You Can Change Your Life: With the Hoffman Process

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Recommended by health authorities for the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, EMDR therapy identifies the origin of our trauma-driven dysfunctions and then works to resolve these in a tightly-focused way. This is done with short sets of bilateral sensory stimulation of 30—40 or so seconds. You may use buzzers in each hand, or headphones clicking alternately left and right, or side to side eye movements as in REM sleep to deliver bilateral signals alternately to the left and right brain hemispheres.

Guided and witnessed by the therapist, these sets of bilateral stimulation take you back in time, into the roots of your traumatic memories big and small, with one foot in the safety and groundedness of the present and one foot in the past, as you work through the trauma memory and share whatever your nervous system is bringing back into conscious awareness. To illustrate this, and to explore where the roots of your own issues might lie, take a look at the exercise in the adjacent box.

Choose just one word. It could be anywhere, from the heart to the gut to your little toe. Just trust what you notice. Allow yourself long enough to take the experience on board, then come gently back to now. What better place to start the journey of profound personal change? One final disclaimer: it ultimately depends on you. After all, how many therapists does it take to change a lightbulb? Just one. But the lightbulb has to want to change. Mark recommends It was surreal. A refresher, to say the least. I felt that I was disconnected from everything beautiful around me, but somehow inside I could see that I would be able to love, if my feelings were channelled property.

When we leave the Process, we are equipped with many tools to keep us on track. But tools are only as good as the commitment to using them. I have promised myself to keep being my true spirit in all situations and forgive myself when I fall. Every once in a while, I practice one of those tools or meditate or do a breathing exercise, just to remind myself of how calm and peaceful and positive and genuinely happy I was the day I graduated from the Process.

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I was starting to experience myself as someone with low self-esteem and low self-confidence. I would question every comment and every remark that came my way, whether it was about my appearance, my work or my thoughts and feelings and plans.

Suddenly I felt that most, if not all, of the people in my life were against me in anything and everything I said or did. I would break things, a lot of things. I wanted to raise my daughter in an environment filled with love and support and compassion and positivity and smiles and laughter, not in anger and rage, negativity and self-doubt. She was the bullet that set me free and my wife pulled the trigger with the support she expressed to me to take on the Process.

Life is always filled with ups and downs, but being aware and knowing how to cope with the downs is a beautiful gift. The Process taught me how to let go and let love in. The Process allowed me to shut off all the negative love and all the patterns I inherited from my childhood that were eating me up from the inside and were so strong that they were able to completely hide and kidnap my true spirit.

Inner peace, self-worth, self-confidence, love; all are the results of my Process. No matter how aware you think you are, no matter how in control of your life you think you are, no matter how cynical or sceptical you are, there are things in the Process that will blow your mind. You will come out of the Hoffman Process a new person. People may even say you look different! We would like to thank Bilal and his wife Ruba for agreeing to share their story with our readers.

More Process Stories from Hoffman Graduates can be found on our website: www. After years searching for a relationship that worked, award-winning international family lawyer Ayesha Vardag did the Hoffman Process. Transforming the relationship she had with herself reaped rewards that rippled out to all areas of her life. Her Process vision attracted a joyful new romantic partnership, a happily blended family and fast, innovative business growth.

Of all the Hoffman Process tools that we learned, it was the visualisations that affected me most profoundly. One I still remember vividly involved relationships, which were my main motivation for attending. So when I was asked to visualise where I should like to be in five years, I conjured up an image of a long, wooden table, with a huge window overlooking the sea far below. An intellectual, arty husband sat at one end, and his children mingled comfortably with mine.

We were all chatting, reading the paper and exchanging jokes and ideas.

Last Christmas I had the sudden flash that what I was seeing before me was exactly what I had visualised. The same happened with my law firm, Vardags. At the time I went to Hoffman it was distinguished but small. On the course I fast-forwarded five years and saw it as the leading family law firm in England and Wales. After I left the Process I kept pushing the firm to the next level and the next, refusing to stand still. We also fund a graduate training scheme to combat economic inequality, so the most talented aspiring lawyers can get their qualifications while working with and being financed by us.

These things have made me and others very happy, as well as making sound business sense. So that vision, too, came to pass. Sooner or later, like magic, I realised I was exactly where I wanted to be. Hoffman gave me back my capacity to dream, to plan for happiness and to make my dreams come true.

That has had a wonderful ripple effect, as I have tried, with the power, responsibility and confidence my firm and my family has given me, to create positive change for those in my world. Many people understand the relationship between meditation, mindfulness or walking in nature with nourishing their inner life. The Hoffman Process teaches us the importance of nurturing our physical self in finding self-balance too. The experience of being sustained with delicious, natural food at Process venues plays a huge part in our journey of growth, and often leads to a renewed commitment to a healthier, more wholesome diet in those who have taken the Process.

On these pages, you can hear from some Hoffman Graduates who have been inspired Post-Process to spread their enthusiasm for food and its nutritious value, and a recipe from the cookbook produced by Florence House, one of our most popular Process venues. Rachel Kelly Rachel is a writer, journalist and mental health campaigner who runs workshops in prisons, for mental health charities and companies. Her success in treating depression through diet led to her latest book, The Happy Kitchen: Good Mood Food, cooked up with the help of nutritionist Alice Mackintosh. Nurturing ourselves extends to how and what we eat and the Hoffman kitchen was indeed a happy one: I remember delighting in wholesome, nourishing food and a celebration of eating communally.

This whole experience has made me stronger and more confident and has changed me. My Hoffman work has played more of a role this year than any other, so I want to say thank you. Nutritional therapist and author of Eat, Nourish, Glow, Amelia Freer found a change in diet to be key in resolving her own health challenges. Psychologist and cell biologist Joan Borysenko is world-renowned as a pioneer in integrative medicine and an expert in the mind-body connection.

More recently, her focus on nutrition has resulted in the publication of The PlantPlus Diet Solution. Her recent successes with clients such as Kirstie Allsopp, Boy George and James Corden are helping her raise awareness of food as an important element in self-care and self-empowerment. I benefited enormously from the experience and recommend it regularly. The Process boosts self-respect and encourages greater self-care, so improving your nutrition tends to move higher up your list of priorities by the end of the course.

Emma Carlton Doing Hoffman in ignited a passion in Emma for healthy food and she decided to train in nutrition. Bringing her originality into the kitchen led to her creating an award-winning pudding company and national recognition. Emma now develops healthy recipes that cut out or reduce sugar content and increase nutritional value. This frittata is a great wheat-free alternative to quiche. You can find dozens of delicious recipes like this in the Florence House Cookbook, available to order from: www.

I found the courage to explore new creative territory.

Om You Can Change Your Life

I really have to credit Hoffman for allowing me to unlock my true self and just live life to the full. Peel and dice the sweet potatoes into bite-sized chunks. Place in a roasting tin with the pumpkin seeds, Cajun spice if using and olive oil and toss until the sweet potatoes are coated. Roast in the oven until soft, without browning too much. Put the sweet potatoes into a flan dish, then crumble the feta cheese over the top and sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Whisk the eggs and milk together or cream if feeling indulgent! Top with some black pepper and bake in the oven until just set.

Serve warm with a nice salad and some crusty bread. What does it mean for a ten year old boy, barely four foot tall, to leave home? What does it cost him to fit into the systems of an institution? Boarding schools, those peculiarly British institutions, play a significant role in the moulding of current and future generations. In a crowd of faces, what chance is there for that which is unique and special about us to be seen and nurtured? The longing for home was strong. One Sunday I convinced myself that my parents were coming to visit.

Laurence, Tim

Throughout the day I returned to the window, looking to see if the car in the street was theirs. The unwritten rules of the family are followed as naturally as breathing and when this system is disrupted it can be upsetting and confusing. Soon after my 10th birthday I went to boarding school. From the safety of home it seemed an exciting prospect. I was flying the nest, following my older brother and growing up. A few days into the school year, the sense of loss hit. School had become everything and the security of my known world was shattered.

As a boarder I woke up in a shared dormitory, ate meals in the dining hall, studied in a classroom, played in a games room and fell asleep in the same dormitory. Every aspect of my life was defined by school. The physical changes of adolescence are dramatic and personal.

Shared dormitories and shower rooms and a backdrop of corporal punishment and medical examinations meant this very personal transformation was exposed and laid bare. The attitudes and beliefs of the institution shaped my understanding of my physicality and emerging sexuality. The realisation that I was gay came with the understanding that this was something to hide.

The way that a boy walked, sat or talked was scrutinised and judged. The consequences of not conforming were harsh and unforgiving. In the s the image of boarding schools as fearsome places where fagging was the norm and staff were the dictators of their domain was changing. The threat of violence was nevertheless constant.

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Prefects had power and the freedom to exert it as only young men know how. Staff still used corporal punishment, or the threat of it, to maintain order. The pecking order of seniority was firmly established and bullying could be relentless and unforgiving. To stay safe, I learnt to adapt. I followed the rules and studied hard. I made myself small and unthreatening and, when violence erupted, I absorbed the pain and made myself smaller. A new normal was established. If school replaced home, then teachers replaced parents.

Every year a new group of children arrived, as a group of young adults departed. Our safety and security was managed with universally-applied rules and expectations. The very best teachers inspired a lifelong interest in their subject, but as children caught up in the academic cycle, what space was there to feel uniquely cared for? Behind the school gates, who is there to notice the ups and downs, to meet the often unexpressed needs, to soothe and hug? What space is there for. I got the grades, started work and became an adult.

You Can Change Your Life: With the Hoffman Process - Laurence, Tim -

I said this a lot. I wanted what had been there to be what was right. Why the anxiety and sense of loss? Why my fury? During the Hoffman Process I came to truly understand how my experience of boarding had shaped me. I became aware of the structures of the institution and how I had been forced to adapt. I found a safe space to let go of the anger and the fear. Breaking down 8 years of institutionalised upbringing I found freedom and a new sense of possibility. A new chapter could begin. Hoffman Graduate Lizi Hill is a professional artist with a passion for the creative arts.

She shapes materials into sculptural forms exploring the idea of movement, taking inspiration from the natural world and the laws of nature. We asked Lizi how doing the Hoffman Process affected her work. I create sculptural pieces in ceramic, wood and metal, exploring the nature of movement and movement in nature. My aim is to create a calm and peaceful space, making full use of light, reflection and shadow. The Hoffman Process enabled me to gain the confidence to complete my art degree with a distinction and to work professionally as an artist on an international level.

I am now working on Percentage for Art projects in the UK with two sculptures in Jersey and a third, 6-metre piece under construction. After making the career transition from teaching to art, this is a dream come true. I feel so valued and proud to be creating art with passion and love. Thanks to the Hoffman Process, my creativity has been unleashed. For years, Matthew Calvana found it difficult to emotionally integrate the circumstances of his birth and adoption. Finally, in his forties, he found the courage to get support.

In March , I received an email from my birth mother with a baby photo attached. My little hands are clasped on my chest as if I am braced for something. The first photograph in our family album is one of me at two months old wearing the same cardigan. The lady kneeling behind me is holding me upright on a rug. She has a Dusty Springfield hairstyle and sits proudly next to a large wood-encased TV that sets the scene in the mids. Same cardigan, different mother. My young birth mother had been rejected by her Italian boyfriend, my birth father.

When she returned to England, her parents disowned her. The shame was too great. The no. A cover of an Italian song, a song about abandonment. I was five when my mother told me that I was adopted. But after this brief episode, it was never spoken of. We flinched if adoption was mentioned on TV. I came to believe that my side of the bargain was to stay silent. One of the few things I felt control over in my life was the nontelling of my story. It was mine; messy, scary, not even completely clear to me, but it was mine to air…or not.

Eventually I ran out of steam. Tell me more What next..?

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The Hoffman Process: How It’s Changing My Life

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You Can Change Your Life: With the Hoffman Process You Can Change Your Life: With the Hoffman Process
You Can Change Your Life: With the Hoffman Process You Can Change Your Life: With the Hoffman Process
You Can Change Your Life: With the Hoffman Process You Can Change Your Life: With the Hoffman Process
You Can Change Your Life: With the Hoffman Process You Can Change Your Life: With the Hoffman Process
You Can Change Your Life: With the Hoffman Process You Can Change Your Life: With the Hoffman Process

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