There is no expiration date on the relief one feels when they confront childhood trauma and let go of harmful patterns. If you fear that you’ve missed your chance to pursue healing, it may be helpful to know that studies show therapy is as effective for older adults as it is for those in middle age. It’s never too late to shift your perspective on the past, forgive the people in your life, and move on. Though the Hoffman Process is for people of all ages and all walks of life, there are some additional ways that the Process can offer more of a reprieve to older participants:
Gain perspective from distance
During the Hoffman Process, participants have a chance to trace their behavioural patterns and habits back to their parents or caregivers. Part of this work involves examining historical context: What era did your parents grow up in? What was the cultural, societal, and social environment like at that time? What have you discovered about your family lineage that explains the actions of your parents and their parents? When a younger participant does this type of work, they may have to fill in the blanks with speculation, but an older participant will have much more information and perspective on their side to help explain the whats and whys of the past.
Help future generations
While the past cannot be rewritten, you can still positively impact future generations. Letting go of harmful patterns you learned in childhood can help you make amends with your own children and forge new and healthier relationships with them and perhaps your own grandchildren if you have them.
Let go of family secrets
Positively impacting future generations means not passing family secrets on to them. If you have spent years carrying around secrecy and shame, you will feel tremendous relief when you set this burden down. And you can save your children the pain of continuing to carry the family secrets in their lives.
Adopt a learning mind
It’s neither helpful nor healthy to stop one’s inquiry. The Hoffman Process promotes a learning mindset through mindfulness exercises, which have been proven to enhance cognitive function, guided visualizations, journaling, and expressive work in a safe and supportive group experience. Participants of all ages walk away with more clarity about what changes are still possible in their lives and how they can bring about these changes.
Make peace with mortality
Despite being universally inevitable, contemplating death can bring about great anxiety and fear. Freud believed that death-related fears had more to do with unaddressed childhood trauma. The Hoffman Process allows participants to see mortality not as a source of fear, but as a motivating force to initiate positive behavioural change. In confronting childhood trauma and healing old wounds, participants have the chance to live fully in the present.
Find out more about how the Hoffman Process can help you enact lasting change in your life.
This article was contributed by Erica Garza. Follow @ericadgarza on Instagram.