Dear EFT Community,
EFT Master and author, Dr. Carol Look details a three-session EFT process for smoking addiction, in which she has an 80% success rate helping her clients quit smoking. Its underlying procedures are applicable to any addiction, from cigarettes to fingernail biting.
By Dr. Carol Look, EFT MAS-3
When dealing with addictions, such as smoking, and the client calls to schedule an appointment I go ahead and schedule three 90-minute sessions. I tell the client it is not necessary for them to quit smoking on the first session. I have found that this helps them evaluate their readiness and motivation more accurately and gives them the freedom to back out if they're not ready.
Their reaction to this statement by me is informative as it helps my success rate since it weeds out those who are truly not serious about quitting yet. We talk about all of this during the first session.
SESSION # 1:
I take a general history of the client's smoking patterns, making sure to cover the following topics:
• When did you start smoking and why?
• Who else in your family smokes?
• Have you ever quit before?
• What worked and why did you relapse?
• What tells you you're ready now? Why this particular time?
• What do you see as the "upside" to quitting?
• What do you see as the "downside" to quitting? (This is the most important question of all as you will be tapping on all of the "downside" feelings and factors.)
IN THE MOMENT CRAVINGS:
• I ask the client to take out a cigarette and smell it, giving the current desire, craving or urge a SUD's rating. Then we tap to reduce the current craving : "Even though I have this craving to smoke now....."
• I ask the client to say out loud "I'm quitting smoking" and ask them to rate the discomfort or anxiety. Then we tap for that anxiety.
• Tell me about your three favorite times of the day to smoke.
And we tap for each one as follows:
Imagine having your cigarette with your morning coffee. How much do you want it as you picture that scene?
Rate it with a SUD Level number from 0 - 10.
Then tap with statements like:
"Even though I want to smoke when I drink coffee, I deeply and completely accept myself."
"Even though I have this urge to smoke after dinner, I deeply and completely accept myself."
Then I reverse the test and ask them to picture themselves unable to smoke after dinner, and rate the anxiety as a result of the "deprivation" rather than the desire or urge to smoke.
I ask them what their theory is about the primary feeling that causes them to pick up a cigarette and tap for that:
"Even though I smoke when I'm bored, I deeply and completely accept myself."
I ask them what else is surfacing now? Most of my clients have reported feeling three things:
1. Sadness about the loss of smoking/ triggers other grief
2. Fear and anxiety about having withdrawal symptoms and what to do about them, and
3. Discomfort about losing the "last place" they have to rebel.
Relaxation: I use a short progressive relaxation technique, and offer suggestions for confidence, and successful basic goal-setting to end the session.
SESSION # 2:
I ask the client to evaluate the week, their challenges and any surprises.
• Did you smoke less, the same, more, or quit?
• How was the anxiety? The loss? (and any other feelings that were dominant during the first session) We tap for all of the feelings coming up.
• Do you want one now? Tap for it.
The week gives the client time to experience and notice vulnerabilities for relapse.
We tap as follows:
"Even though I use cigarettes as my reward, I deeply and completely accept myself."
"Even though I use cigarettes to stuff my feelings, I deeply and completely accept myself."
"Even though I use cigarettes to comfort myself, I deeply and completely accept myself."
At this point I ask them to decide if today is their quitting day or if they need another week to experiment. I emphasize that I want them to feel safe when they quit, and armed with enough tools to help them through any cravings or withdrawal symptoms. I end with another short relaxation technique and meditation.
SESSION # 3:
This is a basic clean-up session. I ask:
• What did you notice this week?
• Were there any trouble spots?
"Even though I want to smoke when the kids are screaming, I deeply and completely accept myself."
"Even though I'm afraid to gain weight if I quit, I deeply and completely accpt myself."
"Even though I'll miss my smoking buddies if I quit, I deeply and completely accept myself."
"Even though I want to smoke when I'm lonely, I deeplya nd completely accept myself."
Many times they are reminded of earlier losses that surprise them:
"Even though I'm still sad about that break-up, I deeply and completely accept myself."
I end with a classic quit smoking relaxation and meditation.
I ALWAYS do the exact tapping the client is doing with the client for the quit smoking rather than sitting and watching them tap by themselves. And the sequence I use is the original EFT Set-up.