In 10 Misconceptions You Should Avoid: Part 1, we discussed some of the misconceptions of EFT. Here are five more.
6. Practitioners should always ask, “Tell me about the first or worst time this happened to you”
Some people feel that asking these questions early in EFT-session work will get you to your “core” issue faster. After all, such a high percentage of core issues are formed during early childhood. As EFT and trauma educators, we have rather strong opinions about this based upon the most advanced trauma therapies being researched and discussed in the trauma field. There are multiple problems when this query is asked too soon.
As a client, you may not be prepared for this question, and you may well not have recall available in that moment. You may then feel the pressure to figure it out immediately, which can feel very stressful. Even more importantly, as a practitioner, you may quickly rip open in the client, what we call a “trauma capsule” too quickly, without the benefit of having established sufficient connection, rapport and safety.
We have seen that if we ask clients to remember more recent events, they have better access to those memories. We can start unraveling the layers of the onion easily without force, coercion, or manipulation. The apparent failure to remember early events in your life is quite common. It may occur because your psyche/subconscious mind is doing a good job of protecting you from painful memories that you may not be ready, resourced or feel safe enough to recall.
After hearing us teach this, a student said, “No wonder no one wants to come to me after the first session. I was taught to always go for the earliest and worst memories first.” This student works with a highly vulnerable and frequently traumatized population. When this is the case, it's especially important to work more slowly .
The more you educate yourself on trauma, the more you will find that when guided by a skillful practitioner, the organic pace of a session feels safer, more gentle, and will get the results you want in a relatively short period of time. This will happen without requiring an early questioning about the “first" and "worst”.
5. No lifestyle changes are necessary when doing EFT
There are some issues that are resolved completely by tapping - it's truly remarkable and amazing. There are other habits or patterns that require supportive lifestyle changes. We have had a few clients who had Type 2 diabetes who were able to wean off their insulin. EFT was used on emotionally relevant underlying aspects of the condition. It was also critically important to deal with the clients' challenges to get on and stick to an all-raw diet. It would be nice to be able to tap and wake up one morning and weigh sixty pounds less, but the reality is that most will not achieve that miracle response from tapping alone. EFT can help you get off the couch, motivate you to move your body, and curb your cravings enough to help you stick with a program that will lead to reaching your goal.
4. Issues get collapsed in a single session
Some presenting issues are resolved amazingly fast with EFT, but the truth is that many take dedication and persistence. While we have seen food cravings resolve in a single session, there is much more to losing weight than this. Many a time, we have witnessed a physical pain disappear in minutes, but the underlying emotional issues, triggers and stress responses frequently require several sessions to resolve.
A commitment to resolution, to tapping regularly is an important aspect of getting the results you want. Don't be disappointed if after a single session you don't meet your soulmate or completely resolve your fear of intimacy, or suddenly find your net worth increase dramatically!
3. The newest variations of EFT must mean they are both new and improved
There are techniques that use the letters EFT that actually aren’t EFT at all. Some tapping systems may not only be less effective but can be used in such a way that can be traumatizing. Other variations may include those that always use positive statements and don't focus on releasing the negative emotions. Those systems or variations are not EFT despite using those three letters in their name.
EFT is based on the notion that, “What you resist, persists” and the positive spinning should not be utilized until you have reached a state in which enough of the problem is gone. Some people blame EFT for not working when in fact, the problem is they didn’t do EFT correctly. Ask your practitioner about their training and style before hiring them.
2. EFT views people as broken
We actually don’t know where this myth came from, but we’ve seen it around the internet in a few places, and we felt that we should address it. EFT as taught by Gary Craig, the creator of EFT, has never said anything remotely resembling this. EFT has brilliantly created the statement that there’s a disruption caused by traumas (big and small) that interferes in one’s ability to be in one’s natural state of wellness, prosperity, joy and happiness. Imagine that you cut yourself with a piece of glass and it’s still in your hand. You don’t need to say things like “you are healed” or “the tissue around the glass is in perfect harmony with the Universe” or anything else. All you need to do is focus on taking that piece of glass out of your hand, and the body can heal itself in short order. That is exactly what EFT does. It removes the interference and allows the inherent and innate ability of the body to heal itself.
You can read about what we believe is the biggest misconception in the EFT world in Part 3.
Craig Weiner is an Accredited Certified EFT Master Trainer of Trainers.