Imperative Self Analysis (ISA)-Your Imperative Self is Your Life’s Purpose!

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your heart – one who looks outside dreams, one who looks inside AWAKES”

 Have you ever wondered just what is your life’s purpose? Is it imperative to have a life purpose? Did you know that you have an emotional menu of 5-8 emotions that you repeat daily unless you are experiencing an unusual event ? Open the PDF below and check a couple of times during a two week period the 5-8 emotions that you almost experience daily. Make sure you check the emotions rather than the behaviors. This can really be a real eye opener into your inter world!

Emotional States Menu PDF

We are each unique because of our emotional palette. Our emotions drive our behaviors and impact our health in both positive and negative ways. Your life is the sum of what you focus on. Your Imperative Self controls what you will focus on. The Imperative Self is your matrix and your primary trance. Your emotions are the window to your personality. If you want to change some of the emotions in your emotional palette read on:

Over thirty-five years ago Leslie Cameron – Bandler  (now Lebeau) the co-author of the best selling book “The Emotional Hostage” was curious why different people experiencing the same events experienced completely different emotions. To find out how this was happening she formed a workgroup that created a new therapy model in 1988 called the “Imperative Self Model”. It also known as “Imperative Self Analysis” or (ISA). I believe it is one of the most eloquent therapeutic models in existence. It is the only therapy model I know of that works on the person’s whole personality, rather than piecemeal work that sometimes is drawn out over years of therapy. The Imperative Self is the only therapy model that we have that represents the way in which we are like no other person. The ISA actually allows us to find the needle in the haystack in one session to make changes that will most positively effect our lives. The ISA provides a schematic diagram of our personality like no other therapy model.

Leslie and her workgroup found that people experience 5-8 of the same emotions everyday, unless something unusual is happening. They also found that people have 5 to 10 primary obsessions. These primary obsessions are what our unconscious mind believes is our purpose  or mission of our life. These obsessions create your emotions and thus drive your behaviors. These emotions are caused by us either fulfilling or failing to fulfill our obsessions. I have found that collapsing the obsessional track will cause your habitual negative emotions to become a thing of the past and you can rewrite your mission in life or just enjoy “peace”. 

All together there are three (3) parts to the IS. The the Virtual Question or Statement, the Bias or Filter, and as I mentioned above the primary  Obsessions. This question you are always asking yourself is called the “Virtual Question”.  This means all other questions or statements are filtered through the Virtual Question first (a more detailed description of the Virtual Question is in the post below). The Bias/or filter we have is usually the information we sort for to achieve fulfilling the first Obsession in our hierarchy of  Obsessions (see the IS Map below the video). Fulfilling our Obsessions are our life’s purpose. 

We created our Imperative Self between the ages of three and seven years old. We created it during a highly emotional charged moment. Our Imperative Self is linked to our survival and mostly to the responses of others around us. There are no two alike Imperative Selfs on the planet.

What is a well-formed Imperative Self Map?

1. The obsessions are worth fulfilling and feasible to fulfill;

2. Self-concept is positive and secure (evidence is initiated maintained by self):

3. The Virtual Question/statement and bias provide opportunities to fulfill the obsessions;

4. Well-being is sustained and the IS map allows one to thrive.

So if the Imperative Self model is the best thing since sliced bread, why is this model after over thirty years not the premier psychotherapy practiced in the world? I believe there are many reasons:

1. The ISA training was expensive and took over 24 days (6 x 4 Fridays – Mondays) with additional travel days for those that had to travel from out of town.

2. The taught interventions of the 1980s to change the IS Map were ineffective. It wasn’t until the mid 1990s that “Clean Language” interventions allowed changes to easily take place. Unfortunately I am the only person using IS model and “Clean Language” combined.

3. It is nearly impossible to market to both therapists and clients a therapy model that can change one’s major personality traits in a positive way in just a few sessions.

4.  A successful ISA and IS map collapse usually means the end of therapy for most of my clients, because their negative habitual emotions are what motivated the client to seek therapy in the first place. I do not have long term  therapy clients!

Before I will accept you as a client, you need to fill out the Emotional States Menu checklist of the 5-8 of your most habitual emotions that you experience over a two week period and then we can have a free joint interview over the phone or on Zoom.

Cost: I charge only $600 USD for the 1- 3 hour session to elicit your IS Map and a 1 hour followup session  – which is amazingly affordable considering what you are getting. Followup sessions are charged at a rate of $150 per hour (I use a sliding scale depending on your income).

If we decide to do the ISA, you will need to fill out these pages before our ISA session and email them back to me. Click: Phase 1 & 2

Does the IS elicitation always work? No. I have had mixed results with clients taking psychotherapeutic medications (benzodiazepines). 

What to expect during and after the session:
I will ask you questions about each of your common emotions and look for a pattern that shines the light on your obsessions. If you don’t want to answer a question, just say, “pass” and I will honor your request with a different 
question. After we elicit your Imperative Self it will take less than 40 words on one piece of paper for you to understand yourself in ways you have never imagined and it takes less than three hours vs years of “talk therapy”. These 40 words or less are your words. If you want to change your self concept and thrive by changing your Imperative Self Map, much can be accomplished in the same 2-3 hour session. In addition, the changes will allow the negative emotions of your emotional palette to be just a memory.

If you have trauma in your past, I promise not to re-traumatize you. If you have a trauma this is what we do: we will get your resources before the trauma occurred, because if we build a strong foundation before the trauma, the trauma will be transformed (see post: “Back to the Future Part 1”). Most of the time clients are not even consciously aware (nor am I ) of what traumatic event we worked on. I couldn’t do therapy for years if I had to listen to clients recounting their traumas. That would be unhealthy for me and the client. That philosophy has allowed me to have a Kleenex free therapy environment for the past  thirty-seven years. My email address is: clint77090(at)

Until you get your ISA, you really will not appreciate or comprehend this powerful life changing therapeutic model. 



One comment

  1. Bill

    I realize that my life will not be without ‘glitches’ here and there – whose isn’t? But it is true that when I look through the list of emotions I presented prior to the ISA session, I cannot find them in a chronic way – if at all.

    When people ask me about how I am now after the session with you, I find it extremely hard to articulate exactly in which way(s) I feel different – but there’s no doubt that in some way, it’s if I’ve been ‘born again’.


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