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Articles & Ideas


An EFT method for installing new behaviors

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Here is a method with wide ranging appeal. Thorsten Kominek from Germany gives us a detailed look at how to install behavior changes and then expands the idea to emotions such as depression. This is well worth your study.

By Thorsten Kominek

People always do what is familiar to them. Fear of the unfamiliar in its many forms is, of course, very widespread. By contrast, going for what is familiar is a very powerful mechanism everyone has, and it can be used as a doorway to let people adopt a desired, unfamiliar behavior.

The Mechanism: The intensity of the unfamiliar feeling of the new behavior is rated and then resolved.

The Elegancy: After that, the client will automatically go for this new behavior because it now feels normal and familiar to him.

Real Case Example:

I was on a vacation with some children, and after helping one kid (age 12) to get rid of his depression attack (which is an exciting story itself), it seemed like I was a magician performing tricks. And I asked him if he wanted to see another cool thing.

He was happy sitting with his back bent forward, and I asked him, if he wanted to be able to easily sit up straight. He answered, that he had always wanted that, and I said: OK sit up straight for a moment, and tell me how it feels to you.

We identified an unfamiliar feeling, which we brought down to zero in one round. By using:

Even though I have this unfamiliar feeling ...

And after that there was a little bit of strain, which we resolved to zero in one round. We tapped:

Even though I have this strain ...

Then he was easily sitting up straight with a comfortable familiar feeling, as if he had always sat that way. He mentioned, that he went to physical therapy for that issue several times but to no avail. The whole thing I did with EFT took us less then five minutes.

Now the funny thing: I wanted to test the result, and asked him to sit as he used to sit before. He bent over and said that now this felt unfamiliar.

I had the chance to watch him for a few more days, and he sat up straight ever since.

I also use this behavior change with golfers to optimize their swing. By integrating one piece after the other you can completely change a complex movement - the swing - in a matter of hours. I ask them to do this one part right, that I want to integrate, for example more body tension. And I ask them again how it feels. Let's say it feels unfamiliar and exhausting. I resolve with them the unfamiliar feeling, until it feels familiar. Then I greatly reduce the exhausting feeling, until the high body tension feels good and comes automatically without having to think about it. I then go to the next item. For example too much right and left movement, and then I do the same thing with that.

It is important to always get an intensity number for the familiarity and for the effort first, because the conscious focus created is useful and sometimes crucial. Also, people tend to forget. Without the numbers, it would seem like you are not making any headway while , in fact, you are.

Here are some ideas you could use (for XYZ insert the wanted behavior):

Even though, XYZ feels unfamiliar and strange, ...

Even though I am not used to doing XYZ ...

Even though I dont want to do XYZ, because it feels unfamiliar, ...

Or suggestive:

Even though the unfamiliarity is only an emotion like fear, we can resolve now, ...(This is great. I always show them that EFT works in some other not so problematic area first. If the person has experienced and witnessed the success of EFT in one area then you can expand the belief of this one area to another, unfamiliar area as well. This is a bit advanced.)

Even though I want this XYZ to feel familiar, like I have done it for ages...

Even though it feels hard and difficult for me to do XYZ, ...

Even though its exhausting to do XYZ, ...

Some reason elements:

Even though it doesn't need to feel unfamiliar, because after normal practice, it would feel familiar anyway, ...

Even though it is exhausting, because I am not used to doing XYZ, ...

Test the old and the new behavior afterwards. The old behavior should feel unfamiliar and the new and wanted behavior easy and familiar. Go on until the familiarity is 10 and the unfamiliar feeling is 0. You can also test the scale, if it is 10. You can ask: So it feels familiar like you are tying your shoe now? - If not, go on until it does.

The other way around:

Why not use this doorway the other way around on a depressive person for example to get rid of the familiar feeling of sadness, so that it now feels strange and unfamiliar for them to be sad. (Replace the sadness accordingly.) Some examples:

Get a number for how familiar it feels. Use this as a benchmark.

Even though the sadness feels familiar, ...

Even though I like this familiar feeling, ...

Even though I need this familiar feeling, because ..., ...

Even though this familiar feeling reminds me of ..., ...

Even though I want to keep the sadness, because of the good familiar feeling, ...

Or using provocative methods:

Even though I want to feel more sad, to have more of this good familiar feeling, ... I want to have the sadness of other people as well.

Or instructive to the unconscious:

Even though I command my unconscious to make sadness unfamiliar, ...

Even though I command my unconscious to make peace familiar, ...

Experiment yourself, and let your intuition guide you. Intuition brings up all the tricks you use in other situations, with a preference for the sentences that hit the bulls eye.

Please, as always with EFT: Do not be discouraged if it does not work right away, like in the example. In most of my cases it took more than two rounds.

Regards, Thorsten Kominek


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