If you are a coach or therapist, “psychological preparation” is essential:

“How do you get into the right mental space to work effectively with clients?”

It’s a great question and one that’s important.

There are lots of different choices available but here are two “imagination games” you can play inside your mind to get into a powerful mind-space for change-work.

The first is taken from the late, great Milton Erickson and the second from the hypnotist John Overdurf.

The idea is that you step into the psychological frame and then act “as-if” it’s your reality.


The client is on the cusp of change; all they need is a nudge. You are that nudge...

This is a wonderful idea to have inside your mind when you’re working with a client. It presupposes that the client is resourceful and ready to change.

Whether this is 100% true or not – strangely enough – isn’t that important. By fixing the thought in your mind you will affect the client through your intention, and influence them in that direction.

Stop for a minute and imagine a client you are due to work with…

If you fully believed that they were on the cusp of change, how might that change your thinking?

How might it change how you behave in the session?

When you step into this imaginary frame it allows you to work from a more resourceful and empowering place – as opposed to believing that they are broken and need to be fixed.


The client is the best hypnotic subject in the world; they are highly suggestible and imaginative…

By imagining that the client is highly suggestible and deeply creative, it opens up all kinds of new possibilities for you as a change-worker.

It makes you more creative as a therapist/coach, and prevents you from placing restrictive limitations on the client – and yourself.

You will also start to affect them non-verbally, through your intention, which will actually push them in the direction of being more suggestible. It becomes a bit like a self-fulfilling prophecy: what you believe, you start to make a reality.

Again, it’s not important if it’s true or not. The most important thing is the effect that it has on the client-coach/therapist dynamic.

So, if you are a coach, therapist or counsellor, the next time you work with someone one-to-one step into one of these one. See the session through one – or both – of these filters. It will make a difference.

All the best,
Steven Burns


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