The Essential Experience Workshop invites you to open your heart and mind to new possibilities. If you are feeling stuck in some part of your life, come to find new ways to move. If you are in transition, come to find ways to navigate. If you want to grow in new ways, come to find others who will grow with you.
Time and Place
The workshop begins on Thursday night at 7 pm and runs until approximately 11:30 pm. On Friday, it runs from 10 am until approximately 11 pm. On Saturday, it begins at 9:30 am and goes until about 11 pm. On Sunday, it runs from 10 am until about 9 pm. The workshops are held at the Ardmore Methodist Church, outside Philadelphia. The timing is approximate due to the participatory nature of the workshop.
EE is not a class, or a seminar, or even a training, but a workshop. The maximum number of participants is 32. Participants engage in experiential exercises of many different kinds and reflect on the experiences they create. These creative exercises take many forms. Some are done alone, others with a partner, still others in small groups, and some in the group as a whole. Some exercises are verbal, some non-verbal, some are physical, some creative. All of them invite participants to experience themselves and others in ways that relate to the lives they are living.
The workshop is a safe, confidential, non-judgmental space. Participants can reflect on their experience with caring support and feedback. As a result, they can look clearly at their lives and choose, if they wish, to make change. The exercises and processes provide structure, but they also leave space for participants to take their own insights in their own directions. Being with others who are doing the same thing opens doors to support and insight that are usually closed.
As the process moves, people come to see each other and to be seen in ways that invite and inspire new openings in the lives of each participant. With the support of others, graduates are ready to return to their lives with renewed energy, insight, intention and support. Participation in the workshop translates to fuller participation in life. With an education in the art of living, graduates live with more vitality, more connectedness, more intention. And that’s just the beginning.
The workshop Conductor is Eric Hoffman. He has been conducting the workshop since 2007 and spent the previous 18 years serving as Assisting Conductor. JoAnne Fischer and Barb Taylor serve as Assisting Conductors. JoAnne has served as Assisting Conductor since 1989, when the workshop first came to Philadelphia.
Eric is assisted in management of the workshop by Tina Silverman, Workshop Administrator, Joan Hollenbach, Bookkeeper, and a Management Team, including JoAnne Fischer, Barb Taylor, Carol Lutter, Shelly Sullivan, Michael Raymond, Haig Didizian, and Ky Mettler.A volunteer Team Leader organizes a large group of graduates to produce each workshop. Creating the workshop generally requires the volunteer contribution of between 50 and 100 people, some of whom are present in the room with participants and others of whom support the process in other ways.
For more about the facilitators, click here.
After the Workshop
Graduates of the workshop over the past 28 years have created a community in which people can continue the work begun in the workshop. While each graduate creates support in his or her own way, a number of structures have been created.
- Each workshop group meets for a reunion following the workshop.
- Free support groups are organized for each group following the workshop.
- Graduates can participate on Team to help support future workshops.
- A newsletter and a Listserve keeps the growing community informed.
- Social events are organized to gather and have fun.
- Graduate workshops are offered for continuing work.
There is no obligation to participate in community events, but all graduates can participate in support groups, social events, graduate workshops, community service projects and a variety of other activities created by graduates. Many enjoy the continuing connection and find that keeping in touch with other graduates helps to maintain and develop what they have begun in the workshop. The number of people involved in the workshop community for years following their workshop indicates the vitality of the ongoing support system and the continuing benefits of the Workshop, not just for a weekend, but for a lifetime.