Recently, someone asked me for tips on creating “effective phrases for self-tapping.” Drawing from my experience as a psychologist and EFT practitioner, here are some guidelines.
Don’t worry about coming up with “positive phrases or reframes;” instead, focus on being able to detect and tap on your actual thoughts and feelings about the issue you want to address.
The Banana Bread Analogy
First, define the issue. For example, let’s consider “fear of driving.” In order to tap on this effectively, we now need a way to make it more specific. If we were to use a “banana bread analogy,” we could say that the issue “fear of driving” is like the whole loaf of banana bread. If we were to “cut a slice” of the issue, I would then invite you to think of a recent or future time when this fear of driving might show up. This is so that we don’t try to bite off more than we can chew, which is why it’s useful to try to come up with a specific event, whether past or future. Let’s say that next week you have to drive to another city to visit your son.
So, now we have:
– The issue you are working on: the whole loaf of banana bread, “fear of driving.”
– A slice of the issue: having to drive to another city to visit your son.
The First Round of Tapping
Next, understand that EFT’s core purpose is to reduce and release our unpleasant emotional reactions. The structure of the most effective phrases we can use is: “Even though I feel… when I think about… because… and this is just where I’m at right now.”
In other words, when you think about driving to the city where your son lives next week, what thoughts and feelings do you notice coming up right now in the present moment? Choose one thought and one feeling to focus on for the round of tapping you are about to do. In this way, we are now cutting an even smaller (and more manageable) piece from that slice of banana bread.
So, the first round of tapping might go like this:
Tapping on the side of the hand: “Even though I feel anxious when I think about having to drive to Seattle next week, because there’s gonna be so much traffic and so many lousy drivers out there, this is just where I’m at right now.”
On the other points you could just say, “I’m feeling anxious” and/or “there’s gonna be so much traffic and lousy drivers out there” (in this case you would be alternating between the feeling and the thought.)
After you are done with that first round of tapping, ask yourself again, "As I think about having to drive to Seattle next week, what thoughts and feelings do I notice coming up right now?" This is the question you are going to keep coming back to.
In Part 2, we'll look at 4 different things that are likely to happen after the first round of tapping.
Bruno Sade is a certified EFT and Matrix Reimprinting practitioner. He has a mental health background as a clinical psychologist licensed in Argentina.
Photo by Gabriella Clare Marino on Unsplash