I recently began using a simple little question that beautifully supports the healing outcome of an EFT session. It is usually near the end of the session when I sense the time is right to ask:
What is the kindest thing you could say to yourself about this?
After intensity and upsetting feelings have subsided, people are often remarkably wise and insightful about their situation. We can then weave their words into tapping sequences that close the session on a good note. Here are a few examples.
Overwhelmed and Stressed
My client is a student who called me because he is experiencing overwhelming stress due to an intensive summer course. Summer school packs a great deal into a few weeks and the constant pressure had him feeling anxious, panicky and having trouble sleeping, which of course hurt his ability to learn. We spent the session tapping for the anxiety in the body (tight chest, couldn't breathe) and for all the feelings (fear, worry, anger, frustration) and for scary thoughts ("What if I don't pass?"). At the end of the session, he felt immensely better and could take a deep breath.
So then I asked, "What's the kindest thing you could say to yourself about this summer school experience?" He answered, "Actually, I'm pretty impressed with myself. It's been hard but I haven't given up. I can't believe how much I've learned. And I'm halfway through, it's going to go really fast. I can do this."
We used his words in a tapping sequence, which then became his homework.
Even though this is really hard and sometimes I feel anxious… the truth is, I'm pretty impressed with myself! I haven't given up. I've learned a lot… and it's going fast now. I can do this.
Tapping with these thoughts on a daily basis helped him to calm down and stay more confident. As of his last report, things are going much better and he expects to pass!
Left Out and Not Belonging
I was working with an artist who had recently joined a group of painters who share studio space. Being the last person to join, she was feeling very left out of the friendships that had already formed. A shy person, she kept to herself a lot and then felt the pain of not belonging. As she said, “it feels like jr. high all over again.” This became a healing opportunity as we went back to some of the painful memories of being a shy teenager and used EFT to heal the pain and rejection. She reached a place of great compassion for her young self.
When I asked her, “What is the kindest thing you could say to yourself about the artists’ studio now?” her answer surprised me. She said, very thoughtfully, “Since I’ve been painting in the studio, my work has taken a new turn. It’s much more personal. I really think the vulnerability that I’ve felt there has opened up a new level in my art. And, actually, I’m really pleased with that.”
We ended with a supportive tapping sequence:
Even though I’ve felt the pain of being left out... not belonging... I love and accept my young self who felt that so deeply... and I’m bringing healing to this...
And even though it’s been painful to feel that vulnerability, I love the way it’s coming through in my art... I love this new level that has opened up for me... the truth is, I’m really pleased... this studio experience has helped me grow as an artist.
A Mom's Guilt
A client I work with regularly was having some issues with her adult son. As we worked through her feelings with EFT, it emerged that she felt conflicted. On the one hand, she was always letting this son take advantage of her and that left her angry. On the other hand, the idea of setting boundaries and saying no felt completely unacceptable. So she was caught “between a rock and a hard place” on this. We dug deeper and she realized that the core emotion was guilt over some things that had happened when her son was a child.
After we worked on some specific events with EFT, and her intense guilt feelings had subsided, I asked her, "What's the kindest thing you could say to yourself about this time in your life? You were a young single mother, coping with a divorce, all alone with a child... you were dealing with a lot." With tears in her eyes, she said, "I would want to tell that young mother that she's doing the best anybody could. She's really a good mother. It was hard for my son and me both, but we got through it together. There was a lot of love there." We ended the session with some EFT based on these positive truths:
Even though I've felt guilty for a long time, I want to be kind to my younger self... I want her to know that she really is a good mother... the truth is, I was dealing with so much... I did the best anybody could have done... and my son and I got through this together. Even though things were really imperfect, there was a lot of love there...
After this session, my client was able to set some healthy boundaries with her son. She no longer feels taken advantage of and better feelings are restored between them.
The Genius of the Set-Up
The EFT set-up phrase is in itself an act of kindness. We state that, even though we have these problems or difficult emotions, we accept ourselves anyway. As the above examples show, we can go even further to include positive truths and bring kindness and compassion to ourselves with EFT.
Betty Moore-Hafter, www.CreativeEFT.com, is an EFT International Accredited Certified EFT Master Trainer of Trainers and Advanced Practitioner offering EFT Level 1-2 and Level 3 Trainings several times a year. She also offers a special EFT mentoring and support program for EFT International EFT certification at www.EmotionalFreedomMastery.com. Betty offers EFT sessions by phone and by Skype, as well as in person at her Burlington, Vermont office. You can find out more on both websites and pick up free gifts on each site.
From the EFTfree Archives, which are now a part of EFT International International.
Originally published on August 4, 2010.