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The Goodenough Community is a long-term experiment in community formation and
development sponsored by the American Association for the Furtherance of Community.

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The Village School for Human Development

Under the direction of Dr. John L. Hoff and Colette Hoff, M. Ed,  
The Village School For Human Development 

A Weekend for Learning about Relationship


March 6 to 8, 2015


Could Your Friendships

Use a Tune-Up?


Do you wish your friends understood you better, or that you could communicate with them more effectively?

Do you find yourselves repeating arguments that pull you farther apart and that you don't know how to resolve?


Do you wish you knew how to resolve conflicts with your boss/ coworker/ friend/ partner/ sibling/ child?


Could you use some support and guidance for a major conversation with a friend or a partner?


Would you like to know how to ask for what you want in any of your friendships?


If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, or have other questions or issues about how to have happier relationships, we can help you!

You are invited--as individuals, couples, co-workers, friends, adult family members-- to learn about relationship.

A Unique Opportunity

We don’t “automatically” know how to be in a marriage, in a family, or a close friendship. Most of our families of origin and the demonstrations of parenting we experienced offered inadequate training. We need to allow ourselves to start learning again as adults to be effective partners and friends.  We are convinced that just trying harder doesn’t help as much as consciously developing skills.

During this weekend workshop, you will have many opportunities to learn and practice skills that will make all your relationships more fulfilling.  In a supportive environment, you will work individually, in pairs, or triads, and small groups, and:

  • Learn how to talk things through more thoroughly.
  • Help others work with their stuck places, and allow them to help you with yours.
  • Practice together and watch the same skills demonstrated by different personalities and in a variety of situations.
  • Learn to communicate more effectively, listen and identify and ask for what you really want.
  • Learn from observing others’ processes.
  • Be paired with a small group (partners will be placed together) where you can practice and be observed and receive feedback. Also have time alone to reflect.
  • Have your particular relational issues addressed, with gentleness and insight.


Location: Sahale Learning Center

This workshop will be held at Sahale Learning Center, a beautiful setting at the tip of the Kitsap peninsula on the Tahuya River about a mile from Hood Canal. You will be able to hike and get some exercise. We will be sharing bountiful meals and will have opportunities to socialize as a group. If you have childcare issues, let Colette know.




The cost of the weekend is $175 per person ($155 for two adults or more registering together) and includes learning materials, room and board.


Your Facilitators: John & Colette Hoff

John and Colette Hoff are gifted counselors with more than 30 years experience of empowering clients to be effective as individuals, partners, parents, and members of society.

John and Colette and the Goodenough Community, which they founded, are widely known for providing a unique experiential learning environment that focuses on helping everyone learn about relating better. John and Colette teach from well-documented findings:

  • Friendship, developed over time, is one of the highest valued qualities of long-lived relationships.
  • Friendship is defined partly by the ease with which partners live with each other, and partly by the thoughtfulness with which partners tend to each other’s needs.

    John and Colette have much to offer you in developing more satisfying relationships.


"The theories presented in graduate school didn't fit my experience; they were only a part of the process of healing. VSHD helped me sort it all out and integrate who I am with what I learned in graduate school."  

-MA. in Psychology

The Village School Curriculum

The Threefold Curriculum
Through is 25 years of service, the Village School has developed a threefold curriculum design that participants find helpful.

1.   Students begin with a study of self, their own characteristics, and developmental issues.

2.   Next, relationship is explored, learning the skills required to relate with others most effectively.

3.   Finally, the student is prepared to study "social dynamics" while working collaboratively in small groups and organized settingsbecoming effective members of community.

Each school year follows this model. Fall term focuses on your human development; winter term focuses on helping you use relationship to support your growth; spring term focuses on helping you participate effectively in organizations.

Although students can benefit from a single term, they are encouraged to commit to a full year.

If you have additional questions, call (206)755-8404 or email office@goodenough.org.

You will study your own life as friend. The skill of self observation will be taught and practiced. You will learn the art of identifying what is happening inside you intellectually, physically, and emotionally as it happens. You will examine characteristics you think of as friendly. You will be able to compare these to how other people see you. You will work in small groups.

You will learn the core skills used by friends:

  • Disagreeing agreeably
  • Resolving conflict
  • Making decisions
  • Joining through celebration
    Sharing intimately,
  • Listening compassionately
  • Avoiding judgment
  • Encouraging another’s self esteem

Key Leaders
Dr. John Lawrence Hoff
will provide a conceptual overview and facilitate a core educational process. He has developed his diverse interests and skills through study of many cultures, disciplines, and spiritual traditions. Dr. Hoff's professional interest in adult education is reflected in his resumé: Regional Training Director for the National Training Laboratories (NTL Institute); faculty positions in two universities and two seminaries, and more than 200 major workshops for a variety of governmental, private, and church agencies. His ability to inspire interest in relationships and his  practical and common-sense spirituality have had  a fundamental influence on the Goodenough Community System. He has taught in the Village School for Human Development for all of its 25 years.

Colette Hoff, M.Ed., is Director of the Village School and provides administrative leadership. Valuing the transformation in her own life, she monitors individual and group processes and offers leadership training to interested students. She has served in both the public and private sectors as a researcher and counselor. For the past 30 years, she has been a pastoral educator for families, couples, and individuals.

The Village School, formerly known as the Private School for Human Development, began in 1986 and ran a certificate program through 1999, which prepared scores of people for a more relational and effective life. The school focus is on facilitating human development, which includes training and leadership. In the last decade the Village School has sponsored learning projects on topics such as finance and sexuality and now this project on sustaining friendship in community life.

“A true friend shares freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, listens patiently, and continues being a friend unchangeably” said William Penn.  The word friend is an old one and found before the current era in Greek and in languages of the Far East. Friend was at first a verb and referred to the action of loving kindness or helpfulness. In other words befriending was the verb that slowly became a noun “friend or friendship.” In most languages, to befriend is to love and to care for.   Join us as we continue to explore friendship through Living Harmoniously as Friends, building friendly relationships and a balanced life.

Email: hoff@goodenough.org






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Last modified: February 22, 2015