EFT is easy, effective, and produces amazing results. I think it should be taught in elementary school.
Co-Author of The Promise of Energy Psychology.
Finding Aspects within the EFT Tapping Process
This One EFT Tapping Idea Will Dig Beneath the Surface and Boost Your Results
Aspects are hidden
pieces of the issue
Beyond The EFT Tapping Basic Recipe, we still have another 80% of EFT’s power to capture, and learning about Aspects is the first step. Breaking an issue into smaller parts and Tapping on them individually is the biggest key to EFT success and it all starts here! From this point forward we will be addressing emotional issues, so if you don’t have one in mind, please review the previous article for ideas.
Aspects are smaller parts of an emotional issue, like puzzle pieces, and until we know how to uncover them, they can be hidden “behind the scenes.” Until all of the parts, or Aspects, have been resolved, you may still feel intensity on your overall issue, and it may seem like "EFT didn't work very well" ... or ... the issue eventually "came back" ... or ... EFT “didn’t work at all.” In reality, the Aspects you have already resolved are often still resolved, and the intensity you feel is coming from the Aspects that remain.
For complete relief on most issues we usually have to confirm that ALL the Aspects have been resolved, and that requires looking a little deeper and finding the individual parts of the issue that may still need attention.
Case #1 - Auto Accident - finding more Tapping to do
Here's an example. A client of mine still had trauma symptoms from an auto accident of 20 years ago. When I asked what bothered her about the accident she said,
"The headlights!! The headlights!! I can still see them coming at me."
I then applied EFT to the headlight emotion and then, mistakenly, asked her if the accident still bothered her. She said,
"Yes. I am still very tense ... in fact, I'm shaking inside."
So, unless I investigated further, it would appear that my client made no progress and that EFT "didn't work." But the problem was that I asked the wrong question. I asked about the accident (the broader issue) instead of the headlights (the specific piece, or aspect, we addressed with EFT Tapping).
Eventually I figured this out and asked, "Do the headlights still bother you?"
Aspect: The screams in the car
Her answer was, "No, but I can still hear the screams in the car."
Do you hear another piece (Aspect) of the issue? Sure. The headlight trauma was fine; she waved it off like it was nothing. EFT resolved it beautifully. But now it was the screams in the car (new Aspect) that bothered her. Once the screams were relieved with Tapping, I found that she still had guilt for driving too fast and held anger at the doctors and lawyers involved. More aspects. Sometimes an unwanted memory can have many Aspects to it and you aren’t done until all of them have been resolved.
Resolving an Event (like the accident):
If the issue you want to address is something in particular that happened in your life, then seeing the Aspects is often straightforward. There are words people said, gestures or tones to go along with them, things you saw, things you heard, emotions you felt, or any other details, all of which could have their own unique levels of emotional intensity.
Whether you’re trying to improve your golf game or have a hard time speaking in public, you should be able to see different parts as they show up. In golf, it may be a particular kind of putt, or it may be a thought in your head just before you hit the ball. For public speaking, you may worry about the size of the audience, something about the location itself, the subject matter, or maybe there is one member of the audience that triggers intensity. No matter what area of your life seems blocked, there will be individual Aspects triggering the intensity you feel. Putting yourself in the actual situation can be a great way to trigger those Aspects and bring them to your attention.
As you tap through whatever Aspects you find, other issues or events from your past might come to mind. In that case, they are usually related to your current block, so switching your focus to those older issues will usually provide more powerful results.
Common examples of current emotional issues would be anger management, relationship issues, workplace stress, social anxiety, low self-esteem, etc and they will all have Aspects of their own. Anger management may include all of the individual behaviors or people that trigger the anger. For relationship issues, look for the smaller individual things that irritate you or leave you feeling upset. Social anxiety could bring up particular kinds of situations that are more problematic compared to others.
As a general rule, the more Aspects your issue has, the longer it may take to resolve them with EFT. On the other hand, some emotional issues only have one Aspect and it only takes one or two rounds of EFT Tapping to give them relief. They are among our "one minute wonders." Others, like the accident example above, have many Aspects and require more diligence.
Each Aspect, when present,
is treated as a separate problem
Once you discover new Aspects, resolving them is straightforward. Just address each of them as a separate problem and bring the intensity down with The EFT Tapping Basic Recipe. Be sure that you are now measuring the intensity of the Aspect before and after each round instead of measuring the entire issue each time.
As you gain experience working with Aspects, you will find that once you have resolved one, the next one needing attention will usually present itself. It can be just as simple as switching your focus to something different about the problem, and you may not even notice that it happened. We call that “switching aspects”, and it is easy to spot if you are on the lookout for Aspects.
As the intensity from one Aspect of the problem has been resolved, like the headlights in the accident example, your system will automatically shift to the next Aspect that needs to be addressed, like the screams in the car. The first Aspect will no longer seem important and the new Aspect will gracefully take center stage. If you are looking for Aspects and know how to spot them, this part of the process can be very handy. EFT can be like peeling layers of an onion because as you resolve one layer, the next one is right there underneath it.
On the other hand, if you are only paying attention to the overall issue, like the accident itself, you may not notice the Aspects as they come and go. The Aspects of the issue will be there behind the scenes, generating intensity, whether you know about them or not. In fact, the intensity you feel on the issue itself may be fluctuating or even going higher, based on the Aspect your system is currently tuned into.
As a result, you may conclude, erroneously, that EFT “didn’t work” because you simply don’t recognize what has happened. On the contrary, Switching Aspects is resounding evidence that EFT DID work. It’s just difficult to see the progress until you break the issue into its smaller parts.
Case #2 - Dave's Fear of Water, Tapping in the Swimming Pool
Finding Aspects may be as simple as putting yourself in a situation that triggers your issue, and testing your results in a variety of ways. Dave’s fear of water had a number of Aspects that may not have been found without putting him in different situations in the pool.
Below is a video example of his EFT process. This is from an hour long session that I edited down to a few minutes so that the Aspects feature stands out.
In this video, you will see that Dave has a major fear of water and the mere act of wading into a swimming pool would normally cause him major panic. We perform EFT for this fear while outside the pool and he then enters the pool with no fear whatsoever. To an outsider, this appears to be Tapping success. However, when I ask him to submerge his head under water many new Aspects show up and it becomes very clear that we are not done.
Be particularly alert to the fact that these Aspects appear as a result of my putting Dave’s apparent lack of fear to a test (asking him to submerge his head). It is not enough to have the client just wade into the water without fear. Remember that the issue will still carry intensity of some kind and may “come back” until all the Aspects have been cleared, so I want to test it in as many ways as I can to assure that “we got it all.”
This video was filmed with a home movie camera in 1995 amidst a variety of normal public swimming pool noises. Accordingly, you may need to listen carefully to parts of it. It is well worth the effort, however, because the message about Aspects within the Tapping process is foundational to your education.
Case #3 - Rich's Height Phobia, Asking a Question Brings More Tapping Results
Below is another video wherein more Aspects showed up as a result of using an actual situation and asking some common sense questions to challenge the results and find more Aspects.
This video starts after a 20 minute EFT session wherein Rich's major fear of heights was reduced to the point where he thought he could look down from a third story fire escape without anxiety. As you will see, he has no problem whatsoever. Tapping success? Not yet.
After about 1 minute into the video I explore with Rich other height challenges and discover more Aspects that need Tapping. Note that I don't refer to them as Aspects. You won't either after awhile because they are quite routine. You just notice them and deal with them.
This video was done in 1994 with a home movie camera and, as you will notice, the wind is noticeable in the audio. This does not detract from the message, however. Take a look.
Common Signs of a New Aspect appearing in the Tapping Process
There are several telltale signs that you have a new aspect to address. The following tips will help you recognize them.
You focus on a new detail:
If you are Tapping on a fear about an issue, and then sadness comes up, you probably have a new Aspect. Similarly, if you are Tapping on your reaction to “what he said” and then you shift to the “look in his eyes”, you probably have a new Aspect. Just like in the accident example, you may need to do some exploration to find out if your focus has shifted, but once you identify that it has, you have a new Aspect.
Intensity won’t go to zero:
If the intensity has not dropped to zero after a few rounds of EFT Tapping, you may have shifted to another Aspect of the issue. In other words, the intensity from the original Aspect may be gone, and the new Aspect is coming in with a similar level of intensity. If you can separate the two in your mind you should be able to confirm that the original is indeed clear.
Please understand that where several Aspects of an emotional problem are present, you may not notice any Tapping relief until all Aspects are reduced to zero. This becomes very clear when you compare it to its counterpart in physical healing. If, for example, you have a simultaneous headache, toothache and stomach ache, you will not feel healthy until all three are gone. The pain may seem to shift from one ailment to another but it is, nonetheless, still pain. So it is with emotional issues that contain different Aspects. Until all Aspects are gone you may not feel you are getting relief even though you have taken care of one or more Aspects.
Intensity comes back:
If you thought you addressed an issue completely but then it comes back a day, a week, or even a month later, you probably have a new Aspect to consider. If you keep track of the Aspects you have already resolved, you have somewhere to start when the issue comes back. Go back to each of the previous Aspects, see if they are still zero, and notice what new part of the issue is still causing intensity.
In theory, and proven by countless examples over the years, an issue will tend to come back in some form until all the Aspects have been addressed. In fact one of the most common mistakes made by EFTers, both new and experienced, is failing to address all the Aspects. As you understand by now, incomplete work can lead to misperceptions about EFT’s effectiveness, and leave you without the best results possible.
If the intensity increases or the issue gets worse, you have probably just uncovered a new Aspect with higher intensity. To confirm, focus on just the original Aspect and rate that intensity from 0-10. Chances are it will be low and thus the increased intensity you first experienced is likely to a new Aspect.
This gets more difficult when you are directing EFT at a physical issue. If there are emotional issues behind the scenes that are contributing to the physical symptoms, then the new Aspects might just look like more pain. Getting behind those issues for Tapping takes a little more skill but we will cover that in upcoming articles.
EFT Tapping Practice for Aspects
Before you move on to the next article, explore the concept of Aspects with an emotional issue of your own. Break the issue into smaller parts, start with the one that seems most important, and use The EFT Tapping Basic Recipe to see if you can clear that smaller piece. Be sure you are measuring only that smaller piece before and after each round for accurate measurements. Once you have reached zero or some plateau of intensity on that Aspect, move to the next one and repeat the Tapping process.
Notice for signs of switching Aspects.
Once you feel like you have resolved the pieces, put yourself in the actual situation to see if you can trigger the issue again. If you do, that’s good news. There is more to do and you know where to start. If it is impractical to put yourself in the actual situation then vividly imagine it.
If you get stuck or reach a plateau and don’t know what Aspects to address, again put yourself in an actual situation or vividly imagine the issue and see what comes up.
Most issues are not resolved right away, so don’t be surprised if it takes time and practice to get lasting results. We have only just begun.
In the following demonstration, Tina uses Basic EFT to address a memory. Similar to the accident example above, this memory has a handful of Aspects ... how many can you identify?
- Many emotional issues contain related parts that are, at first, hidden from view. These are known as Aspects.
- Clients often switch from Aspect to Aspect during an EFT Tapping session without realizing it.
- The issue may not be resolved until all Aspects of an issue have been addressed completely with EFT.
- Each Aspect can be efficiently handled by treating it as a separate issue for Tapping.
- Aspects are usually easy to find. They commonly appear as you test your work.
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