I want to share Emotional Freedom Techniques(EFT)/tapping with my friends and family and I would even like to teach workshops on tapping, but I don’t know where to begin. Do you have any suggestions on how to teach tapping to others?
photo by freeparking
Over the last four years I have taught tapping in formal and informal settings. Here are a few tips that I have learned from my successes and failures.
Don’t Oversell Tapping, Undersell It
It is really easy to be excited about all the wonderful things that tapping can do. In addition to hearing the many stories of one-minute miracles, many of us have very profound personal stories to tell about tapping. I think we can do our teaching a real disservice by building up expectation of our students too high.
I have found in the beginning it is best to under sell how successful tapping can be. If you ever run in to a situation where it isn’t working perfectly it can still look like a success.
For example, when asked “Will tapping work on (insert issue)?” you can respond, “It might, I know some people have had success with that type of issue.”
Or, when asked, “How often is tapping successful?” you can respond, “People have seen some level of relief in just a few minutes of tapping as much as half of the time?”
We know for our experience that the success rate is much higher than that, but this help to create a more forgiving audience if it doesn’t work out the first time. By approaching it is this way you are giving yourself some room to have different degrees of success right off the bat.
Their Idea of Success
When teaching someone tapping it is important to keep in mind of what their idea of success is going to be, especially when you are teaching someone who is in pain at that moment. As noted before, if you are teaching tapping it is because you have seen its power. The people we are teaching in most cases have no idea what tapping is capable of doing.
I learned this lesson while sitting in a coffee shop in Costa Rica. I was reading when a group of travelers came and sat down. As we chatted I found out that they had just gotten off the zip lines and one of them was have real problems with his back.
I said, “I have something funky that might help.” And off we went.
He tuned into the level of pain at a 5. We did a round of tapping and I asked, “So, what is the pain level now?”
He responded, “It is at a 4.”
My heart fell. That is pathetic. The pain should be gone.
BUT, as my thoughts we going to despair everyone in his group, almost as if they were a chorus, said “WOW!”
After a moment of pause I realized that really was a wow. A total stranger in a coffee shop with no drugs of any sort in under 60 seconds just helped to remove 20% of the physical pain.
One minute wonders are great to talk about, but when people first being introduced to tapping it is okay is we also talk in term of smaller results because they can still be amazing.
Everything Is Perfect
One of the things I have learned from my hypnosis training is to recognize everything as perfect. This is particularly important in hypnosis because building repore with a client is very important. If they start to doubt you or the process then progress is going to be likely lost. As a hypnotist, regardless what happens, you act as if it is not a surprise to keep your repore with the client.
The nice thing about tapping is that it is mechanical. It works whether the client believes it or not, but it is still important to have the person trying tapping for the first time engaged so that they can stay tuned into their issues (which is required for success).
It is important to keep in mind that every round of tapping is successful. It might not be a round that leads to relief, but it does provide information.
For example the intensity might stay at the same level. This is just letting us know that there is something else we need to be more successful (clear PR, be more specific, drink water). The level might go up letting us know we are more tuned into the issue than before.
When I am checking in with someone after a round of tapping I say something like, “Did the intensity go up, stay the same, or go down?” By asking the question in this fashion I am setting it up so there is no failure, just information.
If you would like more ideas on this topic check out Feedback – What We Can Learn From Each Round of Tapping
When teaching someone how to do tapping for the first time it is best to get them to experience some level of success that we can build upon. To do this I recommend to start with something that is simple. Introducing someone to tapping through a major childhood trauma might be hard.
For physical symptoms I simply say, “Scan your body right now and I want to you to notice any aches or pains. I want to you to find one of the places that has the highest level of stress, strain, or pain, but I don’t want you to choose something that is chronic.”
The last part of that set up is important. Often time when we are dealing with a pain that has been present for a long time it might be associated with deeper emotional roots. Tapping is prefect for these cases and it is great to go after the emotional roots in a client session, but as a first time teaching tool it might be too much.
To demonstrate tapping for emotional issues I ask them to, “I want you to think of a moment in the last few days in which you had a disproportionate emotional response to some event. You know what I mean by disproportionate? Right?”
Not only does this usually get a smile it will direct them to something that is very close to the surface. This is make it easier for them to tune into the emotion (opposed to something that is years or decades old.)
Remember, the goal is just to get them use to the idea of tapping. Small successes are enough to do this for someone who has never experienced the power of tapping.
You Might Be Planting Seeds (and that is enough)
There are people who are going to listen to your presentation or demonstration and just walk away with a closed mind.
BUT, the next time they hear about tapping their mind is going to be a little more open. When we hear about something odd once we question it, but the more places we hear about something the more believable it becomes.
Your demonstration of tapping might be sowing the seeds to more open mind. If you just plant a few seeds in someone mind you have done good work.
You Are Not The Right Teacher For Everyone
Every teacher has their own teaching style and every student has their own learning style. Their are people that you are the perfect voice to teach tapping to them and there are others who in a million years would not listen to you.
I became much more comfortable with my web site when I realized I didn’t need to be all things to all people. Some are going to find my resources helpful whiles are not.
There are enough people in the world who could use tapping in their life that if one person (or a group of people) don’t listen to me it is okay because there are many more to teach.
You are not the right teach for every person you encounter and that is okay.
It Is OK If They Don’t Accept It
Tapping is not right for everyone. If someone isn’t willing to be open to what you are offering that is perfectly okay. When someone doesn’t want to learn they are making a choice about what they think is needed (or not needed) in their life. This is not a judgment on tapping, on your teaching style, or on you.
Even When Working With A Group Just Start With A Few People
Presenting in front of a large group is not comfortable for some people. If you are in this camp then I would recommend when teaching tapping and doing a demonstration do it for a small group and have everyone else watch.
What I mean by this is get a group of three or four people up front with you and teach them tapping and do a few demonstrations. If you are not comfortable in front of a large group you are more than likely comfortable in front of a few people. All you need to do is create this dynamic by getting a few volunteers.
It is important that when you are selecting volunteers you do this in a way that is going to give you good demonstration subjects. I would do it something like this:
“I just a moment I am going to teach you how to do tapping to deal with physical pain and emotional issues. To do this I am going to need a few volunteers to demonstrate and teach. Those who volunteer will be given a first hand experience of tapping, just like working with a practitioner. If you do volunteer your going to need to be willing to talk about the issue you would like to tap for, like the pain in your knee or being frustrated with a co-worker, so that everyone can learn for the processes. I am not going to ask anything too personal, such as the name of the person you are frustrated with, but it is import that you are willing to talk, at least in general terms, about what we are going to work on.”
If you do something like this before you ask for volunteers you are going to help to insure you are going to work with someone willing to talk and will be more likely to avoid a deep trauma issue. Again, tapping is great for these types of issues, but they are not always ideal as a teaching tool, especially if you are not use to teaching tapping to groups.
I hope these tips are helpful in making it easier for you to teach tapping. If you have some suggestions I missed, I would encourage you to add them to the comments below.