Is it really necessary to verbalize the issue and give a number rating when doing EFT?
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is a very flexible tool. There are no hard and fast rules of how you must do things. However, it is important that you understand the intention of each step. If you know why you are doing a step, it will give you flexibility in exactly how to do the step.
1) The words we say
The words are not magic. There is no perfect phrase.
We say phrases out loud to help us stay focused on the issue we want to work on. It is possible to be verbalizing phrases about our issue and be thinking of what we need to do when we get home.
Initially, our intention is to make sure we are focusing on the issue we want to improve. This can be done by thinking about the issue, saying phrases out loud, or thinking of a symbol (sight, sound, memory, feeling in the body) that is related to the issue.
I have found saying phrases out loud is helpful because putting a feeling in the body into words requires both sides of the brain and helps us to tune in more. This is not a requirement. If a client is in tears, we are fully tuned in. Adding verbalization is not going to bring the issue more into focus.
Remember, the goal is to engage the issue.
2) Rating the level
We give a rating is before and after tapping to evaluate progress. You don’t have to use numbers for this.
I often ask clients, “How big is the issue and where does it live? If you were to create a model of this feeling, what would it be made of? What color is it?” These questions give us another way to access information about the issue. As we tap, the visual of the issue can change in size, shape, color, texture, and location. When this happens there is progress, in the same way a SUDS level would go down. I have one client who creates very vivid visuals of the issue we’re working on. We never use number to rate her issue; after each round of tapping we simply check her visual.
Remember, the goal is to be able to identify progress with the issue.