By Steve Wells, EFT-MAS
If there is one thing that concerns me, it is that many people approach EFT with a limited understanding of its potential, and therefore, limit the benefits they can achieve from using it. I believe we should settle for nothing less than complete freedom. I mean this not only in terms of how we progress through each problem we work on, but also the number and type of problems we choose to address along with the goals we set for ourselves.
I believe we limit our freedom when:
• We don't consider using EFT on every problem we have.
• We don't continue with the process until absolutely all of the remaining intensity is completely cleared.
• We don't test our changes out in the real world ... or ensure that we have tested all possible provocations for the problem returning.
• We only use EFT in a remedial fashion to eradicate existing problems rather than using it to help us create new futures and achieve our ultimate goals.
Some people assume that, because they have seen emotional freedom techniques used to cure fears and phobias, that fears and phobias are all it can be applied to. Others gain relief using EFT on one problem, but don't realize they could apply it to other problems.
I once worked with a client who managed to clear up a phobia using EFT. This same client contacted me 3 months later about another problem she wanted help with.
"Did you consider using the EFT on that?" I asked her. "Oh!" she replied, "I suppose I could have. I just didn't think of it". "OK", I said, "Why don't you go and do that and then ring me back and let me know how you get on?"
Guess what? She found she could fix that problem herself. I've since given the same good advice to other clients with similar results. How often do we have other issues in our life to which we could apply EFT, but we "just don't think" to do it? How many problems do we wallow in when we really could be treating them?
And how often do we work on a problem for a time and get some success, but then, allow the issue to build up again in our lives?
I found this happened with my hay fever. The first year I learned EFT, I applied it diligently to my hay fever symptoms:
"Even though I have this congestion, I deeply and completely accept myself."
"Even though I have these sore eyes, I deeply and completely accept myself."
My symptoms reduced over 90%.
In the next two years I began the process too late. I was not consistent or persistent with my EFT tapping, and therefore, the tapping had little or no effect on my hay fever symptoms (except the sore eyes which always responded). The following year, I decided to start early and began tapping, even before the traditional hay fever season began. At the first sign of symptoms and throughout the pollen season, I applied EFT on a daily basis. As a result, I managed to go through the entire season, which was reportedly one of the worst on record pollen-wise, virtually symptom-free.
I have learned from this experience the value of persistence for problems. Given sufficient applications the symptoms can disappear completely, never to reappear again. I have witnessed this with numerous clients, who have diligently applied the technique to their physical issues over time.
This reveals that when you work on a particular problem, you must continue tapping until you are completely free. Don't assume that just because you can think about it in one way and it doesn't affect you that the treatment is complete. Test it in as many ways as you can -- especially where possible -- in the real world.
I have learned to be more cautious about assuming problems are fully resolved, and I now test extensively the changes that I, and my clients, have made using EFT. It is important to test completely on order to see if there is a way of thinking about the problem, or a manifestation, or part of the problem that CAN upset us. If so, then there is more to treat.
I first saw the true importance of aspects when I did a public demonstration of EFT soon after learning emotional freedom techniques.
A woman, who had a phobia of birds, was able to go from a position of absolute fear to thinking about a bird without a shred of fear. For some reason, the image of a flock of birds came into my mind while talking with her so I asked her, "What if it was a whole flock of birds?"
She instantly jumped back and her fear rose to an even higher level than before. Once we treated this aspect and her fear was fully resolved, she was able to go outside looking for birds (she counted 24). I saw her some months later and she informed me she had gone for a walk through the aviary at the zoo without any problems.
In our group treatments for phobia sufferers, we worked with people who had small animal phobias, and everyone in the group did rounds of EFT in unison whilst focusing on their particular problem. During this process I was astounded by how often the scene in the following paragraph would unfold.
I would do a round of EFT and then check how intense people felt when they thought about their feared animal. As we went around the group there would be someone who would say for example, It doesn't affect me at all now. I think I'm cured!" My response was to test this and ask them to search for any aspect of the problem that was still upsetting to them. In a number of instances the person would reply that they weren't able to find anything else, and they were unable to bring up any intensity at all. However, as we proceeded around the group there would be another person who would say something like I was feeling OK but then I started to think about a spider being on me and now I feel worse!" At this point the previous person would anxiously exclaim, Oh yeah!" as they were put in touch with another aspect of their fear.
We had examples of this with such issues as the spiders' furry legs, the mouse's tail, and the way the mouse moves, darting around rapidly. In each case a person in the group who thought they had either partly or fully resolved their problem was put in touch with another aspect which truly bothered them when these issues were raised by someone else in the group.
I saw the value of group treatment in helping people to have a more complete healing by revealing specific aspects to work on.
Since then I have conducted more extensive testing with clients to ensure that all aspects of the problem have been treated. I also like to have proof in the real world that the change will stand up.
When my clients are in the problem place, I like to get them to manipulate the situation in as many ways possible to try to find something that provokes them. If nothing does then I am more convinced that the tapping is working. However, I believe it is always important to realize that additional aspects may come to light. This is not a failure in the technique, it's just another part of the problem that requires treatment.
Treat it and increase the range of emotional freedom.
I have formed the opinion that many of the treatments I conducted in the first few years of using these techniques were perhaps not the complete "cures" that I thought they were. And now I encourage my clients (as I encourage you now) to go for the complete change. Diligently search for things that upset you and treat them all.
Go for complete emotional freedom. Settle for nothing less.
The assumption that bringing an intensity of a problem down to a manageable level is good enough might seem very freeing, especially if an intense problem that we previously experienced as a SUD Level of Intesity number of 10 out of 10 drop to a 2. However, a little bondage can be just as troublesome in the long term.
Once you have achieved a low level, do not limit what you can achieve. Settle for nothing less than complete emotional freedom.
I once worked with an agoraphobic client who could not go into grocery stores. We worked in the office to bring her fear down to a zero and then went to a shopping center. Along the way I kept checking how she felt and she kept telling me that she felt fine. In the shopping center parking lot I asked her this question one more time.
Again, she said she felt fine. Being cautious I challenged her. She reported that the fear was only about a level 2 or 3 on a 10-point scale. She felt this was fine -- a very manageable level.
I said to her, "If your fear is at a level 2 or 3 when you enter the shops and, if something happens in there which brings up your fear by say 5 points, you will then be at a level 7 or 8-which is quite unmanageable. If, on the other hand, you are at a level zero when you enter the shops and something comes up, it is unlikely your fear will rise to the same level ... and if it did rise 5 points then this is still a much more manageable level from which to make decisions than a level 7 or 8."
We sat in the car and continued to work on all aspects until her fear came down to a level zero. She was then able to go into the store on her own. In fact, she spent so long in there that I became concerned and went searching for her, only to find that she was enjoying being completely free of her fear.
There can be a tendency to assume that we need to retain some of our intense feelings for a variety of reasons. Typical examples are guilt feelings, safety fears, and feelings of non-deserving, among others.
Many people believe that they need to keep some of their fear in order to stay safe -- that without it they will lose their ability to be cautious. This is a false belief that can leave you with unnecessary suffering. Others have an underlying belief that they do not deserve to get over their problem completely, or that to do so would be bad for them in some way.
The way to treat blocks such as these is to first identify any beliefs you have that cause you to feel like you need (or deserve) to keep part of your problem. Then insert these negative belief statements into the EFT Set-up statement.
"Even though I think I need to keep some of this problem in order to stay safe, I fully and completely accept myself."
"Even though I don't deserve to get over this problem Then, Even though I do not deserve to get completely over this problem."
There are many more examples of blocking beliefs which can be responsible for our failure to achieve a more complete result. Many authors (including myself and Dr David Lake in our book, New Energy Therapies, and Fred Gallo in his book, Energy Psychology) provide examples of the typical blocking beliefs for you to work on.
However, the simplest way forward is to ask yourself what are the reasons why you can't get over your problem completely, or why it may not be good to do so. The answers to these questions will usually reveal your underlying beliefs and you can then apply EFT to these. Having done so, you may find that your continued tapping on the "problem" now bears more fruit.
I believe that you need to consider what you are ultimately aiming to produce in your life and then look at how you can use emotional freedom techniques to facilitate bringing yourself into more positive ways of being.
I am interested in the concept of generative change rather than remedial change. This is about creating small changes that build on each other exponentially until your whole life is turned around.
I believe when you consider questions such as the following, you tap into a whole new direction for using these techniques:
• What would be good to create in my life?
• What would be worthwhile to do with the rest of my life?
• What would I like to do? What would be fun to do?
• What sort of person would I like to become ultimately?
The moment you ask these questions, there will be blocks. This is good. If you use EFT to resolve some problems, but have not extended your treatment until you feel some resistance, then I believe that you are not tapping into the full power of emotional freedom techniques. EFT, in this sense, can become a tool for personal evolution by getting you in touch with your blocks and clearing the pathway to becoming completely free.
What is one method of doing this?
Recently, in a corporate group, I worked with a lady who said she did not really have any goals. She said she was quite happy with her life being the way she was. I am always on the lookout to find a person who, when they say this, I can truly believe. That person I am sure will have achieved true victory over self. Until I see total congruency in the person making these statements, I tend to see their words as a cover for fear and a limiting way of thinking about oneself.
We looked at the first statement she came up with, "I'm just an ordinary person," as a current belief. Without objecting to this or passing judgment, I then had her consider the opposite belief of "I'm an extraordinary person."
I had her say this alternative belief aloud, which to her felt totally untrue--not even desirable. Then I had her do three rounds of EFT. The first round she focused on the current belief:
"Even though I'm just an ordinary person, I deeply and completely accept myself."
The second round she focused on the alternative belief:
"Even though I am an extraordinary person, I deeply and completely accept myself."
And the third round she focused on each belief interchangeably:
"Even though I'm an ordinary person/I'm an extraordinary person, I deeply and completely accept myself."
After the three rounds she brightened considerably. (Previously when she described herself as an ordinary person her jaw was set and her face was dark). She excitedly stated,"I guess I really AM an extraordinary person." Not only that, her previous way of thinking about herself and her life no longer had any appeal. It was dull and unattractive to her now. It didn't feel true at all. And her goals had changed. She was now able to look in directions that she was previously unable to consider and she felt optimistic towards changing her life.
If you want to really change your life, consider how you define yourself to yourself. Think of how you would like to be. And then apply EFT to the internal objections which arise to the idea of being that NOW. Continue until you get a real feeling of congruency ('thou art that'). What usually follows is a real feeling of excitement and unleashing of personal power and positive potential.
This is only one of the many ways we can use EFT to achieve great success!