a more embodied way to do gratitude work with clients

Gratitude is a tool that’s employed by many transformational practitioners, but not nearly as effectively as it could be. A few little tweaks can make a huge difference.

For those of us in the U.S., November is traditionally the season of gratitude, but truly gratitude is a practice and a skill that is important for coaches & transformational practitioners to use (with clients and with ourselves!) all year round.

When human beings feel gratitude, this is often accompanied with a sense of:

  • satisfaction for having enough (at least for the time being)
  • Inspiration & motivation to be able to create what they want next
  • confidence that more wonderful things can happen
  • deeper connection to self and others
  • regulation and a calmer nervous system
  • an overall better mood
  • a feeling that like is sacred & a gift

I really understand gratitude as a transformational tool.

In my 23+ years of working with human beings, I have never seen the act of activating & cultivating gratitude not have a positive impact on my client and their ability to reach their goals.

But – and this is an important “but” – practicing gratitude is not nearly as impactful as it can be when you are working with it on the cognitive level only.

Cognitive Level Gratitude  = asking your client what they are grateful for, and them either writing out a list or answering you in session.

Cognitive level gratitude is definitely nice and helpful and can help a client momentarily acknowledge what’s going well, and what they have. 

If you want to take it to a whole other level though, to a level where your client can achieve more of what I mentioned above, then teach Embodied Gratitude skills to your clients.

Embodied Gratitude activates what I call the 4 Levels of Learning & Processing: the cognitive, the emotional, the spiritual, and the somatic.

In other words, think about how much deeper you can go if you go beyond just thinking about what you’re grateful for! What if you could emotionally connect to all the gratitude you had? What if you could find a deeper wisdom and higher meaning for the gratitude? What if you could viscerally feel gratitude in your body?

That would take things to a whole other level!

Start on the cognitive with asking your client what they’re grateful for (or co-creating awareness on it in another way if they can’t immediately answer), and you keep on going from there. 

Then support your client to not just have gratitude be something they “think”, but something they deeply embody. The possibilities for Embodied Gratitude are endless when you have really solid transformational skills in place, but here are a few to start considering. You may want to:

  • lead your client to feel the gratitude in their heart or in their body, and guide them time to really cultivate it somatically. 
  • help your client foster a relationship with the archetypal energy of Gratitude by connecting with it and dialoguing with it. 
  • support your client to viscerally take in each item they are grateful for and to really feel inside of themselves the gift and resource that each item is, & the ripple effect it can have.

And of course, remember, gratitude (like many things!) is a practice! The more you help your clients come back to the practice, the more deeply they will feel it and the stronger their gratitude muscle will be!

My deepest hope is that not only will you work with your clients on this to help them feel more satisfied and able in their lives….but that you will work on this for yourself as well. 

So that you can appreciate more of what you already have. So that you can use your resources as inspiration & confidence to create more of what you want.

Join The Conversation


55 Highly Effective
Breakthrough Coaching Questions

You might also like