Trans4mind Home Page
~ A Journey of Self-Discovery ~

Expanding the View: Identifying a Neutral Topic

By Martha Lasley, Virginia Kellogg,
Richard Michaels & Sharon Brown

Coaching for Transformation
Share on Facebook

When a client voices a disempowering viewpoint, the first step is to separate the viewpoint from the topic. Expanding the View works best when we are crystal clear about the topic the client is exploring. This is a crucial part of the process, so we do not skip this step. Our clients are about to shatter long-held beliefs, so meaningful, clearly-defined topics help them focus.

Starting with the simple examples below, let’s separate the topic from the viewpoint, just like diagramming a sentence. The goal is to separate the topic from the opinion about the topic.

CFT ETV Neutral Topic 1

Looking at the topics in the chart, we notice that clients could have any number of possible viewpoints about that topic besides the one they are currently holding. Once we help them pull topics apart from their viewpoints, they may see other possibilities emerge.

Often the statements are as clear as the examples above and it is easy to separate the topic from the disempowering viewpoint. And sometimes people feel so anxious about their situation that coming to a clear topic may take some unearthing. We can ask, “What are you wanting to explore?” or “What is important here?” or “What is at the center of this?” We can guess the topic and listen for how it resonates with the client. When there is more than one potential topic, we help the client choose the one that is most important now. We may start out focused in one area but as we move through the session, it may become clear that another topic is more relevant. By staying open, the topic can shift .

For example, Shana started out thinking her issues were all about her job, but then it started to look more like the topic was about freedom or commitment. All the topics may be important, so we help clients choose the one that has the most energy.

The following chart shows possible topics and viewpoints that might emerge from the presenting statement. In some cases, it takes more exploration to uncover the topic and viewpoint.

CFT ETV Neutral Topic 2

In each case, we can tell the speaker feels disempowered, but we may not see the topic immediately. Topics do not include:


Neutral topics contribute to the power of Expanding the View process. If the client begins with a topic called “my bad relationship with my father,” there is nowhere empowering to go with it. The viewpoint is embedded in the topic. Imagine coming up with empowering viewpoints around the topic of “my bad relationship with my father,” and compare it with the topic of “my relationship with my father.”

Choosing the exact name for the topic isn’t vital because the topic may change, but we name it clearly, so we can refer to it later.

With new clients, we can ask if they want to shift their current viewpoint and if they are willing to try on and embody other ways of looking at the issue. This lets them know what we are doing and gets them to take responsibility for the direction of the coaching.

Excerpt from the book Coaching for Transformation: Pathways to Ignite Personal & Social Change by Martha Lasley, Virginia Kellogg, Richard Michaels and Sharon Brown. As faculty at Leadership that Works, they certify coaches who offer personal, organization and community transformation. Check out the free Power of Coaching teleclass.

Coaching is life-changing, world-changing work. The coaching programs at Leadership that Works go beyond theories and models and work with clients on a deeper level. You learn how to coach the whole person: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Whole person Transformation.

Leadership that Works

Transforming the world.
One heart at a time.

More articles from Coaching for Transformation

Out of the box
PODCAST: Peter Shepherd about Transitions in Life
Learn more   Download MP3   Trans4mind Podcasts
More personal development articles at the Counterpoint Article Library

Good info on many topics:

Want to renew your life?

Our online, interactive video workshops present the most effective methods of holistic personal development...
Start off with a Free Life Assessment and a Free Consultation...

Have a question about Trans4mind Training?

Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Our Fees?
Email Peter Shepherd

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...

View all the Hypnosis Downloads here

Get a free Hypnosis Download at Facebook

Hypnosis is the key to unlocking your creativity, focusing your energy and understanding yourself

Hypnosis has a long history of helping human beings be the very best they can be. It can be used to control anything controlled by the unconscious mind - pain, blood pressure, fear, confidence levels, mood, sex drive... the list goes on:

  1. You'll become highly productive without getting stressed
  2. Tap into your creative energies instantly
  3. Really understand yourself and others
  4. You'll learn how to stay calm in high pressure or uncomfortable situations
  5. Develop laser-like levels of focus and concentration

Lean more... Uncommon Hypnosis Course

Welcome to the New Wave in Meditation Technology

Click here to learn more about the iAwake Profound Meditation Program
The iAwake Profound Meditation Program
is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
Profound Meditation provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
Here is a link to a free 20-minute track from iAwake Technologies - a sample of the type of tools that will deepen your meditation immediately and help you quickly become a successful meditator. It's the opening track of iAwake's flagship product, the Profound Meditation Program, called the iAwake Experience...
Learn More and Download the iAwake Experience
We think you'll find this technology a tremendous aid on your transformative journey of becoming your best and most creative self - and you can get started today!
And here's a fantastic resource for self-education...

The World of Inspiration eLibrary

World of Inspiration
A treasure trove of personal development wisdom

Step inside. Just like a real library, there are thousands of quality eBooks presented on three "floors" and in different "rooms." To purchase your $15 Lifetime Membership to the World of Inspiration eLibrary, click the following button:

Payment is made through our secure transaction agent, PayPal.
The transaction is in the language and currency of your choice.
"I want to just say 'WOW!' This collection is probably the best money I ever spent! I've already received many times over in personal enrichment after just 9 days. I've had a past metaphysical background, but even newcomers to this material will really benefit. Thanks again." ~ J.S. (Pennsylvania, USA)
"The collection is everything which you promised. And more! A superb contribution to the good of the world. Many thanks indeed." ~ R.P. (Georgia, USA)
"Just a short note of thanks for the library. I've only had membership for several days now but I already feel this is perhaps the most interesting compilation I have yet seen. Worth far more than the price of admission. The browser linked structure works well and makes it easy to manage such a large storehouse of information. It is rarely that I find something I like as much as this or that I feel strongly enough to write a note like this." ~ P.W. (Minnesota, USA)
Copyright © 1997-2017 Trans4mind Ltd