By Dr. S. Malka
“Odette” was a client I knew well. She called me over the phone one day asking me to please help her work through her craving for chocolate and cake that had been with her the last few days. Intensity for these foods was building and she knew she couldn’t hold out much longer on her own without blowing her eating plan.
She tapped consistently, but couldn’t get to whatever it was that was clearly holding up her craving.
“What triggered this?” I asked. “You’ve been much better with chocolate and cake recently.”
“I know I have,” she answered. “That’s why I’m so frustrated. I just can’t work this one out and the craving is ballooning.”
“OK,” I replied. “Just go to the Karate Chop Point and let’s start.”
Even though I don’t know what triggered this, I deeply and completely accept myself.
I was doing fine . . .
Doing much better . . .
The last few days I haven’t been able to get cake out of my mind . . .
And chocolate . . .
I don’t know why .
Nothing emerged and, looking for a door to go in, I asked if she had a craving right then. She said, “No, not right now, but I know that if I wasn’t on the phone to you, I’d head straight for chocolate.”
“You don’t have the craving now perhaps because I’m here and you feel safe.”
I let her tap on this awareness for a bit.
“When did you have this craving? Could you allow your inner mind to go where you were, what was happening when you first noticed this feeling of needing cake?”
“Well, I think the first time I started this cake feeling I was in the car. If there had been a place to buy chocolate I think I would have stopped right there.”
“Go to that moment,” I suggested. “Just be in the car and allow that feeling to surface.”
“I’m in the car . . . just tap around the points in the car and all of a sudden I want cake . . . all of a sudden I’m looking around for somewhere to buy chocolate.”
Her SUD level of intensity number was between 5 and 6 on a scale of 0 to 10 with 10 being extreme.
Even though I’m a 5 or 6 right now, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though I don’t know what it is, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though it’s intensifying, that’s good, that’s why I phoned you, to find out what this is, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Then she burst out crying.
“I think I do know,” she exclaimed. “I can’t believe it’s this. I had no idea. I can’t believe it’s this, but that’s what’s coming up.”
We tapped a few rounds on:
“This awareness . . .”
Then she said, “And it’s a lose-lose situation!”
I immediately refereed her back to the Karate Chop Point, to tap:
Even though it’s a lose-lose situation, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though no matter what I do, I’ll lose out, I deeply and completely accept myself.
We did quite a bit of this. I didn’t add anything. I wanted whatever needed to surface, to just float up to consciousness. We tapped on the feelings that arose.
Even though I’m scared, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Whenever there’s a fear we’re afraid to face — fear of the fear as it’s often called — we’re usually holding an underlying belief that if we know what that fear is, we won’t be able to cope with it.
So I threw this in:
Even though I’m scared, and I don’t know if I can handle it, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though that’s making me crave chocolate and cake, I deeply and completely accept myself.
“That’s right!” she exclaimed. “I don’t!”
More sobs. I backtracked her so she could process the steps and integrate the parts as we traveled round and round the points:
It’s a lose-lose situation and I’m scared because I don’t know it I can handle it . . .
No matter what I do, I’ll lose and I don’t know if I can handle it . . .
No matter what I do, I’ll lose and I don’t know if I can handle that . . .
It’s making me crave chocolate and cake because I am so anxious about this lose-lose . . .
I want to stuff it down with chocolate and cake.
“Anything!” She cried. “Even chicken and potatoes!”
Well, this was a new aspect she hadn’t realized before so we went back to the Karate Chop Point, and tapped:
Even though this lose-lose is making me crave anything, even chicken and potatoes, and it’s all to keep my anxiety down, I deeply and completely accept myself.
This anxiety that I can’t handle the lose-lose . . .
This anxiety that I can’t handle my feelings about this lose-lose . . .
Calming this anxiety with any food so I can obsess about food and my weight rather than deal with this lose-lose anxiety.
“Yeah,” she agreed, “that’s what I do alright.”
But she was definitely calmer, having found the issue underpinning her cravings. EFT tapping usually gets rid of immediate cravings in short order. When that doesn’t happen, there is almost always a deeper issue behind the craving.
Excerpted from the Book, EFT for Weight Loss by Dawson Church, PhD