Yes, this actually works! At the end of this article is an amazing feedback email from the case study.
Many practitioners ask “What do I do when a client doesn’t have any memories?” There are many people that do not seem to have easy access to their childhood memories, especially those early, formative, before-the-age-of-six memories that any good practitioner knows are essential to clearing foundational negative beliefs and learning. When these people become clients, it can seem like they make an otherwise surprisingly easy EFT process extraordinarily difficult. Fortunately, there is a relatively non-difficult way to help these clients address these memories – even those that they don’t believe they have any access to.
The Color of Pain
Modern science and advances in psychology in the last century have taught us that the mind and body work in metaphors. The applied success of this theory can be seen in EFT techniques like Paul Lynch’s Color of Pain, in which the EFT process is applied to a physical ailment after it is described as an object by the client. Through the use of descriptive questions giving the pain a color, shape, size, and the like, the client creates a metaphor for their physical feeling, and as EFT is used he or she is asked to track the changes in the pain’s appearance, thereby tracking the therapy’s progress.
In the same way, we also understand that this metaphoric tendency allows the mind to work much like an Internet search engine. To put it simply, if someone were to say the phrase “bird on a fence”, your mind “googles” that phrase, recalling potentially hundreds of images and instances in which “bird on a fence” has been experienced. The mind then chooses the image or instance that applies itself most effectively to the context of the current experience – and all of this occurs in a split second without any conscious realization. Essentially, this is what allows current events to trigger past emotional states and responses.
Sigmund Freud and his contemporaries, including Carl Jung, have demonstrated that the information held in the subconscious, though not always readily accessible, is vitally important to the success of significant therapeutic intervention. They also began to recognize, as evidenced in techniques such as free association and active imagination, that fantasy and dream states could be used to gain access to and potentially use subconscious material. In the same way, “Let’s Pretend” in EFT and Matrix Reimprinting allows clients who have little or no access to memories to make up a story that
A. applies to the issue at hand and
B. is both reasonable and feasible to them to address subconscious material
The subconscious mind will “google” the story and make the appropriate applications, while the conscious mind is free to relax without the stress and pressure of trying to recall memories that seem impossible to remember!
Once the reasonable and feasible negative story is made up, it has a beginning, middle, and an end, and all of the participants have been identified, it can be addressed using Matrix Reimprinting and EFT as if it actually happened.
The following case study is a great example of using Matrix Reimprinting to tap on a made up event. The client, Kari, was chosen for this demonstration because she has little to no access to her childhood memories and, even when she does, often times has a difficult time feeling emotion in the matrix. She came to me because she had started a very positive relationship with a man who had two children. She and her significant other were beginning to move toward a more serious relationship, but she was afraid that his children would inevitably “hate” her because she hated her stepparents when she was a child and in a similar situation.
Before we began, I asked Kari to explain what “hate” meant to her. She shared with me that it was different for each of her stepparents: in the case of her stepfather, she felt they just never got along, while in the case of her stepmother, she felt that she always had to compete with her for her dad’s attention. We muscle tested for which of the two we should focus on, and stepmother was stronger. I then muscle tested Kari for an age using Sandi Randomski’s model and got ages three and five. I asked Kari what she did know about each of those ages, even if she didn’t have any clear memories, and she knew that at the age of three her younger sister was born and at the age of five her parents divorced. Never making any assumptions, I muscle tested for which of those ages was stronger. They both had strength, but 5 was slightly stronger, and that was to be the age that we focused on.
Now we knew that we were focusing on feelings of having to compete with step mom for dad’s attention and that the event we were going to make up would be when Kari was about five. With some additional questioning and muscle testing, we figured out that the event would involve both of her parents and was something that she both saw and heard.
"Something is Wrong"
Next, we would start forming the parameters of the made up event. I explained to her that I was going to ask some questions about the event, and that her only instruction was to make up the answers, ensuring that they were feasible and believable to her. She complied, again, entirely making up the answers to the questions I was asking, and we determined that she was at her childhood home, inside, mommy was around but not with her, and daddy was there inside the house. I then asked Kari to tell me what the general feeling was where she was, and she replied, “Something is wrong.” Prompting her for more, she continued, “Something is wrong with dad, it’s like he’s not well.”
I asked Kari if it would be feasible and reasonable to her if the little 5 year old Kari was really worried about daddy. She answered, “No. She’s too little. She just doesn’t understand what’s happening.”
I invited her to imagine her current self could step into the made up picture with little Kari, to introduce herself, and find out if it was okay that she tap on her. It was OK, and we began on little Kari’s karate chop point, “Even though you don’t understand, and something is wrong with daddy, you’re still a good little girl…”
"There, But Not There"
After about a round, I asked Kari for more information. She indicated that she was getting the sense that dad was unconscious, even though little Kari didn’t understand what that meant. It was like he was “there but not there”, and little Kari didn’t understand why he wasn’t responding to her even though she was standing right in front of him – eerily similar to the feelings she would have in the future when she felt she had to compete with her stop mom for his attention. I instructed Kari to keep tapping on her younger self and to explain to little Kari what was happening- in gentle, 5-year-old-friendly terms -and to reassure her that daddy would wake up and be okay.
Little Kari shared with us that she wanted her mommy to be there with her because she didn’t want to be alone. This is a valuable step in the matrix. We want to be able to remove as many of the elements of trauma as possible for the ECHO (younger self) – shock, isolation, no strategy, but little Kari also felt that mom would be upset and she didn’t want to cause problems. I asked if the now Kari could ask little Kari if she would like us to tap on mom, and she agreed.
Tapping in the Matrix
We imagined stepping into another room where we could speak with mom and ask her how she was feeling. Through Kari interacting with her mom in the matrix, we found that she was frustrated, angry, and overwhelmed. She felt like no one else was dependable. Tapping a few rounds beginning with: “Even though you’re overwhelmed, angry, and extremely frustrated, you want to be a good mom – and you can be, even if it’s difficult” led us to Mom wanting her own dad – Kari’s grandfather – to be there with her. When they were both in the room, Kari continued to tap on mom’s points while she explained what was going on in the next room and how little Kari was feeling. I asked Kari, “Can mom go into the other room now and pay attention to little Kari and not get mad?” She answered that she could.
We envisioned mom and Kari’s grandfather walking into the next room. Because the grandfather is there, he is able to deal with the unconscious dad while mom kneels down and hugs little Kari. We reimprint the image of mom hugging the 5 year old. Kari indicates that her 5-year-old self still doesn’t understand exactly what’s happening, but it doesn’t matter because mom is there. At the end of the made up memory, we ask little Kari what she wants to do now, and she decides she wants to go with her grandfather to visit grandmom while mom stays with dad until he wakes up. We reimprinted the image of little Kari being at her grandparents house knowing that dad is okay.
The event was entirely made up by Kari. She guessed at the answers to my questions with answers that were feasible and reasonable to her.
Kari later sent me the following email:
I called my mom after the session. I just had to ask... Apparently, before my mom and dad finally got divorced, my dad’s drug use got worse, and there was this one particular time that my mom took my sister and I grocery shopping. When we got back, I had to use the bathroom, so, with her hands full of groceries and my little sister, who was about one at the time, she unlocked the door and let me in her house first, then stayed outside to get the rest of her stuff, etc. I ran into the bathroom and found my dad passed out on the floor. My mom said I walked outside and asked her why daddy was sleeping in the bathroom – she said that was the last straw and she couldn’t let us grow up with things like that happening, so she kicked him out the same week. WOW.
From the EFTfree Archives, which are now a part of EFT International .
Originally published on November 27, 2011.