Provocative Coaching

Making things better by making them worse

By: Jaap Hollander


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Products specifications
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Size: 234mm x 156mm
Pages : 240
ISBN : 9781845908577
Format: Paperback
Published: January 2013

A highly practical book that provides a theoretical framework on the workings of provocative coaching for all therapists.

A fresh wind is blowing through the worlds of coaching and psychotherapy! It’s a unique new cocktail of humour, warmth and psychological provocation.

Provocative Coaching introduces new and innovative coaching and therapy methods getting us to laugh about our own problems. Coaches and therapists everywhere are throwing off the shackles of humming and nodding! Not only can provocative coaching be highly effective - especially with the so called ‘impossible’ clients, but it liberates professionals as well as their clients!

This is a book about challenging people in order to help them. It explains in detail how to do Provocative Coaching and the psychological mechanisms, through which the provocative style works.

It may seem like quite an unusual way of behaving for a professional coach or therapist however humour is an important aspect. Provocative Coaching is related to ‘paradoxical intention’ and ‘reverse psychology’.

Frank Farrelly, the founding father of Provocative Therapy says about author Jaap Hollander: “I am very much impressed with Jaap’s book. Most people do get the confrontational aspect of provocative therapy but Jaap is one of the few who also understands how important humour is. It is like listening to a master violinist at work, playing the instrument with great skill and intelligence.”

Picture for author Jaap  Hollander

Jaap Hollander

Dr Jaap Hollander is a clinical psychologist, NLP trainer and co-founder of the Institute of Eclectic Psychology. Jaap lives in Holland and has been teaching psychology across Europe for 20 years. He is the author of ten books, all focusing around the themes of NLP and psychotherapy, with this being his most recent addition.


  1. When you sometimes get tired of motivating others, read this book. It is as if you are joining a workshop on provocative coaching and it is easy to follow. The power of making contact on the -˜being level', accepting the other as s/he is in their worst moments with humour gives energy to all involved. People are resilient. And the most personal is the most universal. During reading you will laugh and gain ideas on how to provoke. You almost want to soon meet someone who resists so you get motivated to provoke a reaction.
  2. Provoke to reset business thinking.

    Author, Jaap Hollander is a clinical psychologist who is proficient in neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), symbol work, hypnosis and provocative coaching. He has written ten books related to NLP and psychotherapy.

    Here he uses an unusual technique by essentially transcribing, almost verbatim, a three-day training seminar held in Wroclaw, Poland. Most of the book is written in the form of a single workshop over three chapters, each representing the three respective days.

    The author says this transcribed workshop format is far easier to read and digest than a conventionally written formal text.

    Provocative coaching was originally developed, accidentally, by Frank Farrelly.

    He was using therapist Carl Rogers' “client-centred therapy”, where the client is the centre of attention rather than the therapist. It also means that the therapist is “kind” to the client.

    One day Farrelly lost his patience and told a client what he really thought about them. But he also used humour, which is an essential component in unlocking the potential of this novel approach to therapy.

    Farrelly called his approach Provocative Therapy but Japp Hollander calls it Provocative Coaching for “marketing reasons”. It uses shock tactics to make the client gain insight into themselves and their problems. It works because they are thinking about themselves anyway and their thoughts just need to be brought out in the open. Provocative Coaching offers new possibilities in business, a way to approach problems differently and even reset thinking.
  3. Hollander, a clinical psychologist, neuro-linguistic programming trainer, author, and teacher, shows coaches and therapists how to challenge people in their work to better help them. He explains the ideas behind provocative coaching and the psychological mechanisms through which this coaching style works, describing how it is related to paradoxical intention and reverse psychology. He uses a dialogue that is based on seminars he gave to coaches and therapists in Poland and elsewhere to illustrate the process and its principles.
  4. This book is a sheer delight to read. Owing to it being a transcript from a three day seminar that Jaap Hollander gave in Poland, it reads like a friendly conversation, taking the reader through a carefully structured learning experience, with plenty of examples of provocative conversations, while being constantly entertaining and frequently hilarious. Frank Farrelly, the originator of provocative therapy, teaches by demonstration. Jaap fills a gap for those of us who need something more structured and explanatory.

  5. This book most certainly discusses an interesting concept and way of approaching clients and the issues that they bring to therapists and coaches. The use of challenge as a change process is not new but Mr Hollander's book shows you how to use challenges in a much more direct, yet with humour, manner. This book is a blow-by-blow introduction on how to use this approach in your practice -” whether you're a coach or therapist. The demonstrations within its pages really help you to understand how and why this technique works. It is a book that is well worth reading.

  6. I am very much impressed with Jaap's book. Most people get the confrontational aspect of Provocative Therapy but Jaap is one of the few who also understands how important humour is. I just loved his demonstrations in this book. It is like listening to a master violinist at work, playing the instrument with great skill and intelligence.

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