Hoffman Process

posted in: Stage 4, Stage 4: Step 4

Hoffman Institute

The headquarters of the Hoffman Process is located in Rafael, CA. They offer the process in the US in two locations–one in California and the other in Massachusetts. There are thirteen centers around the world, and over 80,000 people have gone through the process.

Bob Hoffman conceived the Hoffman process in 1960. His premise was that a child instinctively mimics the patterns or behavior of his or her parents so as to receive love, care, and attention. He calls this behavior “negative love syndrome.” It is a basic survival skill. He developed tools to learn to recognize these patterns, detach from them, and create more functional pathways. Even in the most functional families, there are many dysfunctional patterns of behavior. Many of us were raised in less than optimally functioning families. ACED out




My wife led the way

My wife did the process in November of 2008. It had a significant positive impact on her life, outlook, and mood. I was impressed, but I was “doing fine” and did not feel a need to engage in the process. Still, I felt that was important that we stay on the same page in regards to our personal growth and our growth as a couple, so I went through the process in February of 2009.

I was looking forward to a relaxing eight-day vacation without access to cell phones or computers. I had also heard the food was excellent. The week turned out to be one of the most creative intense experiences I have ever undergone and it changed the trajectory of my life. I came out of there like a laser beam and have not deviated a millimeter since the day I left.

The experience

The process is taught to groups of 20 to 40 participants. It is a shared experience, but you don’t share experiences. No one knows anything about anyone else’s story. The intent is to just give you the tools to learn how to process your negative patterning in order for you to have a clear connection to who you are.




It is almost all experiential. It is an intense process of reprogramming that cannot be duplicated in real life. The teachers are extraordinary people. The process utilizes writing, visualization, philosophy, art, auditory, and tactile sense to go through the phases of reprogramming your nervous system.


Although Bob Hoffman did not have a medical background, the concept from a neurological reprogramming viewpoint is brilliant. All the phases I have discussed of increasing awareness, separating, and reprogramming are done in a manner that ensures you will come out looking at life differently and connected to your “authentic self.”

Instead of processing one thought at a time, whole patterns of thinking are processed. Although I had inadvertently done my own reprogramming for years, I had no concept of what I had been doing. I also didn’t comprehend the intensity of what could be done.  The Hoffman Process concentrated years of writing into days. The process also pulls your nervous system into a place where a lot of early programming occurred and allows you to reprogram at a deep level. I feel like five years of progress was accomplished in a week.

Time It

It is one of the most creative and novel experiences I have been exposed to.  I don’t recommend Hoffman as a starting point for your journey back to full health, but you should at some point seriously consider participating in the Process. It will enable you to acheive a higher level of connection to you really are, minus the patterns of behavior that are so disruptive to our sense of well being.

I talk a little more about this in, “A Surgeon’s Perspective on the Hoffman Process”. It’s an interview I did about Hoffman.

Hoffman, Mind Body Syndrome, and Chronic Pain. Hoffman Radio Interview November 2102