‘closure’ sessions at the end of the Process week which are open to any Hoffman graduates. He also stayed connected to Hoffman UK owners Tim and Serena as well as members of the teaching team.
“I am reliably informed that if I had waited the six months, I wouldn’t have made it”
Ben did his Process in 1999. An outwardly successful fund manager in his early 30s, he felt hugely unfulfilled in his life but could not put his finger on why. A loving wife, two wonderful small children and a large house in Chiswick, West London – but something important was missing. And he was far from happy. The Hoffman course is a rebalancing process. The early days involve exploring who we are now and why we behave the way we do. Participants develop an understanding that things do not need to stay the way they have been and that it is never too late to change. There is a key moment during the week when people are asked to envision a new way of living for themselves. For Ben this was a turning point. “The Process enabled me to consciously create a picture for myself of what a well-balanced, fulfilling, happy life would look and feel like,” he said. “But even more I was able to visualise what I wanted my day-to-day life to be – the mixture of challenges, excitement, relaxation, the time I would spend with my family and friends and the time I would spend putting myself out of my comfort zone.” It was during the Process itself that the seeds of Ben’s first major life change were sown. During the week he began to feel a deep connection with other people, something that he felt he had really lacked before. And during one exercise he had a vision of himself standing before the group and working as a Hoffman teacher.
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It was a fleeting image but a very powerful one. It was so far away from his reality as an investment manager that he dismissed it.
“Gradually, little by little, step by step – what seemed like an impossible and impractical dream evolved into the most natural life change I could make,” he added. And so a year after his Process, Ben resigned his well paid job and started the intensive training to become a Hoffman teacher. He focused fully on his training in which he excelled and, in little more than a year, he qualified.
In early 2001 he taught his first Process and for almost eight years he formed part of the UK teaching team ultimately rising to director of training. “It was maybe the boldest move I had ever made,” he said. “And while I may have been materially poorer, my life was hugely enriched. I was the happiest and most fulfilled I had ever been – I had a loving and supportive wife Emma and two kids who were growing into wonderful human beings. Life couldn’t get any better.” But then, as so often seems to happen, life throws us a big challenge. And what could be bigger than the life-threatening throat cancer diagnosis that Ben Shuckburgh received in August 2008? But things could have been a lot worse if he had listened to the first doctor he had complained to about a sore lump in his throat. Ben said: “The doctor misdiagnosed me. He said I had a fibrotic tonsil and put me on an NHS waiting list, which was estimated at a minimum of six months. Although I felt fit and healthy apart from a sore throat, something was telling me to get a second opinion.” And this is where his post-Hoffman self came to the fore: “The Hoffman Process enabled me to take control and responsibility for my life and not accept what came along as I had largely done in the past. “I am reliably informed that if I had waited the six months, I wouldn’t have made it. I would have been dead.” OPPOSITE PAGE: Ben and his 1964 Mini Cooper THIS PAGE TOP LEFT: Ben was treated for throat cancer at St Bartholomew’s in London TOP RIGHT: A former fund manager, Ben turned his back on the City to become a Hoffman teacher
When he consulted a Harley Street specialist, Ben was immediately sent to St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, where he underwent 24 hours of surgery. A week of intensive care followed and then another eight hours under the knife to rectify a problem caused in the first operation. Three weeks of recuperation and then a six-week course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. During this period he was very sick and describes it as the darkest period of all.
“I was able to visualise what I wanted my dayto-day life to be”
But during his lowest points he had extraordinary support from family and friends. “Emma was incredible during these really dark days,” he said. “In many ways it was harder for her. When you’re the ill one, all you are doing is trying to survive and get well. “She was looking after me, the kids, the house, her own work and all the while staying positive for everyone - she handled it all with such grace and love, I can never repay her.” His wife, who did the Hoffman Process in 2000, was not the only source of support. Friends led by Hoffman teaching colleague Esme Page organised a 24-hour round-the-clock, round-the-world prayer vigil. During this really difficult period another Hoffman lesson came to the fore. Ben said: “Through the darkest days of my illness, I had the overwhelming sense of myself as more than just my physical being. “I was not defined by the broken, cut, infected body, riddled with bedsores. I was not my pain or my depression. “I firmly believed then as I do now that is not all I am. There is a part of me which couldn’t be touched by the monster of cancer. A bigger self. My spiritual being.” Ben has no doubt that the positive energy engendered by the loving support of family and close friends helped him pull through as well as his own underlying spirit and gradually over the following weeks and months, he began to recover. But life had more challenges in store for Ben Shuckburgh. The surgeons had removed a lump the size of an orange from his throat and radiotherapy had virtually destroyed his ability to eat. Everything had to be fed into his stomach via a tube. He also had to learn to speak again. At night Ben had to plug himself into a pump and feed through a tube into his stomach. For a year he took all his food this way. He stopped attending family meals or socialising with friends. That together with his difficulty in speaking as well as the debilitating effect of his daily morphine doses was sending him into a downward spiral of despair. “Not eating and drinking has an incredibly isolating effect. So much of any social contact revolves around food or drink,” he said. “I felt myself withdrawing from life and I could see the negative impact it was having on my family. I could only see an unhappy ending unless I took control again.” So his first action was to unilaterally stop taking morphine. He ditched the remaining bottles and lived with the resulting pain, which eased after a couple of weeks. When a succession of speech and language therapists told him that he would never be able to eat properly again and that he would have to survive on a diet of soft foods – such as scrambled eggs, soup and yoghurt, Ben decided he must keep looking.
A doubting but well-meaning therapist mentioned that she had heard vaguely of some researchers who were doing some early work in the US on retraining cancer and stroke victims to eat. Ben spent days trying to track down Michael Crary and Giselle Mann. He finally got in touch with them at the University of Florida Hospital and persuaded them to take him on as a case study. Their programme was based on physiotherapy.
“Basically it involved force feeding me and if I choked they would dyno-rod me, clear it all up and feed me again. It was pretty grim but frankly after the depths I had been to, it was a piece of cake,” Ben said. After three weeks he was almost eating normally again. “When I arrived they asked me ‘what have you missed most?’, I replied ‘the Sunday roast’. After three weeks they invited me to their home for lunch where I had roast chicken and all the trimmings. Absolutely astonishing, as at the start I couldn’t even keep jelly down. I can’t express how grateful I am to Mike and Giselle whose work really saved me.” Ben binned his tube and pump and flew back to London where he invited the therapist who had mentioned the research to lunch. As he munched his way through his restaurant meal this time it was her who was having difficulty eating: “She spent the whole meal in open-mouthed amazement at what I was able to eat. If I hadn’t taken this action, I would still be eating through a tube, almost certainly on anti-depressants, and a constant drain on the NHS. I simply would not be functioning properly or possibly not at all.” But far from not functioning, six years on Ben is now in his second dream job – Hoffman having been the first. He is managing director of CKL Developments – a business with 30 employees which restores and sells historic cars. “After I could eat and - through speech therapy – speak again, I got my zest for life back,” he said. “I’ve always had a passion for classic cars, so rather than rushing into a decision about a job, I filled my days bringing the Cunningham C-4R back to a road-worthy, indeed a raceworthy, condition.” And so it was in September 2010, Ben took part in the Freddie March Trophy at the Goodwood Revival. Racing became a part of his new life and through his sociable nature he got to know many of the people in the industry, which culminated in him being offered his current job. Ben Shuckburgh puts the lessons he learnt on his Hoffman week at the heart of how he has arrived where he is today – a fit and healthy 50-year old, with a loving and much-loved family, the perfect job and a balance to his life that he would have thought laughable 15 years ago. “Hoffman taught me how to change,” he said. “It’s about the power of having a vision, finding the courage to take a step towards it and the commitment to stick to it. I got there by knowing where I wanted to go and then making hundreds of little life choices along the way to get there. “The Hoffman Process also gave me the courage to take control of my life and live it the way that I wanted. It’s about not being afraid to be bold.” And then he quotes Goethe: “Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!” TOP LEFT: Ben preparing for the start with some pre-race visualisation MIDDLE: Ben this year with his kids, Sam and Rose, now 20 and 18 years old RIGHT: Ben putting his foot down
“I can’t recommend Hoffman highly enough for getting to the heart of many problems.” Sally Bonneywell, VP organisation development GlaxoSmithKline
Naomie Harris She is one of Britain’s most talented and successful actresses and now, as Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond ﬁlm Spectre, Naomie Harris is Hollywood royalty.
iss Moneypenny is among the most iconic of British characters.
When quizzed about whether she enjoyed the Process and whether she still stays in touch with her fellow graduates she said:
But the modern-day Moneypenny is rather more savvy – and integral within MI5 – than the flirtatious secretary of Sean Connery’s films.
dysfunctional parents, and we get trapped in negative patterns that stem from that. To break those patterns you have to be in a space where you can recreate what you went through and deal with it.” Talking to More magazine, Naomie added that she decided to concentrate on personal development several years ago which led her to the Process.
Who better to play her than 39-year-old, celebrated actress Naomie Harris?
She said: “A big thing for me was anger. Like a lot of women, I often swallow anger and hold on to it. The challenge is to let it out without the neighbours thinking you’re crazy.”
With the world’s attention and the glare of the media spotlight firmly on her Naomie took the chance to talk about how she had taken time out to do the Hoffman Process – and the incredible impact the decision had provoked. Talking to fashion magazine Net-aPorter she said she took the course because she wanted “to fully become an adult” adding: “Most of us operate as if we are adults, but we aren’t emotionally mature at all.”
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One film critic called her the “highlight” of 2012’s Skyfall and more recently she has reprised the role in the latest Bond blockbuster Spectre.
“Absolutely. We text each other all the time. I spoke at length last night on the phone to someone who had reached out to me, and in the same way I’ll be able to reach out to them when I need to. I just want to be the best human being I can be.” “I did The Hoffman Process, which is all about learning re-parenting, because so many of us come from
Speaking to US magazine Essence Naomie added: “You get into habits of relating that aren’t necessarily healthy. I just wanted to get that perspective on my childhood. You have to delve into the fire and experience and discover where an issue really lies and deal with it.”
You can see Naomie in the forthcoming film, Collateral Beauty, an American comedy drama due for release at the end of 2016
CONTROL YOUR FOODS,
tackle your moods When Hoffman graduate Joan Borysenko decided to embark on an ultra low-fat vegan diet, she expected her energy to soar and her health to improve. Instead she felt worse than ever. Here she explains to Nikki Wyatt how making a connection between food and mood has revolutionised her life.
oan already had a science background, having studied cell biology at Harvard University before beginning a career in personal development, so she vowed to research until she found a solution. She spent three years reviewing the latest data on nutrition and came across a series of factors which influence whether or not a person is set to follow a certain genetic pathway – something called epigenetics. And now she has published a book, The PlantPlus Diet Solution: Personalized Nutrition for Life, which unveils the findings.
WHY DIDN’T THE ULTRA LOW-FAT VEGAN DIET WORK FOR YOU? JB: One thing I discovered early on was that I belong to a sector of the population who don’t do well on carbohydrates. Everyone’s metabolism varies and we don’t all process carbohydrates in the same way - you can find out your own profile through a simple blood test. So one aim of the book is to show you how to personalise what you eat in a way that suits you best. Each chapter also increases your nutritional literacy by giving short ‘science bites’ which help you understand how to rewire your brain to reduce cravings and gain more pleasure from food.
WHAT IS EPIGENETICS? JB: The food you eat causes epigenetic changes. That is to say, it can cause certain genes to switch on or off, changing your mood, your brain chemistry, your behaviour and the state of your health.
SO WHAT WE EAT CAN ALTER OUR MOOD? JB: What’s become clear is that there’s an interdependent relationship between nature and nurture. For example if you’re feeling anxious or depressed one approach may be to try resolving unhealed emotional issues in your past, but making changes to your diet could also play an important role in that. We need to eat food which nourishes our gut bacteria because this is what fires our neurotransmitters, which in turn affects our mood. Interestingly, according to a new survey conducted by the American
Psychological Association, the millennial generation is the most depressed and anxious current living generation and it’s the one which eats the most processed food. There’s also a change in how we consume our food. It’s become the norm to get a takeaway, eat out or put a ready meal in a microwave to eat in front of the TV. Yet the simple act of preparing your food and sitting down to eat it with your family can be very grounding and nurturing. Once you begin to eat in a way which supports you and optimises your gut microbes you could find this has a tremendous effect on your stress levels. What we pass on down our family line is not only a pattern of anxiety for example, but a way of eating that supports that state.
DO PEOPLE FORM HABITS OR PATTERNS AROUND FOOD? Sometimes when you respond to a food craving you may be on autopilot, prompted by a deeply-ingrained habit, or you may be reacting to a physical imbalance originating in your gut. This can become a vicious cycle and the way to break it is by bringing a new level of awareness to your relationship with food. There is an entire chapter in the book dedicated to helping you develop this key skill of noticing your behaviour patterns - something which is also a foundation stone of the Hoffman Process. I feel that’s what the Process is all about - freeing yourself from the patterns that otherwise control you. It also boosts self-respect and encourages greater self-care so by the end of the course, improving your nutrition tends to move higher up your list of priorities.
To read sample chapters of The PlantPlus Diet Solution: Personalized Nutrition for Life and for regular nutritional tips visit www.joanborysenko.com
Do you feel you have book inside you waiting to be written? A song waiting to be sung? Even a whole movement waiting to be started? The Process often opens up a creative side in people, allowing them to achieve things they’ve always dreamed of. Here we celebrate some recent successes by Hoffman graduates and hear what they say about the Hoffman Process.
Image: Andrew Whitton
JANE HORROCKS: Act ress, Mu sicia n & Sing er
OLIVER JAMES: Author & Psychologist ‘The Hoffman Process is the most systematic method I know for properly exploring the role of childhood as well as offering a motorway back from the past’
the Hoffman ‘It’s a year since doing spreading my am I l fee Process and I eriencing new exp and ely ativ cre gs win ’ gs… and exciting thin the Young Vic Jane’s big voice rocks t live gig, part Par . nth mo this Theatre Me, Kiss Me, is s Kis dance show, If You with Royal ved cei con e Jan t a projec er, Aletta ph gra reo Opera House cho tour later on es go w sho The Collins. o be seen as this year. Jane can als Fabulous: The ly ute sol Ab in Bubble r. me Movie, out this sum
Oliver has two books out this year. In Not In Your Genes, he makes a forceful argument for the influence of our upbringing on our personalities. His next book, Upping Your Ziggy: How David Bowie Used Personae To Slay His Childhood Demons – And How You Could, is out in May 2016.
RACHEL KELLY: Write r, Journa list & Ment al Healt h Campaigne r
GOLDIE: Mu sicia n, Actor & Artist
‘They say life begins at 40. I was approaching 40 when I did the Hoffman and I’ve never looked bac k’ The unstoppable Goldie did the Hoffman Proces s in 2005 and this year he was aw arded the MBE for his diverse musical talents and the charitable work he do es with young people.
‘When I left the Process I had a new sense of purpose that I coul d make something positive out of the depression’. In 2014 Rachel wrote Black Rain bow about her battle with depression and now travels the country as an ambassador for SANE, raising awareness about mental health issues. She also runs a series of wellbeing workshops based on her second book,Walking on Sunshine : 52 Small Steps to Happiness.
JAMES WALLMAN: Journalist, Author & Trend Forecaster ‘I’m so glad I did the Process. It was a fantastic experience and since then I’ve gone for my dreams. Writing my first book was like climbing a mountain and the view from the top is magnificent.’ Now on its second edition, Stuffocation has been described by the Sunday Times as ‘The Tipping Point meets Freakonomics. Fascinating, inspiring, and great fun to read’. T: +44(0) 1903 88 99 90
change TOO LATE TO
Betty Hughes was one of UK’s ﬁrst Hoffman graduates - at the age of 78. Now 95, she reﬂects upon the unique contribution which the Hoffman Process made to her eventful and colourful life.
obody comes away from the Hoffman Process the same person they were when they arrived. The Process is distinctive in a variety of ways, because people seem to find it equally valuable whether they’re totally new to personal growth or whether they’ve been on this path for some time.
“The Process was an adventure - there was a surprise around every corner”
When participants are invited to sum up their experience of the Process at the final closure session, the range of reactions is spellbinding and for some it provides the road to Damascus moment – nothing will ever be the same again.
For others it is a subtle change but I defy anyone to come away exactly the same as when they signed up. FINDING MYSELF I chose to do the Process at a stage in my life when I’d worked with many therapists and experimented with many different personal growth models.
A major development during this extensive, intriguing venture into my underworld, was the surprise recovery of my creativity. At 73 - and with the help of a niece who is a photojournalist - I found that the little person who had felt so completely inept at school could actually put words together and write effectively. I also developed a talent with a range of Nikon cameras and lenses, mastered the stubborn moods of a PC with editing software, had illustrated articles published and made my own wildlife movies. TURNING POINT It was while I was revelling in this exciting, creative phase I faced the fact that I was suffering from a dissociative disorder. It was the legacy of a difficult childhood which included the multifaceted consequences of early sexual abuse.
“The Process has been such a huge kick-start.” David Croy, Raasay House Outdoor Activity Centre
I dared to be a rebellious child – and revelling in challenging authority was a rare, zestful exploration. LOOKING BACK I’d already explored my family constellation quite extensively. As a child I lived in two completely different compartments. Indoors, my life was structured and totally controlled by my mother. Outdoors, another child lived the life of an escapee: a feisty little person who took every opportunity of being outside on the farm with my father.
“I think that life is about ‘becoming’ - slowly becoming the person we have the potential to be” Repeatedly, over a period of about 30 years, I became trapped in the ‘start/stop’ task of writing an account of my life entitled: Talking to My Selves - a journey into awareness. Time after time I became blocked and threw the manuscript into a drawer and disheartenment, darkness and despair would follow. I recall the exact moment I first read about Hoffman and my attention was riveted by the article about the Process. An enlightened ‘self’ jumped up and said: “That’s what we’ve got to do.” The course proved to be absorbing, illuminating, and challenging. It was exactly what I needed at this pivotal stage of my life. What intrigued me right from the start was the way in which all my ‘selves’ found their own space. The Process was an adventure - there was a surprise around every corner and you didn’t know what the next development would be. It gave a spicy sense of excitement to every day. The diverse ways in which the group interacted revealed family traits to perfection. Some aspect of a person’s expression or behaviour would suddenly spark a recognition of hidden secrets or deeply buried patterns - intricate entanglements which could then be explored in depth. There was always space to follow up and delve into traits which replicated vital aspects of family dynamics when we were young. Hoffman UK founder Tim Laurence was supervising my group.
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The unique format of the Process gave me a fresh perspective on these early years. It added an innovative dimension to the profound significance of religious indoctrination. My mother always referred to Jesus as ‘her Lord’. There was an inflexible, deep-rooted, day-to-day familiarity in this relationship which made my mother’s ‘Lord’ a member of my family. He was ever present - at every meal, in every conversation. Everything revolved around this intimate bond and the authoritarian structures which controlled my mother’s life. So, it was ’mother and her Lord’ and my father - a triangular grouping which left me no option but to compartmentalise my relationship to them both. I can still catch the profoundly puzzled look on the face of a child’s enlightened self as she pondered the question “if mother is married to her Lord then who is my father?” GROWING CONTINUOUSLY I think that life is about ‘becoming’ - slowly becoming the person we have the potential to be. Rather than approaching death - the mystery of ending this phase of our existence - I’ve discovered that getting old can be more about connecting to the springs of life. In order to survive, I split into very separate compartments. Now at 95, although the old bones creak, some selves have mellowed, matured and learned to be flexible and negotiate. Other parts have found their niche for the first time and are connected to living in the present. Most of all there’s a rich sense of togetherness on this continuing journey of discovery.
Betty now lives in Sussex where the panoramic view of her life is mirrored by a panaromic view of the sea. Read her fascinating and insightful story and understand more about disassociation at: www.primallaugh.com You can also enjoy informative five star reviews of her book on Amazon.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR
holiday count Modern life is logged on, turned up and tuned in. Emails, texts, conference calls, social media and rolling news make our lives a non-stop, 24-hour treadmill. Here Nikki Wyatt explores how to truly switch off.
“Doing the Hoffman Process was the most positive step I’ve taken to becoming content.” Penny, finance director, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, Spirit & Destiny
eace, calm and tranquility – pleasures that are increasingly difficult to achieve.
So when the holiday you have been excited about all year finally arrives, it is vital for body, mind and wellbeing that the opportunity is not destroyed by beeping phones and buzzing tablets. Many people see their smart phones as extensions of themselves – yet when you arrive to take part in the Hoffman Process you are required to shelve your mobile. And, after years of constantly checking emails, tweets and texts many people find handing over this prized possession very difficult. But this is an important step to ensure you can focus on yourself and the present moment. And, in the end, the vast majority agree it is extremely liberating. The Process introduces you to a host of techniques to help you stay relaxed. Here are some of the ways you can apply them whenever you need a break from everyday life:
CLEAR COMMUNICATION When taking a holiday, it is important to identify expectations - after all, the word ‘holiday’ means different things to different people. Some dive head first on to a sunbed, moving only when they spot a cocktail umbrella. Others enjoy hurtling down mountains on skis. Some personalities replenish with time alone, whereas others feel re-energised in company. So, for a harmonious time away it’s important to respect your companions’ way of relaxing. Rather than second-guessing each other’s preferences or assuming they’re in tune with yours, clear communication and discussing your expectations will ensure that everyone manages to switch off in their own way. A conversation to clarify your holiday budget and travel insurance will also defuse potential flash points.
PREPARATION Going on holiday with someone who’s already simmering with resentment because they had to do all the preparation sets the scene for a row before you’ve even checked in. Make a list of the things that need to be done before you go and any essentials that you need to take. Once you have a plan you can divide the responsibility according to your strengths. One of you might enjoy researching restaurants and checking taxi firms while the other would prefer to be waxing the surfboards and keeping passports safe. Empty your mind on to paper to reduce mental stress and have a to-do list which you can add to as you go - keeping it by your bed will give you somewhere to scribble any ideas that threaten to keep you awake.
T: +44(0) 1903 88 99 90
ACCEPTANCE Getting ready to go away can be stressful. Not only do you have more than usual to do but you’re leaving a familiar routine to go into the unknown. This can bring up anxiety and trigger patterns of control or overwhelm. Anticipation can be a heady mix of excitement and anxiety and feelings are likely to be running high. It helps to acknowledge that this is normal, to be tolerant and forgiving of yourself as well as anyone coming with you. If you or any usually easy-going holiday companions turn into short-tempered control-freaks, remember that this is just stormy pre-holiday behaviour and once you’ve unpacked the sun will come out again.
BE COMPASSIONATE TO YOURSELF Practice self-compassion in the run up so that you’re not adding any extra unnecessary stress and ensure you have your favourite stress-busting tools to hand. If possible, take an hour to do something relaxing before you leave to help you wind down, whether that’s meditating, going for a walk or having a massage. It’s amazing how many last-minute disasters can be averted if you just take that time to collect yourself - it frees the mind and allows your scattered thoughts to come together so that you can make important connections - such as remembering to drop the key with your neighbour or to set the burglar alarm on your way out.
SELF-AWARENESS Be aware of what you associate with relaxation and fun and use those positive triggers to help you chill as soon as you can. It may be the scent of certain oils or it may be particular music that conjures up happy memories. If you’re not driving you could do an uplifting visualisation - Hoffman graduates will have a few Process visualisations to choose from. If you know your mind enjoys something to chew on, pack puzzles, mandalas to colour or reading that will take your thoughts down enjoyable new routes, rather than worrying about whether you locked the garage.
CREATE POSITIVE EXPECTATIONS Turn your focus from anxiety to excitement by focusing on the new experiences you’re going to have. Read about the wildlife, landscapes, history and culture of the area you’re exploring and any excursions on offer. If the country you are visiting speaks another language, get some key sentences under your belt. Audio courses you can listen to before the holiday are a great choice.
LOOK AFTER YOUR PHYSICAL SELF The physical and emotional stress of travelling are both very dehydrating, so make sure you drink plenty of water and stretch regularly.
If you’re flying, cabin air is actually dryer than desert air so reduce consumption of tea, coffee, alcohol and fizzy drinks which all use up your water reserves. Eat plenty of hydrating foods like salads, fruit and vegetables. If you’re crossing time zones set your body clock by getting outside as soon as you arrive. Physical pampering treatments can be wonderful ways to relax and taking time each day for fresh air and exercise will speed up the time it takes for you to switch to relax mode.
RECONNECT A major contributory factor to stress is mentally multi-tasking - our minds so often dwell on the past or jump ahead to future scenarios. We are far more relaxed and effective when focused on the present time and place. So reduce mental and emotional overload by taking your eyes off any phone or computer screens and use your mobile for emergencies only. If there are delays during your trip - breathe, accept these will happen and use them as a chance to read, listen to music or stretch your legs. Incorporate something mindful into your holiday that brings your awareness into the present moment such as yoga, writing, photography, breathing exercises or walking in nature. Remember that like life, holidays are about the journey not just the destination, so make travelling an enjoyable part of your time away and you’ll arrive finding that you’ve switched off already.
The benefits of switching off - A Hoffman story Coralie Rose, casting director, Hoffman graduate, www.roadcasting.co.uk
“When I first arrived on the Process I felt daunted by giving up my mobile and having to eat in silence but now I realise what a gift that was. I’ve kept the habit of eating in silence, contemplating my food and being in the moment. As a family we now turn off our phones when we’re having ‘family time’ and at mealtimes. This requires tremendous discipline but it has really helped the quality of our relationships and means we’re more present to each other. I also try not to be on the phone when I’m spending time with our son.”
Death is the ďŹ nal taboo - but not dealing with the loss of a loved one properly can be devastating. On the Hoffman Process one of the most common issues we help with is loss that has not been properly mourned. Here bereavement therapist Clare Gilsenan, head of the Hoffman enrolment team, looks at ways to deal with grief. 12 |
been living with ‘Freddie, a young man in his 20s, had suicide. On the s her’ constant self-blame since his mot just a few hours her ed visit night she killed herself he’d the morning he in t; men gree disa a before and they’d had overdose. found her dead in bed from a drug as he felt guilty and After this shock his life fell to pieces t if they hadn’t Wha h. deat s her’ responsible for his mot continued to He y? toda alive be argued, would she still ted to her death punish himself thinking he’d contribu him pleasure. and withdrew from anything that gave suffering his How could he enjoy himself after the mother had gone through?
parent, a child, a close friend - when we lose someone we love our life can turn upside down.
During my years of working with bereavement I’ve met many people at various stages of the grief cycle, all in very different circumstances and the one thing they shared was that they were struggling to live with their feelings of unresolved grief, guilt and underlying confusion.
PHASES OF GRIEF Grief takes many forms including shock, disbelief, distress, despair, acceptance and resolution until you finally feel ready and prepared to re-engage with the world. The grieving process can also be delayed by a sense of denial and the feeling that it’s just a dream and not a reality. This is a very natural response so it’s important to seek help and a space to release pent up emotions.
WHEN A PARENT PASSES Although we may expect a parent to die before us, many of us are surprised at the complexity and depth of our grief when this happens. You might feel anger, someone else might feel sad that’s how grief works. There’s no ‘right’ way. These feelings can be surprising or even frightening. A loss impacts families and friends in different ways. The spirit of ‘let’s pull together’ at a difficult time can surface surprisingly quickly and unite those affected. On the other hand it can also re-ignite old emotions such as sibling rivalries and feelings of jealousy. Demonstrating sensitivity to each other’s needs throughout the grieving process can only be positive and supportive.
This is often a coping defence to prepare for the inevitable. Grieving starts far earlier compared to an unexpected death but the usual emotions are still bubbling away under the surface and need dealing with in a compassionate, understanding way.
STILLBIRTH AND MISCARRIAGE The loss of a baby is deeply shocking and distressing. Joining support groups can be extremely comforting and open communication with your partner, family and friends is also essential at this time. The hormones released around this time can also make the mother feel emotionally volatile, so mental and physical nurture is vital. If there’s no grave to visit, create a tangible marker on which to focus your feelings. It’s also important for any siblings to know that there’s nothing wrong with either Mum or Dad, that miscarriages or stillbirths happen sometimes, and no one is to blame. An upfront discussion in a language they can relate to will help them come to terms with the experience.
COPING WITH SUICIDE When someone we love commits suicide, grieving can be more complex. Contrary to popular belief, suicide is rarely an impulse. Individuals can appear calm beforehand as if they have found relief in a solution to their pain. One of the natural responses to suicide is anger. This can often be directed towards the person who took their life as well as the surviving family members. Remember that no one is the sole influencer in another’s life. Unfortunately suicide can evoke feelings of shame and isolation due to the stigma still attached to it. You may think life will never return to normal. Be assured that it will, but it will take time. Finding someone to talk to and asking as many questions as you need is an important part of moving on.
ACCEPTANCE AND HEALING Although everyone mourns in their own way, there are common stages: withdrawal, acceptance and finally surviving and learning how to enjoy life once more. Poignant memories and anniversaries will always be difficult but in time we can lovingly and peacefully remember our loss with fond memories of times spent together. It’s experiencing and accepting grief and not avoiding it that finally heals us.
Clare is based in Sussex where she offers sessions in person and on the phone to help with bereavement, phobias, lack of confidence, anxiety, food cravings, weight loss, addictions and relationship issues. She’s also trained in Solution Focused Hypnotherapy, EFT, NLP and EMDR. To find out more visit: www.makingachange.co.uk
HELPING CHILDREN SAY GOODBYE Recent research by Dr Colin Murray Parkes shows how the robustness and security we felt as a child persists as an adult. This can affect how we react to subsequent losses such as bereavements in adult life. If a child is young when their parent passes they will need truth, support and encouragement to talk about and express their innermost thoughts and feelings. Different activities can help both parent and child to work through their grief and connect with each other emotionally throughout the grieving process. For example it can be better to allow the child to come to the funeral with support of close family and friends rather than to exclude them. But this has to be an individual choice. Creating a box of mementoes, or having pictures of the deceased in view can allow a child to connect with their emotions and be open about them, while keeping the memory of the parent alive.
TERMINAL ILLNESS With a terminal illness, many people will feel they’ve already said goodbye to their loved one, long before their death.
T: +44(0) 1903 88 99 90
How to help someone:
Offer practical support such as dropping off a meal, shopping, helping with thank you letters and emails.
As an employer, give the employee support until they feel able to return to work.
Let the person talk without feeling you have to ‘ﬁx’ them.
Allow children to feel their emotions.
Suggest they visit cruse.org.uk where there’s lots of advice, some of which is very practical.
Contact them at difﬁcult times such as birthdays and anniversaries.
Don’t tell them that you understand how they feel, as grief is a very personal experience.
Do not avoid the person or the subject of their loss, so it becomes ‘the elephant in the room’.
HOW TO GET WHAT YOU NEED AND STILL BE KIND Hilary Gallo is a lawyer turned leading business negotiator. His close observation of complex deals taught him the most important factor is the people involved. Now he is applying what he learnt on the Hoffman Process to his work as a business coach and has developed a theory, which he explains in his new book The Power of Soft.
â€œThe Process helped me find peace with the question of religion and spirituality.â€? Sammy Leslie, Castle Leslie
or many years my life at work and at home all seemed fine – but in truth I was struggling to maintain a veneer of confidence.
CREATING A STRONG CORE Creating a strong core involves a number of key steps.
I took the Hoffman Process in 2010 and it was then I realised the true and extraordinary power of soft.
It’s about pulling back from positions, wants and what we think we ought to have. It takes us to a deeper understanding of our own needs and the needs of those we’re relating, creating and working with.
During the course, while sharing with a small group, we were invited to respond to a challenging question about ourselves. What I noticed was the impact of each answer. There were raw emotional truths shared that day that connected us deeply with each other.
At the same time it involves a re-taking of the power that we actually have, both as individuals and organisations. Outcomes are decided by the balance of power that we achieve.
When it was my turn to speak to the group I said exactly what I wanted to – but I observed a clear lack of connection from my peers.
We are familiar with seeing power as a dominant, coercive force. It doesn’t have to follow this rather ingrained pattern. This is really an abuse of the power that we humans have at our disposal.
I hadn’t spoken from my heart, soul or anywhere deep, vulnerable or really true. I’d given rein to my outward identity only.
Power is something that we each hold for ourselves and that we often choose, however coercively, to give up.
What I’d expressed was not really me, it was a front. I’d spilled back into what was for me at the time, a familiar work pattern.
Raw power, on its own, tends to abuse. Power mixed with love is far more powerful, attractive and, in caring hands, cuts all other power to shreds.
I first experienced this as a failure to connect with the group but, more importantly, I felt a missed chance to give something of my true self.
Around a better differentiated, more boundaried strong core, a softer front fits like a velvet glove.
It became clear that a similar front to the one I had put up during that exercise on the Process was getting in the way of just about everything - not only at work but also outside the office.
Without the apparatus of war cluttering the front lawn the flowers and colours that are possible can be seen and enjoyed.
‘Armouring up’- putting on a front to the world - is a very easy thing to do. It’s behind everything - the clothes we wear, the image we feel we need to portray and even the person we feel we should be. In extremes this front is simply weaponry and the language follows the metaphor of war - attack and defence, positions and entrenchment. What’s troubling is the deep irony in this charade. The more effort we put into the front, the less we tend to put into the core that it’s shielding. A strong, hard front can hide a soft, delicate untapped core and we can lose so much in its shadow. For an individual this is exhausting and disempowering and for the corporate it’s confusing. In both cases, nobody knows what you really need. Fragility of confidence and depression sets in within the individual and a lack of appropriate business sense and profitability runs rife in the corporate.
A NEW COMMUNICATION MODEL The realisation that behind the strong front there was a soft core birthed a model -strong core and soft front. Surely this is the ideal? The key though, is that soft is no good on its own. Particularly in a corporate environment, a soft approach on its own gets you squashed. US President John F Kennedy faced this dilemma over Cuba in October 1962. The so-called hawks were hounding the doves and urging JFK to take military action against Russia’s placement of nuclear missiles in the Pacific. The hawks wanted what they dubbed a “surgical strike” and to our rational, controlling, certainty-seeking minds the idea of a precisionengineered military solution is alluring. The truth though, is utterly different. There is no certainty, precision or control in war, just an unpredictable spiral of attack and defence. Good for armourers but not for people. At the counsel of his brother Robert, JFK chose not to attack but rather to stand up with a blockade. He formed a strong core. JFK chose to stay and hold America’s power to attack, pulling their power to the core rather than unleashing it tactically. At the same time JFK extended an informal soft counter-offer and, understanding what Khrushchev needed, created a bridge over which the Russian leader could gracefully retreat. The very real outcome of full-on nuclear war, expected by one in two Americans at the time, was avoided. The strong core and the soft front worked.
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In the place of hard position taking, soft listening, people skills and creativity can emerge and flourish. This enables us to be properly aware, listen better and connect more. In negotiation, the softer front is the secret that enables us to create something that goes beyond a mere compromise. It’s a creative task based on curiosity and exploration. In each of us the confidence to realise our true potential results from this recognition that our strength lies at the core of who we are rather than at the front. So, before you next react to a situation in your life ask yourself what you really need at your core before you start to make positional, frontal demands. Pause for a moment and ask yourself and the other person what they really need. If you need to assert some power, what is your equivalent of the blockade? How do you assert your core power constructively and assertively while at the same time keeping open dialogue? How then do you create an attractive, safe bridge towards the answer that works for both of you?
You can read more and order a copy of The Power of Soft at: www.thepowerofsoft.com
TIPS FOR USING YOUR CORE POWER Don’t get too attached to a particular outcome If you are not prepared to walk away, you are powerless and too dogmatically rigid in your thinking. Work out your options for walking away and develop them. You may not use them but to negotiate well you need them. Understand the other person’s options What are they? Do you know how tied to you - or not - they are? Would it make sense to influence how they appraise their other options? How can you make their walking away from you less attractive or likely? Power is a felt thing It’s not what power you have that matters, it’s what the other person thinks you have that influences them. This is why just the quiet appearance of confidence can work wonders.
with your feelings Despite a successful career in the corporate world, ﬁnancial security and a bright future mapped out with her employer, Manuela Berger was not happy. So in her mid-20s she took some time out and did the Hoffman Process. At ﬁrst she thought it hadn’t worked for her. But here she explains how the course sent her life in an unexpected new direction.
riginally Swiss, I grew up as an expat child, moving homes, countries and often continents every two to three years.
I lived in Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Indonesia, Brazil, India and the United States. I saw the world as my oyster but at the same time, I had no idea what I wanted. Eventually my nomadic international life led me to study hospitality management and I began a career working for multi-nationals. But gradually I started to see older colleagues lose their spark and just plod along unhappily towards retirement and I became adamant that I would not end up like them. Although many people my age were unemployed, I left the apparent luxury of my secure job. I gave myself the gift of a year to discover what I really wanted. As part of that year I went to work on a consulting project in India, then I returned to Switzerland where I supported various passionate people in realising their dreams.
FINDING THE NEXT STEP Exploring my interests was the best thing I ever did, yet I still wasn’t sure what would come next and going back to a corporate job still didn’t feel right. While starting something of my own appealed I couldn’t decide what that should be and, in short, I was stuck and felt paralysed. I tried to make sense of the situation, using my usual way of making decisions by listing pros and cons and asking everyone I trusted for their views but for the first time in my life, this led me nowhere. Quite frankly, I felt stupid and extremely uncomfortable but then I heard about the Hoffman Process. Various friends of my parents - who didn’t actually know each other - were raving about this seemingly mysterious ‘Process’. And when I saw the Hoffman tagline When you’re serious about change, I felt I had been spoken to directly. Witnessing my internal struggle, my parents offered me the chance to take part in the Process for my 26th birthday. Unlike many others, I didn’t leave the Process completely changed and actually, I was a bit worried that it hadn’t worked for me at all. But the truth is, the experiences and lessons from that week were so profound, they took time to integrate. Although I still felt stuck, I now had an internal compass to help me go forward - I just needed to practise using it.
Manuela’s top tips Pay attention to your feelings - stop what you’re doing and just feel. Practice labelling your feelings so you know exactly what they are. Whatever you feel, accept it. It’s there for a reason. Let it be. Explore the feelings - What do they want you to notice? Is it about your needs, your values, your goals? All feelings have good intentions – they are your friends. I created which I’d put up where I could see them. As this tool evolved it became clear that it could be useful to others as well. The idea of my business Feeling Magnets was born which has now become my focus. I want to help others explore this incredibly valuable resource we all have within us and yet often ignore - our emotions.
LIFE HAS CHANGED FROM THE INSIDE My life is very different now - I’m independent, doing what I love, no longer stuck in relationships that aren’t right for me. And I wouldn’t want to go back. Paying attention to my feelings has taken me to a whole new level of self-awareness and I have also made some very important and difficult choices. Where I used to go back on my decisions many times, I now have more security and clarity to follow through on them with a calm confidence. My closest friends and family often comment on how different I am now – and for the better. When I ask what they mean, they say that I am more at peace, calmer, softer, gentler, more considerate of others, more patient and tolerant. My mother often tells people it might be for the best that I wasn’t married before completing the Process, seeing how much I’ve changed. My biggest wish is that I’d learned all this earlier - I’d love it to have learned it from my parents or in school. But the good news is that it’s never too late. If a stubborn, rational and analytical person like I once was can become friends with my feelings, then really anyone can.
It dawned on me that my feelings had been controlled by my rational mind, or intellect.
People are often hesitant to look closely at their feelings or to express them. It is vital to understand that we are not our feelings. They give us valuable information to guide us but they should not define us.
I’d tell myself: “I have a great family, a nice home and so many options - I should feel happy.” But that’s not how it works and coming home after the Process, I decided I really needed to learn to consciously feel. So I practised daily, just paying attention to my feelings and writing them down.
Emotions come and go in waves, let’s not give them form by defining ourselves by any emotion. I am not a sad person but I do sometimes feel sad. And yes, that’s what makes me human. It’s what makes me more compassionate, more empathetic and it shows me what’s important.
Along the way I created a fun tool to build my emotional vocabulary where I would choose feelings from a selection of magnetic labels
To find out more about Manuela’s innovative resources for bringing awareness to your emotions and how they can help you navigate through life, visit www.feelingmagnets.com
“The Process goes deeply into the way participants have learned about love through their families.” Lesley Garner, author, Everything I’ve Ever Done That Worked
t he cast le | t h e lodg e | t h e old s ta b l e m e w s
A rural retreat in the heart of Ireland…
estled on 1,000 acres of undulating Irish countryside, dotted with ancient woodland and glittering lakes, Castle Leslie Estate is one of the last great Irish estates still in the hands of its founding family. Steeped in history, full of character and charm, it is the ultimate Irish rural escape.
Only 80 minutes from Dublin and 60 minutes from Belfast, Castle Leslie Estate boasts a variety of accommodation and activities to suit all tastes. The Castle, at the heart of the Estate, offers authentic original interiors and old-style hospitality and is a complete respite from the world. The Lodge is the social hub of the Estate, a country house boutique hotel that brings locals and guests together in an atmosphere of conviviality and comfort. The Old Stable Mews and Village Cottages are the perfect spot for groups that want the convenience of hotel living combined with private luxury home rental.
Castle Leslie Estate, Glaslough, Monaghan
Castle Leslie Estate offers an idyllic setting for outdoor activity and adventure. Explore the Estate on horseback, enjoy some of Ireland’s finest coarse fishing, take in a movie at our private cinema, luxuriate in a relaxing massage in the Victorian treatment rooms, exhilarate in a abundance of outdoor adventures, or just borrow a pair of wellies from our boot room and go for a stroll on our 1,000 acres – just some of the choices that await you in this hidden corner of Ireland.
t: + 353 47 88 100
the edge LIVING ON
Singer songwriter Lotte Mullan’s music has won her critical acclaim and her music-business inspired blog was snapped up for a book and ﬁlm by Elton John. But despite all this success, she became increasingly unhappy. Here she explains how the Hoffman Process helped her conquer her demons.
“One of the strengths of Hoffman is its follow-up support. It feels as caring and thoughtful as the rest of it.” Jayne Allen, Therapy Today
“I needed to address my issues – there had to be a cut-off point for blaming my childhood for everything”
or years I suffered with a constant sense of unease - a crippling feeling that gravity would lose its grip and at any second I’d be ﬂung out into the unknown.
There is a strong history of mental illness in my family and I grew up surrounded by a lot of unpredictable behaviour including domestic violence. The anticipation that something terrible was about to happen hung over my head all the time and I found myself living with a sense of anxiety mixed with burning rage. The anger rarely manifested itself in public but I was hiding behind a false, confident persona. In reality I was depressed, self-harming and being very difficult to those close to me. I decided, aged 27, I needed to address my issues - there had to be a cut-off point for blaming my childhood for everything and I wanted to take responsibility for my feelings and actions. I just didn’t know how.
This environment breeds a strong tendency to swing from being on a high (natural or otherwise) with a throbbing ego, convinced of your own greatness, to feeling worthless and utterly alone.
I’d tried some conventional therapies and a good few years of anti-depressants but nothing had any lasting effect. I’d feel momentarily better but then slip back into bad habits very quickly. I’d seen a friend of mine transformed into a much calmer person after doing the Hoffman Process so I decided to give it a try.
The propensity to measure your self worth by other people’s appraisal of you is as damaging for your state of mind as it is for your creative output. At your lowest point the temptation to self medicate and self-harm is strong and unfortunately the nature of this industry not only makes these temptations easy but actively encourages them.
CONFRONTING FEARS In March 2012 I arrived at Florence House, where the Process is held, in a manic state. I was especially freaked out about parting with my phone for a week. The idea of relinquishing control was terrifying to me.
“I started to fall in love with the life I already had”
I also had some pretty cynical ideas about taking part in therapy with other ‘crazy’ people. I imagined we’d be sitting in a circle holding hands, while a rainbow-scarf wearing, soft-voiced therapist told us to “just be kind” to ourselves. Happily, I was proved wrong. There are in-depth studies behind the Hoffman Process and the mixture of approaches (including gestalt, behavioural and cognitive therapy) aim to tackle personal problems from many different angles. There is nowhere to hide. That might sound frightening but for me it was the only way. I really benefited from the intensity of the course as I was unable to fall back into negative patterns like I would at home. I had to confront them head on and having no distractions from the outside world really helped. One of the most powerful insights I gained from the Process was that we often transfer negative traits from our parents on to people we meet later in life. Before Hoffman, if I was around somebody who was raising their voice or gesticulating wildly I would find myself clamming up and feeling a sense of anxiety that was disproportionate to the scenario I was in. I now understand that I wasn’t seeing that person at all, but reliving a fear from years ago. My fight and flight responses were skewed and I would often feel strong dislike for a perfectly reasonable person who had unknowingly triggered a bad memory for me. A big part of the Process is identifying these triggers and negative patterns of behaviour but an even larger part is devoted to how to confront them. I have learnt methods of dealing with my anxiety and found ways to self-soothe, which is such a relief. It had become exhausting constantly looking for enemies and somebody to blame for my fears. I can now create a feeling of safety for myself, independent from what is going on around me. This is incredibly liberating. It has also proved invaluable in my work as a singer and songwriter. My relationship with the music business used to be one of feast or famine. Some days it felt like everybody wanted a piece of me and the phone wouldn’t stop ringing and then, in contrast to this, months could go by with no work at all.
One of the tools Hoffman imparted to me is the ability to dim the angry, frightened voice in my head which was previously prone to critiquing myself and everyone around me. This voice has not gone but I can identify what it is now and instead of being ruled by it I can see it as something separate from myself.
I found the visualisations we did on the Process really useful in centering some of my manic tendencies and have since become interested in mindfulness and meditation. This had been an invaluable part of me staying on the rails since Hoffman. I feel I have been granted the courage to take the reins in my own life. Instead of waiting for that moment when someone grants me success, I’ve set up a business which ticks away nicely under its own steam. I write songs as gifts for people to give to their loved ones and I record albums and play gigs. Beyond this I spend time with my friends and family. I now have a much better relationship with certain people close to me who I’d found it really difficult to be around previously.
FALLING BACK IN LOVE WITH LIFE I had wondered if doing the Process would make me want to flee London and quit my career in music but quite the opposite happened. I started to fall in love with the life I already had. I began to realise that what I enjoyed most was having a connection with people through music and I was able to acknowledge that I didn’t need to be an entertainer in the realms of Madonna (fabulous though she is). It was a relief to discover that I like writing small songs about ordinary people and zooming in on matters of the heart. Inspired by the Process I have even written a song about my parents called You Must’ve Loved Him Once.
Lotte has made ‘You Must’ve Loved Him Once’ available as a free download to readers of the Hoffman Magazine. Log on to www.bespokesongs.com/hoffman Lotte will write a song for you personally to celebrate a special occasion or a loved one. To find out more visit www.bespokesongs.com For more information about Lotte’s music or to buy any of her albums visit www.lottemullan.com
T: +44(0) 1903 88 99 90
Vicious Circles W
e all have patterns of behaviour, default settings that we employ consistently but it’s these very patterns such as needing to be in control or hyper-anxiety that could be holding you back from getting the most out of life. Who we are is of course so much more than the sum of our automatic reactions. We possess many wonderful qualities such as being creative, joyful, silent, wise, passionate and loving. Yet time and time again, certain behaviours get in our way. They could be roles such as playing the victim, acting the martyr or the pleaser. They might be ways of thinking such as looking at the world over-critically or sceptically. They may be recurring feelings such as anger or depression. The problem with patterns is that we have no power over them. Bob Hoffman summed it up best when he said: “Better to use a pattern than be used by one.” But just how easy is it to make that switch?
EXPLAINING BEHAVIOUR Why do we create patterns of behaviour? Well, it’s more passive than that. We usually learn them as children when our brains are at their most receptive and we are at our most dependent. We take on a certain set of behaviours without being aware of them, simply learning from our parents and others so that we can survive and hopefully thrive in our environment.
PATTERNS OF BEHAVIOUR - CAN WE EVER REALLY CHANGE? Identifying the patterns that can run our lives is at the very heart of the Hoffman Process. Here we explore why spotting those patterns and learning to unravel them could change your life.
We may copy them, for example, if a parent is very optimistic, we could learn that the world is a place where good things happen. A depressed, sad parent will most likely lead to a child with low energy and perhaps a learned helplessness. Another reaction may be to rebel, in which case you’d adopt the opposite attitude. Did your parent criticise you regularly? In which case it would seem normal to either look at the world, or just yourself, with that critical eye or to become over-tolerant. Because we see these patterns every day in the family home they become all too familiar in the true sense of the word. Our brains form neural pathways which become set and over-used. It’s like always walking across the grass the same way – a well-worn route develops and we no longer think about if it’s the best way to go.
OUR MOST COMMON PATTERNS In the Process, the annual top rankings invariably contain low self-esteem and a general feeling of not being good enough. These can be the drivers of perfectionism – “I must get it right”. Alternatively they can prompt the opposite, resignation – “What’s the point of bothering?” There also appears to be an epidemic of feeling numb, shut down or emotionally cut off - usually more common in men than women, but not confined to them. What men and women do share are significant patterns around relationships - often fearing abandonment or, in a strange way, setting themselves up for rejection: “See, no one’s really going to love me so I might as well call it a day right now.”
It is because of this that Bob Hoffman often began his pattern search by asking: “So, how’s your love life?” All patterns, whether anxiety or over-control, pleasing others or withdrawing from life, stem from a deep, vulnerable and hidden sense of, “am I OK just as I am, or do I have to prove myself?” It’s in a very young part of our brain, but it comes with us through life, like an old suitcase that we don’t notice we’re dragging around anymore. So how do you recognise a pattern? Often they can be sensed in the body – for instance you get an email saying your boss is not happy with something you did. You quickly lose your sense of calm and begin to worry. The body reflects this with a tightness around the temples or butterflies in the stomach. Breathing is another give-away - it frequently becomes shallower.
UNRAVEL YOUR PATTERNS We know the problem so what’s the solution? The Hoffman Process has four clear steps to change. The first is awareness. Often people need help identifying what’s right in front of their eyes. You need to learn to become aware gently - beating yourself up for being a certain way is not starting things off on the right foot. Say to yourself in a calm, kind tone, “Oh, there I go again … it’s just a pattern … breathe”. The next step is a healthy expression of what’s been controlling you. This could take the form of writing a journal or sharing with a trusted friend - a benevolent witness.
“Personally I found that the course gave me a road map.” Author, psychologist and cell biologist, Joan Borysenko
I’M A FAILURE I’M NOT GOOD ENOUGH
MISS DEADLINES / SELF SABOTAGE
WORK REALLY HARD / ACHIEVE
MUST DO BETTER
EXIT POINT Limit working hours Diarise regular breaks EXIT POINT Challenge negative belief Replace with new positive statement – ‘I am enough’
EXIT POINT Invite feedback from friends about your worklife
I AM WORTHLESS STAY IN
DEPRESSION DISTRACTION EAT/DRINK TO EXCESS
DISTRACTION USING INTERNET WATCHING TV
PATTERN BUSTERS Once you have identiﬁ ed the patterns you can sta break them. Try some of these simple techniqu rt to es: Spend some time alone – ask yourself “What am I thinking? What am I fee ling? What am I sensin g?” Spot your red ﬂags – suc h as being run down, taking on too much wo rk or skipping meals. Be active – walk, run, dan ce and use your body. Write it down – expres s your feelings on the pag e. Talk – share it with a frie nd who will understand and offer po sitive support. Forgive yourself – just because you have made bad decisions bef ore does not make you a bad person now. Do something different ly – and do it now.
I’M A If it’s really emotionally charged, for instance you’re FAILURE totally fed up with the sense that you’re always to blame, I’M NOTor even let out the frustration through running, shouting MISS DEADLINES GOOD ENOUGH / punching SELF SABOTAGE a cushion.
Healthy expression leads to a conscious forgiveness of WORK yourself and others for past mistakes - and a resolve to learn WORK REALLY BURNOUT from those. Remember, you don’t have to condone the acts, HARD / ACHIEVE but you need not condemn yourself or other people for what happened due to automatic, compulsive behaviour patterns. WORK HARDER
MUST DO EXIT POINT Finally, you have the chance to learnBETTER and then act with new Limit working hours behaviour. You can take your innate positive qualities, those Diarise regular breaks EXIT POINT EXIT POINT negative belief of your build on them. Invite feedback fromessential or authentic self, andChallenge Replace with new positive friends about your worklife statement – ‘I am enough’
Experts say it takes around 30 days to make a new behaviour truly habitual. So, for a month do something differently. Get up earlier to prove your own choice of mind over mattress. Start a journal or a sketch book.
Hoffman graduates can use specific techniques like the Quad Check (checking in with your body, thoughts, feelings and spiritual self), Recycling or Visioning. If you’re a perfectionist, challenge yourself for 30 days to delegate or leave things undone. If you are prone to procrastination list the ways you’ve suffered as a result then burn the list with a sense of release and set yourself some firm deadlines. Life is a precious gift because it offers us endless opportunities for growth. But we must learn to seize control of our patterns and become what we’ve always been – loving individuals, here to make the world a better place.
ARE YOU STUCK IN A REPEATING PATTERN? Tick each statement below which would best describe you. This will help you identify the patterns that might be impacting on your life – be completely honest: I am not good enough – I don’t deserve a good relationship or fulﬁlling work I have to do everything because noone can do it as well as I can If I am alone for long periods I get nervous and afraid My relationships fail because I don’t want to risk getting too close to anyone When something goes wrong I blame myself - it’s always my fault I tell people what to do to make sure it is done correctly Other people are better at most things than I am I allow people to treat me badly because I fear confrontation I stay quiet most of the time even if I disagree with others I avoid situations I believe will be hard - ‘What’s the point of bothering?’
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Why We’re Serious About Change For two decades, Hoffman UK has been changing lives for the better. Here the founders, Tim Laurence and Serena Gordon, discuss past, present and future.
TIM LAURENCE When did you first come across the Process? A workshop veteran, I came across the Hoffman Process in 1989, convinced that I had been there, done that and tie-dyed the t-shirt.
Has the Process evolved in the past 20 years – if so how? And has the profile of people who do it changed in any way?
That was just the beginning.
I like to think that we’ve become kinder and gentler, moving away from the more strongly-guided, or charismatic, presentation towards a compassionate one, working on equal terms with people. Practically speaking there is much more interactive time and more humane breaks.
At the time I was living in California, having moved there to study methods of alternative healing, especially the psychological aspect. Of all the teachers I’ve had, Bob was the most brilliant educator of human potential. He was also the most unconventional - always ready to break the rules if they argued with his intuitive style of teaching.
As for the people doing Hoffman – well, what used to be the early adopters, the trend-setters who prided themselves on being the first to try something out, has now become the norm. It appeals to a far wider section of the community. You’re no longer the pioneer, you’re simply serious about change.
How did a move to establish Hoffman in the UK come about?
What are the plans for the future of Hoffman in the UK?
By then I had trained as a teacher and taught the Process for a number of years in the US and a few other countries. I’d recently got married to Serena and we started talking about going back to England. As we discussed it, we began to get more and more excited about the idea of taking the Hoffman Process to the UK.
We want to be able to offer the Process to far more people, and not be so limited by the funding we have available now. We’re looking at different avenues, and are forging new partnerships with sociallyminded organisations.
Within half an hour Bob Hoffman had me crying, angry and laughing and I realised there was no point in hiding behind my usual masks.
Finally, when Serena became pregnant, we bought tickets and upped sticks to London. I’d been away for 17 years so, at first it was a bit of an uphill struggle but gradually word spread about the Process and that’s how it built its reputation. Even now the majority of participants come through word of mouth.
More than 7,000 people have done the UK course since you started it in 1995. Give us a ﬂavour of the sort of people who have done it and what brings them to it. There’s really only one type of person who benefits from the Process, yet it’s a quality that could include the whole spectrum of humanity: someone who’s ready to look at what’s really going on inside.
What are your ambitions for it? To get into schools and give kids a basic emotional education and tools for life. To keep growing so that far more people can benefit. To have many more Hoffman teachers ready to deliver auxiliary workshops to children, corporations, social services and so on. There’s a really large demand out there from all that we hear.
And how will you continue to be involved? I know that whatever age I get to, or wherever I am in the world, I’ll always feel a strong connection to Bob and his tradition of passing on this work in the best way possible. So I will teach here and overseas and through my position in Hoffman International continue to collect the best ideas from all the countries in which Hoffman is taught.
That could be a student wondering what to do ‘when they grow up’ or an 80 year old wondering what they have done in their life. In between, an alphabet soup, from accountants to zen gardeners.
“The Hoffman facilitators are the best I’ve come across in more than 10 years of workshops.” Victoria May Clarke, journalist, Irish Independent
SERENA GORDON When did you first come across the Process? I first met Bob when Tim and I moved to San Francisco in 1994. We were newly married and Bob offered us somewhere to stay while we looked for our first home. Bob took me round San Francisco in his convertible Cadillac. He was funny, probing and very intuitive. He used to say, “You can’t fool me, I’m too ignorant”. When Tim was away teaching the Hoffman Process, Bob used to make me his favourite chicken soup and he’d gently invite me to speak about my background.
How did a move to establish Hoffman in the UK come about? Tim and I had been planning to move back to the UK at some point when we suddenly discovered that we were expecting our first child. Over dinner Bob gave us his blessing to start the Process back in England. At the time, even speaking about this sort of work was challenging and people were very sceptical. But over time, with media exposure and public endorsements, we’ve built a strong reputation with a very supportive graduate network. Under the umbrella of Hoffman UK, we’ve now run Processes in Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.
More than 7,000 people have done the UK course since you started it in 1995. Give us a ﬂavour of the sort of people who have done it and what brings them to it. Bob once said the Process was good for “anyone who had a mother or a father”. However, the most common reasons for coming on the course are feeling stuck and a lack of fulfilment in relationships or at work, as well as a sense of life repeating itself. These issues are very common, so we see a real cross-section of society. That said, there’s also the question of timing, which is why we have a thorough registration procedure. We make sure that those who come on the Process are emotionally ready, robust and willing to do the work with their heart - not just their head. Over the years, we’ve developed great networks with therapists and health professionals so we can offer a stepping stone to doing the Process, if a referral is more immediately appropriate.
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Has the Process evolved in the past 20 years – if so how? And has the profile of people who do it changed in any way? In 2014, Hoffman International (the organisation that represents Hoffman centres in 14 countries around the world) agreed to update and revitalise the Process. In fact it was Tim who was given the task of spear-heading this project. As a result we’re more relevant now than ever. Bob Hoffman was ahead of the game when it came to looking at a person as a Quadrinity: Mind, Emotions, Body and Spirit. Over the years we’ve seen the world wake up to the value of meditation, mindfulness, role play, bio-energetic work and the need for spiritual connection. Another change is that we’re more able to offer virtual support and Hoffman graduates connect far more with one another via social media, Skype or by using the Hoffman App. Bob would be proud.
What are the plans for the future of Hoffman in the UK? I’ve always been passionate about making Hoffman techniques available to a younger audience. I’m confident that with our new management team we’ll be able to reach out more to those who can’t afford the Process or the time commitment. My vision would be for Hoffman to be taught as an essential life skill, available in schools and endorsed by the NHS.
What are your ambitions for it? It was Bob Hoffman’s dream to “spread peace in the world one person at a time”. No one who’s done the Process will ever start a war. If we can educate those in positions of authority, then we can change the culture of our world for the good.
And how will you continue to be involved? Hoffman is in my blood now. I’d like to work with young people and keep expanding the Hoffman graduate network. We have a fantastic team of professionals poised to take Hoffman to the next level. I’m proud to have been part of the creation and I’m delighted to watch it grow and move on.
CODEPENDENCY, ATTACHMENT & ADDICTION
The term codependent was first used to describe the behaviour of partners of alcoholics: those who unconsciously enabled the addict to keep drinking because it reassured the codependent that they were needed. Since then it’s become clear that codependency is much more widespread than that. All of us are on the spectrum of codependency to some degree. The question is: to what extent is it affecting your life and relationships? Take a moment to reflect on the questions below and notice if there are areas where you could benefit from greater awareness.
Barriers Susan McGrath is a Hoffman Graduate and psychotherapist with experience across a wide range of issues including trauma, phobia and depression. She works with adolescents, couples and individuals helping with all areas of relationship and has a particular interest in a personality proﬁling system called the Enneagram. In this article we asked her to talk about one of the root causes of so many issues that we see on the Process: the role of attachment in codependency and addiction.
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10 SIGNS OF CODEPENDENCY • Are you a people-pleaser, finding it hard to say no to others? • Do you seek approval from others to feel good about yourself and bolster your self esteem? • Do you get satisfaction from jumping in and taking care of others and solving their problems? • Do you find it hard to know what you’re feeling or what your needs are? • Would you describe yourself as a perfectionist? • Do you get close to someone very quickly, sharing intimate details before you really know them or do you become obsessed with them? • Do you control your partners’ clothes, what they say, eat or do or who they befriend? • Do you frequently feel depressed, despairing, angry or resentful and fear expressing these feelings, especially in a close relationship? • Do you neglect friends, family and hobbies when you’re in a relationship? • Are you needy and clingy in relationships or cool and detached? Codependency and addiction often run in families, although it’s not always the case. The key question to ask yourself is: does this trait impact negatively on my life? If so, help is at hand.
WHAT CAUSES CODEPENDENCY? Codependency starts in childhood with our family of origin and stems from how our dependency needs were or weren’t met. Unlike many other species, a human child needs closeness and attentiveness over many years to grow into a healthy adult. When there’s less than nurturing parenting, for whatever reason, a child begins to internalise the belief that they’re not good or loveable enough. Shame and anxiety is created and the scene is set for codependency to take hold. One of the strengths of the Hoffman Process is exploring these childhood wounds. Through tried and tested techniques, you work through the pain, relieving the symptoms which can vary from anxiety, depression, failure to get into a relationship or to multiple failed relationships, to name just a few. Sometimes our wounding is obvious when there’s been abuse, whether that’s sexual, physical, emotional or spiritual. At other times it’s intergenerational, where the victims from one generation pass their unconscious pain onto the next. This kind of wounding is created almost invisibly, leaving bewilderment and misery in its wake, because abuse may not even be part of your personal experience yet addiction and codependency can still be the result. You may be bafﬂed, unable to work out why you feel so depressed or anxious, especially if you’re living an enviable life. Nonetheless, you cannot shake off a chronic sense of dissatisfaction. Another common cause is when the caring hierarchy is reversed. In the natural order of things, the parent takes care of the child’s needs, but in some cases the child becomes the carer to the parent. In this scenario, the child’s needs go underground in order for the child to survive. This can set in motion a lifelong need to take care of others while repressing personal needs. The scene is set for codependency to take hold.
FROM ONE EXTREME TO THE OTHER One of the confusing aspects of codependency is that it manifests itself in ways that, on the surface can seem contradictory. For example, people with codependency can suffer from chronic low self esteem or be grandiose and arrogant. They can be chaotic or perfectionistic. They can be needy and dependent, or completely self-contained. The original wounding leaves us exposed to unbearable feelings that overwhelm the immature nervous system of the child, so the child adapts in order to cope. There’s a need to sustain the emotional attachment to caregivers at all costs. This means the child will do anything to keep that bond and so becomes ‘less than’ or ‘better than’ in order to survive and fit in. ‘Less than’ means they become identified with the victim position of shame and low self esteem. A lack of healthy boundaries set them up for unhealthy adult relationships.
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The ‘better than’ position is in response to feeling inadequate. This is covered over with a grandiose arrogant aloof attitude where everyone else is inferior, but it’s usually a thin veneer to cover the pain. Both positions are painful in different ways. Addictions are a common way to cope and stay as far away from the pain as possible. Alcohol, sex, romance, love, eating disorders, drugs and shopping are all common ways we self-medicate our core pain. Many people remain functional while abusing substances or activities but over time things can deteriorate until the consequences become serious. It’s usually at the point where problems can no longer be denied that people seek help. We’re lucky that we live in a society where we understand these processes better than ever before and help is available. There’s always hope.
ATTACHMENT AND CODEPENDENCY HOW THEY RELATE As I’ve said, we’re all somewhere on the spectrum and it’s possible to be codependent in one aspect of your life and not in others. We could be codependent in romantic relationships but more than capable of setting healthy boundaries at work, so it’s not clear-cut. We now know that codependency and attachment issues go hand in hand. If we look at the attachment aspects, the bond that’s created between a parent and child is life or death. The immature child cannot rationalise that a parent is abusive because they are an alcoholic. The child internalises that something is wrong with them instead and anxiety is created when there is not a consistent and secure connection to the parent. This is the
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compromise the child makes in order to stay connected and keep the parent in the good position. However, attachment injury takes its toll. We tend to repeat this injury unconsciously in adult relationships in the subconscious hope that it can be healed, but frequently it means we’re attracted to unavailable or abusive partners in order to stay with ‘the devil we know.’ Insecure attachment underpins codependency and can show up in three ways. We’re either anxious so we cling, or we’re avoidant so we become self-sufficient. The third way is described as chaotic, where we flip between self-sufficiency and anxiety. This is what sets up the pursuer/distance dynamic of adult intimate relationships which emerges after the honeymoon period is over. It’s very painful and mystifying - especially if nothing is known about codependency. We tend to relate through fear rather than love so we try to control ourselves and our partners, children, colleagues to feel safe. We let people violate our boundaries and we do the same to others. We give to others to get the love we need, but are infuriated when others don’t reciprocate. It doesn’t have to be like that, it is possible to recover.
TIPS FOR RELIEVING THE SYMPTOMS OF CODEPENDENCE
• Focus on your relationship with yourself. What do you need, want, feel, think? You have everything you need inside yourself to thrive. • Establish a meditation practice. This supports you in finding out who you really are and how to take care of yourself through the connection with your spiritual self. • Inform yourself. Reading Facing Codependency by Pia Melody is a great place to start. • Attend a 12 steps CoDA (CoDependents Anonymous) meeting. • Practice gratitude and forgiveness especially self-forgiveness. • Do assertiveness training and/or read about it - and put it into practice. • Practice saying No or Yes depending on how you defend yourself. No for the people pleasers and Yes for those whose boundaries are rigid. • Self care is key. Eat, sleep, exercise, spend time in nature.
Susan’s training includes psychosynthesis, thought field therapy(TFT), the Enneagram, imago therapy and emotionally-focused couples therapy.
• Let go of control and over-functioning. Be kind and gentle to yourself and those you love. • Do the Hoffman Process :) • Find a therapist who works with codependency.
For more visit: susanmcgraththerapy.com Edited by Nikki Wyatt
PUTTING YOUR FAMILY
in f cus
Blood is thicker than water. But although the bond we share runs strong and deep and the love we hold is unconditional - that doesn’t mean that our family relationships are always plain sailing. Here two Hoffman graduates explore how they have applied Process techniques to the relationships with their children, parents – and even ex-husbands. Their journeys were not easy – but they are inspirational.
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HELPING TO HEAL
relationships When Julia Pitt’s marriage came to an end a difﬁcult relationship remained with her ex-husband as they parented their young son. Here she explores how a week-long course transformed the ill feeling into a much healthier family dynamic.
Photos of Julia courtesy of Justin Lambert
y journey towards the Hoffman Process began with a phone call. A friend told me about her colleague who had just returned “looking amazing and totally inspired after a self-improvement retreat that sounds right up your alley”.
“However much we think we may know, there is always more to learn”
As a success coach in my home island of Bermuda, I’m always interested in personal development challenges. I was intrigued so immediately began researching the Process. And was sorely tempted. The Hoffman campus in California, with its trickling streams and redwood trees, sounded alluring. But as a divorced, single mum of a five-year-old boy whose dad lives in England, I couldn’t see a way for me to attend. Winning the lottery seemed more likely. Then I found Hoffman UK and the universe worked its magic. The July Process started the very day I was due to arrive in London dropping my son with his dad for a three-week holiday. My ex-husband agreed to meet us from the plane and the six-hour overnight flight arrived on schedule. Although bleary-eyed, I jumped straight on a train to arrive at stunning Florence House on the Sussex coast, just in time for the 9.30am start.
HOW WAS THE PROCESS DIFFERENT? I’d done my homework, but no amount of research can prepare you for the Process itself. I’d come in running a pattern of “I’ve done this kind of thing before … how’s this going to be different?” I was amazed. I’d set the intention to commit fully and be really open to the experience, although I couldn’t switch off my practitioner’s eye entirely, so there remained a thread of awareness about the mechanics of the Process too. I found the techniques and the form of the journey the course leaders took us on to be tight, elegant and well constructed. These thoughts ran quietly alongside my week-long journey of deep, personal discovery.
The coaching approach I studied before the Process doesn’t delve much into the past, except to explore what’s worked well before or not, and to look at limiting beliefs that have repeatedly held us back. So tracing our patterns back to early childhood and examining our fundamental needs and how they have or have not been met was like finding a corner piece of the puzzle.
I’d long been aware of the effects of negative actions by our early caregivers, but for the first time I understood the equally powerful effects of a parent’s absence during childhood. Similarly, recognising the four aspects of myself: physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual - what Hoffman call ‘the Quadrinity’ - was a huge shift for me. I realised how divorced I’d become from my spiritual self and how out of tune I was with my body.
MY BIGGEST BREAKTHROUGH The work we did on vindictiveness and compassion was an epiphany. I had previously intellectually decided to be compassionate about the painful marriage and acrimonious divorce I’d been through. I told myself I was ‘over it’ and yet I discovered that allowing myself to access the deeply repressed anger I felt towards my son’s father and even more frighteningly, towards myself – created an incredible emotional and physical release. There was a feeling of freedom from a poison that I wasn’t aware I was still carrying. This was all complemented by the warm, welcoming environment that is Florence House with its inspiring coastal pathways, and being embraced by a group of brave, sincere, fellow soul-seekers. An especially fond memory is jumping into the freezing ocean off the pebbly Seaford beach with some comrades, in the throes of really ‘living’. Just the thought brings a smile to my face.
“If you think you’ve tried everything, this is the one to try.” DJ and artist, Goldie
SHIFTING DYNAMICS Following the Process, I found positive shifts in many relationships, especially with my mother. My relationship with my son improved greatly and continues to do so as I’m more mindful of his needs and aware of my reactions. The best result has been the changed dynamic when dealing with my son’s dad. I asked him to come to Bermuda for our son’s birthday and my little boy got to have both his parents for lunch on his special day. I find I’m less quick to fear or judge our interactions and, for the first time, I’m really beginning to understand the meaning of forgiveness. Professionally the Process has had a dramatic effect on my work. Besides giving me a new vocabulary and way of discussing ideas with clients, my approach now places a greater emphasis on coaching holistically. I’ve introduced more spiritual wellbeing and write from a place of greater personal authenticity in my weekly coaching column for Bermuda’s daily newspaper, the Royal Gazette. I fully understand this is only the start of a life-long journey. There are days (even weeks) when the world seems to spin so fast that I struggle just to keep my head above water, swimming in those habits and patterns that I’d acknowledged, expressed and hoped I’d put an end to. However we can’t un-know something, so moments of awareness and self-reflection still filter through everyday life, although I’m yet to establish the daily practices that I envisage for myself. A five-year old isn’t conducive to morning meditation, sadly. I’m in an ongoing process of straying off, recognising, then correcting back to the path … and trying to be gentle with myself along the way.
CONTINUED SUPPORT My Process group has been a stalwart of post-process life. The email group was tremendously important, especially at the start, trying to reintegrate into the real world after such an intensive time together. It provides a safe, supportive forum in which to share with like-minded people to whom I shall always feel magically connected. It’s quieter than it was in the beginning, but I read the emails with heartfelt gratitude to these wonderful people who are being vulnerable, sharing their stories of bravery, heartache, discovery and joy. Meanwhile, I’ve found a Hoffman Facebook group in Bermuda and a surprising number of graduates on the island. It’s been wonderful to feel that connection of joint experience here on home soil, as well as to practise the tools together at occasional meetings. Hoffman not only gave me a deeper sense of self, joy and spiritual connection, but also a new community. The experience is like no other and I’d say to anyone considering it, find the courage and take the leap. However much we think we may know, there is always more to learn.
Julia Pitt is a success coach and certified NLP practitioner in Bermuda. www.juliapittcoaching.com
s Julia’s tips for succes in life and work: in order - whether at Get your relationships hing ﬂows from that. home or at work - everyt potential problems Awareness - be alert to spot where you before they blow up and ion. need to give your attent rney - you won’t Understand that it’s a jou without mistakes get there in one hop or rself. – so be gentle with you and be guided Keep your vision in mind by your authentic self.
“I’d done my homework, but no amount of research can prepare you for the Process itself ” TOP TOOL: YOUR CLARITY COMPASS In all situations know what you truly want and why. From that knowledge it becomes easy to make decisions and speak from a place of clarity and authenticity. For example, I was coaching a client working in a large corporation who was feeling confused, and doubting whether she would enjoy a promotion she had previously coveted. We dug into what she really wanted, to make the role meaningful for her: ‘to represent to others what it means to be successful while being yourself.’ Realising she could do that in the role, and keeping that goal as her guide, her doubts cleared and she left with a spring in her step.
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parenting Trained teacher, nursery school manager and relationship coach Carole Saad was convinced she would be a natural mother. But the reality of parenting turned out to be quite different from the vision.
definitely underestimated the overwhelming impact emotions, personal history and stress had on my behaviour and attitudes when I became a parent. And I must confess, the result was not always in accordance with my philosophy and expertise. It had been much easier for me to advise and help others than it was to apply all that knowledge and theory to my own life.
“ The conﬂict over how to raise our children was damaging our marriage”
My husband Nadim had a very different parenting style to myself. As he says: “My parenting resulted from a strict upbringing, which I found myself replicating with my own children - particularly during stressful moments. “I believed that Carole was too lenient with the kids and not consistent in setting boundaries. This led me to become even stricter in order to compensate for what I perceived to be her failings.” “I also felt I was being forced into the role of ‘bad cop’, which was damaging my connection with my children. I started to blame Carole for creating this situation.” So how did we cope with these differences in parenting styles?
HOW HOFFMAN OPENED OUR EYES The conflict over how to raise our children was damaging our marriage. Daily disagreements were flaring up, with accusations that one was being too strict and the other too lenient. Of course both of us were convinced our parenting style was the right one.
But then in 2012 Nadim attended the Hoffman Process. And a year later I also took part - It was an eye-opening experience.
We discovered that our natural parenting reflexes were much more likely to be emotional reactions to the way we were parented ourselves - what the sociologists call inherited parenting style. So, rather than having an innate ability to separate what was right from what was wrong for our children, we were placing our faith in a set of personal beliefs about child raising based on our experience of being parented ourselves. The Process also made us aware of the huge impact parents have on their children - both positive and negative. This motivated us even further to find ways to break the cycle of these negative, inherited parenting styles. We were determined to stop perpetuating patterns from generation to generation. What we really needed to save our marriage and become better parents was a more objective way of co-parenting that would work for both of us.
METHODS As part of our research, we looked at the world’s most successful parenting methods and recent data from child psychologists, neuroscientists and specialists in education and what we found were logical insights as to what motivated our children’s behaviour and our own that are simply based on common sense. We gained new knowledge and awareness of our parenting styles, which really helped us to be more accepting of one another and to start becoming better parents. We stopped trying to alter each other’s parenting styles to match our own version of the perfect parent and instead we started working together as a team to make up for each other’s weaknesses.
Our top parenting tips: Here are five key principles that we share in more detail in the book: Give your children empathy as often as possible - and do not discount their feelings. We tend to reproduce the way our parents have acted with us, and it’s quite common to want to reassure our children. For example,
Since our gut reactions were often proving counterproductive, we focused instead on finding alternative strategies that would give us the choice to react differently.
“Don’t worry, it’s going to be ok” or to try and toughen them
It worked – and so life-changing were our discoveries we decided to write a book. Kids Don’t Come With a Manual – The Essential Guide to a Happy Family Life allowed us to share our discoveries with others.
being acknowledged, and they will continue to not trust their
up, “Come on, it’s not that bad, it’s not worth crying about this”. Neither is good for kids because their feelings aren’t feelings as they grow and become adults. Coach your children to own and solve their problems so they become self-responsible. The key to coaching them is to
For more parenting tips visit www.bestofparenting.com where you’ll also find Nadim and Carole’s book Kids Don’t Come With a Manual – The Essential Guide to a Happy Family Life and lots of other useful resources.
show empathy for their predicament. For example saying “You seem to be really bothered by this” and then guide them to own their problem by asking them the key phrase “What are you going to do about it?”.
“The Process also made us aware of the huge impact parents have on their children”
Allow your children to have some control over their lives – offer them limited choices and ask them questions. Our default mode as parents is to give orders, particularly when our children are younger. Finding alternatives allows them to become more cooperative. For example, instead of “We’re leaving the park in five minutes”, try “Would you like to leave the park now or in five minutes?”. Model any behaviour you want your children to adopt – starting with respect and joy. Leading by example is one of the most important things we can do as parents. What parent, at one point or another hasn’t exclaimed to their pre-teen daughter, “Don’t talk to me in that tone of voice young lady” using the exact same tone of voice that we’re asking them not to use. When you say or do something you regret, you can use ‘rewind and replay’ and ‘repair’ to help keep a strong connection with your children. When we’ve reacted in a way that we aren’t proud of, we can ‘rewind’ to the moment things went ‘off course’ (doing this in a humorous way makes this technique doubly effective) by reversing the steps and ‘replaying’ the situation the way we would like it to be. When we repair they see that we can also make mistakes and amends and from that they will learn to take responsibility for their actions.
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HOFFMAN TEACHER & RELATIONSHIP COACH One to one sessions Couples’ Intensives London or Bordeaux
Ind viduals Indi duals & Couple d oupl s ouple email@example.com www.matthewpruen.com www.retreat.fr
UKCP - MBACP
“Since Hoffman I’ve been open to new relationships and to giving and receiving love again.” Ged Ferguson, five element acupuncturist
Image by Jonathan Perugia | www.jpfoto.com
“Alan Dolan is one of the best alternative practitioners I’ve had the privilege to work with ... I highly recommend him to anyone looking for a way to live a happier, healthier and more peaceful life.” Naomie Harris, star of new James Bond movie Spectre Discover Transformational Breath® with Alan Dolan at 1-1 sessions and workshops worldwide and bespoke intensive experiences at the Lanzarote retreat
As featured in:
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“The perfect place to let go of old issues and forward. I felt far more positive as a result. A very safe space where you can feel vulnerable and held at the same time. I feel more grounded than ever before” Serena Gordon, co-founder www.hoffmaninstitute.co.uk
THE GREEN, GREEN GRASS
Over the last two decades the Hoffman Process has been hosted in venues which range from monastic simplicity to the elegance of former stately homes. What they provide in common is a comfortable, safe, nurturing environment situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
â€œThe Hoffman Process is the equivalent of a psychological detox. This inner work is essential for true health and happiness.â€? Patrick Holford, author, The Stress Cure
HOFFMAN HOMES Florence House, in East Sussex, has been the primary venue for the Process for many years now. Graduate Michelle Stevenson, who was one of the first people to take the UK Process back in 1996, stumbled across Florence House while out walking along the cliffs of Seaford Head. She was drawn to the majestic property and as she walked towards it to investigate further met the owner and discovered it was for sale. Within months she had moved in and began creating a new home for the Process. She renamed the house after her mother and it remains our primary venue to this day. Alongside Florence House, the Process can also be undertaken at the picturesque Dunford House, in West Sussex.
“Home is not where you live but where they understand you”
This large yet discreet Victorian house is set in 60-acres of private woodland at the foot of the stunning South Downs. Dunford’s size means we can accommodate a larger group – and it is just an hour from London.
Christian Morgenstern, German poet
Steve Walker, who manages Florence House so well, has seen the Process adapt and grow at close quarters for over 15 years. Everyone who has met him and his team says they wouldn’t change a thing. While Mairin Colleary, the present owner of Florence House, always warmly encourages guests to: “treat Florence House as if it were your home” and, for the week of the Process, that’s just what it feels like.
But it is the attentive and friendly staff that makes the atmosphere at both venues special. Experts in hospitality, they also understand the need for discretion and calm. They are on hand throughout the Process to ensure everyone is happy.
SOUL FOOD Food is more than just fuel – and when people are embarking on such intense, expressive work, what they put into their bodies is vital. The delicious menu is designed to provide exactly what is needed at specific stages of the course – and this attention to detail is often remarked upon by those who attend. The food is not randomly chosen – it has been designed and honed over the years. For example, during the sensitive, emotional moments at the beginning of the week, uncomplicated, tasty, nutritious food is provided. And, of course, specific diets can always be catered for.
In fact the Hoffman Process food is such a hit that the team at Florence House have produced a cookery book of recipes that people can buy after the course.
For more venue information please visit www.florencehouse.co.uk and www.dunfordhouse.org.uk
MAIN IMAGE: Florence House sits near the cliffs of Seaford Head THIS PAGE LEFT TOP TO BOTTOM: Florence House is the Hoffman Process’ primary venue | Typical accommodation at Florence House | Dunford House bathed in summer sunshine | Cosy up by the fire at Dunford House THIS PAGE RIGHT: A typical spread at Florence House
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Psychologist Frederique Bicker has a practice in Amsterdam helping clients with a wide range of challenges, including stress. In 2012 she did the Hoffman Process. Here she explains why treating stress holistically gets the best results.
y interest in stress recovery began when I spent six months in India studying the philosophy of yoga and a range of meditation techniques. During this period I was inspired by these ancient approaches to healing and the fact that the key to relaxation starts with a quiet mind and from this place emotions will be soothed and the body calms down. Since this journey back in 2007, I’ve been integrating western psychology with Eastern wisdom – and I believe this blend has achieved great results.
THE CHAOS OF LIFE Modern life is hectic and many people live and work under increasing amounts of pressure and there is a belief that everyone must strive to meet the high expectations of society including achieving a successful career, financial stability, a loving relationship, healthy lifestyle, looking good and being a good parent. It often feels like there is an ever-growing list of things we must achieve but as a psychologist I see the results of this pressure. Clients come to my practice suffering from anxiety, addiction or depression and this is often a culmination of prolonged stress over many years. I believe this is best dealt with using a holistic approach in order for people to reach a sustainable equilibrium in their lives. This journey usually starts with a clear ‘reset’ moment. I learned early in my career, when I worked in the field of addictions at the Priory in London, that taking people out of the situation which causes the problems is vital. Often it is the most efficient way - and sometimes the only way - to get people to refocus on themselves. This time out can allow you to get some perspective and implement new approaches to manage your life more effectively and to deal with stress in healthier ways in the future.
FINDING BALANCE In 2012 I enrolled in the Hoffman Process as part of my continuing professional development after hearing some excellent feedback on the programme. In the midst of a busy life, seven days to focus purely on myself was a unique opportunity. Key aspects of the Process, such as deeply ingrained patterns, had the chance to get my full attention, be addressed and turned around. The undisturbed retreat week combined with a strong programme provides a great launch pad for change. I was able to experience first hand how helpful Hoffman could be for resolving stress and supporting a more balanced lifestyle. The week left me hugely inspired, personally refocused and refreshed. I felt highly enthusiastic about what could be achieved through this week-long programme. I particularly liked the emphasis on creating a balance within all aspects of the self including mind, emotions and body. Since then I have regularly referred clients and friends to Hoffman especially in relation to excessive stress and related conditions. These people vary greatly in terms of age, education, profession, relationships and personality. The Process attracts and works for people across the whole human spectrum. Everyone has a different experience of the Process but the feedback I hear again and again is just how positive it can be to dedicate time to yourself. The course offers a chance to give yourself attention, build your internal resources and get some inspiring tools to change your life for the better. Hoffman is an effective course to support people with stress-related conditions and provides an invaluable experience that can change lives.
RED FLAGS FOR STRESS Extreme exhaustion and very low energy Feelings of guilt Worrying a lot - ruminating Restlessness Disturbed sleep Depression or low spirits Bouts of crying and irritability Lack of concentration Sudden feelings of insecurity Physical symptoms including stomach pain and dizziness
HOW TO TACKLE STRESS Declutter your life – Keeping your life simple and clear will give you a healthy feeling of control and perspective. Make time to charge your battery – Building up stress is easier than releasing it. That’s why it’s so important to put aside time to have fun, do sports and be in nature to recharge. Live in the moment – The past no longer exists and the future hasn’t arrived yet, so why worry? Try to be in the present with full awareness.
To find out more about Frederique visit uk.frederiquebicker.nl (English version) or www.frederiquebicker.nl (Dutch version)
“I’ve stopped taking on other people’s problems and find I have better boundaries and a healthier detachment.” Erica Wilson, musician and teacher
IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO CHANGE
TO ORDER YOUR COPY OF ‘You can Change your Life’ www.hoffmaninstitute.co.uk Or call the Hoffman UK office on
Based on nearly 50 years of the Hoffman Process
Almost 100,000 have done the course around the world
What people say about The Hoffman Process
Many have changed their lives positively as a result Updated 2015 edition
“It can do in a week what may take years with some therapists.” Oliver James - Clinical Psychologist and Author
“If I hadn’t done Hoffman, I don’t think I would be alive now.” Goldie – Musician, Artist and DJ
“By far the most effective course I have come across.” Patrick Holford – Nutrionist & Author
“It’s not the price of doing the Hoffman Process that should be the benchmark, it’s the cost of not doing it. Why? Simple… it works!” Tim Laurence, Author Hoffman Teacher and Founder of Hoffman UK
Dean Mills – Berkshire Fire & Rescue Service
“I did the Hoffman Process because I want to fully become an adult. I just want to be the best human being I can.” Naomie Harris – Actress
“Since the Process I can delegate more easily. I no longer micro-manage and I feel that I love myself enough to set myself free of this endless need to control” Darren Yates, restaurateur
If you are interested in the Hoffman Process
ur participants come from all ages, professions and cultures. Despite varied backgrounds, we find those coming to the Process have in common a desire to get more out of their lives. As the Process is a week-long programme, its intensity and effectiveness appeals to people who have demanding lives with little time.
You will need to arrive on the Saturday morning at 9.00am and the course finishes the following Friday at around 2pm. If you are travelling a long distance, we suggest you stay at the venue the night before. We also recommend that you keep the weekend following your Process free from any commitments. This allows you time to integrate and to complete the post Process work.
The Process costs £2,950. This includes, food, accommodation, tuition, course materials, support events and VAT. All course prices are correct at time of print. Please refer to the website for Process prices outside the UK.
The Hoffman Process is a private and personal experience for each participant. You will be asked to sign a document agreeing to respect the confidentiality, identity and experience of every Hoffman participant.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I REGISTER? As part of the registration procedure, we ask everyone to complete an Enrolment Form. This form asks for your medical and therapeutic history. If, for any reason, we think that the time is not right for you to do the course, we will refund your fee and recommend appropriate options. If you are currently in therapy, Hoffman has a dedicated handover system which helps health care professionals understand the course techniques and support your continued growth. Guidelines for Professionals are available upon request to explain how therapists, doctors or coaches can support their clients before and after the course. You will be asked to complete some pre-course work in the form of a comprehensive autobiographical questionnaire. This will need to be submitted 2 weeks before your start date. This work will ensure that you will gain the greatest possible benefit from the week. ON THE PROCESS In order for you to get the most out of your course, we create an environment that is free from distractions resulting in a much deeper and longer lasting experience. We will ask you to hand in mobiles, laptops, mp3 players, reading material etc. on the first day enabling you to focus more intensely on yourself. We do not recommend any contact with work or home unless in exceptional circumstances and this will be agreed with you and the Hoffman team before your Process. Experience has shown us that this will ensure you receive the best possible benefits from the course. A 24hr number is available for relatives or colleagues to contact participants in case of emergency.
Hoffman Process Dates 2016 All Processes are held at Florence House, Seaford, East Sussex, unless otherwise stated. Please arrive on Saturday by 9.00am for Registration. All Processes finish on Friday at approximately 2pm. For more information about the venues and for online registration please refer to our website. January 9 –15 January 30 – February 5 – Dunford House, Near Midhurst in West Sussex February 13 -19 March 5 – 11 March 26 – April 1 April 16 – 22 April 30 – May 6 May 14 – 20 – Dunford House, Near Midhurst in West Sussex May 28 – June 3 June 18 – 24 July 9 – 15 July 23 – 29 August 6 – 12 August 20 – 26 September 24 – 30 October 8 – 14 October 29 – November 4 November 19 – 25 December 3 - 9
“I have much deeper and more meaningful relationships.” Will Black, photographer
Finding out if the Hoffman Process is right for you INTRODUCTION DAYS These one-day workshops are held in London and offer an opportunity to experience the Hoffman methods, engage with some practical tools and gain insight into the positive and negative aspects of your life.
If you have done the Hoffman Process... Just because you have done the Process doesn’t mean the support ends there. We have a number of graduate events running throughout the year as well as Support Groups and 1-1 coaching provided by all Hoffman teachers. For more information on dates and events please visit the Post Process Support area of our website.
January 16 May 21 July 16 October 22
INFORMATION EVENINGS These evenings are held at Regent’s University, London from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. They are a wonderful opportunity to find out more about the Process and meet recent participants.
We recommend that you join the support evenings that have been scheduled for your group, beginning with your Welcome Home evening. There will be reconnection and sharing among the group as well as discussion on tools, practices and life after the Process. Those who are overseas can arrange to Skype or Facetime into these meetings. Q2 - 3 DAY REFRESHERS
January 19 March 15 May 10 July 19 September 6 November 29
February 23 April 26 June 7 August 16 October 18 December 13
INFORMATION PHONE–IN The Phone–In is a monthly conference call held on a Tuesday evening from 7.30pm to 8.30pm. See website for details. January 12 March 8 May 17 July 12 September 27 November 1
February 16 April 19 June 21 August 9 October 11 December 6
ONE TO ONE CALLS If you feel that you would benefit from a one-toone call prior to registering for the Process, please contact the office to arrange an appointment. One-to-one coaching is offered by many of the Hoffman teaching team before and/or after the course. We can also help make referrals to other therapists where appropriate.
These 3 day residential courses, beginning on a Friday morning and finishing on a Sunday afternoon, allow you to experience old and new tools as they relate to your life now. How many of us have moved on since our Process but need space to take stock of our lives? It may be that we just want to take some time out for a personal retreat. Maybe a relationship has changed at work or at home, maybe a parent has died, or a child has left home. Whatever has happened in the intervening months or years, the Q2 offers three days just for you to get back in touch with the person that you were on your Process. All the Q2s are held at Florence House, Seaford, East Sussex. January 29 – 31 July 1 – 3 October 21 – 23 All at Florence House RECONNECTION DAYS These one day workshops led by Hoffman teachers in London are offered throughout the year and allow you to re-visit the tools and work through any current issues. February 27 April 9 September 17 December 10
HOFFMAN FACEBOOK We have two Facebook pages, one for those who would like to find out more about the Process, hoffmaninstituteuk; and a private page for those who have completed the course and would like to share their experiences, hoffmanprocess. STAY CONNECTED You can sign up to receive our monthly newsletter, and follow our tweets and blogs by visiting our website or by contacting us directly by phone or email.
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Contact us Telephone: +44 (0)1903 88 99 90 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.hoffmaninstitute.co.uk All information and dates are correct at time of printing. Please visit www.hoffmaninstitute.co.uk for current details.
Dunford House A historical, idyllic retreat at the foot of the South Downs Dunford House is a beautiful and discreet venue set in 60 acres of private woodland in West Sussex at the foot of the stunning South Downs, only one hour from London. The House offers versatile, inspiring and comfortable facilities for up to 60 delegates with capacity for 40 residential guests in the peaceful atmosphere of a country house.
• • • • •
Because of its size, Dunford House is an ideal venue to hire for exclusive use for that special meeting, sensitive issue based course or group gathering where you need space and do not want to be disturbed or interrupted by outside distractions.
30 Bedrooms 6 Function / Meeting rooms Traditional Fire pit Exclusive hire available Available for retreats, training, bed & breakfast, family gatherings and much more
For further detailed information please contact us on:
01730 812 381 or email@example.com
Dunford Hollow, Midhurst, West Sussex - GU29 0AF
The Hoffman Process allows you to take an in-depth look at how your past has shaped your present – and how it continues to impact on your fu...
Published on Mar 30, 2016
The Hoffman Process allows you to take an in-depth look at how your past has shaped your present – and how it continues to impact on your fu...