Jodi Nan Hildebrandt is the founder and creator of the Connexions Classroom based in Orem Utah. The curriculum is strongly based on her five years of experience working at Cirque Lodge, a drug rehabilitation center that focuses on treating addiction. After leaving Cirque Lodge, Jodi designed and created the Connexions 101 course which is a basis for teachings throughout the various counseling programs that are offered through her Connexions Classroom.
The core teachings of Connexions is that for a person to achieve true “connection” with another human being, they must not be in “distortion”. Distortion is a broad term defined by Jodi. By taking her course people learn they are “in” distortion by the following:
- being addicted (spouse, work, shopping, electronic games, sleep, social media, driving, receiving compliments, exercise, eating, drugs or alcohol, sex, pornography, hobbies, entertainment. The things you can become addicted to are endless. )
- living in shame and denial
- knowing you are “not enough”
- being co-dependent in your relationships
- living in lust (being sexually attracted to your spouse)
- controlling and manipulating others
Jodi asserts everyone is in distortion and all experience the above but she can help you to overcome distortion and live in Truth.
Jodi teaches that three core principles must be developed in order to truly connect with anyone and avoid distortion. If you or others do not practice these principles they are considered “in distortion”. Boundaries need to be set to distance yourself from these individuals so you are not drawn into distortion with them. These core principles of Connexion are being:
- Impeccable Honesty
- Rigorous Personal Responsibility
She equates these principles of being impeccably honest, rigorous responsibility, and humility to absolute truths when connecting with others, comparing them natural phenomenon such as gravity. Her stated mission is to spread these teachings to the world so everyone can have healthy, fulfilling and connecting relationships. She activity encourages you to refer family members to join her program so they too can experience true connection. If they do not to learn these new Truths from her, they will never truly be able to connect with you or others.
These principles are reinforced each week by requiring class members to call other students when feel they are in distortion. The men call the men, and the women the women. Each week in class students are asked publicly account for the number of phone calls they made that week. Even though shame is discussed at length in the course, this is not considered public shaming.
Although people are sold on the promise of enduring and deeper connection in their relationships, unfortunately what they often actually experience is deeper loneliness and isolation from those they love. The person actively trying to implement Jodi’s teachings often has diminished emotional intelligence, and confusion over loved ones responses. Jodi implies her teachings are absolute, and are the only way to true happiness in relationships.
Instead of learning skills to solve problems through positive and healthy communication with others, they are instead required to reach out to the untrained and unlicensed individuals in their class on several weekly phone calls. Although weekly phone calls are required for the assignments, they often can develop into daily phone calls with multiple people. These individuals develop a bond by sharing vulnerable experiences with each other, and validating each others experience. As they continue these patterns they distance themselves from their families, and build stronger relationships with their “connexions” family. Family and friends are confused about this new term “distortion” and a whole slew of other new terminology declared to them to be the only and absolute way to connect. They are then encouraged to attend classes so they too can learn how to not be in distortion. If their family or friends ask questions or raise concerns about the teachings, the student often immediately make a phone call to a their connexions support group so as to not be drawn in distortion with their family or friends. They then confirm and reinforce Jodi’s teachings of one kind of relationship which allows only her teachings and none else.
In addition to the Connexions 101 Classroom, students are encouraged to attend “group”, which is a weekly meeting with Jodi and other students to discuss in a more intimate setting how they were in “distortion” the following week. They are encouraged to call people in their group when they find themselves in distortion during the week. The revenue from these “group” and “connexions” classes is conservatively estimated to exceed $30,000 a month.
Jodi often remarks that and relishes the face that people either “love me or hate me” for what I am teaching. Students she has convinced that her way to connecting relationships is the one and true way love her. The people that her teachings are being applied to usually hate her. They are told they are emotionally and verbally abusive, an addict of all kinds of things, co-dependent in the relationship, in distortion, not humble, not impeccably honest and not rigorously responsibly. Their spouse, friend or associate has changed over the course of a few weeks and they are now the main problem in the relationship. Unless they change and learn these new skills from Jodi, they will be cut off in the relationship. New physical and emotional boundaries will be put in place anytime they or their support group deem you are in distortion.