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How to Use EFT on Your Inner Critic

How to Use EFT on Your Inner Critic

Dear EFT Community,

Here EFT practitioner Stefan Gonick tells how to use EFT to heal the “internal parent” that each of us carries with us from childhood. The process he elucidates can transform what is often an inner voice of criticism into a voice of love and support. 

-Stephanie M

By Stefan Gonick

In this article, I discuss a powerful EFT approach for achieving a very deep level of healing and actually rewriting your emotional history. It involves using EFT to heal what I call your “internal parent” or the parent that live within you.

Using this technique, I have helped my clients heal difficult issues and achieve a greater degree of peace than ever before.

You need to start with an important concept in psychology called “internalization. This is where you internalize, or make part of yourself, the way you were treated by your parents growing up, both good and bad.

If you were praised, loved, and supported, you will internalize these good behaviors and continue to praise, love, and support yourself without your parents being present. Likewise, if you were yelled at, criticized, and judged, you will internalize these negative behaviors and yell at, criticize, and judge yourself without your parents being present.

Your Parent Lives within You

I would like to take this concept one step further. I believe that you internalize your parents’ energy as well as the patterns of how you were treated. You have a version of your mother and father still living within you.

These internal parents are still doing to you what an original external parent did when you were children, both good and bad. For instance, if you had a raging father as a child, that father is still raging at you inside, even if he no longer rages now or is no longer a part of your lives (or even no longer living).

This internal parent lives on.

You can tell that this is true because you can feel that energy coming from your parent whenever you choose to tune into it. For example, you can literally feel the rage coming from your internal father any time you focus on it.

This goes way beyond simply remembering what was said and done. You are actually feeling that rage coming from your internal father right now. Unfortunately, you also often feel our parent’s energy when you don’t choose to. It is not a happy thought that you are still being raged at by this internal father, but it opens up some very interesting healing possibilities.

Your Internal Parent Can Be Healed with EFT

What if you were to apply EFT to the parent living within you? If you could use EFT to heal this internal raging father, for example, then he will no longer rage at you inside. This internal negative experience will come to an end. What a relief that would be!

But is it possible to heal an internalized parent? After all, this internal parent is not a real person.

In my experience, the answer is a definite yes. When you relive a memory, you can tune into your internal parent’s feelings and thoughts. You can then use this when you apply EFT to heal your internal parent’s feelings. 

How to Heal an Internal Parent with EFT

The procedure for using EFT to heal an internal parent is a little strange but fairly straightforward. You start by replaying a memory long enough to tune in to the parent’s emotional energy. Once you have done this, you have actually tuned in to your internal parent rather than just your memory of your real parent.

You then start tapping on yourself while imagining that you are tapping on your internal parent at the same time. If you can visually see your parent while doing this, that’s great. Or if you can physically feel yourself tapping on your parent, that’s fine too. Otherwise, you can imagine that you are tapping on this internal parent. While tapping, it’s important that you use wording as if you were the parent rather than yourself.

For instance, if you use the raging father example, you would tap as if you were your raging father and say something like:

Even though I am furious with my daughter…

You would then keep tapping, as your father, on the anger feelings and any other feelings and thoughts that come up.

In your raging father example, this might include things like:

Even though I get so angry when I’m not in control of everything…

Even though I’m so stressed by all of my responsibilities in my life…

Even though I’m scared that I won’t be able to keep it all together…

Just let your internal experience and intuition guide you as to what to tap on. Remember that this is not your real father, so you don’t have to know what your real father was thinking or feeling. You are tapping on the parent that lives within you, so whatever feelings and thoughts that you get in touch with are the ones that matter and need to be healed within you.

You keep tapping on the feelings that come up for your internal parent until they have all been relieved. If you check in with your internal parent now, you will notice a calmness and greater degree of openness that wasn’t there before.

Once you have completely neutralized the negative energy of the internal parent, you can take it a healing step further by using EFT to bring loving feelings into the internal parent to replace the negative energy.

Replacing the Negative Parental Energy with Loving Energy

Go back to the original memory and you’ll see that the negative energy (raging, in my example) is no longer present. While that’s a big relief, you don’t have to leave it there. You can now redo the memory and replace the negative energy with an ideal parent’s loving energy.

You do this by tapping on yourself and imagining these loving feelings merging into your healed internal parent. You then play out a scenario in your imagination that expresses these loving feelings.

For example, this might include your father expressing understanding, acceptance, and appreciation (instead of anger) and then playing a game with you. Let yourself enjoy the new version of the memory and the good feelings for a good length of time. Really get into this and even have fun with it! This will serve to change your internal history and experience.

The loving energy and new “memory” will  replace the original negative energy and become part of your emotional history and foundation.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to realize that this internalized parent has no relationship to your real external parent. Your real parent may have changed very much since your childhood. Your real parent may no longer be in your lives or may even have passed on.

When you heal your internal parent, it has no bearing on your real external parent. Some people don’t like the idea of “helping” an abusive parent, while some people like the idea. It doesn’t matter. It’s the parent that lives within you that you are primarily affecting so that he or she won’t impact you negatively anymore.

Note that it will likely take multiple EFT sessions using this approach to fully heal your internal parent. This won’t be a one-session wonder, but you will likely feel much better after each session.

Imagine what it would be like to no longer have the negative energy coming from your internal parent! Imagine the depth of healing that comes from replacing the negative energy with a loving parent’s energy instead.