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Articles & Ideas

Being Specific

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

A common error made by EFT newbies is being too global in the issues they select. A good guideline is that the more specific we get, the more reliable will be our results. To me, the ultimate goal is to reduce our issues down to the SPECIFIC EVENTS in our lives that we would like to resolve. This allows us a step-by-step procedure to tackle even the most complex of issues. In this 2 part series, EFT Master Jaqui Crooks from the UK lends her considerable experience to this pursuit.

Hugs, Gary

Part 1
Part 2

By Jaqui Crooks, EFT Master

Part 1

We all know that working with specific events with EFT helps people to heal and, the earlier the specific event, the quicker the healing.  The challenge is in finding those specific events.

I ask my clients to imagine their energy system as a stream running round their body.  When an event makes them feel bad, be it sad, hurt, angry, afraid, or guilty, it is like a log jamming that energy ‘stream’. As time goes on, other logs (negative events) catch onto that first log.  Over time there may a whole log jam around the feeling, or person, or situation that is currently giving them the problem.

You may need to do some work on the here and now, to help your client feel more comfortable.  You may have to clear a few current ‘logs’ to enable the person to ‘go there.’  However, clearing the early logs in the log jam is essential to have real healing of the situation, in the fastest and most effective way.  An added bonus is that as you start to clear them, other logs clear as well which can speed up the healing process.

What can you do if the client doesn’t recall an early specific event? 

There are several ways to do this.

1. When your client doesn’t know 

Sometimes just tapping on “Even though I don’t know where this started, I deeply and completely accept myself anyway.” is enough. It prompts the subconscious to bring up the relevant memories. Ask the client to interrupt if something comes into their mind while tapping – be it a thought, feeling, or picture. Your goal is to pick up whatever the subconscious is offering.

2. Focusing on the Physical

One of my favourite ways to get to early events is to ask the client to focus on the feeling that they get when they focus on the current event. Get as much information about that feeling as you can (e.g. Colour, size, hard/soft, rough/smooth, moving/still, quiet or noisy.)  Sometimes asking if it has a voice and what would it be saying can be useful too.

Get a very through description of the feeling.  Then ask the client to close their eyes really focusing on that feeling.  Ask them to go as far back in their life as possible and share the earliest time they remember having that feeling.

It can be helpful to ask them to go back to even before that time and see if that is still a familiar feeling.  If so, there will be events that are even earlier to find.  Often these earlier events pop up as you work.

In my experience, most core issues are created within the first 2 or  3 years and can even have taken place in the womb if the mother was distressed while carrying them.

One case where this occurred was with a client who had a profound sense of rejection and being not good enough for all of his life, as far back as he could remember. He was the 8th child of 11 and when he asked his mother later about his birth, she told him how desperate she’d felt when she was pregnant again and said that she’d tried to abort him and it didn’t work – the ultimate rejection. We tapped on that event and worked through other early events in his life.  He left with a totally different perspective of himself and of his mother. It helped their relationship as well.


After finding the earliest event that you can, or that your client is willing to address, evaluate the strength of the emotion around the event.  You can use the 0-10 scale or use the information about the physical feeling to check on progress and shifts by following physical changes.  The ultimate goal is to  find no evidence of the feeling left when they focus on the event.


Now tap on the earliest event that you can find and the feelings that come with it and clear it, making sure the client lets you know if any other events come up as you tap, (they often do). Using the information about the feeling around that event allows several aspects to be cleared at the same time. It is also very useful if the client doesn’t want to talk about the event. You can clear for them without knowing what happened, if you use the feelings.

  • Even though I have this hard, rough red lump in my chest, When I think of x event, I’m OK
  • Even though I have this hard rough red lump in my chest and it’s moving and buzzing, I’m OK.
  • Even though I have this red lump and it’s saying you can’t do this, just like my mother, I deeply and completely accept myself.
  • For reminder phrases you could just say one word on each point, hard, red, lump, rough, moving, buzzing, can’t do this, I’m OK.

Use their words

You continue to tap through any changes. After one round the hard red lump might be softer, or less rough, or less red, or still, or quiet, or saying something different. Whatever is there, you put into a new round of statements, there’s no right or wrong, just keep following what the client says.  Eventually you will get to the point where the feeling is no longer there, or there is just a shadow, or a space where it was. Tap for that too.

Is it complete?

You will have finished the work when you say to the client how does that feel and he says: great, or comfortable.  But check even more closely by asking if there is anything else around that feeling.   Watch their body language and you’ll know if there is still something there.  

When you ask for a number on the 0-10 scale, the answer should be 0. If it’s not, just check that they’re still focusing on that event and if they are, and it’s not 0 there’s more tapping to do. If the feeling has gone, it’s very likely that the scale will be 0.

You’ve cleared an important log from the log jam. Other logs can be cleared at other sessions, but you have started the process and it is likely that other ‘logs’ will not register as high on the scale as they once had.

Next section will discuss finding unconscious links where there is no memory.

Jaqui Crooks

Part 2

Sometimes you know that there must be early incidents that are contributing to the current situation, but they’re just not coming into the conscious mind.

3. No Memory (note: the numbering follows from Part 1)

Sometimes clients will have no memory of their childhood, which can often indicate unhealed emotions that they weren’t able to deal with at the time.

One way of dealing with this, is to make up a story of something that may have happened and tap on that. ALWAYS do this with the client’s permission.  It must be something that they contribute about what they think MIGHT have happened. 

Finding unconscious links 

Use lots of maybes, possibly’s, and perhaps’s and the subconscious will take what you say and find links with what really happened and clear the emotions. It’s rather like borrowing benefits while working on yourself.

A client (we’ll call her Katie) had difficulty feeling comfortable in long term relationships. About 18 months into a new the relationship her feelings would just switch off.

We did some detective work around her early life by asking her family as the client had no conscious memories of that time.  When Katie’s brother had been born her mother had been seriously ill and stayed in hospital for a long time.  She was still ill when she came home.  During this time Katie was left with her father, who also had a farm to run.  Katie was 18 months old at the time and she surmised that perhaps she had been left alone for long periods of time.  Perhaps Katie had learnt to switch off her feelings in order to survive.

We had no means of knowing whether this was true but, with Katie’s permission, we tapped as though it might have been.

  • Even thoughit’s possible that I was left alone when my mother was ill, I deeply and completely accept myself.
  • Even thoughI might have been so scared and confused and felt abandoned, and perhaps I decided to switch my feelings off, I deeply and completely accept myself.
  • Even though this, or something like this, may have happened I choose to clear all those feelings now, wherever they come from.

This languaging is telling the subconscious to look for anything that might link in any way and to clear it.

Katie had great difficulty in accessing feelings to scale, but we noticed that she got hot at the thought of certain statements.  We used the ‘hot’ feeling as our scale. After a few rounds, Katie cooled down and we assumed that something had cleared. You could equally well ask your client to guess what the scale might be. They can be surprisingly accurate.

As always the proof is real life. Eighteen months have not yet passed, but Katie went into a relationship soon after our session with very different feelings.  She now knows that if there were to be a problem, it is just another aspect to tap on.

4. Give instructions to the subconscious. 

Another way to clear early specific events that you can’t find, is really simple.  Find the earliest event that you can and tap on it.  Include in the statement, instructions to the subconscious to clear anything earlier.

  • Even thoughI feel so angry about xxxx and I’ve probably felt that lots of times before and since then, I deeply and completely accept myself.
  • Even though this is a very familiar feeling, (Pause to check that the client agrees), I deeply and completely accept myself and that feeling.
  • Even thoughI’m so angry about xxxx I choose to release that feeling wherever it comes from.

You may find that once you start tapping, earlier events may pop up.

But if they don’t. you will still have started the healing process.  The tapping for those earlier events will impact the feelings in the here and now.  Even if there were no earlier events, you will have done no harm.  If there were you’ve included them in the healing, a win/win situation.

So don’t limit yourself to the here and now.

If you feel there are earlier roots, do some detective work and tap.  Continue to ask if your comments/reframes fit their experience.   If something you say doesn’t fit, make sure you client feels comfortable to interrupt you and tell you what does.  

Remember, there is no failure, only feedback. 

Jaqui Crooks

EFT Master


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