Why use a practitioner for EFT?
Here are two articles about using a practitioner for your tapping needs. The first one is from us and the second is from another great EFT’er… Gene Monterastelli. Enjoy!
Stuffbusters take on this...
At Stuff Busters we are sometimes asked why people would go to a practitioner when EFT is such an effective self help tool. What is the need for a practitioner? Why spend the money? Here are some thoughts on this:
Primarily, we see our roles to be that of facilitators for healing work to take place, to hold a safe space for our clients to work.
EFT is indeed an amazing and effective self help tool and it is possible to get extraordinary change with even the most basic knowledge and little or no understanding of the ‘science’ and thinking behind it.
However, there are times when EFT doesn’t seem to work, you just get nowhere. This is where the practitioner comes in, when you are stuck.
It is human nature not to ‘go there’ if ‘there’ is deemed too uncomfortable, either consciously or unconsciously. Some of us are masters at distraction – those times when the housework or that pile of ironing suddenly become of utmost importance and just have to be done. Anything to avoid the issues we know at some level we need to be working with/looking at. I know – I used to be the expert in this! I had the immaculate house, ironed children etc, but there was no way I was going to scratch below the surface. We all know people like that!
As human beings we are well used to suppressing our negative thoughts and emotions: the stiff upper lip: our skill at ignoring negative emotions and braving our way through life deluding ourselves and others that everything is OK. The most usual response to ‘How are you?’ is ‘Fine’. How often is that the truth? EFT is all about being in your truth.
But why should we acknowledge the negative stuff, as we do in the EFT set up statement? Why not push it away? The answer is that pushing it away does not work in the long term; it is a temporary measure, a band aid approach. At some point the unconscious mind will draw our attention to it in some other way, whether through physical aches and pains, depression, anxiety or other emotional states. With EFT we have ways of carefully resolving and changing the overall symptoms – using Gary’s table top metaphor, systematically and relatively painlessly removing the supporting legs. And we can often do this for ourselves – but getting started can seem overwhelming.
At some point the unconscious defences leak – something happens and we are forced to confront our reality. This is where the therapist comes in – to create a strategy for you the client, a path for you to take, to clarify and simplify your work and to support and guide you with it as necessary.
I see the role of the therapist as being able to hold a safe space for the client to explore areas that their unconscious mind may not allow them to access on their own.
I am often asked about ‘one minute wonders’ and my response is that those are often the clients who never get to the therapist’s door, those who give EFT a go for themselves and get the results ‘fantastic’ that is the essence of EFT. The more complex cases that tend to seek out the EFT practitioner are unlikely to be that straightforward, although they do happen.
The role of the practitioner is to be there when the home tapping comes up against a block, to be the detective, use language skills to creatively assist the client to unearth their core issues and beliefs – to question them in ways they wouldn’t think of doing for themselves. I believe that the creative language and questioning skills of the practitioner are invaluable in allowing the process to flow smoothly. Our role is also to keep you the client focussed – to be a kind but firm guide to your process – to gently help you focus and resolve your issues in a supportive and comfortable environment – to keep you not just on track, but moving forwards. Remember,
‘Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there’.
So: we support people as they move along their track, being a clear channel for the work to happen – being aware when they head off track and pulling them gently back, looking for those patterns, helping them examine them and gain new insights and perspectives.
EFT seems to be a fast track to cognitive shifts and insights, much of which happens in our work on our own. Acknowledging these changes to ourselves can be difficult. Often we won’t notice them ourselves and it will take our family, friends or colleagues to point them out. A skilled practitioner will be able to bring these shifts into conscious awareness as they happen.
Self sabotage and getting in our own way can make it seem like EFT doesn’t work. Psychological Reversal comes and goes, and again the more advanced language patterns and creativity of the EFT practitioner can be invaluable in bypassing these unconscious defences.
Another role of the practitioner is reframing – offering you a different perspective on your issue, again through creative use of language. This can be the pivotal point at which the entire issue collapses, but is very much dependent on skill and timing. Even the most proficient reframer can experience difficulties getting the reframe to ‘land’ when working on their own issue. Psychological Reversal may keep you resistant to accepting your own words. And, ill timed reframes will at best throw up a load of tail-enders.
In conclusion, I see the role of an EFT practitioner not as someone who ‘fixes’ the client, but as someone who is an equal part of a healing team. The work we do together resembles a dance, flowing rhythmically and smoothly.
Gene's take on this...
I recently received this e-mail from one of my readers. “Why should I work with you instead of some other practitioner? And really why should I hire someone anyway because there are so may free resources on line?”
I e-mailed back explaining that I have found working with someone else to be very beneficial even for someone like me who regularly works with clients. Here are the four reasons why I work with a practitioner:
There is more to Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)/tapping than just knowing the tapping points and the set up phrases. The basic recipe is a great place to start and for most people it is the only tapping tool they are going to need. But there are going to be times when the basic recipe is not enough to quickly knock out an issue.
For example, tapping is great for dealing with cravings, but it might take a very long time to knock out the root cause of the craving by only tapping on the symptom of the craving. Because of the training a qualified practitioner has, they are going to be able to quickly get to the core of an issue like this. They are going to more than likely knock out the issue in just one session.
I think Gary Craig’s assertion that the basic recipe is enough to take care of any issue is correct, but for some issues there are much faster ways of healing. By working with a skilled practitioner their expertise is going to speed the healing process.
One of the benefits of working with an experienced practitioner is knowing that they have been down this road before and they are not going to be surprised by the possible outcomes.
I can remember the first time with a tapping client where there was a very unexpected jump. We were doing some work on a craving and all of a sudden we were talking about a very traumatic event from the client’s childhood. Even though this jump was something that was unexpected, because of the training and experience I had with age regression from my hypnosis training, it didn’t catch me off guard.
An experienced practitioner is going be able to work with many different issues and know how to deal with something that is unexpected. In addition to being able to work with the unexpected, they are also going to be able to know when they are in over their head. I think knowing when you are not qualified to work with something is a very important skill to have. Experience doesn’t guarantee that a practitioner has learned this skill, but they are more likely to understand this precaution.
One of the great skills that any practitioner has isn’t really a skill at all. The simple fact that they are not caught up in the client’s emotions means that the practitioner is going to see the situation much more clearly.
This is the reason we go to our friend for advice. Sometimes we even seek advice from friends in areas that we know more about than they do, but we know that their outside point of view is going to see things we can’t. I have had client sessions where I was able to help a client heal and transform with one simple observation.
I was recently working with a client who has been dealing with Lyme disease for a number of years. While tapping on how his body was dealing with it I suggested, “Maybe the system is trying as hard as it can and it is just really tired. That is why it is not being as successful as it could be.”
He said, “Wow! That is a completely new way of looking at this. I have been so mad at my body for not doing better. It never crossed my mind that it was really trying hard and that I need to support its work. I need to stop beating it up.”
The interesting thing about this exchange was right before I made my observation he had described his body as being like a damp, rung out rag. I just took his metaphor and said it back to him in new words. My distance from the situation provided the insight.
There is a second way that distance serves a good practitioner. When working with someone else it frees you from having to think about how to deal with an issue and deal with the issue at the same time. This came to my attention with a recent client.
To start a tapping session we did a simple exercise that I like to call “clearing the decks.” It is a very simple few rounds of tapping where we tune into the whole constellation of emotions they are feeling in the moment, we thank the emotions for doing their job, and we let them know they have been heard. By doing this we end up with a much clearer head to tune in to the issue we want to work on.
After a few minutes of tapping I asked my client how she felt. She replied, “I feel much more calm. I try to do that exercise all the time, but I can’t seem to get the same effect. When you lead me through that I can just tap and not give it any thought. It is much easier to relax when that is the case.”
It is so much easier to focus on one thing. When working with someone else, we don’t have to worry about how we are going to deal with an issue. We can just sit back, tap along, and let the practitioner guide us.
If there weren’t resistance we would have already made the change. Resistance is a fact of life. There are lots of reasons why we don’t do the tapping we need to do or why we don’t do it as completely as we could. It can be scary to do the work on our own. It can be uncomfortable to tune in to negative emotions. There are a million other things that we need to do.
By working with someone else we are creating an accountability structure to increase our progress. First, when we are working with someone else they can help us to push through the resistance. We are more likely to do our daily tapping when we know we are going to have to report to someone else in our next sessions. A good practitioner is going to push us (gently) to look at aspects we wouldn’t be brave enough to look at on our own. Finally, the practitioner is going to keep looping back over the same issue again and again to make sure we have taken care of all the aspects when we might stop work a little sooner on our own.
Not For Everyone and Not For Every Issue
One of the reasons I love tapping is because it puts an amazing tool at everyone’s disposal. There are going to be times when we all need (myself included) to reach out to a skilled professional to help us move through an issue quickly and safely.