|By Chris Lianos
She was my fourth client straight out of my Master Practitioner training.
And she was a friend.
I had already broken one of the cardinal rules – “Never work with friends unless you have a client relationship.” And I didn’t have one.
Not only was she a good friend, she was my wife’s best friend.
I was stuck. I had to help.
The presenting problem was an attachment to an old leg injury. My friend didn’t want to let it go. She had fallen quite badly and broken her leg.
The leg had healed. Her memory of the problem was still very much alive.
She complained of continual limping and always double checking where she was walking. She leaned on other people when she got out of the car and held onto the hand rails on stairs. She walked slower than she needed to. These were her explanations.
When I finished my Master Practitioner, I reached out to all my friends and offered my services. I wanted to help. And she took me up on it.
She visited our home to have a free consultation.
She expected a process. I did too. I expected to start a breakthrough session that night, to take a personal history. And then I remembered something Tad and Adriana shared. When there is little or no investment by the client, the results are uncertain.
The solution was tasking.
Tasking in and of itself may not be the solution to the problem for all clients, but it will demonstrate a clients’ commitment to their own healing. This is the great illusion new practitioners often forget. It is not we who make the changes and fix the problem, rather, we are tour guides, and we are the map holders, the pointers to the exit when the way ahead is filled with smoke. Our clients come to us for assistance. Sometimes, that assistance comes via a challenge, a requirement before the work can begin.
I needed to set a task for her, something that would challenge not only her mind, but her body, the completion of which would in itself prove she had no problem.
The day after our meeting, I knew she was scheduled to attend a meeting on the tenth floor of her office building. And so, the task was set.
“In order for us to work together, you must complete a task, but you have to agree to it, before I tell you what it is, and once you agree, you have to do it…or we cannot work together. Do you agree?”
She wanted her leg healed badly enough to say yes.
This is the first test, the first check when setting tasking. Don’t get caught into explanations and excuses. Remember that healing can only occur when the client is at cause. This question clearly transfers the responsibility for change from you, to the client. It places them at cause.
My friend argued. She wanted to know in advance. How could she commit to a task she didn’t know could be accomplished? I reminded her that she had sought me out for help, and that she had to trust me. I assured her that the tasking would not require anything of her that was socially unacceptable. And I repeated the instruction. “In order for us to work together, you must complete a task, but you have to agree to it, before I tell you what it is, and once you agree, you have to do it…or we cannot work together. Do you agree?”
As practitioners, we must hold the intention of healing and not buy into the excuses, the reasons and the what if’s. I have found that this intention, clearly demonstrated from the very first conversation and meeting, drives the correct behaviour from our clients. Equally, we must be ready to hold that intention when the client refuses the tasking. We cannot work with them. Doing so provides another opportunity for the client to keep and reinforce the problem. We must be examples of possibility, not reminders that their problem is indeed unhealable.
My friend agreed. And I named the task.
“You must use the stairs to get from the ground floor to the tenth floor, and you are to call me the moment you get to the top”.
She resisted initially, but I reminded her of her commitment to her healing.
The next day I received a call from my heavily out of breath friend, screaming at me that I had nearly given her a heart attack, that her chest was hurting from all the steps, that she couldn’t believe I had made her do this ridiculous exercise.
I asked one question. “How’s your leg?”
I’ll never forget her response. “It’s not my leg that’s the problem,” she yelled back. “It’s my head that hurts.”
From that day onwards, her limp disappeared and she never had another issue with her leg.
I have found tasking to be a powerful way of short circuiting a problem. When formulating a task, consider this question: “What could this person do right now that would undermine their problem and cause them to realise they have more control now than they think?”
Good luck with your tasking and remember that you are filled with limitless resources, all waiting to serve you and your clients.
Chris is a Karate black belt, an ordained Minister, a certified trainer of NLP and Hypnosis, a Master Practitioner of Time Line Therapy ® and a Reiki Master. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Metaphysics and lives in Sydney with his wife and muse, Aleni Matsas.