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How to use EFT on Emotional Trigger Words

EFT for the Highly Sensitive Temperament
Dear EFT Community,

EFT practitioner, Jo Hainsworth, found that the word, “God” created unexplainable negative reactions within her. She used EFT to uncover and address her emotions surrounding the name. The same principles used in this article can be applied to any word or phrase that triggers you or a client.


By Jo Hainsworth

When I commented to a friend recently that I was struggling with reading a book because of the word “God’ appearing in it regularly, she suggested I try using EFT on it.

Despite being a real advocate for EFT, after seeing amazing results for myself and others, I hadn’t even considered this as a possibility.

This article details the process that I followed. It was just incredible how this netted amazing results in a very short time.

I’m sure that you could use the same process with any other word that causes a negative reaction. If I had rated my SUD Level Intensity reaction to the word when I first started, it would have been a SUD Level of intensity of 10 out of 10, and having done the EFT, I would now say it is a 0 out of 10.

I began by listing all the memories I have of things that could have given me a bias against the word “God.”

I didn’t think I’d have much to write down, as I was brought up without any religion at all, but soon had a list of seven things that stood out as experiences with the word or concept of God that could have potentially left me with an issue with it.

My intention at the start was to work through tapping each of the seven experiences over a number of days, then trying some reframing using Dr. Wayne Dyer’s 7 Faces of Intention/God7 Faces of Intention/God, which I intellectually liked when I read it, but had been unable to really buy in to because of my negative reaction to the word.

I decided to start the session with a Choices Statement, setting a clear intention, which I find to be a powerful way to set the tone for an EFT session.

I tapped:

Even though I do not like anything associated with the word “God,” I choose to tap away all the writing on my walls to do with this, and replace it with supportive beliefs as I deeply and completely accept myself.

As I tapped this choices statement, I realized that even when I substitute “Source” or “Divine Love” for “God,” the tail-ender is still there to associate it with “God,” which is why I still get triggered and have been unable to read anything that regularly uses the word, no matter how much I wanted to.

At this stage I wasn’t convinced that it really would be possible to change the way I react to the word, but I know that belief isn’t always necessary for EFT to work, so I continued.

I next decided to tap the earliest memory, because experience working as an EFT practitioner has taught me that if we can collapse the earliest event that resulted in us taking on a belief, all the other events that simply reinforced that belief often tend to resolve soon after.

The earliest memory I had was of being told about a man who lived nearby to us who was said to be doing something very cruel that resulted in a number of animals dying, who went to church each Saturday to Confession. As I started working with this event, a vow that I had made when I was about 9 or 10, and never consciously thought of again since, popped into my mind.

I could suddenly clearly remember thinking, “If God is okay with that sort of cruelty, so long as you go to church and confess it, I’m not having anything to do with God!”

I know from working with others that a vow made as a child or young person can alter the course of our lives, so I decided to tap not only on the event itself, and my memories surrounding it, but also the vow too.

I started with tapping on the event and, though I hadn’t thought about it for over 25 years, found myself crying and feeling quite emotional.

I tapped through all the emotions and words that came up for me, and by the time I’d finished tapping on the event, I realized that the person involved just didn’t know any better. No longer a monster in my mind, he became someone who simply lacked awareness.

I then moved on to the vow, tapping on:

Even though I made a vow that day that if that’s what God was like, I wouldn’t have anything to do with him, I now choose to recognize that God was misrepresented that day and to let the vow go, as I deeply and completely accept myself.

As I tapped this choice, I realized that the incident wasn’t about God at all; it was the opposite to what God really is.

Then I tapped with:

I choose to see that incident as being about ignorance and a lack of awareness, which is the opposite of God, as I deeply and completely acept myself.

Next I reviewed the rest of the list and could see that all the incidents were about ignorance and a lack of awareness. None of the incidents I had listed were about God at all, they were all about a lack of awareness of what God is.

God is unconditional love–the source of ALL.

This was no longer an intellectual thought, after simply tapping the choices statement to set up my intention, the earliest memory and the vow that had come up as a result of it, my entire attitude toward the word “God’ had changed.

As I couldn’t get any charge on any of the remaining issues on the list, it felt redundant to do any tapping on any of them.

Even though the healing felt complete at that stage, with the writing on the walls apparently all gone, I decided to go ahead and tap in the 7 faces of intention, Source, God from Wayne Dyer anyway, as it felt like a nice thing to do.

So I tapped with a choices statement in the format that EFT practtioner and author, Rue Hass, recommends, which I have found to be very powerful:

Especially because I can now see that none of those incidents were representative of God at all, I now choose to replace the old writing on my walls that I’ve let go of about God, with the 7 faces of intention.

I followed this by tapping a round through all shortcut points with each of the following, based on Wayne Dyer’s writing:

God is creativity
God is kindness
God is love
God is beauty
God is expansion
God is abundance
God is receptivity

As I tapped, I felt overwhelmed with emotion, started crying, and felt so incredibly thankful for this amazing tool of EFT, which enables us to so easily erase false writing off our walls and, in doing so, connect closer to our true self.

I am now happily reading books and watching DVDs that I couldn’t embrace before, because each time I read or heard the word “God,” a door seemed to slam inside me, preventing me from gaining any more from what I was reading.

Given the nature of the particular word I was working on, this has resulted in a huge forward movement for me in life (and me shaking my head a little at how quickly I’ve gone from despising the word to embracing it!).

If there is a word that really gets under your skin, I highly recommend trying the process I followed:

  • Make a list of all the events, incidents, or memories you have that could be associated with the word.
  • Create and tap a choices statement setting your intention to replace the writing on the wall associated with the word.
  • Tap on the earliest memory you have, being particular alert to any thoughts coming up that could represent a vow or decision you made about the word in question, and tap all of these too.
  • Once you’ve collapsed the first event and associated beliefs, review your list to see if you need to tap on any others. If any still have a charge associated, tap them through in order from earliest memories.
  • If you can find some way to finish with a reframe, create a choices statement using some words from someone who has the sort of relationship with the word that you want to have (as I did using Wayne Dyer’s writing), and use the format “Especially because I choose...” Enjoy your newfound relationship with the word!

As an EFT practitioner, I have worked with a number of people who were brought up with religious beliefs that have run to the core of their issues, and seen the freedom that comes from them using EFT to redefine their relationship with Source.

Having been bought up “without religion” I didn’t think this was an issue for me, but now understand that we all have exposure to religion, no matter what our upbringing.

So if you are struggling on some core issues not shifting and have issues around the word “God,” as I did, I highly recommend trying this process to see if it shifts something for you.