Psychology is an interactive way of learning, growing and thereby giving back to health in general. I use relationships, research and writing to reach these goals. Sometimes, I write manuscripts for professional journals. At other times, I write for general interest. I give input or guidance to students in healing professions such as psychology and social work. I have also contributed to audio-visuals and journalists writing about matters of mental health. Actively experiencing the personhood of others, hearing their critical questioning of me and their relationships, together that which has been learned intellectually, provides a powerful environment for mutual growth.


Hoffman, S. (2017). Smoke and Mirrors: acknowledgement, alienation, antisocial behaviour and transformation.
New York: Nova Publishers

Antisocial behaviour terrifies most, if not all, human beings. This fear triggers various, previously learned ways of trying to defend against it, resulting in disrespect in relationships, and wars between countries. On a professional level, it has given rise to resources such as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual to prevent this behaviour. This book uses case studies, client narratives and socio-political examples to show that, depending on how they are used, these different forms of defence can sustain and fuel antisocial and prosocial behaviour.

Smoke and Mirrors can be purchased direct from Nova Publishers

Hoffman, S. 2012.


A non-fiction book describing the therapeutic relationship between myself and a ‘career criminal’ whom I call Eddie, primarily within a prison setting. This book shows how disrespect, or ‘being dis’ed’ as it is more commonly termed, is core to the commission of crimes and a culture of violation in relationships between individuals, as well as socio-politically and institutionally. The book demonstrates that reacting to disrespect in defensive, often violational ways is common to all of us, including therapists. Like inmates, therapists and institutions are often unaware of their own contribution to violation.

Hoffman, S. (2010).
Breaking the silence on violation in a South African prison.

Saarbrücken: Lap Lambert Publications.

Professor Don Foster, head of the department of psychology at the University of Cape Town, wrote: “It is highly regarded and essential reading for those interested in understanding crime and issues pertaining to human rights. It challenges the inhumanity of prisons.” Marcus-Mendoza, Associate Professor of Human Relations and Women’s Studies and former prison psychologist noted: “…she makes an important contribution in this field … Her research is on what I believe to be the cutting edge of the field.”


  • Stewart, S. (1994, January). Profile of a (non-) rapist. Sash, vol. 36, no. 3.
  • Stewart, S. (1996, Winter). Making Security Last: The Eastern Cape Community Safety
  • Project. Crime and Conflict, no. 6.Stewart, S. (1997, Summer). The Criminal Cycle, Rehabilitation and Therapy. Crime and Conflict, no 8.Stewart, S. (1996). An investigation into how prisoners use relationships to cope with Stress. South Africa Beyond
  • Transition: Psychological Well-being. L.Schlebusch (Ed.) Durban: PsySSA.Gaum, G., Hoffman, S., & Venter, J.H. (2006). Factors that influence adult recidivism: an exploratory study in Pollsmoor prison. South African Journal of Psychology 36(2) pp. 407-424.
  • Community Based Adaptation Training Workshop. 26 – 27 October 2010 organized by Indigo Development and Change, at Kirstenbosch. Publication available at:
  • Hoffman, S. (2009). Some implications of apartheid legacies in South African correctional centres. South African Journal of Psychology 39(3) 336-346.
  • Hoffman, S. (2010). Understanding violations in a relational context and learning respectful alternatives. Transactional Analysis Journal 40((1) 54-69.
  • Hoffman, S. (2011). Social fabric of violation and transformation in a South African correctional facility In K. Kwandiwe & C. Ijiogu (Eds.). Africa in Focus: Governance in the 21st century (pp. 282-298). Cape Town: Human Sciences Research Council.


  • Presented a paper entitled “How prisoners use relationships to cope with stress” at the Third Annual Congress of PsySSA, September 1997.
  • Presented a paper, entitled “Rehabilitation of prisoners in a transforming South Africa” at a conference entitled “A New Decade of Criminal Justice in South Africa – Consolidating Transformation” (7 – 8/2/05, Gordon’s Bay).
  • Hoffman, S. (2008, 7 June) Presentation to 2 Military Hospital: Critically questioning psychopathy.
  • Workshop presented at Transactional Analysis World Conference, 2008 (7 – 10 August 2008), entitled Cradled by Culture.
  • Paper presented for CD at Transactional Analysis World Conference, 2008 entitled: “Perpetuation of crime vs. transforming to a culture of mutual respect”.
  • Talk to parents, teachers and psychologists on suicide at the request of the South African Depression and Anxiety Support Group during International Mental Health Week, on Tuesday 10 October, 2006 at Grove Primary School, Cape Town.
  • Presentation to schools for adolescents considering psychology as a career.


  • ‘Fair Lady’ on ‘Stories of babies behind bars’ ( 10 April 2002 )
  • ‘Fair Lady’ on ‘How women in prison cope with intimacy’ ( 24 July 2002 )
  • Oprah magazine, January/February 2009 on couples in conflict
  • Cosmopolitan on: ‘Separation anxiety’ (2011, March) pp. 76 – 78


  • Participated in a television documentary series on counselling in prison, entitled “Psycho Factory” screened on SABC TV3 in June 2003, 20 April 2005 and five further screenings on 4, 11, 18 May 2005, and 1 & 8 June 2005.
  • Co-host on Cape Talk on crime, Tuesday 3 October 2006 at 10pm.


  • Member of SANTOC (South African No Torture Consortium)
  • Pro bono therapy to newly released prison inmates and therapeutic correspondence with inmates of correctional centres
  • Peer review of articles for the South African Journal of Psychology
  • Supervision of psychologists