How to Know What to Say for an EFT Setup Phrase

Dear EFT Community,

EFT Tapping Sequence

EFT is wonderful for identifying our fears and limits, but if we don't have the right words, how can we even begin to start healing? Expert EFT Practitioner Rebecca Marina writes about the process of setting up phrases for using EFT to tackle any issue.

- EFT Universe

By Rebecca Marina, Expert EFT Practitioner

Whenever I go to EFT conferences, the number one question people come up to me and ask:

"How do you know what to say for a setup phrase?"

I have designed an intake form to help EFT ers gain insight and to formulate great setup phrases.

Step 1 - Identify the fear (or issue)

Explore all aspects of this i.e.- How long have you had it? Do you remember the first time you got it. Are there any triggers. What is the worst thing that could happen about having this fear?

Step 2 - What is the ' juice' you could unconsciously be getting out of having this fear?

If I let this fear go then what will happen?

Step 3- Use the info in step one and two to formulate setup phrases.


The following is case study involving a complex case of "Fear of Public Speaking" that uses this simple formula.

Step 1 - Identify the issue.

Rebecca: Nathan, tell me about your fear of public speaking,

Nathan: I feel OK until I get right up in front of people, then, my hands start shaking and I feel nervous and out of control.

Rebecca: Does it matter what size the crowd is?

Nathan: Yes, if it is only a few people, I do not feel as nervous.

Rebecca: Do you feel it anywhere in your body?

Nathan: Yes, My hands shake, my knees shake, I feel sweaty and my sacrum cramps up.

(here we could have stopped and given a treatment for the physical symptoms alone but I was teaching the listeners on my teleclinic how to use my formula and wanted info for the setups later)

Rebecca: Nathan, can you remember the first time this happened to you?

Nathan: Yes, it was in elementary school.

Rebecca: Can you remember a specific event in elementary school?

Nathan: No, I just remember the kids making fun of me when I gave the wrong answer.

It felt like I had pressure to perform perfectly all the time or I would be made fun of.

Rebecca: Can you remember other times when you felt pressure to perform?

Nathan: Yes, I was a preachers kid and I was always expected to be a leader in the church at an early age or I would be criticized.

Rebecca:- Well Nathan, I can certainly see how you could have formed an energy pattern about being afraid to speak in front of a group. Let's look at the worst case scenario about speaking in front of a group. It is very helpful to tap while thinking about the worst thing that could happen. Once you face your 'worst fear" while tapping, everything else seems much lighter.

Nathan: Well, the worst thing that could happen is that I would be so nervous, I would lose my train of thought in front of all those people.

Rebecca: That doesn't sound so bad, what would happen if you lost your train of thought?

Nathan:I would just stand there and be so embarrassed and they might laugh at me- I would feel their judgment, I would feel like an obvious failure and never show up again.

Step 2 - Discover what kind of 'Juice' or unconscious resistance there might be.

Rebecca: Well, that does sound pretty bad. Before we start tapping, I would like to explore a bit and see if there is any unconscious resistance to letting this fear go. Bring the thought of- "I can't let this fear go"- down into your physical heart center and let your heart answer. What does your heart say?

Nathan: If I keep the fear, I don't have to worry about living up to peoples high expectations.

Rebecca: Can you see how that unconscious resistance could have been preventing you from releasing this fear?

Nathan: yes- I am ready now.

Step 3 - Tap on the aspect.

I had been taking notes during this entire conversation and used the notes to formulate a whole set of great setup statements. Nathan s Intensity just thinking about the fear was at about a 7.

We tapped for:

Even though I feel nervous and shakey when I get in front of people...

Even though my hands shake and my sacrum cramps up...

I stopped to take a reading here and it had only moved down to a 6- so I asked, "How do you know it is still at a 6"?

Nathan: I don't know- it just feels like a 6.

We then tapped on the worst case scenario:

Even though I am afraid they will judge me like they did in elementary school.

Even though I am afraid I will lose my train of thought.

Even though I am afraid I will be a failure and never show up again.

Even though I have this pressure to perform...

We stopped here and Nathan said he felt something else coming up:  "They are not going to give me a chance to prove how good I am."

So, we began to tap on that:

Even though I am afraid they will not even give me a chance to prove how good I am ...

Even though I am afraid they will judge me too quickly before I even have a chance.

We took an assessment after that and Nathan was way down to a 3.

I asked if he was willing to bring in a positive choice (Dr Pat Carrington) and he said "yes."

We used part of the Unconscious resistance part in the set up.

Even though I may still feel nervous in front of a crowd, I am willing to release the need to hang onto this fear so people won't have high expectation of me.

I am willing to allow confidence to flood my being.

I am ready to show how great I am.

I am ready to forgive all those little squirts in elementary who made fun of me.

I am willing to forgive all those church people who expected me to be a leader.

I am ready to forgive my father for the pressure to perform.

I am ready to shine my light.

At the end of this round, Nathan felt on top of the world. I guided him through a little meditation where he was in front of people.  This time, he reported feeling great and like the audience was willing to give him a chance to prove how good he was. We took another intensity reading and it was down to nothing.

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