By Karen Brodie, Certified EFT Practitioner
When I first began seeing clients as an EFT Practitioner, a man I will call “Charles” called me for an appointment. Charles had been reading about EFT and he was excited about learning all of its many applications
EFT was quickly gaining a reputation for resolving issues fast, and many people wanted to give it a try. Back then, I didn’t ask many questions when someone called me for an appointment; I would set the appointment and just wait to find out what the person wanted to work on when we met in person.
When Charles arrived for our appointment, he explained to me that he had three areas of concern.
The first two seemed fairly straightforward:
1. He wanted to lose about 30 pounds, and
2. He wanted to learn how to talk to his ex-wife without experiencing the powerful anger he usually felt.
The third issue was more complex:
3. He had suffered two episodes of tachycardia (racing heartbeat) in the past six months that had been so severe that the paramedics had been called to stabilize his heartbeat.
Charles wanted to address the stressful conditions of his life that had caused this problem as well. Charles had done his research before he came to see me, and he already knew that all three of these issues were known to respond well to EFT.
As always with new clients, I started asking questions to get a sense of who Charles was and how best to address these issues. It turned out that his life was complicated, and it took about 45 minutes for me to get a sense of where we might begin our work. Charles seemed to become increasingly uneasy, glancing often at the clock. Finally I asked him if he was okay with the time or if we needed to quit early.
He blurted out, “I just don’t know if we’re going to have time to take care of everything today.”
That was, without a doubt, the worst case of a miscommunication I have ever had with a client. Although everything Charles wanted help with probably would have responded well to EFT, it almost certainly would have taken us several sessions to get through all of them. As it was, when he realized that we could deal with only one event at a time, and each event would require time and exploration, he felt disillusioned and decided that EFT was not for him.
Since that day, I have made sure that potential clients understand that complicated issues will probably require several sessions long before they are sitting in my office. However, I have also dedicated myself to identifying the elements of EFT sessions that do move quickly and cleanly through clients’ issues. Over the years, I have identified five elements that have been present in every session I have ever done which contained a “one-minute wonder” or in which an issue resolved itself in one session.
Here are the 5 steps to Faster EFT Results:
1. The session focuses on one issue at a time, but it uncovers each aspect of that one issue.
An experienced practitioner will be able to differentiate between an issue that contains several different aspects, and a session that has lost its focus and started to wander. I recently worked with a client named Marcy who came to me in complete frustration as a result of her recent time spent working with accountants. As a business owner, she knew that accountants were an absolute necessity for her, which caused her even more despair. She felt nitpicked and disregarded when she met with her accountants, but because she had been through several different accountants by the time she came to see me, she knew that the problem probably had something to do with her.
We explored several aspects of her aversion to accountants, and at one point, she was reminded of an incident from her childhood that involved her dad, who was also a business owner. Her dad, who had had no aversion to accountants at all, had been slapped with a large penalty by the IRS when she was about 10 years old, and she still remembered his upset. After she mentioned that sudden memory, she returned to the recent events in her business that were causing her so much distress. I asked if we could go back to her dad’s story, and sure enough, when we went back to that story and looked at it more carefully, we found that it contained the moment that her discomfort with accountants had begun.
After we did several rounds of EFT on Marcy’s childhood memories of her father’s IRS fine, and her childhood impression that her dad’s accountant was to blame for that fine, we were able to address her current relationship with her accountant much more quickly and easily. By the end of the session, she felt completely at ease when she imagined preparing for her next meeting with her accountant.
She emailed me two weeks later to let me know that the meeting had gone well, and that for the first time ever when meeting with an accountant, she had felt like a grown woman instead of a child. She added that her accountant’s requests for more detailed information seemed neutral this time instead of loaded with recriminations, which was how she had always perceived these requests in the past. Because Marcy was willing to go back to the memory of her dad’s story, we were able to unravel the aspect of her accountant aversion contained within that story, and as a result, she got past her aversion to accountants once and for all.
2. The problem stands between my client and something that he or she really wants.
I rarely see any significant change in clients who are not highly motivated by either pain or pleasure. In Jill’s case, her motivation was paralyzing pain. Jill’s mother had died of cancer a little over a year ago, and Jill was still completely lost in her grief. Being stuck in such deep sadness was painful for her, but what was really motivating her to do something about her grief was that she had stopped being the involved, hands-on mother that had allowed her three children to flourish up to the time her mother had passed on.
It was Jill’s passion for her children that gave her the courage to confront her grief directly. In our session together, Jill discovered a belief she was holding that said, “If I am not paralyzed with grief it will mean that I didn’t really love my mother.” For most people, beliefs like this one lose their power as soon as they come to conscious awareness, and Jill was no exception. She saw quite clearly that that belief was not true at all, and it dissolved easily in one session. I do not believe that Jill could have worked through her grief so quickly if she hadn’t been so highly motivated by her love and her strong desire to see her children flourish again.
3. The client wants to heal the problem more than he or she wants to be right.
My client, Julia, booked a session with me because she had had a painful fight with her grown daughter, and three months later, her daughter still was not speaking to her. Shortly after the argument, Julia had felt that her daughter’s anger was legitimate, and that she, Julia, had been wrong, so she had apologized. And apologized again, and again, and again. But her daughter still would not speak with her. Not only did Julia miss her daughter, she missed her two-year-old granddaughter, whom she had not seen since the fight.
By the time she came to see me, Julia felt that her daughter was in the wrong for continuing to refuse to accept her apology, but she was willing to do anything in her power to make things right again.Her honesty and openness allowed me to take her through the story with a more detached perspective. During our session, she realized that her extreme guilt had caused her to miss something important about this situation: The argument had touched a nerve with her daughter related to sibling rivalry, and the resentment coming from her daughter didn’t have as much to do with Julia as it did with her daughter’s acrimonious relationship with her brother, Julia’s son.
Armed with this new understanding, after our session, Julia sent her daughter a short note letting her know that she knew she, Julia, understood that her comments must have been especially painful in light of her daughter’s difficult relationship with her brother. She said that she was willing to give her daughter as much time as she needed to start talking to her again. To Julia’s great joy, her daughter contacted her within the week and they began to repair their relationship. It was as if Julia’s new understanding more accurately mirrored the truth of the situation with her daughter, and allowed her daughter to respond from that place of truth as well. If Julia had not been willing to explore all the options, even the one that seemed wrong to her at first glance, she wouldn’t have been able to understand her daughter’s point of view so well. It was her more accurate understanding of her daughter’s pain that seemed to pave the way for her daughter’s forgiveness of her.
4. There is an effective balance between self-direction and faith in the EFT Practitioner.
It isn’t easy to trust someone you have just met with the most painful, frightening parts of your life; however, one-minute wonders usually require a certain amount of trust between strangers. Jenn’s story illustrates this beautifully.Jenn, a sophomore in high school, came to see me at her mother’s insistence. Jenn had broken her ankle, and several weeks later, her pain was still so severe that her doctor had prescribed narcotics to suppress it. Jenn’s doctor believed that Jenn was telling the truth about her pain, but at the same time, he was mystified and could find no medical reason to explain it. Jenn was a confident young woman and she carried herself with poise and assurance.
After we had chatted for awhile, I told her how tapping works and suggested that we get started. I showed her on myself how I wanted her to rub the sore spot below her collarbone. I almost laughed out loud at the withering look of disbelief she gave me. I asked her if she would be willing to just try one round. Luckily, Jenn’s pain dropped quickly from a 9 on a scale of 1 to 10 to a 6; that bit of relief was just enough to pique her curiosity and get her to keep on going with the EFT. During the course of the session, it came out that Jenn, who was an honors student with several extracurricular activities, would be expected by her school to make up all of the homework she had missed due to her injury in one week, even though she would also have more homework starting the day she returned.
This requirement, in turn, had caused Jenn to become angry with herself for being so clumsy as to have fallen in the first place.Once all that was on the table and was cleared with EFT, we were able to get the pain down to a 3 after several rounds of EFT. After the appointment, her level of pain continued to drop, which often happens in cases of chronic pain, and within three days, it was down to between a 1 and a 2, which her doctor felt was a reasonable amount of pain commensurate with the level of injury Jenn had sustained. In our time together, Jenn never completely let go of her own good judgment, but she also demonstrated the faith necessary to give EFT a try, and as a result, she was able to find relief from her chronic pain quickly.
5. The client shares what is going through his/her mind, even when it seems irrelevant or random.
The mind is a funny thing – one of its functions seems to be to just secrete thoughts–sensible thoughts, strange thoughts, and thoughts that, at first glance, seem irrelevant to whatever we doing at any given moment. The connections between our thoughts are not always immediately apparent, and, even more confusingly, sometimes they truly are random. However, from the point of view of an EFT Practitioner, the particular thought that might seem the strangest to our client may be the very thought that leads the way out of an issue. When clients are willing to let their Practitioner in on the thoughts running through their minds without giving in to the temptation to prejudge them, the Practitioner has a rich field of possibilities to work with.
Candace was a life coach who came to see me because she had an important message that she wanted to share with the world in the form of a book, but after several months of work, she had stopped moving forward on her project. At the start of the appointment, we tapped on the things she thought might be holding her back, such as “What if nobody wants to read my book?” “What if I do all this work and I can’t find a publisher?” and, “What if my message isn’t as important to people as I think it should be?” About 45 minutes into the session, Candace was as blocked as ever. She still couldn’t even imagine sitting down to work on her book.At that point, I asked her to relax, close her eyes, and take a deep breath.
I then asked her to just share with me whatever thoughts were going through her mind. Candace blurted out, “I think that if I write this book, it will bring me more clients, and I won’t be able to keep up with the extra work.” Candace seemed both surprised and doubtful of her own statement, but I found it interesting. I asked her, “What would be the worst thing about not being able to keep up with the extra clients?” Candace replied, “I’m afraid I would lose control of everything, and not do a good job for anyone.” Once we addressed Candace’s fears of being overwhelmed and unable to keep up with the additional clients that a successful book would likely bring her, her resistance against moving forward with the project seemed to vanish.
We ended the session on a positive note, with Candace feeling ready to move ahead.
A few weeks passed before I checked in with Candace to see how things were going. She said she had not been working on the book but was very busy with her coaching practice and her family. And then, several months later, I found an email in my inbox inviting me to Candace’s book release party! Her book did, indeed, fill up her coaching practice. She has handled the extra work with aplomb, and has greatly enjoyed the variety and additional income that being a published author has brought into her work life.
Candace’s willingness to share a thought with me that did not reflect her own version of herself allowed us to delve into a hidden fear that was holding her back, and to ultimately release that fear.While at first glance these five elements might seem difficult to summon at will, even simply being aware of them as guiding principles can streamline an EFT session dramatically.
For instance, the discipline of sticking with one issue until it is completely cleared almost always pays big dividends, in my experience. Ditto for the persistence to find each aspect and clear it. Learning to capture and share the thoughts running through the mind takes practice for many people, but even more than that, it takes courage. We all want to appear reasonable and rational, not random and inconsistent.
However, once we surrender to the capriciousness of our human minds, the process of pinpointing and clearing difficulties actually accelerates. Letting go of our need to be right is also a discipline, and it can be achieved more easily with repetition and determination. When we focus on what we want, instead of on what we don’t want, our motivation tends to increase; we can use this knowledge in our EFT sessions to great effect.
Finding the right balance between self-direction and faith also takes experimentation and practice, but over time it becomes easier.I would be dishonest if I said that that session so long ago with Charles was easy; I was actually quite disheartened for several days afterwards. I felt I had let him down, and that my inexperience had worked against him.
However, over time, he has become my inspiration.
I love the fact that he believed that we could accomplish so much in such a short time. Perhaps he was the one who had it right; he disregarded the limitations that I was so focused on.
These five steps to faster EFT are just the beginning of a richer, quicker, more joyful way to heal with EFT.