EFT in Family and Relationship Mediation

By Diane Holliday

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EFT in Family and Relationship Mediation

I am an EFT Practitioner and like many others who have learned and use this amazing technique we also use other skills that complement and back up our work. Recently I have been using a slight variation or enhancement with EFT which I have called TFB, Thinking, Feeling and Being and it seems to be most useful with conflict resolution or mediation for couples and families.

A considerable percentage of my clients come with relationship issues and even though I do prefer to see ‘both sides’ I usually only get to see one party, the one who is willing to try a therapist in the first place.   At the outset, my client will want to provide me with enough details to justify his/her righteous anger, frustration etc. This can be a vocal torrent or a person so quiet and withdrawn finding it not easy to talk at all.


Proceed into the dialogue at the first session, give the client has had time to ‘offload’ and do a few rounds of tapping on the pain, frustration, anger of the problem using questions such as “when did you realise your relationship was changing, how long has this be going on, what made you think things were going wrong, how long have you been feeling like this” for instance. At each point during this ‘recollection’ tap for the pain, anger or whatever comes up.

Then ask them to take a step back and start the TFB; ask the client to think about their partner, feel how he/she may be feeling and then think themselves into being that person.

For instance a recent client; Sally has two children, married to John who physically assaulted her three years ago. John continues to be verbally abusive so she is under constant stress and feels threatened but he will not consider separation or divorce.

§ Think about John and put yourself in his shoes

§ You are now John; feel how is it to ‘be’ him

§ Now you are being John, sink into that…..smell, voice, attitude, posture and the look in his eyes

Therapist:  OK John….

Q: what triggers your anger?                   R: Sally

Q: why does Sally make you so cross?      R: She is useless

Q: in what way is she useless?                 R: she won’t keep the place                                                                                                 clean & tidy

Q: how important is that to you?              R: very, it’s my home

Q: it’s her home too                               R: I don’t want her to be here

Sally into overwhelming grief…tapping on the Three Point Calmer- Under eye, under arm and collar bone until it subsided.

Tapping on the Karate Chop: Sally says “Even though he wants me out he won’t consider divorce or even separation….but I do love and accept myself” three times.

Eye brow:               he wants me out

Side of eye:             I am not wanted

Under eye:               he doesn’t love me

Under nose:             he hates me

Chin:                       I can’t go on

Collar bone:              I need out….with my children

Under Arm:              I need some peace

Top of head:            peace and space

Having now calmed the grief we start again…..this time from John’s perspective.

Karate Chop: “I don’t want a divorce and I am OK” three times

Eye brow:               we are a family

Side of eye:            I work Hard for them

Under eye:              I am under pressure at work

Under nose:             I do love them but they add to my stress

Chin:                      if only the place was clean and tidy

Collar bone:             I do shout at Sally

Under arm:             she deserves it


Deep breath

Gentle tapping on the Collar bone:   I want her to be more like my mother!

Well, this was a breakthrough, the first of many.

This continued for some time, back and forth, pulling out even deeper issues from both sides. I asked Sally to consider forgiveness, particularly for the physical attack but at that time she was unable to do so. She did start to understand her husband’s needs, even though she was unable to fulfil them all but it also gave her clear insight into her own needs.  The greatest of which was to her increase self-confidence, an understanding of her own self worth and find a way to create a dialogue in the home without fear of recrimination.

To close this case study; they are still together and they are talking….so far so good! Also I am convinced that the ‘surrogate’ effect is working when using this technique.

There are some people who don’t find role play particularly easy but with some guidance it is quickly achievable. In most cases these people have lived together for some considerable time and do know each other very well, so once started they find the role play becomes easier.  In order to facilitate this, if necessary, I would ask about the other person’s beliefs and values, where they see themselves in life, the many roles that they play. I would suggest that the client uses their intuition and ‘listens’ to what is happening.

In some cases taking the client back to the stories that their partner (or other) has told them about themselves can help. Childhood memories, how they were treated as a child by parents or at school, their first job, career or old loves can all trigger the information needed to ‘be in someone else’s shoes’ .

After the role play I ask how ‘both’ the people feel now, the client and the other, what made them change, the other influences in their lives, the pressures that may have contributed to the current crisis. Seeing from the other person’s point of view, what is life like for them now?  This can and in most cases does, provide revealing insights. Once the client has ‘lived’ in the others shoes, even just for a few minutes, the issues can be readdressed with a more compassionate and understanding view.

This technique works well with the parents of children with ADHD or learning difficulties. It helps the parents or carers to see out of the eyes of the child, it prevents their anger and frustration from becoming violent and abusive and enables the application of EFT to become even more effective. 

This technique is best used with the Mother or main carer; children have ways of hiding their feeling and may not be as forthcoming as an adult. This is another reason way we ‘adults’ can find understanding them, not as easy as one would imagine, it is often up to the adults to help them to love who they are regardless of the labels. In this situation the use of a Magic Buttons teddy bear on which the Mother taps rather than on herself can be more powerful; once again the surrogate effect takes place.

The main aspect in all instances of conflict or non understanding is the resolution of underpinning anger. The cause of this can be so hidden that the client may never have thought about it or even wish to visit it, the beauty of EFT over traditional methods it that the client doesn’t have to. When I guess that this is an issue, we tap just on the anger after giving it a SUD’s rating. After a couple of rounds it will inevitably go up as the client remembers; we just keep on tapping until the rating is down. This can and usually does bring on another load of emotions, all of which can be tapped on.

Each case is special and will bring different core issues but relationship work it is so rewarding. Even if in the end, separation is the only way, at least it will be less acrimonious and therefore less traumatic for all parties.

Working with clients we realise how closely connected we are; just energy and a mass of atoms. We have learned responses and instincts, we respond to stimuli, smells, sounds, words verbal and written but all of us feel. We are sensitive to feelings, ours and others, but in many cases and for an increasing amount of people, these intuitive responses have been dulled. This short addition to EFT helps us back to this more caring and intuitive frame of mind.

Diane Holliday


Author's Bio:

Diane Holliday; EFT and natural health practioner with many years of experience. I use my skills as a coach with EFT to help clients be the person that they want to be.

I am a general practioner though I have extensive experience in relationships, family mediation and children with distruptive behavoir.

EFT Practitioner (Adv) AAMET



Tel. 01452 614345/07989 078556

10 Orchard Park, Green Lane

Hucclecote, Gloucester GL3 3RW


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