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A few questions about EFT


SadSmile
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Hi there

I am new to EFT and still struggling to work out how best to use it. I have been working mostly with visualisation for a few months now and have shaken quite a few things loose, but someone suggested EFT and I decided to give it a try. I have a few things I can't quite get right and I hope someone can help:

- I understand what I read when people say that you need to break the problem down and get specific and I really see what they mean when they show the examples, but then I try to do that with my own issues and I end up all over the place. So I end up with things that look like they are aspects of the same issue, but are probably more likely separate issues or part of another issue, and then it brings up lots of stuff and some of it is pretty emotional so it is hard to park and leave for later. And I'm not sure which things belong to the same issue.

- My issues are very deep and have been pretty dissociated for a long time. They are also pre-verbal and I have very, very few memories as I wiped them all out, so getting specific and setting SUDs is very difficult. I don't know what the exact situations were and feelings are either nothing or overwhelming.

- I became totally overwhelmed with really serious emotion last night. I tried really hard to tap just to generally bring the level down without going further into things, but struggled a lot with that. The thing is that I need to get to bed by a reasonable time and can't spend all night trying to stop crying. But I don't want to leave this work for weekends only. So how can I bring myself to a better place to leave it for another day?

- When they say tap until you get down to 0, does that mean do the setup and then tap and then do the setup and then tap, over and over until you get down to 0? Or does that mean do the setup and then keep tapping the points (without the setup in between) until it is down to 0? Or should you keep adjusting the phrase you are using?

- I have tapped along to some videos online and some of them have a setup and then the phrases used when tapping the points are all different, rather than saying the same phrase over and over. Is this the right way to do this?

I know some of these questions are very basic and one of the areas I need to work on is 'doing things right' - and I will get to that. But for the moment I need a bit of reassurance about doing things right.

Hope someone can help!

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CarolineN
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It sounds like you are trying to deal with some very complex issues when you haven't had proper instruction. This does indeed bring up all sorts and it can make you very emotional. You haven't the tools to cope yet.

I think the best way to sort this out is to go to a skilled practitioner to show you how to deal with deep issues, or go and learn to do this professionally (even if you aren't going to practice it). It is not complicated to learn basic stuff, but there are many more add-ons available to deal with really deep or difficult issues.

As you are in London, I would absolutely recommend you try and see [url]these practitioners[/url] who are some of the most experienced in the world. If they can't see you themselves, they can tell you who can help. They are both excellent, kind, and well experienced in sorting out all sorts of problems with techniques that make it so much easier. Do have a look at what they have to offer.

Hope you get sorted soon and let us know how you get on.

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Masha B
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- I understand what I read when people say that you need to break the problem down and get specific and I really see what they mean when they show the examples, but then I try to do that with my own issues and I end up all over the place. So I end up with things that look like they are aspects of the same issue, but are probably more likely separate issues or part of another issue, and then it brings up lots of stuff and some of it is pretty emotional so it is hard to park and leave for later. And I'm not sure which things belong to the same issue.

Hi SadSmile,

I will try to answer your questions below.

To start with, I suggest to abandon attempts to get really specific (yes it is a general rule but there are exceptions, when it is not helpful or appropriate to do this), and try tapping either on physical sensations that are connected with the emotion you are experiencing, or, even better, on metaphor - see point (b) in my list of suggestions below.

- My issues are very deep and have been pretty dissociated for a long time. They are also pre-verbal and I have very, very few memories as I wiped them all out, so getting specific and setting SUDs is very difficult. I don't know what the exact situations were and feelings are either nothing or overwhelming.

- I became totally overwhelmed with really serious emotion last night. I tried really hard to tap just to generally bring the level down without going further into things, but struggled a lot with that. The thing is that I need to get to bed by a reasonable time and can't spend all night trying to stop crying. But I don't want to leave this work for weekends only. So how can I bring myself to a better place to leave it for another day?

If you are used to being dissociated from some very painful emotions, then when you start tapping it can indeed become very overwhelming. EFT is excellent in breaking through dissociation, but for some people it may feel too much and it is hard to cope with it on your own. Some suggestions:

(a) make sure you are well grounded when you do the tapping (feet flat on the floor, really feeling the connection with the ground/your chair);

(b) instead of tapping on specific issues in your life, use metaphor instead - e.g. represent your feelings in the moment as a drawing on a bit of paper (it can be a simple doodle, nothing fancy) - then look at the picture, describe the picture and tap (e.g. "Even though I have this squiggly line..."; or if you prefer visualise a symbol or metaphor representing your feelings (though drawing is even better than visualisation);

(c) make sure that the positive part of your set-up phrase is appropriate for you - e.g. if you do not believe the standard phrase "I deeply and completely accept myself", replace it with something that you believe is true for you - e.g. "I am a creative person", "I have a good sense of humour", "I am a good person" etc.

(d) if you are running out of time but emotion is still high, you can visualise placing the emotion in a container of your choice (it can be a bag, a box, a chest, a jar - anything), and placing the imaginary container in a location of your choice (e.g. under the bed, on a shelf, on top of the mountain, on the bottom of the ocean etc.) - and as you visualise the container, tap slowly on the standard points, going round once or twice. This should help the emotion subside and be contained until the next time you choose to tap.

(e) if it is hard going tapping on your own, you may want to see an experienced EFT therapist, as whilst EFT is a great self-help tool, for complex issues having another person to tap with you can make all the difference.

Some further suggestions on keeping safe and reducing the sense of overwhelm when working with EFT are in this article [url]EFT Universe | Client & Practitioner safety tips - EFT Universe[/url] (it is aimed at practitioners working with clients but you should be able to pick out some useful things too).

- When they say tap until you get down to 0, does that mean do the setup and then tap and then do the setup and then tap, over and over until you get down to 0? Or does that mean do the setup and then keep tapping the points (without the setup in between) until it is down to 0? Or should you keep adjusting the phrase you are using?

Normally you would do the set-up for each round (the standard sequence of points) of tapping, but sometimes if you feel like going rounds the points again without the set-up, that's OK.

- I have tapped along to some videos online and some of them have a setup and then the phrases used when tapping the points are all different, rather than saying the same phrase over and over. Is this the right way to do this?

It is absolutely fine for beginners to use exactly the same phrase, more experienced tappers often vary the phrase somewhat - as long as the words are relevant and appropriate and on the same topic that's fine, when you tap on your own I suggest just to say whatever comes into your mind at the time - bearing in mind my suggestions above (try to stick to physical sensations and metaphor, don't focus on specific life issues for now).

Best of luck

Masha

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Masha B
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Just saw Caroline's reply and will second her suggestion to see Sue Beer or Emma Roberts from the EFT Centre in London if you decide to get professional help - they are both great. Another very good practitioner in London is Judy Byrne.

Masha

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SadSmile
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Thank you so much for the quick reply. I suspect you are right about seeing a practitioner. I have had some issues with that in the past though. One of my bigger issues is about boundaries and being able to say no. So I have been in situations with (particularly) alternative health practitioners where they keep booking 'just one more' appointment because it is 'really needed' and I end up broke and still stuck with the same problems. Not all are like that of course! But I will definitely have a look and perhaps just a session or two with someone may help to clarify things.

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SadSmile
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Masha, thank you so much for the suggestions. I am definitely going to try the metaphor. That sounds like a lovely creative idea.

What happened last night was that something came up due to reasons not to do with EFT and I tried using EFT to bring the emotion down and just couldn't get it anywhere near to where I could stop crying. I think some of it came up now - in response to this other thing - because I have shaken things loose over the past few weeks. Sorry about being vague about this!

I will definitely try the idea of putting the feelings in a container and storing it. I really didn't want to push the emotions down again, after working hard to get stuff moving. But I needed to stop crying!

Thanks again for the help!

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Masha B
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Masha, thank you so much for the suggestions. I am definitely going to try the metaphor. That sounds like a lovely creative idea.

Yes do give it a go, metaphor is a safe and gentle way of working with yourself. Have a look at Jessica Mor's presentation at 2011 EFT Gathering conference - you can download the handout and an audio recording here (you may need to scroll down to her name) . Jess has been able to heal herself from severe trauma and dissociation (partly working on her own, partly with the help of other practitioners) almost purely through use of metaphor with EFT - never going into the details of the actual events; she is an inspirational young woman who is now an experienced EFT practitioner and helps many other people.

What happened last night was that something came up due to reasons not to do with EFT and I tried using EFT to bring the emotion down and just couldn't get it anywhere near to where I could stop crying. I think some of it came up now - in response to this other thing - because I have shaken things loose over the past few weeks. Sorry about being vague about this!

No problem with being vague, that's fine and as I said no need to go into specifics now. EFT does "shake things loose" as you describe, and, to use a metaphor of a fizzy drink, things do get a bit explosive sometimes when you shake the bottle!

I will definitely try the idea of putting the feelings in a container and storing it. I really didn't want to push the emotions down again, after working hard to get stuff moving. But I needed to stop crying!

Just to emphasize, the container is just a temporary measure to help yourself calm down when you need to - indeed, pushing the emotions down is generally unhelpful, but when there is so much emotion coming up to the surface then having some strategies to release it little by little, gradually (rather than in one big volcanic explosion), is really useful.

All the best on your healing journey

Masha

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SadSmile
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Masha, thank you again for the kind help. I am going to keep working at this! The support is very much appreciated. :hug:

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Gussie
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I can only support what the others have said and advise you to see a practitioner. You are working wonders and really shaking things up, but you may be tapping on all the 'stuff' you need to deal with, focussing on the issues and not the emotions which are coming out. If you do find youself emotional tap on releasing the emotion.. The release can be healing but also overwhelming..

When working on ourselves we tend to work on what we think we need to work on, when working with a practitioner, they tend to look not just at what you're saying but what you're not saying. We are wonderful at consciously saying what we think - but even more wonderful at hiding from core issues.

In regards to 'just one more time' - How many sessions would you like? How commited are you to feeling better? Your commitment in remedying this without the aid of a practitioner seems quite evident here.. It may be best to consider how many sessions you want and how far you want to take things, then have a break, returning to the practitioner if you need a top up or if other things become relevant that you feel you need support with. EFT is quick and should be pretty painless emotionally.. So returning for months and months on end shouldn't really happen unless it's combined with coaching or counselling or some other tool, which gives it a slightly different agenda and focus..

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Tashanie
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Masha, thank you again for the kind help. I am going to keep working at this! The support is very much appreciated. :hug:

\

EFT can be a very powerful technique. I have been taught it as part of my hypnotherapy training. The way I was taught you say something like 'Even though I really want a cigarrette I totally and utterly love and accept myself' while taping on the karat chop point. You then tap pn the various positions while saying JUST the part that relates to the issue.

You obviously have a large number of issues you are trying to deal with . I can imagien this is making you feel very upset. It is up to each person to decide the appropriate set up phrase but posisbly you might find it useful to use a catch all that summs how you feel about all of your issues . Maybe something like 'even though I have so many problems' That might enable you to dela with your feelins so you can then focus the individal problems in a more positive frame of mind. Just a suggestion. I really hope you find a way through your all your issues .

Love and light

Sally

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SadSmile
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Justine and Sally, thank you both. Some great points there. I think doing some work with a practitioner would be a good idea. At least just to figure out if I am getting things right. And the setup phrase you suggested, Sally, that is more general, is very helpful. I am going to try this.

It is as though all of the many issues that have been waiting to come out, are now pushing to be heard at the same time. And the issue that pushed the buttons in the first place has not been resolved and is still pushing the buttons. So it keeps becoming the most urgent thing to work on, but is perhaps not the best place to start. It is quite daunting.

Thanks again for the support and the excellent advice.

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