Dear EFT Community,
A second example of getting to core issues and an outstanding example of the generalization effect. EFT practitioner Helen Bressler relates a telephone session in which she starts with the client's global description and with artful questioning is able to get the client to contact the real underlying problem. Once the core issue is identified, EFT can easily "fell even the densest and most hidden trees." Read Part 1. Read Part 3.
- EFT Universe
by Helen P. Bressler, Certified EFT Practitioner
My last article showed how asking the right questions, heeding clues, and recognizing aspects often uncover a hidden (core) issue. I reiterate the sentiment from my previous article that I continue to be inspired by EFT's results. And that I am also aware that the swiftness and depth of "healing" can mirror the ability of the practitioner to pick up on clues, recognize different aspects, and know the what, when, and how of asking questions. Mastery of these abilities comes with practice and is exponentially enhanced by [the development of intuition. For this purpose, in the second example of uncovering a hidden aspect, I've made clues, aspects, and questioning explicit. It should also be noted that this session (like the previous article) took place over the phone.
The client Cherie (name changed for confidentiality) called me to discuss self-esteem issues. We began with her description of feeling self-doubt and her insistence of self-sabotage. I asked her to describe how she doubted herself specifically (question), to which she began to talk generally about not letting herself be present. As she spoke, Cherie sounded almost disinterested (clue), so I switched and asked her to give me an example of the last time she sabotaged herself in any regard (question). If she was self-sabotaging, there would likely be examples that stood out (which could yield aspects).
Cherie said that she didn't really know, she couldn't really think of anything (clue). As we did not seem to be making progress, I decided to tap generally to see if this would uncover any tappable issues around Cherie's self-esteem. The Setup should address the [chronic] psychological reversal that is usually evident if someone has a history of self-sabotage. We used "Even though I'm psychologically reversed, I deeply and completely accept myself," with the Reminder Phrase "this psychological reversal." Still no progress, so we continued with: Setup "Even though I'm STILL psychologically reversed" and the Reminder Phrase "remaining psychological reversal."
After this round, Cherie remarked, "Well, I guess I am just my own worst enemy." This was a clue that we still were not making much progress as the comment mirrors self-sabotage. At this point, I talked Cherie through the Collarbone Breathing Exercise (remember, this was a phone consultation). At the end of the exercise, Cherie told me that she really wanted permission to be herself. This was a clue that we were beginning to uncover an issue. I asked Cherie to teach me how she lived from day to day without permission to be herself. How did not having permission impact her life? For the purpose of this article, this detective work can be labeled as questioning.
Cherie began to explain that she was stopping herself from enjoying life (clue); that she didn't feel good enough (clue); and that she was letting herself, God, and everyone else down (clue). Although different issues were being uncovered, these were still general, hence I considered these clues and decided that further investigation (questioning) was required. It was interesting that the pitch of Cherie's voice changed very slightly when she told me she was letting everyone down (clue).
I asked Cherie why she was letting everyone down (question), to which she replied that she had started to be intimate with her partner when she didn't really want to be (clue that we had hit an issue and were at the point of uncovering an aspect or aspects).
I asked her to tell me what was problematic for her about that (question). Cherie began to talk about the relationship and how she felt she wasn't there for her partner. I asked her to tell me how she wasn't there for him. Cherie explained that she was sometimes distant (too general). I questioned how she was distant. Notice that I asked how she was distant rather than why. In this instance, it intuitively seemed that the how would potentially yield more detail relevant to her core issue(s) than the why. Cherie's response was to describe how her partner often paid little attention to what she said (issue). This made her feel distant toward him. She went on further to explain that she could be really excited about something, yet her partner would react with a noncommittal "oh." I asked Cherie to think of the last time this occurred and to tell me how she felt (question).
Cherie told me she had felt rejected (aspect). I asked, "What else?" She responded: resentful, disheartened, small, and worthless (aspects). I asked Cherie to stay with this last occurrence and we tapped on the following:
- Setup: Even though I feel rejected, I deeply and completely accept myself. Reminder Phrase: This rejection.
- Setup: Even though I feel resentful, I deeply and completely accept myself. Reminder Phrase: This resentment.
- Setup: Even though I feel disheartened, I deeply and completely accept myself. Reminder Phrase: Feeling disheartened.
- Setup: Even though I feel small, I deeply and completely accept myself. Reminder Phrase: Feeling small.
- Setup: Even though I feel worthless, I deeply and completely accept myself. Reminder Phrase: Feeling worthless.
I checked in with Cherie's SUD levels for each aspect and only proceeded when we reached a 0. Please note that on a couple of occasions when her SUD levels were 1 or 2, we completed a floor to ceiling eye roll to diminish any remaining intensity. I asked Cherie to revisit the last time her partner dismissed what she was saying and tell me about it.
She described the event matter-of-factly, stating that she didn't think he really understood the effect his manner was having on her. I tested the results of our tapping by asking her if she still felt worthless, small, insignificant, not worth listening to? She gave a small laugh and said, "Not in the slightest. I think he and I need to sit down and have a good talk."
Incidentally, I also asked Cherie about previous times when her partner had reacted in the same way toward her when she was trying to tell him, and if there were any other ways he showed he really valued her. She repeated her intention of sitting him down and having a good talk. I asked her about her general feeling of self-doubt and low self-esteem. Her reply was that she felt great and that if others have a problem with her then it really is their problem not hers.
This example demonstrates how someone may come to us with a seemingly general issue such as low self-esteem, but by asking the right questions and picking up on clues, such as changes in voice pitch or switching to other generalities, the central issue can be swiftly unearthed and resolved. What's more, this is an outstanding example of the generalization effect. By getting to the root of Cherie's feeling of low self-esteem and addressing one event linked with this, the healing effect spread out over other events.
The smaller trees are felled by uprooting the larger tree. Of course, there may be further aspects to Cherie's low self-esteem that may surface; however, the forest seems much less dense for Cherie in this department. In fact, in a follow-up call a few weeks later, Cherie had talked openly with her partner, felt "great," and was working together with him on improving their relationship. When I asked her specifically about low self-esteem, she reiterated that if someone had a problem with her, then it was their issue not hers. And that is the beauty of EFT. That it is so no-nonsense, so "get to the guts" of the energy disruption that, when applied proficiently, EFT can swiftly uproot and fell even the "densest and most hidden of trees." (Note that some individuals may not enjoy the "trees and forest" reference; in these instances, I have used "weeds in your garden," which has been well received.)
As an endpoint, I find myself always inspired by EFT. The study and re-study of The EFT manual and resources is so instrumental in developing mastery that I would urge anyone with an avid interest to use the available resources and to practice, practice, practice. As I witness my own mastery develop with EFT, I am humbled and inspired to go ever forward.