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Articles & Ideas


An answer as to why some clients do not tap even when they know EFT will help them?

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Hi Everyone,

Rod Sherwin from Australia puzzled over why some clients (including those with serious diseases) don't continue to tap even when they have already experienced quality results with EFT. He studied some of the human behavior concepts put forward by Anthony Robbins and found a useful model for understanding this problem. He then gives us some helpful tapping approaches.

Hugs, Gary

By Rod Sherwin

In previous EFT newsletter articles, the question has been raised as to why patients who receive relief from EFT, especially for chronic diseases, stop using EFT after a period of time. You would think that if someone has a tool that brings relief, they would continue to use it. But instead some people discontinue its use after a short time. This article presents a possible explanation and a way of treating this using the conceptual framework of the six human needs created by Anthony Robbins.

The six human needs identified by Robbins are:

Need #1 Certainty/Comfort

This is the ability to produce, eliminate, or avoid stress; or create, increase, or intensify pleasure. It's also about security and survival. To know what's going to happen.

Need #2 Uncertainty/Variety

The need to experience diversity, excitement, differences, challenge. Notice how this is the opposite of Need #1 and contributes to our sometimes paradoxical behaviour e.g. People with too much certainty and no variety in their relationships may look outside the relationship for it.

Need #3 Significance

This is the need to experience a sense of being needed, feeling important, sense of meaning, sense of purpose, uniqueness, etc.

Need #4 Connection/Love

The feeling of bonding, oneness with something, sharing, intimacy, feeling a part of something, having a sense of meaning. Again this need seems to be a paradox to Need #3.

The following two needs are pursued when the first 4 are being met at some level. These needs are:

Need #5 Growth

The need to improve our lives, become more of who we are, to learn something new, to build something.

Need #6 Contribution

To make a difference beyond ourselves; to leave a legacy, to help others.

We all meet these needs by using different vehicles. Some of these vehicles are empowering such as meeting our needs for significance and love and connection by helping others. Other vehicles are disempowering such as drugs and alcohol.

Now think about a serious disease in terms of meeting these 6 Human Needs. With a long-term serious disease the person is certain of what they can and can't do. They are certain of how people will treat them. They are certain of how most of each day will continue. They are certain of the progress of the disease because an authority figure, a doctor/specialist, told them what would happen.

Serious diseases, especially ones with long hard to understand names, meet the need for significance. People get treated special if they have a significant problem. The amount of specialists and doctors they have seen who haven't been able to fix the problem makes it even more significant. They can tell everyone that they have this significant disease and get a feeling of importance from this. They also get variety by visiting the different specialist and doctors for yet another opinion or treatment.

Then there is love and connection. Basically, with a serious disease, they get connection or the poor substitute for it, that of pity from people. They will always be able to connect with others who have this disease in support groups.

Anthony Robbins defines something as an addiction if it meets 3 or more of the 6 Human Needs. As outlined above a serious disease may do this. Because the serious disease is the only vehicle the patient currently has for getting their needs met they will not persist with any form of treatment which would remove or reduce the disease.

So how can we use EFT to handle these aspects? After handling any emotional source for the disease, be it stress, a relationship, grief etc. we can look at each of the 6 Human Needs. For the need for certainty, the setup phrase might be:

Even though the Doctors are certain there is no cure for this disease, I choose to be whole, healthy and healed.

Even though I'm certain my condition will only worsen, I choose to be open to my health improving somehow.

Even though I am certain that I'll always have this condition, I deeply love and accept myself.

You might also ask questions such as "What about this disease are you sure of?" and then clear these responses.

For the need for significance, this would have to be explored with rapport and in some cases maybe some humor mixed in:

Even though I like the way I get special attention because of this disease, I deeply love and accept that I'm special even without this disease.

Even though none of the doctors I've seen can figure out what is wrong with me, I choose to be whole, healthy and healed.

Even though I've stumped the whole of Western Medicine with this condition, I deeply love and accept myself.

You might also ask questions such as: "What about this disease makes you feel important?"

And, for love and connection, again this would have to be approached with rapport and caring. Setup phrases such as:

Even though my family might not take care of me if I was fit and strong, I deeply love and accept myself.

Even though I'd miss going to the support group each week, I love and accept that I can make even more friends.

Even though nobody would care for me if I didn't have this disease, I deeply love and accept myself.

After handling these aspects, there may be some lingering guilt for being a burden on others so watch out for this and include phrases such as:

Even though I've been a burden on my family for all these years, I am deeply grateful for their love, I completely forgive myself and I choose to get on with my life.

I have not yet used these ideas in treatment of actual clients so I present this as a theoretical model and would appreciate feedback and comments from your own experiences along these lines.


Rod Sherwin


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