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Articles & Ideas


Combining EFT with Humor

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Humor gives us two important advantages when delivering EFT to clients....

1. It offers a superior means for testing our work. If, indeed, the client can laugh or smile about some aspect of their issue (even rape, war trauma and the like) then we have sound evidence that we are making progress. The "heaviness" is being lifted.

2. It offers a nearly ideal arena for reframing. For a client to genuinely see their issue from another perspective (reframing) is often the ultimate goal during healing sessions. Humor adds a form of "comic relief" and thus, in the midst of an otherwise heavy session, it adds a welcome perspective.

Dr. Alexander Lees from Canada demonstrates the use of humor with a client beset with a "fear of terrorism." By "taking the light road", Alex interjects such humorous quips as...."There's some really neat anti-terror spots on the body...."....that serve to lighten the whole load for his client. You should find this approach refreshing.

Also, Alex uses this case to bring up another point....namely....that Core Issues don't always have to be in the past. Sometimes they are in the here and now.

Spend some time with this one.

Hugs, Gary

By Dr. Alexander Lees

Perhaps it's because my office is located two streets from the Canada/US border, or perhaps it's something else, but whatever the reason, I have many clients from the Seattle area. As soon as they clear Customs, they turn left, and drive down a quiet country lane to my office. "Ron," a new referral was now sitting in my office lamenting the border line-up. As is often the case, presented concerns are expressions of a deeper issue, a Core Issue, and it is the resolution of the Core Issues that allows the most change and emotional growth to occur.

One of the 'traps' of learning to go after the Core Issue is the assumption that Core Issues occur in time, and future events are coloured by them. It really isn't that rare an occurrence where something happens in the NOW and in turn biases or contaminates memories of the past. In these cases, the NOW occurrence or occurrences are the Core Issue(s). This turned out to be one of those cases.

Ron continued, "It was less than a two hour drive up here, but it took another hour to clear Customs. Boy, they sure are edgy these days," he commented. Before I could respond, Ron continued, "My friend "Jeff," that referred me, said it's a heck of a lot worse returning to the States. He was asked for his passport, and he was born in Washington! Well, he didn't have it with him, and it took him 2 1/2 hours to get an OK to drive home."

We spent the next ten minutes delightfully trashing the bureaucracy involved, and then Ron cited the reason for his visit.

The Presented Issue

He outlined his growing-up years, especially his disappointment at being raised in a single parent home, his successes and failures in various school sports, and the embarrassment of spontaneously kissing a girl on her birthday in Grade 8. "She wiped her mouth and said 'Yuk!' right in front of everyone. Geez, I was embarrassed for days after that," he declared.

After a bit more time had been spent in what I call the information gathering stage, I finally asked him, "Well, you've certainly had your ups and downs, (Ron began to nod his head) and am I assuming correctly that you'd like to begin to clear some of this stuff up?" My tapping digit was already beginning to awaken.

"Well, yeah," he said, half-heartedly. The tapping digit began to relax a bit. "Okay," I responded. "Share something with me. How do your childhood experiences affect you now?"

"How do you mean?" Ron asked, looking a tad perplexed.

"Stuff from our childhood, when it bothers us in our 20s, usually fits one of two categories. We either find ourselves doing something we'd like to stop, or we want to do something, and find ourselves procrastinating, or stopped in some way." Sometimes my seemingly brilliant insights come across as exceedingly dim, and this seemed the case now, judging by the look of consternation I was now receiving.

The Core Issue

"Well, I don't know about any of that Doc," Ron offered. "But I do know the world's going to hell in a hand-basket, and I feel pretty down."

"Who's world?" I asked.

"Mine, my friends. We have this colour-coded ALERT thing in the States. Everyone we know is scared. It's like they keep flashing Danger! all the time. And the border guards are paranoid. Even my Mom says she's afraid driving to work. Last Saturday she came home from the mall crying. She said she was sick of being scared. She even quit her bowling team because she's too scared to drive in that part of town at night."

I listened attentively for another half hour or so, and the following points were noted from that part of Ron's narrative.

Ron and his mother fight a lot.

These arguments cause added stress in both their lives.

Their mutual and respective fears regarding terrorism is the root cause, or in my way of thinking about things, it is providing the emotional fuel driving the arguments.

This fear has now generalized out to many other aspects of Ron's life, and his mother's.

The terrorism threat is also affecting their friends.

I now felt I had enough information to begin. "Ron, first off, you're right. There is a great fear that's spreading through both countries, yours and mine. You seem like a bright young man, so I know you will understand when I say the fear spreading is exactly what the terrorists want. Confident people are a threat to them. People going about their lives are a threat to them. The whole idea of terrorism is psychological warfare. Frightened people don't fly in planes, they produce less, the economy and social structures begin to crumble. People in fear become immobilized, and that's how a terrorist wins. Do you remember how frozen you were when the kids laughed at you for kissing the girl in school? You might as well say that was a feeling of terror."

"So what can anyone do?" he asked. My tapping digit jumped to attention. "There's some really neat anti-terror spots on the body." I began. "Let me show you." I grasped his left hand, and began to tap the P.R. point. "Say this out loud for me, it helps make the editing buttons work better," I told him.

"Repeat after me:"

"Even though the world's going to hell in a hand-basket, and the US and Canada in particular, especially Seattle, because it rains too much there anyway, and I'm scared, disillusioned and upset, especially 'cause I am worried abut my Mom, none-the-less, I deeply and completely accept myself anyway, even though what's her name didn't appreciate my kiss."

We then did a quick round using the phrase, "The terrorist thing."

Three more rounds, with a variation on the theme, brought us to the end of a two hour session. Ron knows and appreciates, there is more to do, but couldn't contain himself from blurting out how much better he felt. "Can I bring my Mom up?" he asked just before leaving. "Of course, but tell me, when do you want to work on your childhood stuff," I tested. "You know Doc, right now my childhood seems like it was just a childhood. I'd much rather deal with this stuff." I agreed with his assessment.

My training before EFT would have allowed me to "talk" Ron through these very real issues. Eventually, given enough time, his thinking would change, and because of that change, he would begin to feel better. EFT works a little differently. By zeroing in on the emotions and beginning to clear those, Ron's attitude and his thinking, will change automatically, which is a much shorter route to success.

Dr. Alexander R. Lees


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