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EFT Example of a Psychological Reversal with ADD

EFT for the Highly Sensitive Temperament
Dear EFT Community,In this helpful article, EFT Master Rue Hass explains the concept of psychological reversal and how you can address it with EFT. To illustrate psychological reversal and its resolution, she offers a case example of an adult man with attention deficit disorder (ADD).

– EFT Universe

By Rue Hass, Master EFT Practitioner

In EFT, psychological reversal is about resolving an inner conflict between two parts of us that want the same outcome in the end, like inner peace, for example, or success, or happiness and harmony.

But these parts have very different ways of trying to get what they want. Have you ever had an intention to achieve some goal, but found yourself constantly, inexplicably, sabotaging yourself along the way?

When we tap on the side of the hand (formerly called the Karate Chop point), we are tapping the small intestine meridian.

Like the small intestine itself, this meridian’s job is to sort out what we want to keep and what we need to let go of. Some of our thinking is nourishing and growth-ful, and these ways of being we want to keep. We want to let go of the unconscious parts of us that are still trying to please someone else instead of ourselves. These parts are toxic to our system.

We have been divided. Of two minds. In a double bind.

One part of us has not really had a voice. It has had to “speak” in disruptive behavior and physical and emotional pain–-the sabotage. We are wanting to digest all this, and let go of what we no longer need. We are wanting to return to fostering a generative inner harmony and a peaceful Heart.

This article is about how one person began to use his different learning strategy (often labeled “learning disability”) to his advantage, unconsciously. He had been working to clear his stress around learning so that he could use his natural intelligence in a way that was right for him.

But unconsciously, he was also hanging on to it because it protected him from failing. Eventually, the inner conflict developed into sabotage, and when it began to get in his way, he sought help.

Using ADD as a creative safety strategy?

I worked with this man, now in his 40s, off and on in the course of several years. He had first come years earlier for troubles with his learning style, which was making it hard for him to complete college and go on to find work that really nourished him.

He has what is called ADD (attention deficit disorder). I personally think of this misunderstood learning style as bright, often gifted, sensitive, intuitive, perceptive, an associations/connections/Big Picture thinker who has trouble showing up smart in a logical linear system.

I think “disorder” is an unfortunate label to put on what is actually a creative way of processing information.

I used lots of different modalities with this man over the years, as I learned and practiced them. When he came to me again awhile back, I was surprised that he was still trying to pass the Latin class that was all that separated him from graduating.

I wasn’t surprised that working with him this time I had better and quicker success with EFT than with anything else I had tried.

In the course of our EFT session, he came to realize that he was using his learning style and his confusion to keep himself from passing this class. Half unconsciously, he thought to himself that if he passed and graduated, he would have to actually test himself in the world. He was afraid he would find out that he wasn’t smart after all. He would have to take on more responsibility.

There were lots of shoulds and have to’s, which is typical of what I have found in identifying reversals.

At one point, he suddenly burst out, “But if I got rid of all that then there would be no issue!”

Quickly, he began sweeping up around that comment as if to cover it up, but it was out there. I had heard it through the smoke screen.

“I would have to face myself!”

“I would have to actually be present in the world!”

Sheer terror.

The problem–”my learning disability,” which over the years in this sensitive person had been a difficult challenge for him–was now something that was limiting his progress. Now he wanted to move ahead, but his unconscious mind had become committed to keeping him safe from failing.

Way back there in his past, somehow, he had brilliantly but mistakenly turned his “learning disability” into a strategy. Its positive intention was to keep him safe from a judging, critical world in which he felt alien and ineffective.

We tapped on all the statements we had elicited, using them as Setup Statements, beginning of course with tapping on the side of his hand. He ended the session in a state of meditation, staring into the flame of the candle on my table, saying quietly:

“Whenever this confusion comes up now, I know I have a choice. I can always choose to honor the flame at the core of my being.”

I think there is more to do, but this session was a big step forward for this man.

When you sense an inner conflict, use your intuition to sense the true, deeper intention that is presently getting distorted and showing up as the limiting behavior.

If you suspect a psychological reversal in yourself or your client, approach it gently, with deep acceptance and compassion. Help the person move from their distress and disruptive behavior to understanding that they have been trying to take care of themselves with a long outmoded strategy that used to work, but is just getting in the way now.


Even though I don’t want to get over this problem, and I am resisting getting over it with all my strength, I love and accept myself anyway, and I choose to find better ways of keeping myself safe.

Even though I am too angry to get over this, I love and accept myself, I forgive myself for being angry, and I choose to learn how to stand up for myself in ways that feel better to me.

Even though I will be too vulnerable if I get over this problem, I love and accept myself anyway, and I choose to be surprised at how easy it is to discover my own inner strengths.

Even though I don’t know who I will be, or how to be in the world if I heal this problem, I accept myself anyway, I believe in myself, and I want to learn to listen to the signals of my body, and make choices based on what feels good and flowing and easy to me. I am learning to trust the process of my life.

Even though I might become powerful and successful if I heal this, and that really scares me because people who are powerful and successful are put down for being selfish or prideful–at least that’s what my family believes–I love and accept myself anyway, and I choose to act powerfully and successfully in a way that includes other people and reflects their strengths. I can be humble and strong at the same time.

No matter what issues we are dealing with, learning to elicit and support the positive intention in a person or a situation is about the most powerful, grounded spiritual practice I can think of.

It makes sense to imagine that, by tapping on the side of the hand, we are bringing to conscious awareness, acknowledging, and giving voice to the stressful anxious thoughts that have been agitating our energy system.

At the same time, by tapping on the side of the hand and saying, “I deeply and completely love and accept myself anyway,” we are instructing our energy system to hold ourselves in an accepting wholeness.

There is no limit to finding the goodness that is embedded in how we express who we are inside.