Why go and see an EFT practitioner?
To tap or be tapped
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At The EFT Centre we often get asked during our trainings why people would go to a practitioner when EFT is such an effective self help tool. What is the need for a practitioner? Why spend the money? This prompted me to look at where I feel my role as a therapist lies, what I see it to be.
Primarily, I see my role to be one of a facilitator for healing work to take place, to hold a safe space for my clients to work in.
EFT is indeed an amazing and effective self help tool and it is possible to get
extraordinary change with even the most basic knowledge and little or no
understanding of the ‘science’ and thinking behind it.
However, there are times when EFT doesn’t seem to work, you just get nowhere. This is where the practitioner comes in, when you are stuck.
It is human nature not to ‘go there’ if ‘there’ is deemed too uncomfortable, either consciously or unconsciously. Some of us are masters at distraction – those times when the housework or that pile of ironing suddenly become of utmost importance and just have to be done. Anything to avoid the issues we know at some level we need to be working with/looking at. I know – I used to be the expert in this! I had the immaculate house, ironed children etc, but there was no way I was going to scratch below the surface…. We all know people like that!
As human beings we are well used to suppressing our negative thoughts and
emotions. In the UK we talk about the stiff British upper lip – our skill at ignoring negative emotions and braving our way through life deluding ourselves and others that everything is OK. The most usual response to ‘How are you?’ is ‘Fine’. How often is that the truth? EFT is all about being in your truth.
But why should we acknowledge the negative stuff, as we do in the EFT set up
statement? Why not push it away? The answer is that pushing it away does not work in the long term, it is a temporary measure, a band aid approach, but at some point the unconscious mind will draw our attention to it in some other way, whether through physical aches and pains, depression, anxiety or other emotional states. With EFT we have ways of carefully resolving and changing the overall symptoms – using Gary’s table top metaphor, systematically and relatively painlessly removing the supporting legs. And we can often do this for ourselves – but getting started can seem overwhelming.
But at some point the unconscious defences leak – something happens and we are forced to confront our reality. This is where the therapist comes in – to
create a strategy for the client, a path for them to take, to clarify and simplify their work and to support and guide them with it as necessary.
I see the role of the therapist as being able to hold a safe space for the client to explore areas that their unconscious mind will just not allow them to access on their own.
In my practise I see a lot of clients with histories of severe sexual abuse. Often they may have buried these memories for years. They know it happened, but it is out of their current thought field. Then something happens that triggers the memory and flings it back into their current life in glorious Technicolor, sometimes through flashbacks, addictive behaviours or symptoms such as anxiety or depression. They are forced to acknowledge it. This ‘something’ can often be unnoticeable, outside our conscious awareness, perhaps a look on someone’s face, a voice tone, a feeling. This can be devastating – suggesting they tap on it on their own is, in my view, inadvisable at least, and even in some cases possibly dangerous. They need to be held safely as they clear all the many aspects that may present. This can also take time and is unlikely to be a ‘one minute wonder’.
I am often asked about one minute wonders and my response is that those are often the clients who never get to the therapist’s door, those who give EFT a go for themselves and get the results – fantastic – that is the essence of EFT. The more complex cases that tend to seek out the EFT Masters are unlikely to be that straightforward, although they do happen.
The role of the practitioner is to be there when the home tapping comes up
against a block, to be the detective, use language skills to creatively assist the client to unearth their core issues and beliefs – to question them in ways they wouldn’t think of doing for themselves. I believe that the creative language and questioning skills of the practitioner are invaluable in allowing the process to flow smoothly. The marriage of EFT and NLP is a powerful and effective union.
Our role is also to keep the client focussed – to be a kind but firm guide to their process - to gently help the Masters of Distraction focus and resolve their issues in a supportive and comfortable environment - to keep them not just on track, but moving forwards. A client sent me a saying which I now have on my practise wall:
‘Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there’.
That is how I see my role, supporting people as they move along their track,
being a clear channel for the work to happen - being aware when they head off track and pulling them gently back, looking for those patterns, helping them examine them and gain new insights and perspectives.
EFT seems to be a fast track to cognitive shifts and insights, much of which
happens in our work on our own. Acknowledging these changes to ourselves can be difficult. Often we wont notice them ourselves and it will take our family, friends or colleagues to point them out. A skilled practitioner will be able to bring these shifts into conscious awareness as they happen.
Self sabotage and getting in our own way can make it seem like EFT doesn’t work. Psychological Reversal comes and goes, and again the more advanced
language patterns and creativity of the EFT practitioner can be invaluable in bypassing these unconscious defences. Pat Carrington’s Choices method is a
beautiful tool to teach your client. An inspiring and well formed choice is a true gift.
Another role of the practitioner is reframing – offering the client a different
perspective on their issue, again through creative use of language. This can be the pivotal point at which the entire issue collapses, but is very much dependent on skill and timing. Even the most proficient reframer can experience difficulties getting the reframe to ‘land’ when working on themselves. Pyschological Reversal may keep them resistant to accepting their own words and ill timed reframes will at best throw up a load of tail enders.
To tap or be tapped
Wherever possible I like to tap on my clients in sessions – although I always
made sure they have the experience of tapping on themselves before they leave so they can continue the work. Personally, I feel tapping on someone is extremely powerful as it seems to create an energetic ‘circuit’ and the client and I really do become one for that time. I think it enhances intuition and is also very reassuring for the client. On a simpler level, it removes the ‘performance anxiety’, the need to get it right, that can be there.
However, there are no fixed rules and this is not appropriate in every case. It is a personal choice and the majority of EFT practitioners tap alongside their clients and get wonderful results.
I also feel this energetic loop when working over the phone, although it is harder to explain as clearly there is no physical touch. I believe closing down ones visual acuity to tune into the auditory channel somehow intensifies our hearing receptors and we hear far more than we realise, through intonation, breath etc. A skilled observer who is calibrating their client’s physiology adds an extra dimension to the healing dynamic.
In conclusion, I see the role of an EFT practitioner not as someone who ‘fixes’ the client, but as someone who is an equal part of a healing team. The work we do together resembles a dance, flowing rhythmically and smoothly. Try EFT for yourself first - you will likely achieve fantastic results. If you find yourself reaching a point where you seem to be blocked then ask for help, study the practitioner listings on emofree and select the person you are most drawn to – the connection between you begins even at that point.
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EFT Masters, Sue Beer and Emma Roberts are the co-founders of The iEFT Centre as well as the originators and pioneers of Integrated Energy Techniques (IET), bringing together energy psychology and the very best ways of working with Ericksonian Hypnosis, NLP, Coaching, Cognitive Psychotherapy and Psycho-spiritual approaches.
Posted April 03, 2010 07:54 AM
Thank you for this. I agree with much of what you have written and this is one of the bases for our Integrated Energy Techniques training here in the UK, a diploma which very much focusses on further therapeutic skills and tools for energy psychology practitioners.
If you are interested in finding out more of my approach to this work you may like to check out my new book 'Even though I have cancer..' which I believe is in alignment with much of your thinking.
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