Tuesday, 11 December 2012

So what exactly is EFT anyway.

What is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) tapping and what happens at a session. In this article I try to clear up exactly what EFT is, what it does, why you would want to use it and how does a session work.

A few days ago a lady came for an EFT session and afterwards she said “I get it now, I know what EFT is”. This surprised me as we had talked a lot about EFT before she came and she had done a small amount of tapping as part of a group. We talked a little more about this and she said that it may be something that has to be experienced rather than talked about. This set me thinking, she may be right but it's not too helpful for anyone who is considering coming for a session. There must be a way to better describe what happens at an EFT session, and what to expect from it.

If you are reading this I'll assume that you know that EFT is about tapping on yourself and saying a word or phrase out loud as you do. If not, then check out my video on the About EFT page. http://www.eftforlife.net/about

So it's all about tapping then?
Well yes and no, I could make a video and write a set of instructions on how to ride a bike but that isn't the whole story. It wouldn't help you to understand the sense of freedom that you can get by riding, the feeling of exhilaration of the wind in your face as you free wheel down a hill. Of the feeling in your muscles as you pedal up a steep hill. Tapping is the mechanics of EFT, it isn't the purpose. So what exactly is the purpose? I can answer that very simply, the purpose of EFT is to make you feel better. It is a kind of therapy, although I am reluctant to use that word. For many the word therapy brings all kind of images to mind of lying on a couch in a dusty room talking about your relationship with your father and doing this three times a week for the next 5 years. EFT is so far removed from this, it's a very gentle therapy, even for very serious issues and can often times be fun too. Some people only come for one session, many will come for a few, from 3 to 5 while for others it may be beneficial to come for longer. One of the great things about EFT though, is that I teach it, I don't do EFT to you, you learn how to do this yourself and very quickly you can take it away with you and use it whenever you need to. You may feel that you would like to come back periodically if there is something you need help with but once you get EFT it's yours to keep.

How does EFT work with more specific issues.
So now you have watched my introductory video about stress and have hopefully have tapped along and have experienced it for yourself, how do we apply that. Here is a case story which documents what happened in a particular session. The lady's name has been changed and an hour session has been condensed into a few lines but it should give you an idea of how a session progresses.

A case story – period pains.
Julie, a lady in her late 30's has suffered from extreme period pains for all of her adult life. She has found it difficult to hold down a job as she often has to take 2 days off work each month because of the pain and many employers are not sympathetic to this level of sickness. In her words “It's like every single month I experience a mini death. My whole life is governed by my period.”

Many pains are made worse when there is an emotional element to them as well and there certainly was for Julie. She had her first period when she was 12 and didn't receive any support or even explanation from her mother, she just found herself all alone bleeding profusely and thinking she was dying.

We focused on the 12 year old girl (we call this a past aspect of Julie), and she could not only remember the details, she could once again feel the pain and the fear that her past aspect had experienced. When I asked her how the past aspect felt she said “absolutely petrified” and used phrases like “she thought she was dying” and “she thought her insides were coming out”.

After we performed a couple of rounds of EFT about the 12 year old aspect I asked Julie how we could help, what the past aspect needed. She replied “ just to be hugged and told her everything is OK and that it's normal and to explain that it's what happens to every woman” we tapped again on this I could see the relief on her face as we did, it was like a huge weight being lifted.

We continued along this vein, focusing on what that aspect needed and as we tapped a final round Julie explained in her mind to the little girl what was happening and gave her the hug that she needed all those years ago.

After this I asked Julie how she saw the 'aspect' now and she replied “ she's outside playing, feeling great and very grown up and happy to be a women, everything is perfect now” Julie was visibly more relaxed, open and happier as we finished the session. Julie has told me that since this session she hasn't experience the usual anxiety as her period approached and through it she was able to carry on living her life and only experienced what she described as a normal amount of pain.

With EFT we find again and again that unresolved issues from the past affect how we feel now. This is a good example of how changing how we feel about things that happened in the past can make us feel much better now. This is a pattern that repeats for many different presenting problems, for example confidence and phobias.

A typical session.
This was not a typical session, in fact there is no such thing in my EFT sessions. You can find all over the internet people have written EFT scripts that deal with everything from bereavement to fear of spiders, from improving your golf to confidence in public speaking. To me that is not what EFT is all about, what causes one persons anger is very different to what causes another's, so how can we possibly treat them in the same way. One person may be afraid of dogs because they saw their brother bitten by a dog when they were 5, and for another it may have come about when a dog snarled at them when they were out in the pushchair with their mother. Script based approaches such as “I choose to let go of anything that is causing me to be afraid of dogs” to me is simply skirting around the issue. If you come to me for an EFT treatment, we will find the exact moment that YOU became afraid of dogs and treat you for that as the individual that you are.


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