The first time I met Michael Herbert was November 2001. It was the first time I was attending treatment for substance abuse. The day I walked in I noticed Michael right away. At the time he had big, long dreadlocks I remember after just a few brief interactions I respected him right away. I was a big fan of Michael’s style and professionalism from the start.
He has an unbelievable ability to get people to talk even when they don’t want to. When someone said, “I don’t know” Michael would say, “well, what if you did know.” I thought he was a brilliant therapist. After treatment I stayed sober for a long time and then 10 years later though Facebook I reached out Michael, and he let me know about his coaching practice. I called him to do some self-esteem work and he recommended that the first thing I do is attend The Hoffman Institute. I came to Michael for self esteem work and immediately he said, “Tim I could help you, but I went to Hoffman and I know this will help you, go there first and then we’ll start.”
I respected him so much and did what he said, then I thought to myself, conversations like that don’t happen much, where in 10 minutes you have an immediate game plan. Michael and I have been working together ever since.
I play professional golf for a living and found it very difficult to separate Tim the person, from Tim the golfer. If I played good my self-esteem was up, if I play bad it was down. So I needed to figure out how to love Tim for being Tim, regardless of how I shoot. The biggest and most productive discussion Michael and I had was around spirituality. He gave me the idea that God was in me. I thought God was somewhere in the universe. I had always perceived God as this omniscient being that would come down and make good or bad things happen.
Michael gave me insight and tangible evidence showing me that God was inside me and I had to listen to my spiritual self more. Michael was always gentle, patient and understanding. The most significant result that has come from my work with Michael has been the change in my relationship with my old man.
After attending Hoffman and working with Michael for awhile it became apparent that my difficulty separating Tim the golfer from Tim the person was born from the relationship with my father. Growing up my father was very tough on my brother and I. Growing up if we played well in sports my father was happy and loving. If we played poorly things changed drastically. He would get angry, irritable and seemed truly disgusted.
While working through this with Michael, he suggested that I speak to my dad and ask him for emotional support regardless of the results of my golf match. I was happy that I took the initiative and reached out to my dad for emotional support. When I first asked him to support me regardless of how well I played, he was a little mad, he was upset that I thought he wasn’t supportive unconditionally. However, ever since that conversation he has showed me nothing but love, and he has been way more supportive in all aspects of my life. Things are great today with my dad and Michael is a big reason why.
I am way better more, loving, patient and accepting of my self. Michael has a wonderful ability to help humans. He understands guilt, shame, accountability, interpersonal relationships; he does a wonderful job of giving people the truths. He helps people figure out for themselves what the best spiritual solution is. After working with Michael I can finally say that I’m not just a number on a scorecard, I’m a good sober person and that is all that matters.
– Tim H.