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Step by step guide to help clients in reconditioning thoughts

Table of Contents

When we talk about thoughts, it is important to recognise that only because we can consciously become aware of them doesn’t really mean that we consciously create these thoughts. In fact, most of these thoughts are really automatic and the source of these thoughts is the unconscious.

You may be wondering why is it important to recognize this?

It is important because this understanding is the basis of reconditioning. When we talk about reconditioning thoughts, we are really talking about changing these automatic thoughts.

This video/post has focused on the step-by-step guide to use when-then statements to help clients recondition their thoughts.

Steps to help clients recondition their thoughts

Let us take the same example we took in the previous video of a client having fear of public speaking. The first few steps are the same as the steps to help clients manage their thoughts. The key difference is in the fifth step. If you are wondering what is the difference between managing thoughts and reconditioning thoughts, refer to the previous video.

Reconditioning thoughts
  1. First step is to help the client identify the emotion that the client is experiencing. In this case, the emotion is Fear
  2. Second step is to the client identify the trigger, as in what triggers this emotion. In the current case it is lets say… Stage
  3. Thrid step is to help the client realise that it is not the stage that is directly triggering the fear but that the stage triggers a thought, a thought like people will laugh at me and it is the thought that triggers the fear. Once the client realises this connection between thoughts and emotions…
  4. The next step is to help the client identify the specific thoughts that the client has that lead to the emotion. Once the client identifies the unhelpful thought,
  5. The next step is to help the client identify the replacement thought which the client would like to have instead of the unhelpful thought. Let’s say the client identifies the new thought as I have prepared well, so let’s have some fun.
  6. Once the client identifies the new thought, ask the client to create a new sentence in the format When the trigger, then I realise the new thought. So in the current example the sentence becomes When I see the stage, then I realise I have prepared well, so let’s have some fun.
  7. The next step after creating the sentence is to ask the client to repeat this sentence during the day whenever they have time. I would generally ask the client to repeat this to themselves everyday at least 21 times till there comes a time where even if in the middle of the night the client sees the image of the stage or hears someone talking about the stage, their first thought is I have prepared well, so let’s have some fun.

Generally, repetition for 7 days is enough. If you are like me who has been trained in hypnosis, you can help the client do this process in the hypnotic state, and in most cases, the client would start seeing the results in a day or two itself.

Outcomes specific

You are probably wondering,

How can reconditioning thoughts be so simple?

There is probably some catch here…

The easiest way of understanding the effectiveness of this process is to just go ahead and try it. Practice for the next 7 days. Combine this process with Hypnosis and future imagination to get better and faster results.

If you would also like to understand the conceptual background of how and why this process works or learn to use hypnosis as a part of your therapeutic toolkit, then go ahead and enroll for the Cognitive Hypnotic Psychotherapy Diploma.

In this post we have looked at the process for reconditioning verbal thoughts, there are times when we have a visual thought, which means that instead of a word or a sentence, in the mind… you notice a visual image. So instead of thinking that people will laugh at me when you notice a stage, you see an image in your mind. Something like the audience having an angry face and wide-open eyes with their teeth clenching and muscles tightened.

The when-then process may not be as effective with visual thoughts as it is with verbal thought. You are probably wondering what do you do in such a case. Well, that is exactly what I will focus on in the next video.

If you are a coach or aspiring to be one who wants to make it big, we would really recommend that you explore and understand the Cognitive Hypnotic Coaching framework

If you are already convinced and want to just know how can you become a Cognitive Hypnotic Coach, check out our Comprehensive Coaching Diploma