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The EFT Movie Technique and Tell-a-Story Technique

The EFT Movie Technique and Tell-a-Story Technique

By Dr Tam Llewellyn-Edwards, EFT Master Practitioner and Trainer

The EFT Tell-a Story-Technique

This is a very useful and very simple technique. The practitioner simply asks the client to tell the story and tap on the EFT Points continuously as they proceed through it. When using this technique, there is no reason for a Set Up Statement nor a Reminder Phrase, and usually no SUDS is necessary either.

Of course, there is no problem in using any or all of these steps should it seem to be appropriate.

This is a very similar technique to that is sometimes used by Steve Wells and Dr. David Lake, when they use their “Simple Energy Therapy” Technique (SET).  They simply talk the client through the problem while the client taps on their finger points.

In EFT, we would use all the points that are appropriate, and either tap on the client (with permission), or ask the client to tap on themselves.

Using this technique is simple because there is no need to find Aspects, discuss a Setup Statement, or even to discuss SUDS. For this reason, it is often used very early in the course of therapy, and is often all that is ever needed.

My favorite use for the Tell-a-Story Technique is at the very start of the therapy.  

Often, we find that the client is so relieved to find someone who they can talk to about their problem and who will listen, that it is difficult to break into their explanation to discuss tapping.  They can become very emotional.  In these cases, I just tap on them (if I have permission) or ask them to tap on themselves following my lead, while they tell me their problems and the causes of those problems.

In using this technique,  I do not stop tapping if the client becomes emotional or shows signs of increased stress.

Even if they stop talking, I usually encourage then just to continue tapping. Usually when they come to particularly ‘difficult’ parts of the story they rush though it anyway to a less troublesome phase.  In using this technique I let this happen, but I do make a note of the troublesome phases which will be valuable later during more specific therapy.

Once the story has been told, I ask the client how they then feel about the problem. If there is still some emotional charge, then that is the time to take a SUDS reading and either go through the story again, perhaps using a different EFT Technique.  If I have noted specific phases of the story which had a particularly heavy emotional charge for the client, I go back to those parts specifically.  I would first ask the client what the  SUDS level would be if I “wanted them to go over that particular part again in more detail” using the “Tearless Trauma” Technique.

The EFT Movie Technique

This technique is superficially similar to the “Tell a Story” Technique, but provides deeper therapy and is more complex to set up.

Consequently, I would use it later in a session when I had gained good rapport with the client.

This technique can be seen as a dissociative technique. The client is asked to make up a movie of the troublesome incident, and talk about that movie.  In this way the client is not seeing the event happening to them  but to the character in their movie.

I often even ask them to project the incident onto an imaginary screen on the wall or on the other side of a window thus increasing the separation.  In this context it is informative to observe if the client uses the first or third person when describing what is happening to them on the screen.

In setting up this technique, there is scope for some interesting and informative low key questioning — such as, “What would the film title be?”, “Who would star as ‘You’ in the film?”, “Who would play your father?” etc.

There is a major change in the running of the story in this second technique, which is the fundamental difference between the two techniques.

In using the “Movie” Technique, the client is asked to stop where the emotion rises and I would look for signs of this and stop them myself if I observed them.  Once stopped I would take the current SUDS level and use any technique to bring it down before moving on with the remainder of the movie.


These two techniques are taught as different techniques and although similar in many ways although I do tend to use each in particular situations. Nevertheless, I should stress that I do not see EFT as a collection of techniques (despite its name), but rather as a single technique with may tools and parts.

Each should be used when the situation warrants it, and the practitioner should feel free and be willing to swap techniques and mix them as the session situation changes. We are here to help the client not to slavishly follow some protocol.