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Articles & Ideas

Core Issues

In Search Of An Elusive EFT Core Issue

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated. Please use my newest advancement, Optimal EFT. It is more efficient, more powerful and clearly explained in my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™.  Best wishes, Gary

Note: This article assumes you have a working knowledge of EFT. Newcomers can still learn from it but are advised to peruse our Free Gold Standard (Official) EFT Tutorial™ for a more complete understanding.

Hi Everyone,

Have you ever had client who couldn't locate their core issues because they "had no negative experiences?" Alan Morison from the UK describes his method for this problem with an actual case.

Hugs, Gary

By Alan Morison

Hi Gary,

One of the most important skills an EFT practitioner must have is the ability to find core issues and guide people down that path with some very important questions,
(1) What does that remind you of?
(2) If you could live life over again, what person or event would you just as soon skip?

There are of course many more pertinent questions that can be asked - we are not limited to these two. But what do we do as practitioners if we draw a blank each time on hearing the client respond, 'I just don't know'?

I was presented with just such a case with 'Dave' who came to me to find a way out of his depression. It began in childhood about the age of 8-9, diminishing in his late teens and 20s but re-emerging most strongly in his 40s.

So I asked if anything had happened in his early years where he had been negatively or badly affected. Nothing came to mind. He had a good, happy childhood, no bullying at school - everything had been 'normal'.

"So there's nothing you would skip over again if you had the chance," I asked. 'That's the case,' he replied. In addition he could think of nothing in his life that even reminded him of anything negative.

Well, in fact there MUST have been something going on back then, otherwise he wouldn't have felt down as a child. One doesn't just get depressed for NO reason But I was also puzzled as to why the depression diminished in his 20s only to reappear in his 40's. Something must have been happening!

'I really don't know, I have no idea, I really can't think of anything,' was his reply.

OK, deep breath, start again... But this time I temporarily sidelined seeking active reasons for his depression and simply chatted with him. I voiced anything that came to my mind concerning his work, his interests, what he would do in his free time, hoping that in the process we would gradually find some kind of lead into his present feelings, or lack of them, and all the time watching him very closely for any change in his usual body or eye movement. Nothing happened. There were no subtle changes apparent at any time.

We had checked his childhood and later years, so now it was time to move into the recent past.

Was there any precise time when his depression started to reappear in his 40s? No, was the answer. 'It just seemed to get worse when elderly relatives died.' Not parents or anyone really close? 'No' he said, 'Grandparents in their 90's. I missed them a little to begin with but they had had a good innings. You can't live forever, got to go some time.'

He seemed pretty well balanced about his grandparents in fact but something was beginning to ring a bell in the back of my mind. Maybe it was time for another direct question, something that I find brings rewards as the client has to give a Yes/ No type of answer. Generally it gets you places quickly.

So I asked, 'It seems to me that missing them is not as important as the fact that they died. Would you say that was true?' 'Yes, that's true,' he replied and I could see he was wondering where this was going to take us as he looked a little puzzled.

I then explained my reason for asking that question and my thoughts as to how and why he was affected. The bell that had rung for me was a distant memory of when I was 8 maybe 9. Just fleetingly the worrying question had entered my head - What will happen to me if they (parents etc) all die and I'm left on my own? And just as quickly it left as I dismissed it as fanciful nonsense, thinking they wouldn't ALL go at the same time. But in looking back to that memory I recognized a fear (since tapped away!) that many children have experienced and which many clients have confirmed as true for them too.

Applying my personal experience to Dave I asked him if he had ever felt that way too. 'And how!' he exclaimed. 'I couldn't get rid of that thought!' I then ascertained that he had felt progressively worse as he continued to dwell on that fear. It had been temporarily pushed to the back of his mind as he grew into a young man and pursued a career but when his fear became actuality, when relatives really died, his very deep seated fear returned with a vengeance plunging him into deep depression.

We finally tapped for all of 15 minutes using the following phrases which referred to the more or less precise time when he began to think along these lines:

Even though I thought they were all going to die...
Even though I got myself so worried that they would all die...
Even though I got myself into such a worried state which has affected my whole life so far, I forgive myself for doing so. I was a child and am allowed to be that way if I wish. It wasn't the wisest thing to do but I couldn't help it - I didn't know what else to do.

GC COMMENT: In the years since Alan wrote this we have developed other tools to assist in this in-depth work.  See Uncovering Specific Events - An Essential Concept Within the EFT Tapping Process and The EFT Personal Peace Procedure

In the middle of that we hit a sudden plateau. His original level of intensity of 10 out of 10 had dropped to a 6 and would not budge so I encouraged him to bring to the surface whatever it was that needed to be released. Instantly he wriggled in discomfort in his chair, wrapping his left hand round his right fist. It transpired that, when playing marbles at the age of 11, he had caught a splinter of wood under his nail which he had found excruciatingly painful. Tapping for the shock of the pain and the pain itself brought it to zero in a minute.

Returning to the main theme of his fear, he felt an automatic reduction from a 6 to a 3 out of 10 which, now that the hidden aspect had been removed, took only another few minutes to drop to zero.

And then he started to smile. And he was still smiling when he left 15 minutes later, seemingly free from his lifelong depression in one session. It had been a hard bit of work with a very elusive core issue accessed only because I had had similar, but much lesser, feelings myself. It was very rewarding however, all the more so because I have used that experience with other clients who have had the same fear, albeit also to a much lesser extent.

Many thanks for the gift of EFT.



Explore our newest advancement, Optimal EFT™, by reading my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™. More efficient. More powerful.