EFT Tapping Tips: The Tearless Trauma Technique
By Dawson Church, PhD
Here is how to perform the Tearless Trauma Technique:
1. Ask your client to choose a specific traumatic incident from the past to work on in this session.
Request that it be one that occurred at least 3 years ago; this reduces the likelihood of a present event complicating the issue. For example, the client might say, “The time my grandfather slapped me when I was 10.”
Ask the client to be specific. The phrase “My grandfather abused me” is too general because the abuse may have occurred in numerous incidents. Be aware that during the session you might have to ask the client to stay with the original issue because it is natural as the original issue resolves to move on to other issues.
2. Ask your client to estimate (on a scale of 0-10, with 10 being the most intense) what the emotional intensity would be if they were to imagine the incident.
Tell them not to imagine it, but simply to guess what the intensity would be if they did. (Despite this instruction, some close their eyes and imagine it anyway.)
This estimate is useful, while allowing the client to avoid great emotional pain. Write down the client’s estimate.
3. Work with the client to develop a phrase to use in the EFT process, such as “this grandfather-slap emotion.”
Do a tapping round.
4. After the round, ask the client to estimate again what the intensity would be if the client were to imagine the incident.
Compare that SUD number 0-10 rating to the original one. It is usually a significantly lower number.
5. Do more rounds of EFT, with new intensity estimates between each one.
Three or four rounds brings nearly everybody’s SUD estimate number down to 0 to 3.
6. When the client’s guess has dropped to an acceptably low rating, do another round of tapping.
Then ask them to imagine the incident. Note that this is the first time you have requested them to do so (prior to this you only asked them to guess at the emotional intensity they would experience were they to imagine the incident). Now ask the client to rate the emotional intensity of the incident.
Most people go to 0, but if your client does not, address the remaining aspects of the incident with the Watch the Movie Technique or Tell the Story Technique.
The Tearless Trauma Technique can be used in any case that involves trauma. It can be used with both groups and individuals, and is especially helpful for war veterans, rape victims, torture victims, and all those who fear the emotional intensity they experience when speaking or even thinking about a traumatic incident from their past.
Energy-based therapies such as EFT have proven effective in dealing with the negative emotions associated with trauma. Practitioners using these procedures bear witness to EFT’s excellent results.
Steve Wells reports on the Tearless Trauma Technique:
I just spent the weekend presenting a personal development seminar incorporating EFT and other Energy Therapy techniques. I tried out the Tearless Trauma Technique.
Sixteen people, all of whom were at 8, 9, or 10 when guessing the intensity of the trauma initially. Eleven went to 0 or near 0 after four rounds of tapping when asked to vividly reimagine the traumatic incident. The others were all at 4-5, and two more rounds took care of most of this. I offered to help one woman whose SUD level remained at a 4 during the break, but she came up and told me she really saw how she could get beyond this herself and wanted to do so as she felt empowered by the technique.
Most of the participants were absolutely astounded when they tried to reaccess the feelings and weren’t able to. The most outstanding result however was by one gentleman who reported that an incredible feeling of sadness he’d been experiencing almost his whole life regarding his father was absolutely gone and he was now experiencing a feeling of complete peace.
You should have seen the way his face shone.
This guy had previously had a taste of EFT in another seminar I was running. He came to this one because after he used EFT to deal with his constant anger and anxiety, his wife said it was like getting a new husband.
Needless to say, she was VERY happy for him to come and do more. I think now his own mother wouldn’t recognize him.
In the following video, EFT trainer, Jenny Johnston demonstrates The Tearless Trauma Technique: