chapter  4
Conscious and subconscious
Pages 5

Although we’ve already made the point that coaching emphasises conscious reasoning and what might be called logical intelligence, our thoughts and feelings are also the ongoing outcomes of much subconscious activity (or ‘processing’) that happens as it were behind the scenes, largely outside the realm of our conscious awareness. So for instance, to take a negative example, let’s say that Jane feels anxious but doesn’t really know why. Everything seems to be fi ne in her life and there are no obvious or logical reasons to worry. And yet the feeling won’t subside – in fact dwelling on it can even make it worse. In this case the insights mentioned in the previous section appear to be of little use –

This is what I’m doing to be anxious.   I’m making connections between what’s going on around me and my own thoughts   and feelings. By doing such-and-such I can change anxiety to reassurance.  

Jane really may not know what she’s ‘doing’ to generate the anxiety and indeed might say that she isn’t doing anything at all; she just feels anxious. There seem to be no connections between the feelings and her current life circumstances, in which case strategies for change appear to be thin on the ground.