EFT does it work? Well last weekend (11-13 October 2013) I ran an AAMET International EFT Practitioner Training course here in Folkestone.
All the participants went away with a good sense of how to use EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) all saying they’d like to become EFT Practitioners themselves. This is such an important feature and they will hone their technique once they begin to work with other people and develop their confidence, as well as using the techniques for their own personal development. Another difference from many other methods.
EFT takes a different approach
There are some noticeable differences between these rather new-age approaches with techniques such as EFT and more traditional approaches, and a couple of these really stand out:
- The questioning
- Encouraging the therapist to do their own work
With EFT the questioning is all about open questions, and not getting in the client’s way with the practitioner’s own perceptions, assumptions and summarising. And this turns it into a very elegant way of working because we can never know nor should we presume as practitioners, just how something got caught-up in someone else’s reality. After all logic is irrelevant when it comes to the subconscious and it’s machinations.
When a client comes to see you with a problem, they want direct help with that problem and with EFT it starts with the presenting issue, that should come full-circle (by the end of the session) having picked-off every part of what kept that set of symptoms held in position as a problem.
And I shall stick my neck out by saying this cannot be achieved to the same depth using psychotherapy and counselling, because they work on a fairly conscious level, which makes it a slower process.
Made In Chelsea Spencer Matthews – Series 6 (Episode 1)
I recently watched an interesting example of a psychotherapy-session featured on Made In Chelsea on Channel 4 14 October 2013, with Spencer one of the lead characters. Spencer (as client) was talking round in circles, and the Psychotherapist was responding appropriately, calling him on a few of the conflicting things he said. Of course it’s a televised doco-soap, but the session felt mostly authentic.
If that same therapist was working with the issues presented, but using EFT to dig into the real-cause-of-the-issue behind his words, it would have gone something like this:
Spencer: ‘This is my problem and at your suggestion (as she’d summarised it) I can see I’m off the hook, it’s not my fault, I just can’t break up with women so I cheat on them instead’ (a subtext of what he said).
Whereas an EFT Tapping session would start where a person is, and deal with what pops up as it pops up… It would go something like this… but let’s say things had arrived at the same place (although it would be unlikely to take long, to find out what to focus the session on.
The point with EFT is to work on how it’s affecting a person. So let’s say that in Spencer’s case he sought therapy because the behaviour he’s described is preventing him from connecting at a deeper level with a women when he really cares for her, in other words he sabotaging potentially viable relationships.
Therapist: ‘Let’s start tapping shall we’ – starts a first round of tapping, saying:
Even though … I can’t break up with women (the problem) … and I want a deep and meaningful relationship with someone(positive)
Even though … I can’t break up with women and I just have to sleep with someone else to bring things to a head (the problem) … I’d like to break this habit (positive)
Even though … I sleep around when I want to break up with women and sometimes even when I don’t (the problem) … and I am a really good man (bloke/guy)(positive).
This would have drawn on his exact wording, while simultaneously using the underlying text, and weaving it in as a challenge (to the subconscious) aimed at raising the person’s awareness of what’s going on in terms of not helping to resolve the situation.
EFT Tapping rounds
Then the EFT-round continues by tapping round the points and integrating what comes up or seems right, but checking in all the while, to ensure we’re on the right track as he connects more with the issue he’s exploring. And with EFT we can get an ah-ha moment.
This can bring a flash of insight which in itself can bring about an immediate shift in how we feel about something that dispels the problematic feeling right there and then. And this can be enough (depending on how engrained an unhelpful issue is and how long we’ve had it for).
And this simultaneously gets him free of the issue.
It’s elegant, and acts in a labyrinthine fashion of starting on the outside of the presenting issue and going further in towards the core issues, such as low self-esteem and the client’s more specific threads. It’s often described as peeling the layers of an onion.
The therapist is merely the conduit in bringing all parts of the clients issues to the fore, until every remnant of both the problem and what the client wants to achieve is resolved.
EFT Practitioners work on themselves
This is so important and something that more traditional therapies won’t necessarily insist on.
But it’s so apparent as to whether a therapist is doing their own work or not, by how flexible they are in themselves and how open to whatever a client needs to say.
This is a field that needs to allow for full (and frank) expression in what’s appropriate for the client, not what’s appropriate for the therapist to hear.
Swearing may well be necessary, so what!
And whether your therapist is relaxed in themselves is a good clue, when you sense they’re not, my advice is … run!
To become an EFT Practitioner you have to submit a minimum of 3-case studies and one of these is on your own work. During the training people work with each other as well as seeing how elegantly it works through those who come up to for demonstration purposes.
At a recent training one practitioner, although very experienced was not as confident with the skills, as the rest of the group. She kept falling into her own patterns of working, which lacked the elegance of how EFT works, if I can put it that way. But everyone learned from her experience as did she, it was an interesting insight for all.
When she worked on it, so much stuff came up and out, and by the end of her training she was transformed, on a number of levels and she got to test it, which is another great thing about EFT, you have to test it with the original triggers to be certain that all the threads of the issue have gone.
And the more practiced you become the less time it takes to get to the really deep-rooted stuff. The bottom line is that, whatever people come to see you for is not what needs to be addressed.
And the sooner you get past what a client brings to you, the more effective you’ll be at helping them resolve what they came for, if that makes sense?
She went away, after the training, with a renewed capability and a true experience of the benefits of EFT at what it does best, she was one happy cookie and it took years off her face as all the anxiety she arrived at the training with on the first morning had lifted.
Great to see and is itself the evidence of why it’s encouraged, because you only have to experience EFT to discover the wonder of how it can help you help others (and yourself) with so much.
This in turn makes for a very healthy relationship between practitioner and client, because as you get even more experienced you lose the need for the story, almost altogether.