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Re: Hoffman Institute
Posted by: myselfalone ()
Date: May 05, 2010 09:01AM

gee, i guess i have had how i feel affected. it's great. what o what is the problem?

look, clearly you are out to prove a point, probably as much as i am. you have set the rules here, and i respect that. since i'm not trained in the scientific method, i can't tell you whether these studies meet your criteria. let us know.


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Re: Hoffman Institute
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: May 05, 2010 09:29PM



But these studies are essentially about the feelings of participants, not measurable objective results such as those previously mentioned on this thread.

The most recent study tracks the emotions, feelings and attitudes of participants one year out.

Nothing about increased income, higher grades, lower divorce rate, etc.

A more meaningful study would measure such objectively verifiable results, and more than one year out.

Again, the impact of the Hoffman Process appears to be the emotional and essentially subjective response of participants. The subjects feel differently as a result of the LGAT influence and respond accordingly.

LGATs frequently focus on manipulating how people feel.

For example, one of the studies included a the Hoffman site mentions the use of "guided imagery."

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Re: Hoffman Institute
Posted by: myselfalone ()
Date: May 05, 2010 10:18PM

Wait. Are you saying that measurable, outside-the-self criteria like income, marriage, and grades trump emotion, feelings, and attitudes, or that Hoffman would rise from possible-cult status if only such things could be shown to result from it?

If that's your metric, that helps me understand your stance towards Hoffman and other programs. It's a chilly one--a personally satisfying journey, experience, or revelation is suspect unless it translates into worldly success, as measured by those metrics. I get it. Good luck, and thanks for listening.

Guided imagery: "Imagine yourself in a place full of light," "Imagine you're in a place that feels safe, natural, and comforting." I hope that doesn't make Hoffman a cult.

Anyway, enough. Best of luck.

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Re: Hoffman Institute
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: May 05, 2010 11:23PM


I have not said that the Hoffman Process is a "cult."

This is a false argument.

The Hoffman Process appears to fit within the category of large group awareness training (LGAT).



These comments seem to cast the Hoffman Process into the realm of a religious "experience."

"A personally satisfying journey" would again be subjective results based upon the participant's feelings.

The previously cited objective results, e.g. lower divorce rate, higher grades, increased income, demonstrate objectively measurable results.

The studies you linked to seem to rely upon feelings and opinion rather than fact based statistical outcomes. More like polling than scientific research.

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Re: Hoffman Institute
Posted by: ChrisM ()
Date: November 18, 2010 10:29AM

I first heard about the Hoffman Institute about ten years ago through Sonia Choquette. Now, I have to say that I read her first book, "The Psychic Pathway," and I really enjoyed it. I also enjoyed a few of her workshops. However, after a while they felt a bit repetetive and when she joined the Hay House group I felt that the quality of her work suffered. Oh well. Back to Hoffman. Sonia had a few brochures and I took one. I didn't like some aspects of the intensive program because I'm not a believer that you must be reduced to screaming hysterics in order to heal old emotional wounds, but thought I'd check it out anyway, just to see. It was hard to find a lot of information about the program. I ended up sending in a deposit to the place in Virginia. That's when I got a more complete kit with lots of information not included in the brochure. What bothered me the most was that on top of the intensive program, they also control your diet. It is supposedly "health food" but I've always been taught that when you're changing one part of your life, you don't mess with everything at once or it's a shock to your system and nothing takes hold for the long term. (example: Don't start a new, rigorous exercise program AND start a vegetarian diet at the same time) I was very wary that this place would take you to deep emotional issues while controlling your food. Isn't that something cults do? It worried me. Another piece of information in the larger kit, which was not in the brochure, was a statement that if you were in therapy, you needed to get your psychiatrist's permission to do the course. This annoyed me only because it's not in the initial brochure (or wasn't at that time, they may have changed it later). I was angry I had to send in money in order to get more information. To their credit, when I called and said my therapist would not give me permission to go, the girl refunded my money quickly without argument. Nevertheless, I've since wondered if I did avoid a cultish weekend. The whole tofu/"health" diet they force on you for that whole time is very disturbing to me. How does one know if the emotional reactions are real or just reactions to the new diet? I was also afraid the new food would weaken my resistance to anything they might suggest.

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Re: Hoffman Institute
Posted by: cdub ()
Date: December 01, 2010 01:30AM

I did the Hoffman Process about two years ago. I suppose it's not a cult, since I haven't given them any more money since, and was asked not to proselytize. I have a friend who is an ex-moonie, and barely rescued an ex-boyfriend from another cult, so I've seen them upclose and was very wary going in. It could be considered an encounter group, or group therapy; I'm not an expert and don't claim to know.

I did have to get permission from my therapist to go, and she and my psychiatrist at that time read through all the material and approved me going. They said they thought it wouldn't hurt and might be helpful. That, it was.

I did my research on Hoffman only to help determine if I should go, so it's not as vigorous as the moderator is asking; but it satisfied my needs to avoid anything too bizarre. I share this purely as an anecdotal story for folks considering this process. In my process all my teachers where certified psychologists and licensed therapists. I did my process at White Sulfur Springs, in Napa Valley. The decor looks like it hasn't been updated since the 70's, and the place smells of .. well, sulfer springs. I bought a lavender candle the first day to get through the general stinkiness, though you do grow accustomed.

ChrisM, the "health food" was pretty mellow, and had vegetarian and meat options (though no red meat, but chicken and fish was always offered) and there was always a dessert. Not much of a shock to my system. The food was from a local restaurant that specialized in local season produce, which might through you if you live on doritos.

Pros: The key pro is it seems to "work" for the majority of the attendees. I'd say 80% of my class were happier, and more centered and are so still. I went when I was at the end of my rope. My husband had left me, my job was falling apart, I'd just recovered from back surgery, my grandfather had died. one of my dearest friends had gone six months earlier, and he was profoundly changed for the better; he was happier, more settled in his career track, and had separated from a abusive spouse (two sides of every story... not sure divorce is always a bad sign.) I can say that my process gave me a way to get back in touch with myself, my values, and I am happier, stronger and healing slowly but surely from my year of hell. Although my marriage is done, I'm in a job that pays much better and fits my lifestyle. And I have a dear close friend I met through our process. Although they give you tapes and tools to use, I admit I do none of them and don't feel guilty. I feel the process itself shifted me in a way I needed at a time I needed it. Your mileage may vary.

Cons: it's pretty new-agey, it does rely on a "higher power" which I'm not a fan of since I am an atheist. Once they slipped up and used the word "god" which clearly was in an older version of the scripts and I was really jolted. Speaking of changes, I understand they have updated it over the years as they learn more from recent science, always fine tuning. I met someone recently who did it in the 70's, and then it was 8 weeks, not 8 days, and sounds like it may have been more est back then.

Another con; a number of the people in my process were what I call "spiritual tourists" they type who go from mediation retreat to esalen to native american spirit journeys. you know the type; they are annoying as hell.

Concerns: I roomed with a woman who turned out to be the head of a sleep research lab at a university. She explained that much of what we were doing was self-hypnosis. I found that freaky and spent that day seeing if I could wake myself up during the meditation parts; I could and went back to the experiential mode. The professor was happy to participate fully; I felt if she was good with it I may as well go with the flow.

Process: before you go you write a lot about your life. About 30 pages at least, remembering about your mother, father and childhood. It's all aimed at digging out patterns you develop as a child, and don't discard as an adult when they no longer serve you. And so is the next 8 days. You meditate, write, dance, play, write more, hit pillows with plastic bats, write more, draw, and write more. It is a year of therapy in 8 days, and I found it much more useful than this description can tell you. I came out noticeably glowing (people commented) and was able to play with my daughter and be present in my life in a way I hadn't been able to. Now, two year later, I feel like myself again, in a way I hadn't through my depression. That's the only result I want.

I had been going through antidepressant drugs, none which helped, before Hoffman. I'd been without them for two weeks before Hoffman, so I feel confident that was not part of my reaction to it and my system was clean. And I haven't taken any since. I have the strength to deal with my own life by myself now. I cannot say if this would be true for anyone else, so if you come across this forum I recommend you research carefully before you go (if you go), and make sure it's a match for what you need. But because I believe it was such a beneficial influence on me, I have to contribute my story.

Good luck to you.

p.s. moderator; I'd say increased happiness is a fine outcome, and I trust U of Davis to choose what to measure in such a study. []

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Re: Hoffman Institute
Posted by: Frederickson ()
Date: February 16, 2012 09:58PM

I notice this thread has been dormant for a couple of years, so thought I would add to it. I was introduced to the Quadrinity process in the early 90’s, and by the end of the decade had been on both sides of the podium, as both a student and a teacher. I also knew the founder, Bob Hoffman, personally, who was, in fact, a retired Jewish tailor and very wise student of human nature. He passed away in 1997.
When I took my first training, the cost was $3000 US, plus the cost of time off work and child care. The results were noticeable to both me and people I worked with. Were they worth the cost--that’s an individual decision. Could I have gotten there in other ways--I think so, but at the time I didn’t know any other way.
Regarding therapeutic risks and consequences, when I was a teacher with the Institute, the organization was diligent about waivers from treating physicians. My own therapist had supported my going through the training, and my experiences in therapy were trumped by the Quad process; however, my life was very complicated at the time, and most of my individual therapy sessions were taken up with problem-solving in real time, leaving little time for deep introspection. The Quad process took me away from all that for a time and allowed the kind of introspection that I needed at that time.
Regarding the cult aspect, I think there is definitely a bit of that, but the Institute doesn’t engage in the heavy duty isolation so often seen in a true cult. It does use a language that is somewhat unique to Quad process participants, and I remember one of my fellow teachers commenting that she wouldn’t consider engaging in an intimate relationship with someone who hadn’t “done the Process.” Also, due to its group structure, individual students need to progress at the same rate as the group, creating an unspoken element of peer pressure that aids in accomplishing that.
What I did learn, being on the teacher’s side of the Quad process, is that the people that took over the US Institute a few years prior to the death of Bob Hoffman were connected with organizations like Landmark, Lifespring, Forum and, as such, had a transforming impact on the Institute. The organization had been friendlier and more inclusive before the new regime took over. There was much more in the way of politics, competition, and one upsmanship infused into the organization by the new leadership; and I felt the integrity and humanity under the old leadership had faded, to be replaced by an arrogant and snide kind of judgment of both staff and customers, and a slick marketing approach that had not existed before. More emphasis seemed to be placed on attracting high-profile customers and teachers, who could attract more of the same and give the Institute a certain credibility, which I personally didn’t think it really needed. The monetary motive seemed to trump what Hoffman had envisioned as a movement to help people who were struggling.
In order to attract those high-powered endorsements, under the new regime the Institute began holding highly specialized, exclusive and private trainings for business and entertainment celebrities in the mid-90’s. These were by invitation only and not open to anyone without certain credentials. These specialized environments, separate from the normal, everyday trainings for regular folks, helped to fuel the participation of high profile celebrities, who could be protected from the “paparazzi,” and who were often captivated by the nonprofit structure of the Institute and the potential to find new and novel ways to give back to the “disadvantaged” through membership on the Board.
Bottom line, my opinion is the Quad process is a mostly harmless but expensive way to leverage change for folks who are feeling stuck in their personal development. A skilled therapist can probably help people leverage the same level of change for a lot less money; but if you have the resources, it can be an entertaining and fascinating way to learn more about yourself; returning to your regular life relaxed, pumped and with a song in your heart and a smile on your face.

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Re: Hoffman Institute
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: February 17, 2012 12:58AM


When I took my first training, the cost was $3000 US, plus the cost of time off work and child care.

You took your first training. How many additional trainings did you take?

What do you estimate was the total cost in dollars?


Regarding therapeutic risks and consequences, when I was a teacher with the Institute, the organization was diligent about waivers from treating physicians.

You became a teacher. Are you still an HQP teacher? Do you stand to gain financially if people continue to sign up for HQP?


, the organization was diligent about waivers from treating physicians

Did the therapists and MDs who signed the waivers know that Hoffman had no license to practice psychotherapy yet was charging this kind of money? If the referring professionals did not know this about Bob Hoffman they would have lacked information needed to make an informed decision when advising patients. they left themselves open to charges of aiding and abetting the unlicensed practice of psychology. This was considered serious malfeasance even in the late 1990s.

Just because no one complained does not mean things were right. Sadly, the very persons unable to see that boundaries are being violated or who have been socialized to ignore or devalue boundaries are the ones most vulnerable.

Hoffman had a strange history.


And were any of these waiver signing professionals tied in any way (as graduates or as teachers) to Hoffman Institute?


Bottom line, my opinion is the Quad process is a mostly harmless but expensive way to leverage change for folks who are feeling stuck in their personal development. A skilled therapist can probably help people leverage the same level of change for a lot less money; but if you have the resources, it can be an entertaining and fascinating way to learn more about yourself; returning to your regular life relaxed, pumped and with a song in your heart and a smile on your face.

This seems confusing.

The description of how Hoffman Process changed to something less friendly after taken over by Landmark/Lifespring etc conflicts with the statement above that Hoffman is 'mostly harmless but expensive'.

No doubt the escape clause is to claim that Hoffman is 'not for everyone.'

I would not treat 'mostly harmless but expensive' as an endorsement. I would take it as a warning to proceed with extreme caution.

In these grim times, how many people have a margin for financial error that would allow them to risk that amount of money on something with this kind of dodogy pedigree?

' Mostly harmless but a way to return to regular life relaxed with a song in your heart and a smile on your face.'

If the beginning and end of that sentence are put together, this suggests that HQP may leave at least some participants with a mixture of adult logic and unconscious primary process logic and unable to assess HQP realistically.

If one is going to spend thousands of dollars one had better be capable of a realistic cost benefit analysis.

To achieve therapeutic goals, a professional therapist is expected legally and professionally to adhere to recognized standards of care and not to charge fees beyond what is considered acceptable practice.

'Mostly harmless' is not good enough. A therapist has to stick with treatment modalities that have been supported by evidence based research that

A the treatment is better than what can be expected from placebo

B The treatment has a better risk/benefit ratio than existing treatments

C Autonomy of the counselee or client is preserved - the treatment does not become a social outlet.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/12/2017 03:03AM by rrmoderator.

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Re: Hoffman Institute
Posted by: Bodhichitta ()
Date: February 20, 2012 01:55AM

I am curious if this forum can ever reach consensus? Isn't this really a Freud versus Jung debate? The scientific method hasn't been available to explore claims by Hoffman since the neuroscience that backs up Hoffman claims are only being discovered in the last few years.

Maslow himself write a whole book dedicated to the subject that science lacks the ability to get their arms around the sophisticated machinery we call subconscious. It is this exact issue whereby Freud and Jung split as Freud demonized human impulses as something that reflects our true nature in our subconscious and therefor should be "controlled" via psychotherapy delivered by professionally trained psychologists.

Jung, on the other hand, argued that there was a deeper layer that enables one to face their subconscious impulses, trace them back to childhood sources and use various techniques that allow a person to transcend these "patterns" which have been imposed on all of us via subconscious means. He argues that once we transcend those patterns we actually become more who we really are because we "heal" those patterns of whom we are not.

A fan of Jung will call this a new "awareness" while a fan of Freud may call this "a potential cult". The Freudian fan may then join in defending the symptoms of a cult as defined by the APA since the APA is protecting it's belief in applied Freudian psychotherapy as defined by Freud. So with this frame of reference- this site is acting appropriately.

From a Jung perspective- this whole discussion is an oxymoron because the very people who are attached to the Freudian meme are actually the people being controlled and the people being accused of the cult like activities are actually the one's seeking freedom.

So people have to research Freud versus Jung first before they can determine what frame of reference should apply. From my research, for example, not only is Jung the "student who became the master" but he is backed up by Maslow who i suspect would support The Hoffman Quadrinity Process as a great tool for someone who desires to achieve self-actualization. Quite opposite of cult-like thinking.

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Re: Hoffman Institute
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: February 20, 2012 08:27AM


You are off topic.

This thread is not about Freud or Jung, but about Hoffman and its mass marathon training.

The Hoffman Institute is not a licensed mental health facility staffed by psychiatrists, psychologists or other licensed professionals.

Please stay on topic.

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