The Three Principles model differs from many other approaches to tackling human problems in one fundamental way: it focuses on teaching health rather than treating illness. The model is rooted in a belief that we all have inner mental good health and teaches individuals how to access and sustain this health.

In essence, the model states that we create our own psychological and emotional reality via our thoughts from the inside out, and that fresh thought is available in any given moment. This means we are constantly creating new realities although we may not be aware of it.  For people suffering with addictions, mental health issues or repeated unhealthy behaviours it means that they are no longer under the control of powerful emotions associated with past events.

The model – an overview

At Beyond Recovery, we do not focus on the many ways we as human beings cope with our feelings, but on understanding the nature and power of thought in our lives, and the ability to have a fresh experience regardless to our circumstances.  For instance, once an individual has a personal realisation that painful memories are simply thoughts brought forward from the past, they automatically know how to let these thoughts pass through them and are no longer held ransom to their painful emotions. This approach has brought improved mental wellbeing leading to more innate natural behaviours for hundreds of our clients and tens of thousands of individuals who have engaged in Three Principles programmes across the world.

Beyond Recovery (and many other Three Principles organisations) have successfully used this approach with people struggling with all sorts of problems in addition to increasing performance and wellbeing amongst many diverse populations such as sports, businesses, education, relationships; in our case although we do work with professionals we have a particular interest and passion for working with those with drug and alcohol problems, mental health problems and those with long term involvement in the justice system.

Because we focus on helping people access their own resilience and innate resources, we are able to work successfully with many people (for instance those diagnosed with personality disorders) who would be deemed ineligible for many other programmes.  It has been noted by the services we work with that this approach is the ‘fastest way to personal insight’ and positive, self-directed change and improved wellbeing.

Our work has been rigorously evaluated and found to improve the mental well-being and behaviour of a cohort of UK prisoners using standard psychological tests administered pre-and post-intervention compared with a well-matched cohort comprising those on our waiting list. For full details see our impact section.

For a more detailed explanation of the Three Principles and their history, read on.

History of the Three Principles

The principles were first described by a Scottish welder, Sydney Banks, in 1973 as the three key factors which interact to form people’s psychological experience. These three principles are the Universal Mind, Thought and Consciousness; which are all described in more detail below.

The Universal Mind (or just Mind) is described as a life force which Banks believed is the pure essence of everything in the universe including people. He also described it as the creative intelligence which determines how people function on a psychological level. He regarded the Mind as an inbuilt source of positive health/resilience which enables people to cope with life’s challenges. In the 3 principles model, the Universal Mind powers the other two principles.

Banks used the term Thought quite simply to describe people’s ability to think – rather than the content of any individual thoughts.

Banks’ concept of Consciousness is slightly trickier to understand. He describes it as the way people use their five physical senses to convert their thoughts into a psychological experience. So, as we use the power of thought to construct mental images, these images appear real to us as they merge with our consciousness and feel like a “real”, sensory experience.

Banks saw these three principles as interconnected; his view is that people’s psychological lives are formed from the inside out: our thoughts are made to feel real by our consciousness both of which are powered up by the Universal Mind.

The critical part of this theory for its practical application is Banks’ view that people’s behaviour is perfectly aligned with how the three principles interact for them as individuals. In other words, whether we are saints or sinners, our everyday behaviour is perfectly synchronised with the way we create our personal reality via the three principles. If we can change our psychological state from the inside out, we can change our behaviour at the same time.

You can find out more at the Three Principles Foundation and find links to a wide range of key resources (including books, CDs, DVDs and more) on our Resources page.









What I love most about Jacqueline is her unwavering passion and enthusiasm for the work she does and the people she works with. Jacqueline is dedicated to supporting not just the vulnerable but anyone who walks into her life. She’s a very genuine, very warm lovely woman and I’ve learnt so much about myself, about business and about working with others through working with Jacqueline.

Anna Debenham

Three Principles Coach/Trainer


I have worked with Jacqueline as a facilitator on the training we do in Prison in Onley, Rugby. I have loved working alongside Jacqueline, she has a wonderful ‘can-do’ attitude which is infectious. She encourages and develops us. Her work has had amazing effects on the prisoners and the staff and many of the staff already comment how much positive effect the work has had on the prisoners and their attitude day to day.

Susan Marmot

Three Principles Practitioner


Beyond Recovery are revolutionising the way we understand and treat addiction and mental health. I can’t say enough good things about the incredible work they are doing, and this is just the beginning! Jacqueline is an inspiration. I am proud to be associated with Beyond Recovery and it is a delight and a privilege to work with her.

Paul Lock

Founder, Innate Thought


Insight Alliance
HM Prison & Probation
Spark Initiative
Three Principles Foundation
Russell Webster
National Lottery AFA Community Fund
Lloyds Bank
One Thought
Lottery funded
The Corbett Network
Social Enterprise Mark
Social Enterprise Mark