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The Magic 4 Questions For Powerful Breakthroughs

I have helped numerous people seeking guidance for issues which appear overwhelming to them initially. It's normal for me to hear...

I can't get over...

It hurt so bad...

I'm so angry...

I feel unbearable guilt over...

I'm very stuck with...

I use a powerful four question format to bring clarity and empowerment to situations like these. I call it "The 4 Magic Questions."

First, I'll list the questions and then I'll share an example of how I helped someone with these power questions.

  1. How possible is it that you could be relieved of this?

  2. On a scale of 1 - 10 how willing are you to be rid of this?

  3. What would it take to let this go?

  4. When would you like to do it?

A recent client shared with me, "Dave, I'm so angry at my father-in-law. He initially presented as this wonderful man, who said nothing was taboo for conversation and that he hoped we could have an open dialogue at any time." She went on to say, "Initially it seemed to go well, and then one day I shared my struggle with food and my weight. I was shocked when he insulted me, blamed me and belittled me. I've never been able to forgive him in the five years since that time and I'm filled with anger over the incident."

I acknowledged that it would be perfectly understandable how she would be upset over the story she had shared with me. I asked her the first magic question - "How possible is it that you could be relieved of this anger?" She said, "Yes, it's possible." But I could hear the tension in her voice as she responded. 

That was okay, I went ahead with the second question and asked, "How willing, on a scale from 1 - 10, are you to be anger free over this incident?" She identified herself at a 6. I clarified here by asking her what made it a 6. She said, "Part of me wants to be angry because I feel he should be punished for what he did." I further clarified by asking how successful this had been. She responded with laughter while saying, "He doesn't have any idea I'm angry with him." My final clarification was, "So, who is being hurt by this anger you're carrying?" At this point she clearly said, "Me!" I told her what an incredible insight she had just had and I asked her how this impacted her initial rating scale answer. She immediately pushed it up to a 10!

I asked her the third magic question - "What would it take to be free of this anger?" She said that she does well with writing but felt she needed him to hear it. When I asked how well she thought this might go with him, she dismissed it and said she knew that it wouldn't go well at all. I offered her the opportunity to role-play it with me instead and she accepted.

The fourth magic question - "When would you like to make this happen? She said within two weeks. We set an appointment date and she is now clear of this anger, which has freed up tremendous energy as she prepares for visits from her father-in-law.

How will you utilize "The Magic 4 Questions"?

Dave Turo-Shields (email)
Veteran Psychotherapist, Trainer & Life Coach

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"There's an important difference between giving up and letting go."

  ~ Jessica Hatchigan


Relationship Coaching

I work with happy couples who want to take their relationship to an extraordinary level.  It works well over the phone and is surprisingly impactful, even with just one partner participating.  Call me to find out more and treat yourself to a free complimentary session. 

Dave Turo-Shields

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