As a coach, you want to help people create change in their lives. One of the greatest ways you can do this is to work with clients on an unconscious level to establish habits and behaviours that get them where they want to go.
But how can you help clients tap into their unconscious?
Two powerful tools your clients can use to achieve this are visualisation and hypnosis.
These rely on your client using only their imagination to dive into what it will be like to achieve their desires. But what are the differences between the two? And how can you share these practices with your clients?
In this episode of The Mindset Coach podcast, I walk you through how you can help your clients realise their ideal futures and incorporate visualisation and hypnosis techniques into your coaching practice.
You can listen to this episode of the podcast below or keep reading….
What happens when we visualise?
Visualisation creates experience. Often, people think visualisation is just about seeing images in your mind, but it’s much more than that. It’s a rich, sensory experience that can include emotions, physical feelings, sounds – anything that brings your client’s imagination to life.
If you’re guiding a client through a visualisation practice, you need to take all of these things into account. Say you’re asking them to imagine an ideal day in their future, think about what they should pay attention to. What’s going to help them fully embrace that experience?
Guided visualisation experiences are also powerful tools for goal setting. If you use timeline therapy in your coaching, you’ll be familiar with getting your client to put a goal in their future. Visualisation takes your client that step further, getting them to imagine that unspecified date in the future and see it as their reality. You can then ask them to look back to where they are now and visualise the steps they took to achieve their goals.
What makes visualisation so powerful?
The unconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between fiction and reality. When you consciously focus on what you desire and continually turn your attention to visualising your goals, your brain will notice opportunities that can make them a reality. In some cases, your brain can almost instantly start bringing your visualisations to life.
Let me use a quick example to demonstrate.
I want you to imagine going to your fridge. Open the fridge and take out a lemon. Feel the weight of the lemon in your hand. Feel the firm, dimpled skin. Raise it to your nose and deeply inhale the lemon’s sweet, citrusy smell.
Now take the lemon to your kitchen countertop. Using a sharp knife, cut the lemon in half. A spritz of lemon juice comes out, and the citrus smell gets stronger. Now, hold up the lemon again, and this time, bite into the juicy flesh.
What happened? Did your lips pucker at the thought? Perhaps your mouth watered, or you could almost smell the citrus.
Visualisation allows you to bring ideas into your reality. In this case, you weren’t holding a lemon at all. But your unconscious mind doesn’t necessarily know that. You may have had physiological and olfactory responses regardless.
How to use visualisation in your coaching
When you’re using visualisation with clients, you need to uncover what’s going to help them get to this stage where imagination becomes reality.
If you’re discussing what their goal is, find out how they’ll know when they’ve reached it. Knowing what their reality will be, what they’ll be doing, seeing, feeling, hearing, and saying to themselves is the information you need to elicit a commanding sensory experience. You can then weave this into guided visualisations to make them all the more impactful.
An ideal exercise is to get your client to walk you through their ideal day. Ask them what their day will look like when they’ve achieved their goal or are living the life they dream of. Every client will picture something different, so a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work. You need to understand each client’s unique vision for their life.
To give people a taste of what it’s like to work with you, you could create some standard guided visualisations and offer them to potential clients as lead magnets or free downloads.
Tapping into the unconscious mind with hypnosis
As you’re doing this work with your clients to uncover their desires, you may also start to dig into what’s holding them back. There are a number of different techniques you can use to elicit your client’s limiting beliefs, sabotaging behaviours, or habits that don’t serve them.
This is where hypnosis and hypnotherapy practices come into play. Hypnosis dives far deeper into your unconscious mind than visualisation. If your client has never used practices like this before, it’s best to start with visualisation first, so they can begin to train their unconscious mind. Then use hypnosis to take their development to the next level.
With hypnosis there are some key things to remember. You have to be able to identify what it is that your clients want and how they represent it to themselves. You should also be an elegant storyteller so that your client accepts the suggestions without question or doubt.
How to enter a trance-like state
One of the main reasons to use hypnosis is to access a trance-like state. Think about the moment right before you fall asleep, that’s a trance. The reality is, we’re in a trance for a lot of our lives. When you’re scrolling through social media or watching TV and are completely absorbed, that’s what it’s like to feel deep hypnosis.
Using hypnosis with your clients is how you get them to go into a trance. When this works effectively and you induce them into this trance, it allows you to do the change work. Here is when you start to embed suggestions and commands for change.
If your client wants to be more visible online, for example, you might establish habit triggers or strategies that you put as an embedded command suggestion in the hypnosis process. This is also when you could work on aligning values or moving past blockades to success.
Whenever you’re working with hypnosis, it’s important that you understand what your client’s desired outcome is and what your strategy is, so you can work towards the end goal. But you also need to ascertain from your client their perception of what it’ll be like when they’ve achieved their goal. Have a goal discussion with them, understand in their words what their life will be like, and embed that language into your hypnotherapy script.
Establishing new habits through hypnosis
Hypnotherapy and hypnosis also allow you to instil certain commands that can help your clients in times of need. You can work with your client to give them triggers to perform certain behaviours that they recognise in their conscious uptime.
Say, for example, your client is an emotional eater and they’ve had a difficult day. You might be working with them to establish new behaviours rather than heading to the cupboard for a snack.
Through hypnosis, you can give them an alternative behaviour that they can turn to, such as journaling, going for a walk, or calling a friend. This is extremely powerful because it prevents your client from performing a behaviour they want to stop and helps them reinforce a new habit that gets them closer to their desires.
Ultimately, this is why hypnosis and visualisation can be so beneficial for your clients. You can use these tools to drill down into their unconscious, where the real work starts to establish the behaviours and habits that lead to the change they desire.
To learn more about incorporating these powerful tools (and many more) into your coaching practice, become a member of The Mindset Coach Academy!