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Detailed EFT Example of “Table and Legs” Events and Aspects

Swimming Out of Water by Catherine Garceau

By Catherine Garceau, Certified EFT Practitioner

Changing Careers? Not trusting yourself?

Marie-Anne never felt accepted by her parents. Now at 37, she realized how much this was still affecting her.

With common comments like “Don’t think like an imbecile” coming from dad and “I know you better than you know yourself” being mom’s song, it’s no wonder Marie-Anne ended up with a bad case of inner doubt, confusion, and paralysis by analysis.

Having recently jumped out of her current (and dissatisfying job), Marie-Anne was seeing a career counselor, and she was drawn to EFT to explore her emotional landscape. She felt ready to let go of her parents’ projections, expectations and judgments.

Marie-Anne’s proactivity as a client helped make the most of our first session. She came prepared by having reviewed the basic material I sent her on EFT, including having emailed me the top three “table” issues she felt affected by the most and the events that supported these three tables.

***Note to practitioners: Do you use the Tables and Legs analogy with your clients? If not already, I highly recommend it. Having a simple document that includes a visual of the tables and legs greatly augments the client’s understanding. It seems to minimize overwhelm by giving them a sense of organization within their emotions, beliefs, and relevant events.

In this case, after a quick review of her detailed email (more detective work), I proposed starting with the tabletop that felt the most disabling to her at the time:

1. Feeling stupid/wrong (and thus confused) about her thoughts and decisions.

She had seven events detailed under this table, three of which were specific, so we started with those. The one she felt the highest charge with was a comment her dad always said to her “Don’t be such an imbecile.”

I asked her to pick the first or the worse time she remembers hearing him say this comment. Right away, she replied that it was just the other day, in the car. It’s when she realized how often he actually said it to her, and how much it made her feel ‘wrong’ and ‘stupid’.

We started tapping (event #1 aspect #1 – Feeling stupid of stating her opinion/decision):

Even though I felt so stupid that dad thinks I’m an imbecile, I love and accept myself now.

Even though I felt stupid and wrong that dad said I was an imbecile when I told him my decision, I’m willing to love and accept myself.

Even though I felt wrong and stupid when he said “Don’t be an imbecile! when I told him what I was thinking of buying for Christmas, I love and accept myself anyway.

We then tapped two full rounds (including the finger points) using the following words. When her breathing got deeper and calmer is when I introduced positive re-frames:

Feeling wrong


I can never say anything right with dad

Feeling stupid

Feels yucky in the pit of my stomach

I never make good decisions according to him

“Don’t be an imbecile!”

So tired of him staying this

What a jackass

Feeling so wrong

Feeling stupid

So tired of his negative energy

Feeling stupid

Feels yucky in the pit of my stomach

Feeling wrong again

Maybe I can let go of what he thinks

At least for that time I clearly remember him saying “Don’t be an imbecile”

I know I’m not an imbecile

We’re obviously not on the same page

And maybe it’s time I disentangle from his energy anyway

And his belief system

And his judgments

And his expectations of me

I could never meet them anyway

What a jackass. He’s made me so mad.

Releasing this time when he made me feel so wrong

Releasing this time when he made me feel stupid again

Releasing all this doubt about my decision

It was actually a great idea for Christmas

Releasing feeling wrong

Releasing feeling stupid

It’s OK for me to feel good about my decision

I don’t have to take in his energy anymore

I am not here to please my father

I am here to trust my own feelings

I am here to have fun

It’s OK for me to affirm my good ideas

They don’t have to be approved by my father

Feeling more calm in my body

I am a competent and intuitive woman

I love following my ideas to completion

It feels so good to feel confident

I love feeling this clarity

It’s so great to hear and listen to my own guidance

I love this new way.

I feel calm and clear.

I asked her to rate her SUD of feeling stupid and wrong while in the car with her dad. She said it was now at a 3 (compared to a 10). She got all excited: “Wow! I totally see how this was affecting me — what a jackass in deed! And I really can be free of what he thinks, cool!”

‘Jackass’ was a word she used a few times when we were speaking about him so I knew it would be good to include it. The way she pointed out ‘Jackass’ here gave me a clue that her remaining SUD of 3 could be left over anger towards her dad.

We tapped specifically on the emotion of anger (event #1 aspect #2 – feeling angry about dad’s comment):

Even though I felt so angry that he would tell me that AGAIN, I’m ready to feel peace and love about it and myself.

Even though I felt so angry that he called me an imbecile, I’m welcome peace and choose to love myself anyway.

Even though I felt so angry that he would call me an imbecile AGAIN, I’m ready to feel peace and not be affected by his words.

Tapping continued with “so angry”“What a jackass”“gosh he angers me” “I can’t believe he said that to me”, “so angry” until calm set in.

When I asked her what she felt about him saying the comment to her in the car the SUD was down to 0! “I can see that it wasn’t cool to say that but I feel unaffected by in now…what a relief!!!”

When I now asked her about her feeling wrong and stupid, there was still heaviness in her stomach. So we moved forward to her next event, mom saying “I know what’s right for you because I know you better than you know yourself.”

“When did she say this to you last, and what did you feel?” I asked

“We were at the table at her house. We were discussing my current photography career move. She turned around from washing the dishes and told me that I needed to listen to her and stop trusting my own self, cause I was usually wrong. Right away, I felt stupid. I doubted myself and I no idea what was right or wrong anymore.” Her SUD on this one was at a 9.

We started tapping (event #2 — aspect #1):

Even though I felt so stupid and doubtful that maybe mom was right, I love and accept myself.

Even though I felt so wrong and doubtful in that moment, maybe she was right, I’m open to feeling love for myself anyway.

Even though I felt so stupid and doubt when mom told me I should listen to her, I choose to love myself and accept my own decision.

All this doubt

What’s wrong with me

Am I this stupid not to know anything for myself

This doubt

Here it comes again

Maybe she’s right

I shouldn’t trust myself

Clearly she’s right

Look at her pointing down at the table

She’s so confident

I’m obviously not confident

So she must me right

Feeling so doubtful

Feeling so wrong

All this doubt

She’s clearly smarter than me

All this doubt

It’s clear I should listen

Feeling so much doubt

All this doubt

All this doubt

Feeling small and stupid

Feeling doubtful

All this doubt

Feeling doubtful

Mom must be right

But what if mom wasn’t right

What if something better was awaiting me and my life

What if mom was holding me back from my happiness

Maybe I do know more than I think (and she thinks!)

Maybe I could trust myself a little more

It’s OK that she thinks she’s right about me

I don’t have to make her right

It’s my life

And it’s OK that we have different opinions

Maybe I can trust myself just a little more

All this doubt that she projected onto me

I’m ready to let it go

I’m ready to let it go

I’m ready to let it all go now.

Releasing any remaining doubt

Releasing my feeling of being wrong

Releasing it now

Releasing it all now.

Marie-Anne’s face shifted. I could tell the positive reframes were sinking in.

I asked her to go back to the kitchen setting with her mom and rate the feeling of doubt and being wrong. The SUD was now at a 2, which led us to investigate where it was in her body, and the session continued as such.

After a few more rounds of following each aspect until the event cleared, and then moving on to the next event, Marie-Anne felt her stupid/wrong/doubtful table crumble.

She felt freer to explore photography as a new career and the excuses her mind had come up with to stop her in her tracks didn’t have a hold on her anymore.

I love this example because many of us practitioners go through transitions in career. Moving through doubt and confusion in a methodical way can be immensely beneficial, even as borrowed benefits!

This highly productive session was a result of great preparation work, clarity in the table and legs concept, and persistence to stay focused on specific aspects within each event, before moving on.

More than 1 year later, Marie-Anne is now enjoying her new career of photography.