Each one of us looks back and you can say, I remember the time when something fell into place… and at that moment, what really happens is that you’re free from something that was holding you back, and there’s a sense of increased potential, just like you’re more present, you’re able to be here now because there’s not some hook grabbing you into the past or something from the future that may not be the real thing that you want to do but you’re pulled toward it because you think you have to. To be free from that is an amazing thing.
Dr Joan Borysenko is a Process graduate who did the Hoffman Process over 20 years ago while she was running a behavioural medicine clinic at Harvard Medical School teaching hospitals. Dr Joan discusses how she was often asked why she did the Process and explains why she decided to do the Hoffman Process even though she was happily married and living a full life with a fulfilling career.
“What people don’t recognise I think is that people can have tremendous outer success and still be struggling inside. One of the most amazing things in the Hoffman Process was the experience of compassion, for your mother, for your father, for any anybody else in your family of origin and particularly the sense of compassion for yourself.
And that sense of compassion for myself… what it did, I realised and how it’s grown how over 20 years, is that I don’t judge myself so harshly anymore and because of that, I’m free of a lot of that ‘I, me, mine’ self-referential behaviour. And much more free to express the compassion of my deeper spiritual self, it’s just a normal part of life.”
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… one of the things that I’ve heard about the Hoffman Process literally from dozens of people who finished it, people that I’ve referred, and I’ve experienced myself is that amazing sense of freedom
Dr Joan Borysenko discusses the study published by the University of California which looked to see how people felt a year after they did the Hoffman Process and how the benefits they received during the Process continued to deepen over time.
“Just a few years ago, a peer reviewed study was published, that was research that was done at the University of California with a fairly large group; a hundred Hoffman Graduates and a hundred controls… and after you do a week where you go away, you invest your time and money, you’re always going to feel better. But what was great about this study is it looked to see how are people feeling a year later, what was the residual effect.
And here’s what was found; that directly after the study as one would hope, people felt a great increase in wellbeing, a decrease in negative affect or feelings and a tremendous amount of increase in compassion. However, here’s the best part, a year later, those positive trends continued; they didn’t diminish or decay over time, they actually grew over time.
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Hoffman does something unique, that other personal growth programs and most therapies really don’t do and that is not only does it address the kind of rational things that hold us back; what are the patterns that you learn from your parents. What did you do like they did so that you could get love. What didn’t you do; how do you define yourself in relation to those. Those are rational patterns and its interesting to see them. But the fact of the matter is, most of how we behave and how we feel is not conscious, its not rational. It comes from the other than conscious mind and it’s seated in the amygdala of the limbic system that gives rise to emotions. When we speak in words, it affects the hippocampus of the limbic system where there’s memory, but almost no therapy really addresses the unconscious, where things are stored, in the form of images, in the form of feelings.
And the use of ritual in the Hoffman Process that evokes very deep feelings and that completely bypasses the conscious mind and goes for where the patterns are actually stored makes it supremely effective, much more so than many therapies. I know people have got more out of one week in the Hoffman Process than we had out of 10 years of therapy, so as far as I’m concerned, unique that way, in that it addresses both sides of the brain and also the hippocampus and the amygdala in the limbic system. So it’s a full emotional, rational, spiritual experience.”
To read the full study by the University of California, visit this page ‘The Science Behind the Process’ on our website to download the pdf ‘University of California Grant Research Study (2003)’.
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