One of the biggest problems with getting results while tapping with Emotional Freedom Techniques is we impede our success because we are not specific enough. In this article Rod Sherwin shows very simple way of using four questions to help us to get more specific.
photo by Jake Bouma
One of the consistent guidelines from EFT Founder Gary Craig was to identify specific events to tap on for broad emotional issues such as depression, stress, anger, and anxiety.
I recommend a few rounds of EFT initially focusing on the general feeling because it helps to take the edge of the intensity of the issue and feel safer about dropping deeper into the feelings and core issues. Being generic will help relieve the intensity but if you want the issue gone for good you want to get to specific events. This initial tapping on the general feeling might include:
“Even though I feel…I acknowledge how I feel”
“Even though I feel…and it seems so global, I’m curious about exploring this issue from the safety of where I am right now”
“Even though I feel…I choose to feel safe and secure in exploring this issue in more detail”
Repeat the above tapping for a few rounds until you feel ready to explore the issues in more detail.
Once you do feel ready to continue, it’s time to get specific with these key questions:
The first question, “What?”, is to identify something that has happened (or is still happening) that you feel contributes to the general issue with which you are dealing. Sometimes a memory or event will come into mind while you are doing the initial tapping described above. Go with that memory even if you can’t see a logical connection because you subconscious has brought it up for a reason. Once you have identified the event, write down a title for the event. Just one sentence to describe it, like a title for a movie.
The second question, “When?”, helps you locate the event in you own personal timeline. How old were you when the event occurred? What year was it? Were you still at school? Were you at college or university? What was your occupation at the time? Was it before or after you got married; had your first child? All of these questions help you fix the event in time. Write down the answer to “When?”.
Next is “Where did the event happen?”. Was it at home, work, or school? If it was in the home, was it in the bedroom, kitchen, lounge room, or back yard? If it was at work, was it in the bosses office, the kitchen, a meeting room? If it was a school, was it in the common room, science lab or playground? Again these questions help make the event specific.
You do not necessarily need answers to all of these questions before you start tapping as tapping on what you do remember will sharpen the memory anyway. When working with clients, I continuously see more and more details about a memory emerge as we tap on an issue until we have dealt with every aspect.
The final question to investigate is “Who else was there?” This can be the most emotionally charged question, so if even the thought of answering this question makes you uncomfortable, do a few rounds of tapping until you comfortable continuing. See if you can identify everyone who was in that memory as it can be useful to tap while focusing on each of them in turn. If someone was absent and should have been there, write them down as well to tap on the feelings that come up when you tune into them in association with this memory.
Now that you have identified the what, when, where, and who, you can combine them all into one tapping set-up phrase or break them up and use each snippet of information as you progress through the tapping points. After a few rounds, check through the questions again to see if you have more information, the emotional charge has changed in some way or you are done with that aspect all together.
Asking what, when, where and who helps you identify a specific event related to a general issue, clear all aspects the event, and give you emotional freedom from this memory. It will also contribute to the generalisation effect of healing related events.