A little while ago, I ended up hearing about the Hoffman process and I was told that this was a powerful process. This was put forward as something that would allow someone to let go of the patterns in their life that are holding them back.
I wanted to find out more about this process, and this resulted in me signing up to do an instruction day. When the day came for me to take part, I had an open mind and I was curious about what it would be like.
When I got there everyone had already introduced themselves and it was then down to me to talk about what brought me there. After this we looked through a sheet that was called, ‘The Cycle of Transformation’.
This sheet went into the four stages that are involved in change, with the first stage being awareness and the final stage being new behaviour. Once this part was over, we looked at the roles that we played as a child.
We were given a big list of the possible roles that we may have played during this time in our life, and it didn’t take me long to spot some of the roles that I played. The first role that stood out for me was the ‘pacemaker’.
Through having an emotionally unstable mother, my father was the calm one, and I ended up modelling his behaviour. It was as though it was my job to be calm, to keep everything in and to put out fires.
It’s All about the Feelings
Shortly after, we looked at a sheet that went into the feelings that we can experience and how easy it is to be out of touch with how we feel. Or, if we are in touch with how we feel, we can speak in the third person and can say ‘you feel’ instead of ‘I feel’.
Naturally, this stops us from taking responsibility for how we feel, and this is a way to stop ourselves from feeling uncomfortable. It was around this point that I thought these people were coming from the right place.
On The Same Page
For one thing, they said that it was all about what happened during our early years and the effect that this had on us. At another part of the day, we were told that a lack of connection is often behind addiction.
Hearing this reminded me of Gabor Maté’s work, and the impact that shames has in all this was also spoken about. Towards the end of the day, we ended up doing work on our inner child.
I have been dialoguing with this part of myself (or parts, as there are many children within us) and grieving my unmet childhood needs for a number of years, so I know how important this type of work is. One of the things that stood out about this day was how powerful it can be to work on challenges with a group of people.
Through being able to open up to people about our challenges in this way, it can be incredibly healing. This is because we can open up and receive positive feedback, allowing us to realise that there is nothing that we need to hide.
The issues that we have can only survive all the time they are hidden; bringing them out into the light is what often resolves them. This is why shame causes so many problems, as it causes us to hide the parts of ourselves that need to be brought into the light.
Once these parts out revealed to people who are able to be present and don’t judge or criticise us, we can start to realise that there is nothing wrong with is. Not only this, we can see that we are not the only ones who have these challenges, thereby allowing us to experience a sense of connection.
This then serves as a corrective experience. It is often some kind of abuse or neglect that caused someone to experience shame as a child and then to hide parts of themselves - if not their whole self - and this would have caused them to feel disconnected.
Taking all this into account, I sense that the Hoffman process is something worth investing in. The good thing about the introduction day is that it gives people the chance to see if they would like to take the next step, with the next step being the week long process.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.