Flipping the Psychological switch with Mamoon Yusaf ( Lab report #30)

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Yannick’s Coaching Lab #30 —Mamoon Yusaf

Lab Report by Daniel Lev Shkolnik


After discovering Tony Robbins and quitting his medical degree, Mamoon Yusaf began as a
Quran coach and is now a successful spiritual coach and best-selling author. The core of his
approach is “the psychological switch,” which is the perspective that emotions—and in fact
all of our experience—arise from “thought.” Mamoon’s client was also Muslim and brought
his grief of two recent losses to the coaching session: his father and his dog. Mamoon
coached by offering silence, presence, and affirmations, along with relevant quotes from
the Quran and concepts from various wisdom traditions.

Key Insights

One of the most palpable characteristics of Mamoon’s coaching session was the silence
and space he provided his coachee. An audience member remarked afterward that the
silences were not awkward but full of tenderness as the coachee worked his way through
deep emotions at a pace that was comfortable to him.

Holding back vs. asking for permission
Mamoon held back a few interventions and challenging questions because he didn’t want to
overstep any lines this early in the relationship. Upon refelctions with the client it was clear
that holding back was not the way to go and asking permission to challenge, even early in
the relationship, would have been very appreciated by this client.

Coaching from Presence
Mamoon said he didn’t go into his signature coaching system, the psychological switch,
because it wasn’t called for. Instead, he relied on presence. He was attuned and attentive
to the needs of his coachee which, as Mamoon described it, allows him to work with intense
emotions by grounding himself and his client in the present moment and not getting stuck in
a past or future experience.

Affirming the Client
Throughout the session, Mamoon repeatedly affirmed his coachee. He acknowledged the
way he is a light to those around him, and at one point even called him a “spiritual gangster”
as a humorous compliment. These kinds of affirmations can help a person feel seen and
empowered. Though Yannick reflected that even positive judgements are still judgements
and may also have unintended drawbacks.

But Is that still coaching?
After the session, Mamoon admitted that he’d been on his “best behavior” as a coach during
the Lab, knowing other trained coaches were observing. The coachee, however, said he
wished Mamoon had “let loose” and not held back. This opened a larger conversation about
how coaches approach intense emotions like grief and where the lines between therapy,
coaching, and spirituality lie.

Coach-Client Alignment
Mamoon and his coachee had a high level of alignment. They shared a common Muslim background and had a similar spiritual outlook. The coachee said that when they first met- up before the Lab, trust quickly developed between them. This alignment allowed the session to move organically and fluidly.

Mamoon Yusaf is a coach who is unafraid to work with religious and spiritual content, even
bereavement. This allows him to enter into rich dialogue with clients about some of life’s
deepest questions—oneness, love, wisdom, etc. He draws on many wisdom traditions, which
allows him to work with a wide variety of beliefs and worldviews. During the Lab, Mamoon
demonstrated the graceful ways that presence, silence, and loving affirmation can allow a
person to find clarity regarding their grief, their purpose, and even their faith.

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