By Baerbel Froehlin, CHt/HypnoCoach
EFT tapping groups are a much-needed addition to therapy today. Recently, I’ve started doing an EFT group for people who cannot afford to pay my one-on-one therapy fee. The group meets twice monthly. There is a steady stream of participants who sign up for my group without knowing what EFT is about. Some may participate more than once; most just show up one time.
They have heard of EMDR and think EFT is similar. I’m always quick to point out the most important difference that I see: They can do EFT on themselves and others, but with EMDR the therapist must do it for them. Personally, I like it best if the participants can pick up EFT as a tool, go home, and do it. For me that is true empowerment!
Most participants in my group have huge problems to deal with. Several are dealing with bankruptcy and are struggling to keep their home. Others have big anger issues and can’t communicate with certain people in their life. Some have no boundaries and are being used as doormats all the time.
Then there are problems between spouses or siblings that have never been out in the open. Many people are overwhelmed by their ongoing daily loads of stress, or they have complex issues of physical illness, depression, abuse, and total hopelessness.
Each time the group starts, I’m amazed at the overwhelming variety of problems the participants have come in with. I have two hours to teach about the very basics of EFT and to practice straightforward EFT applications on their issues. When they leave, I want them all to be able to do simple EFT in everyday life. Most of all, I want them to have experienced substantial relief from their individual problems.
At the very beginning, I show the group how to tap on the sternum as they tell their story; from then on, we all are constantly tapping, Borrowing Benefits for all of us.
As the different people talk about their most pressing issues, and how they expect to benefit, I write down specific phrases they used while describing their feelings. I may use those later on in our tapping phrases. Half of the people are weeping now.
Amazing, how much in common we all have. I briefly describe EFT as the tool to let stuck energy flow again, to change negative and painful feelings into free-flowing feelings of ease and well-being. Then I start with something they all have in common–being angry! It’s my favorite and it never fails to get the group going.
Even though I am so angry … life is unfair … I’m trying to accept myself with all my problems.
Even though I can hardly think … I’m so angry … and afraid … many bad things out there … just waiting to happen to me … I try to accept myself the way I feel.
Even though I don’t know what is going to happen to me tomorrow … and that scares the hell out of me … I’m so afraid … have no control at all … can hardly breathe … I’ll do a deep breath now and accept myself and all my emotions.
Then we go through face and collarbone points, always breathing deeply after each phrase:
So angry … so afraid … no control whatsoever … I’m angry … I’m scared … and even though I’m angry and scared and because my life is out of control … I now choose to accept and love myself exactly this way … exactly this very moment … with all my heart!
After this first round, the intensity levels have come down quite a bit. Most had 8 to 10 out of 10 intensity; now they are down to 4 to 6 out of 10. I see surprise, disbelief, and relief. One woman who couldn’t decide on one specific issue because “there are so many” can’t stop weeping.
Also crying is another woman who has been on disability leave from her job and is afraid that her doctor will send her back to work now. I encourage the group to speak up really loud as they repeat what I’m saying. We go on pretty fast, talking about being overwhelmed (another favorite) … feeling hopeless … helpless, freaking out … and much more.
Then testing the intensity levels, amazement again, some have started to smile, feeling better. The theory I talked about briefly, that we are all connected on an energy level is now being accepted throughout the room. The weeping lady says, “I can’t feel anything, what is going on?”
After the break. the bankruptcy women both talk about the incredible pressure and the fear of losing everything. We do EFT on that.
Even though I feel hopeless … I’m so afraid that I’ll lose everything because I can’t pay them … I intend to protect and love myself as best as I can.
Even though I can’t think of anything else … this fear is taking my breath away … I’m going to protect and comfort myself as if I were my only child.
Even though I don’t know what might happen next … maybe really awful things … I chose to accept the fact that there will always be another day … and there will always be another chance for me … another possibility … another helpful person … new hope to go on.
I’m not the first person that had to go through this … and survived … so I choose to trust that I too will survive … and learn from this … and do it better next time … I’m an intelligent person … I know how to turn things around … I’ve done it before … I can do it again … and that’s why I completely and profoundly love, embrace and protect myself … tomorrow is another day.
After this round there is great relief in the room. Intensity levels are much lower and some people are at a 0. There’s deep sighing, smiles, and “I can’t believe how good I feel.” People are exchanging thoughts on how they are going to handle their problems from now on in a more relaxed way. The weeping lady wants to talk and almost can’t because of the need to giggle. “I’m so happy, I feel so good, this is incredible!” Her intensity level is a 0, too.
Because our two hours are over, I now introduce the EFT “Tapping along” CD that I created, to make it easy on people to do some tapping during the day. They can listen to it while driving and just tap along with what I’m saying. Before we leave I quickly slip in a few words about surrogate tapping.
A few days later I receive an email from the woman who was on disability leave, telling me that she had used surrogate tapping on her doctor before her appointment. As it turned out, this usually very stern and distant doctor had shown a new caring behavior. He’d asked her if she would agree to work part time for a while, in order to get used to working again.
This was such a boost for her that she started tapping daily and successfully on various issues. She also bought the EFT CD and is able to do very well on her own for a while. Other group members have emailed and told me how much just the one group session has helped them and how much more joy and peace there is in their life now! One of the bankruptcy women wrote about listening to the CD every day with excellent results. She is amazed at “how simple and effective” EFT is.
I like the idea of providing the benefits of EFT in an affordable way for many, many more people. The word obviously spreads quickly; lately, some are signing up for the next group with friends or siblings.
I’d like to add a few words about the delayed reaction that sometimes occurs with EFT.
When I do a group, I have found that no matter how short we are on time and how much I would like the participants to learn more to take home, I will definitely take the time to do a short break. Especially after the first most eye-opening rounds of general tapping, people are more ready to experience great shifts when they take a moment off.
As they visit the bathrooms, mostly chatting with each other about their feelings, they will ALWAYS come back a different person! Suddenly, they have a more profound feeling of success, a feeling of “Where did it go?” There are smiles where there were tears. There was bitterness, sadness, or anger in their faces before. Now they bring lightness, joy, and happiness into the room. Again, the whole group now benefits from their experience of feeling so much better and lighter. Many more will contribute now on how it all has changed for them also.
Breaks are a win-win situation, even if that means we’re missing out on a few rounds of tapping. The results after a break are convincing. They are better and faster. And as we go on working on more issues, a noticable huge shift has occurred all over the group.
The energy in the room now is set for success.