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Articles & Ideas

Core Issues

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Learn how Suzanne Lerner uncovers a core issue that leads her client into new areas of business productivity. On follow-up the client says, "Fantastic! I'm all over it. I made calls last Wednesday, 10 calls, and got a couple appointments. It's like I never had that problem. It's unbelievable!"

Hugs, Gary

By Suzanne i.b. Lerner, PhD

Hi Gary,

You have wonderfully demonstrated how helpful it can be, when dealing with someone's current problems, to go back and address specific past events where they've had similar challenges. EFT is extraordinary at helping to clear out these old, painful experiences. Once these core issues are cleared, it's remarkable how the person becomes more free to respond in a natural, healthy way and accomplish whatever goals they may choose. I'd like to share some recent work where a "surprise core issue" turned around my client's problem in the most delightful way.

"John" contacted me, because he was starting a new job, and he just couldn't get started. He was really in major avoidance. He found himself just not making the calls or setting up the appointments that he knew he needed to make. We worked on several issues, including clearing the frustration of having to go back to work, his fear of pushing himself as hard as he had when he owned his own business, and his self-criticism that he was being "lazy." After we worked on these issues, he could see more accurately, that this new job allowed him to create his own schedule, work whatever days he chose, and "let his boss do the worrying." After a series of tapping rounds, he began to look forward to this job that would provide him with some extra income, working 3 days a week, while still having time for relaxing, sports and the grandkids.

Still, there was one aspect that needed to be cleared. He found that he had a painful fear of being rejected by the people he had to call. It didn't make sense to him, because these were people who had already expressed interest in the product he was selling. We did some work on his general fear of rejection, and his level of intensity came down a little, but it was clear there was more work to do.

I asked about his family background. He had come from a family that didn't have a lot of money. It turned out that his mother was quite obese, weighing close to 300 pounds. I had a feeling that this was where we needed to explore, so I inquired a bit more. I asked if he thought his mother ate for emotional reasons. He replied that no, he was certain that it was a metabolic disorder, because she was really a happy, kind person. It was obvious from the way that he talked about her, that he really cared for her.

I spoke to him about the challenges of growing up as a kid, and loving your mother, but also having so many people judge her, for being so fat. He immediately agreed, and spoke of how he had just seen a young obese boy at the diner, and how he felt so sorry for the boy. This boy was bound to get some unkind reactions, just because of his size. I gently spoke to John about the bind of being a kid, and loving his mother, but also feeling judged and rejected for having a "fat mom." This touched a very deep core of feelings for John.

We tapped on a variety of issues, including the embarrassment, the rejection, his guilt at being ashamed of his own mom, and his anger at others for being so judgmental. Here's an example of some of the tapping phrases we used:

Even though I hated when I would run into someone from school at the grocery store, and they would have this "freaked out" look in their eyes, when they realized that this really fat woman was my mom, and I just wanted to hide or disappear, I deeply and completely love and accept myself, and forgive myself. I was just a kid, and I was living in a culture that judges people so much by their appearance. It was a hard situation, and I know I loved my mother deeply, and that she knew that too.

Even though I dreaded school events, where everyone would reject us, and look at my mother like she was a freak, I deeply and completely love and accept myself. and my mom. I'm so glad those days are over! People can be so cruel!

Even though I sometimes used to wish that I had a "normal" looking mom, and then I'd feel guilty for having such thoughts, I deeply and completely love and accept all of me. I was just a kid, struggling with my own identity. I did the best I could with a pretty challenging situation.

GC COMMENT: Our more current understandings of EFT would depict the above as good reframing ... a means of having a client see things through "different glasses."  Further efficiency can be gained by getting into the details of specific incidences (events) involving the mother.  See EFT Reframing - Another Way to See Things Through Tapping and Uncovering Specific Events - An Essential Concept Within the EFT Tapping Process

After some more tapping, I knew that John had made a major shift. Not only were his intensity levels down, but now he had access to new memories. He spoke of how some lady had once come up to him and told him what a wonderful mother he had. She explained that she had moved to their town and didn't know anybody, and that his mother had gone out of her way to help this woman feel welcome. In fact, his mother often went out of her way to make other people feel comfortable. "She sounds like a remarkable woman," I replied. "Yes!" he said with new warmth and pride.

And then that moment came, that seems to occur sometimes with EFT, where I saw a new connection, a way to help John connect with his memories of his mother, in a whole new way, as an actual resource. I asked John to tap on his karate point as we talked.  GC COMMENT:  Good.  More Reframing.

"You know John, your mother must have had an awful lot of courage, to go out there day after day, with people rejecting her, and still doing what she needed to do. She really must have had a kind of strength of character."

He replied, "You know, I suppose you're right. It certainly couldn't have been easy for her." And then I added, "And in witnessing her strength, in the face of all that rejection, you probably learned some of that strength as well ... to be able to stay in balance, even when some people may reject you, for whatever reason. ... not to take it to heart." He replied, "I never thought of it that way, but I certainly learned not to take people's superficial judgments at face value. And it probably made me more compassionate as well."

We then wove some of these themes into some EFT set-up phrases and tapping sequences: courage in the face of rejection, John's natural strength, that he had learned from his mother, his ability to cope and not let fears of rejection get to him. It felt so beautiful, that somehow the liability of having a "fat mother" had now turned into a strength that could support him and at the same time, honor her spirit. We both felt quite moved.

I followed up a few weeks later, to see how our work had affected John's challenges with his new job. Here's his report:

"Fantastic! I'm all over it. I made calls last Wednesday, 10 calls, and got a couple appointments. It's like I never had that problem. It's unbelievable!" I asked him what he thought had helped the most. He replied: "A lot of the stuff with my mom really helped. I never had a chance to discuss it before. It's remarkable. It was huge, what we did in our session. I can't thank-you enough!"

NOTE: All of our work was done by telephone, which I find to be a really helpful way to work with EFT.

I hope this is helpful!

Warm Regards to Our Beautiful EFT Community,

Suzanne i.b. Lerner, PhD


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