EFT Reveals Core Issues Behind Immobilizing Grief
In this article, Andrea Ensing tells of how she used the EFT technique called “Sneaking Up on the Problem” to help a client move forward in her life after a year of being immobilized by grief over the death of her father.
- EFT Universe
By Andrea Ensing
A client, "Julia," came to me on the one-year anniversary of her father’s death. She felt like she was going through the motions in life. She had no desire to do anything but sit around and smoke pot all day.
Due to her amplified grief, I didn’t want her session to turn into merely crying and tapping, so I started with a technique called “Sneaking Up on the Problem.” This technique is one of EFT's so-called Gentle Techniques, which are designed to approach a highly upsetting issue carefully and indirectly so as not to plunge the client into overwhelming emotion. It has the client focus on the generalities of the event as opposed to the specifics. Then, tapping on the generalities lightens the specifics of the event enough that they can be worked on without overwhelming the client.
The first general emotion we tapped on was Julia's sadness. Her original SUD score on sadness alone was a 9.
We used a very basic Setup Statement:
“Even though I have all this sadness, I still deeply and completely accept myself.”
We also used a general Reminder Phrase, “All this sadness.”
Once the sadness was tapped down to a SUD level of 3 (this took approximately three rounds of tapping), what came up was the specific thought that she didn’t want to live without her father.
This led us to tap on the specific phrase “I don’t want to live without my father” as well as several other issues related to his passing and the futility of life, including “Why work so hard when you die right after retirement?” and “Once you retire, your body goes downhill fast.”
When we were able to clear those thoughts, the client expressed fear about growing up and getting married. She stated that she had never wanted to do either and that, if she could, she would stay “young forever.”
That was an amazing realization because her last name is “Young!” We discovered that the core issue was related to her last name. She was born with the last name “Young” and that was her father’s last name as well.
Deep down she had attached to the name the notion that if she grew up, she would no longer be “Young.” With the passing of her father, she clung to the name and thus began reverting to childlike tendencies of not working, sleeping all day, and relying on her boyfriend to take care of her.
After several rounds of tapping, she was feeling more in control of her life and ready to focus on her career. She also began the process of moving out of her mother’s home. The grief had shifted, allowing her to step out of her immobilization.