This is the first of a series of articles describing how I use some basic hypnotic concepts and techniques in coaching students, athletes, and clients referred by M.D.’s for issues like pre and post- surgical coaching, chronic pain relief, and accelerated recovery after surgery.
My practice centers around clients who want to know how to get their mind/body systems to produce peak performance for them – some are concerned about making a good score on a test, some about making a good impression in an interview, some about how to win a tennis match or a golf tournament, and others about how to prepare themselves for upcoming surgery, chemo or radiation treatments – all are about how to achieve the very best performance they are capable of – regardless of the application.
I start with an extended session that includes detailed goal setting. My coaching question is, “What
do you want?” Many clients can tell me all about what they don’t want. This is not helpful information in my practice. When they do tell me what they want I ask them to convert that into a picture. The reason is that while they have a Conscious Mind (CM) that can “understand” all manner of abstract linguistics, the CM is most adept at considering, evaluating, and making decisions about what to do.
It is not very capable of actually implementing those decisions. Implementation is the realm of their Unconscious Mind (UM). The UM is the mind that receives repeated behaviors the CM has decided to engage in, and converting those behaviors into habits – like walking, talking, driving a car, or driving a golf ball. They no longer have to “think” about those behaviors because their UM has taken over that task.
When they have a detailed picture of their goal – really detailed – like B&W, or color? Still or video? Framed or panoramic? Focused or fuzzy? Dark or bright? Near or far? Etc., then I ask them to add aspects of the other senses to that picture – hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling. Now that they have a full, sensory-based representation of their goal, the next step is to have them add the strong emotional feelings they have as they experience their goal being accomplished using all 5 senses. The stronger the emotion, the better. Feeling “OK” or “nice” is not strong enough. I am going for something like “thrilled, awed,” and “ecstatic” for them.
What the client has done at this point is to create something called a Dominant Thought. And this becomes the driver and inspiration for their UM to use to know exactly what to manifest for them. The other factor to add to this success formula is repetition. Their UM has noticed a number of different thoughts like this before, but until an identical one is repeated, the UM is not sure if they are really serious or not. Repetition is a way to bring comfort to the UM that this is not just a passing whim. And as soon as the UM is convinced (usually less than 60 days) it will begin to work night and day – the UM NEVER sleeps – to manifest this goal in their life.
Look for more information about coaching with hypnosis in future articles. And happy goal setting.