By Michael J. Kline – Master Certified RIM Practitioner & Trainer
Coaching the subconscious is not complicated as it may sound. Since 95% of our brain activity lives beneath the surface of awareness, it would make sense to go right to the source of all blocks, pain, and suffering.
Whether we are talking about coaching or therapy, the model has always been helping people shift their perspective, reframe a situation, shine a new light, and ask the right questions. All this activity is working with conscious awareness. We tend to work in the so-called thinking brain, while emotions live elsewhere in the subconscious mind and body. Therefore, we cannot think our way out of blocks. fear, anxiety, trauma, and so on.
The neuroscience is here. We now know that decisions and behavior are directed by a lifetime of past experiences and live beneath the surface of conscious awareness, out of reach of the 5% of the brain where we have easy access. We can ask all the perfect and powerful questions and let the client talk about an issue endlessly and help give rise to see things differently which is certainly helpful, but it doesn’t resolve the issue at a visceral level, or even tell us whether or not we’re working on the most important issue/s.
For example, you have a client who tells you they can’t seem to follow through on business projects that would certainly propel their sales effort. The question is, what’s really and truly blocking them? Most likely the client has exhausted all the thinking, analyzing, and strategizing and still can’t find a solution. That’s why they seek your help.
What if the answer lies in the client’s past and is stuck in their subconscious? What if their father, family, friends, or teachers told them repeatedly that they will never become anything, never succeed, and a host of other negative possibilities? The client may even be aware of some of these experiences repeating silently in their head. Even if the client tries to convince themselves and says, “I’ll show them all.” Regardless, the mind is a funny thing. The client may also think, “what if they’re right, I’m such a loser, I’ll never make it on my own.”
I worked with a client who thought this was his story, only to find out that beneath the surface, was a resistance to out-shining Dad. This client had just broken the threshold in his career to make more money than his father ever did, and while doing work his father didn’t understand or respect. That was a subconscious block that had never been revealed. No matter how much we explored, we may have never gotten to the real sabotaging issue. By following what showed up in the client’s body-sensing and dipping beneath the surface, it revealed itself and was completely resolved in a single session. This method or tool I’m referring to is called RIM (Regenerating Images in Memory).
The possibilities are endless, and could take a lifetime of talking about it, to find the root issue, let alone heal it. We need to create a safe space where the client can sense what’s beneath the surface – in RIM we call it the dip/see/do method – we dip beneath the surface to see what’s there, then we can act and do something to resolve it. This is not hypnosis or guided imagery, because it only works when it’s generated by the client’s own imagination that spontaneously comes forth while sensing their experiences in their body, not the limited thinking brain. RIM always trusts the subconscious for the real answers.
RIM is the best combination of skills I’ve found, that allows all this to happen. RIM does have some skills in common with Interactive Guided Imagery, and Somatic work, along with numerous unique skills discovered by Dr Deborah Sandella.
Dr Deb (as we call her) has a Doctorate in Human Communication and a Masters in Psychiatric Nursing. During the first 25 years of her career, she worked in a myriad of mental health settings from intensive services to private practice, and in two innovative cutting-edge inpatient community-based programs. As an award-winning therapist, University Professor, and a Best-selling author, she’s the whole package. Dr. Deb initially synthesized aspects of Interactive Guided Imagery, Somatic techniques, and other skills she found effective. RIM has evolved “through” her rather than “from” her as she humbly describes, it has developed a life of its own as a revolutionary whole-brain way of naturally processing stuck emotions. And neuroscience now confirms what she’s been teaching for decades.
I think the real genius of her discovery, is the use of imagination to connect the thinking brain with the body. We can use the body as a portal to that which is hidden (not in conscious awareness), then allow imagination to make it tangible for the thinking brain to work with it. The result is nothing less than miraculous. By coaching directly where the issues live, my clients report that they don’t just feel better, or have new insights – they feel completely different and fully empowered to move their life forward.