EFT Universe logo

Q: What should I do if tapping doesn”™t seem to work?

Answer 1 from The EFT Manual, by Dawson Church:

1. Check for aspects you might have missed.
2. Describe additional details of the event.
3. Drink water. Our bodies are 70% water, and water is a primary conductor of electricity in the body. When we’re stressed, we can become dehydrated.
4. Dig for other events that resemble the presenting event. You or your client might tap on an event without the SUD rating dropping because the presenting event is a pale shadow of a much more troubling event or many similar events. The SUD level of the presenting event is propped up by all the other events behind the scenes. To uncover events that resemble the presenting event, ask questions like: “Was there a time it was worse?” or “Did it happen often?” Once you’ve found an event with bigger emotional impact, tap on that first.
5. Make the problem worse. Intensifying the problem can help you get in touch with the emotion. Your SUD levels may not be dropping because you haven’t really made visceral contact with the depths of raw emotion in the scene. You may have a degree of protective dissociation from the event. Making the problem worse can put you in touch with the emotion. The problem can be made worse in a variety of ways. You can take an argument and extend it to the point of absurdity. You can raise your voice, scream, swear, exaggerate, and catastrophize. You can rant and rave. All while tapping.
Answer 2 by Certified EFT Practitioner and Trainer Jan Watkins: If you aren’t getting results, consider the following:

1. Review the list on “EFT Tapping Basics Tutorials” (under Resources on this site) and consider what else you might try.
2. Address your emotions about your lack of success. Use EFT to problem-solve your lack of results. Tap on the emotion you are experiencing.
3. If you are a practitioner, make sure your client is ready to work on the problem. Back up and use a “stage-oriented process.” Have you completed an assessment of the client? Is the client ready to process this material? Do you need to establish rapport first or increase the client’s resources before addressing difficult material? Also, address any issues you have as a practitioner around feeling unsuccessful.
4. If you are working alone, consider getting some help with the problem. A trained professional can help by asking questions and suggesting different approaches.
5. Be specific. Give special attention to setting up the problem and setting a very specific target. For example, tapping on “my divorce” or “my partner’s affair” will probably not clear all emotions related to the problem. You may need to deal with numerous events and emotions around this unsettling life event and find related core events. For example, Bob wanted to use EFT for his wife’s affair. Before we started, we identified exactly what emotion he wanted to work on. He selected to work on his anger at the man, rather than the anger at Bob’s spouse. I asked him how he would know if this was clear. He said, “If I can laugh about him, I’ll know I’m over that part of the problem.” We tapped very specifically on the issues related to this man’s role in the affair. Before we finished, we were both laughing as he shifted to seeing the man as a “pathetic loser.” Bob reported, “I kind of feel sorry for him.” I asked Bob if he wanted to work on emotions around his wife’s actions next. He said, “No, I want to keep that anger for now.” If we had not been specific about the target, Bob might have reported that EFT didn’t work for this situation. It worked beautifully for the specific target he chose.
6. Address any resistance or blocks to change. You will need to clear away any blocks to change. Consider whether you are (or the client is) ready to resolve the issue. Explore whether there is any reason, conscious or subconscious, that you would want to hold on to an emotion. For example, people are sometimes slow to release grief because they believe letting that go will be letting go of the person they have lost. I remind them that we are simply trying to release old negative energy, not memories. I suggest that it is likely they can hold the memory of a lost loved one closer once they let go of unresolved grief. There are many reasons you might resist positive change. Some of these include: fear of losing your identity, belief than you do not deserve good things, fear that anything gained will ultimately be lost, belief that holding anger and resentment serves to punish another or keep them accountable, fear that it is unsafe to be different for many reasons, and unwillingness to take responsibility for your life. As a practitioner, it is not your job to analyze the client and uncover these blocks. Simply listen for these limiting beliefs as they surface. If you try to uncover them, you may miss what is actually operating. If you are working by yourself on your own issues, these blocks can be trickier to notice, but it is possible.
7. Here are some other possibilities and things to consider:
· There may be results and you aren’t seeing them. One aspect may have cleared and been forgotten and you are now noticing a new aspect.
· Tap and verbalize exactly what is going on, that is, being in the stuck place.
· Give special attention to setting up the problem: Set the goal precisely and, if necessary, change it to identify a clear, specific, and attainable goal.
· Be a creative problem solver. Trust that the process works when the target is set up correctly. Be persistent in finding the target to set up. Be a detective. Ask questions.
· Recognize that the client’s belief structure and experience is different from yours. Do not make assumptions. Ask questions. Be curious. Be creative.
· The problem may be rooted in a much earlier event, which needs to be cleared first. Always be on the lookout for specific childhood events.