Frequently Asked Questions

What will I get out of the workshop?

Most participants experience a sense of greater empowerment to live the life they want to live. They gain a sense of greater responsibility and freedom, a deeper empathy and connectedness with others, and an expanded appreciation and understanding of their world. The specific meaning and importance of these kinds of changes in the context of your life will determine what you will get out of the workshop on a more specific level.

Where is the workshop held?

The workshop has been held in a variety of locations around the Philadelphia area.  The workshops are scheduled to be held at:

Ardmore United Methodist Church
200 Argyle Road, Ardmore, PA 19003

Is the Essential Experience Workshop affiliated with any religious organization?

No.  EE has no religious affiliation. Many people of faith, including priests, ministers, rabbis and Buddhist monks, have participated in the workshop, as have many atheists and agnostics.

How is the workshop the same and different from other workshops such as the Landmark Forum?

The Essential Experience Workshop has no present or past connection with the Landmark Forum or any of its predecessors, including est.  It shares with some other workshops and programs an intensity and intention to provide an opportunity to make life changes.  EE differs in its small size, its intimacy, and its supportive environment. It is also simply the best.

Who runs the workshop?

The workshop is conducted by Eric Hoffman.  It was designed and conducted for many years by David Crump.

Does the workshop take any particular psychological approach?

The workshop draws on an eclectic group of sources.  David Crump, who designed the workshop, studied with Carl Rogers and Virginia Satir among others.  It draws upon humanistic psychology, existential philosophy, Gestalt therapy and many other approaches as well.

How is the Essential Experience structured?

The workshop is structured largely as a set of experiential exercises.  It is not a class or a seminar.  The exercises are opportunities for participants to see themselves and others in situations that resemble those we encounter in our lives, except that, in the workshop, participants have support and safety to explore and reflect honestly about ways in which they might like to make changes.   The exercises also build skills, experience and trust creating greater complexity and depth as the process develops.

How many people participate in the workshop?

We have a maximum of 32 participants in the workshop.   There are also graduates from previous workshops who constitute the “Team” that assists in creating the workshop.  There are generally about an equal number of Team members and participants.

Do I need to prepare for the workshop?

There is no special preparation required.   We encourage participants to come with an intention to participate and to trust that the more they put into the workshop, the more they will get out.  Any kind of work in preparation may assist in getting what you want, but participants may expect to move in directions they did not anticipate.  People participate with a very specific initial focus and with no initial focus at all.  There is no need to prepare specifically for the workshop and there is no need to be “ready” for it; the workshop supports people, wherever they are in their lives.

Is the workshop “therapy”?

No.  The workshop is an experiential educational process.  Good therapy may sometimes resemble such a process and such a process may sometimes resemble therapy, but the basic structure of the workshop is “educational,” not “therapeutic,” as those words are usually understood.

What should I bring to the workshop?

You will be provided with a notebook and pen, as well as other materials you will need to participate.  You may want to bring personal items, such as eye drops or lip balm or a sweater, so that you are comfortable.

What about breaks?

There are breaks in the workshop every 2-3 hours, during which there is time for snacks and time to attend to other needs.  We encourage participants to avoid outside distractions at home or work to the extent possible.  Lunch breaks provide time to eat a bag lunch you will be asked to bring.  Dinner breaks on Friday and Saturday provide 90 minutes to go out to nearby restaurants.  Dinner on Sunday is provided by the community.

Are there people for whom the workshop is inappropriate?

Yes.  Anyone in an active addiction will be encouraged to secure support in moving into recovery before participating.  Similarly, anyone who has had a recent psychotic break or has otherwise been diagnosed and treated for a condition that might indicate an inability to participate or benefit from participation may need to have the support of a therapist or other professional who also knows the workshop.  Generally, the workshop is for healthy adults, with the understanding that most all of us are struggling at any given time with some of life’s challenges.

What are the hours of the workshop?

The hours are as follows: Thursday 7 pm to 11:30 pm; Friday, 10 am to 11:00 pm; Saturday, 9:30 am to 11:00 pm; and Sunday, 10 am to 9:00 pm.  The ending times, however, are approximate, due to the participatory nature of the workshop.  Also, we strongly recommend that all time from Thursday at 7 until Sunday at 9:00 be treated, as much as possible, as workshop time and that participants avoid, if they can, scheduling work or family obligations during that period.

What does the workshop cost?

The workshop fee is $795.  If you register three weeks before the workshop, the early registration fee is $695.  A deposit of $100 is necessary to hold a spot.  The deposit is fully refundable until two weeks before the workshop for which you register.  After that, it is applicable only to a future workshop.  Payment plans over time are available, and there is a small scholarship fund that may be used in appropriate cases.  Contact Tina Silverman (eeworkshop@comcast.net) about all financial arrangements.

Do you take credit cards?

Yes, we take credit cards through Paypal.  Send an email to Tina Silverman (eeworkshop@comcast.net) indicating that you would like to pay by credit card and you will be sent an electronic invoice for payment by credit card.
If you have a more specific question, contact Tina Silverman (eeworkshop@comcast.net).