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Hoffman Quadrinity Process

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The Hoffman Quadrinity Process is the current name of a course described on their official website as a course of "personal discovery and development" which "allows you to examine your life and your behavior and empowers you to make lasting changes".[1]


It was founded in 1967 by Oakland, California tailor Bob Hoffman as Fischer-Hoffman Psychic Therapy after Hoffman claimed to have had a vision of his late psychiatrist Siegfreid Fischer who appeared to him and told him the key to emotional healing is to undo "negative love", unrealistic expectations and manipulations which parents saddle their children with. Claudio Naranjo, later known for being one of the popularizers of the enneagram, helped develop the program further by adding material from the Human Potential Movement to Bob Hoffman's spiritualist/psychic notions. It was later renamed the Fischer-Hoffman Process, and after that, the Fischer part of the name was dropped after Fischer's widow protested Hoffman's use of her late husband's name.[2] Bob Hoffman died in 1997 and it is now offered as an 8-day residential course by the Hoffman Institute, set up as a nonprofit.

The early process: spirit guides and psychic contact[edit]

In its original form, the program involved meeting a purported spirit guide and establishing psychic contact with one's parents when they were children, while cataloging all the bad things one's parents ever did and emotionally discharging all the pent up hate and resentment toward parents by crying, beating pillows, screaming, and such. The purpose of the alleged psychic contact with parents is to learn the reason why they mistreated one with "negative love", and to see that they were treated the same way by their parents, and so on. This psychic contact is supposed to help one forgive their parents and move on in life. At the end the program is supposed to re-integrate what Hoffman claimed are the four parts (or "quadrinity") of a person: the body, intellect, emotions, and spirit.[3]

Skeptical view[edit]

The original program's reliance on the supernatural and use of concepts internal to the movement like negative love and quadrinity clearly put it in the realm of pseudoscience. Alleged psychic communication with one's parents as they were when they were children does not have any scientific basis, and the "communication" thus received may be imagined or suggested.

The current Hoffman process appears to have de-emphasized or dropped supernatural elements and claims of psychic abilities and spirit guides present in the early program. Indeed a great deal of actual psychology was incorporated into the process as it developed, gradually supplanting earlier elements which according to one source[4] came from the Spiritualist Church. Current participants may not be aware of the program's origin as Fischer-Hoffman Psychic Therapy.


Curiously, for all its New Age trappings, the Hoffman Institute has on its board of advisers Ken Blanchard, a close associate of Rick Warren.[5] Also in the department of the weird, the Bhagwan Sree Rajneesh cult offered an "Anti-Fischer-Hoffman Process"[6], which one supposes was along similar lines as the "Est Repair Rundown" offered by the Church of Scientology.


  1. Hoffman Institute main website,
  2. The Ontological Odd Couple and the Origins of of the Fischer-Hoffman Psychic Therapy
  3. This description is based on Bob Hoffman's 1976 book Getting Divorced from Mother & Dad: The Discoveries of the Fischer-Hoffman Process. As can best be gleaned from Hoffman Institute websites, the terminology has changed and is now framed as visualizations rather than actual psychic contact.
  5. Ken Blanchard and the Hoffman Quadrinity Process (caveat: fundamentalist Christian website)