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Articles & Ideas


An important case on aspects--Martin's learning challenge

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Dr. Patricia Carrington recently wrote about "Martin" and his success with EFT in overcoming a difficulty in learning a technical subject. It was a marvelous story and one that set a clear example for handling learning challenges of all kinds.

As you will see below, this positive result held up nicely. However, it was confined to learning through books and other means OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM. As fate would have it, Martin subsequently enrolled in an advanced technical class and immediately developed an uncontrollable urge to sleep. The cause for this wasn't apparent until Dr. Carrington masterfully discovered another aspect, namely, Martin's response to his new teacher's phrase, "You're on your own." This, of course, became an ideal candidate for EFT. You will appreciate, I'm sure, Dr. Carrington's handling of this issue.

This is an important case because it illustrates so nicely the importance of persistence and skill. EFT, as we all know, often produces superb results even when the tapping is done mechanically without any "art of delivery." However, when mechanical tapping "fails" I think it inappropriate to conclude that "EFT doesn't work." It is more likely that the practitioner needs to be more artful. Dr. Carrington's article illustrates this nicely.

Hugs, Gary

By Patricia Carrington, PhD

Those of you who read my original post on this e-mail list about Martin, the Web designer who overcame a block to learning the essential computer language, JAVA, by using EFT, will be interested to hear what is happening with him now. Even if you didn't read my first post, however, you may well be interested in hearing how we handled the next obstacle that came up for him in his saga of computer training.

Martin's original EFT session on this issue consisted of him using his JAVA textbook to work with me on identifying specific learning blocks that prevented him from going forward with a study program in this area. With the help of EFT, Martin not only identified his blocks to learning JAVA, but was able to change his attitude about learning further computer skills in a significant manner. Now, from having formerly been postponing any plans whatsoever to learn needed computer programming skills, Martin has grown to have real enthusiasm and interest about learning these skills. Also, instead of looking upon learning programming skills as somehow " beneath a pure Web designer", he is now fully open to this learning.

An example of this is what happened when I recently asked him to bring in his JAVA textbook again to a session, and when he came he was able to open it at virtually any spot and fully and easily understand what was written there. He was also able to check on anything he did not understand. In short, he had made excellent progress with respect to the learning which he outlined for himself.

However, he now faced a new challenge. On his own initiative (not at his wife's suggestion, although I am sure she was pleased about this) Martin had recently signed up for an intensive night school course in advanced computer science. The course will teach him the programming language ASP, which Martin expects will advance his career considerably.

Because he had been resisting going back to school for such a long time, and for good measure, Martin scheduled an appointment with me to take place immediately after the first class meeting.

When he came for this appointment, Martin was of two minds. He found the teacher definitely competent, and the textbook clear and not too difficult to comprehend and he was actually looking forward to mastering this new computer language. However, during the class itself he had suddenly become extremely sleepy- not just a little bit sleepy, but so overwhelmed by fatigue that he could barely hold his head up and it was near impossible for him to concentrate. What had happened? Martin was understandably concerned.

True, it had been hot in the room, and also he had not had enough sleep the night before, but there was something about the suddenness of the sleepiness and its intensity that made Martin suspicious. He did not understand this and wanted to look into it.

The way we tackled this problem confirms something that many of you may know but that I cannot repeat often enough -- and that is the value of searching for hidden aspects of a problem and tapping on them one by one until the original difficulty finally disappears It also shows the value of being able to meet the client where they are, so to speak, and not push ahead against odds until those odds themselves are first handled with the EFT.

Martin didn't have a clue as to what his strange sleepiness in class was all about and could think of no reason for it. In response to my questions, all he could remember about the class was that it seemed to him as though there had been something " vaguely intimidating" about it, but he had no idea what that was.

Actually, the feeling of intimidation didn't seem to have much if anything to do with the actual class, which Martin had looked forward to, so to try to get at this "unknown" quantity (an example of Backing Up in EFT, a subject I discussed in my previous post on this list), Martin formulated the following set-up phrase:

"Even though there was something vaguely intimidating about the class, I choose to see this class as a very NEW and stimulating experience."

The word "new" he had put in at my request because I suspected that some old patterns from Martin's childhood might be replaying themselves here. Could it be that what had happened when he switched schools as a boy when his family moved to a new city -- a traumatic experience for Martin -- was the culprit here?... We were about to find out.

Martin commenced his EFT session with an Intensity Rating (on a 0 to 10 scale) of "6" with regard to his feeling of fogginess in the class and his need to escape from that room. After one round of the Choices Trio (for a detailed description of this strategy see Chapter 3 of my Choices Manual) he had come down to a "3" on his Intensity Rating, and commented that while he tapped, he had been thinking of how he really wanted to learn this, and yet at the same time he could feel himself wanting to lean back and simply go to sleep.

I asked him to try to remember the class in as much detail as possible and he commented that while he had been pretty excited about it before he went there, at one point the teacher had begun to go much faster because the material was too familiar to some of the students, and that at that point he had felt "kind of lost."

We were preparing to tap on that "lost feeling", when something else came to Martin's mind that supplied a clue with respect to the real difficulty underlying his sleepiness reaction. Martin casually mentioned that his sleepiness had begun when he was asked to type the example given in class (each student works with a computer in front of them) and work on it by HIMSELF. Up to that point the teacher had been demonstrating to the class, but at this point he had turned to the class and said, "Now you're on your own." It was then that Martin's sleepiness occurred.

Something rang a bell in my own mind when he told me this. When Martin had been forced to switch schools as a boy (when his family had moved to the new city), this event had been extremely difficult for him because in his former school there had been very small classes and there he had received a great deal of attention and encouragement from the nuns who were teaching him. But in the new public school into which he had suddenly been thrust, he found himself in a class of 60 children where there was virtually no possibility of individual attention. From that point on, Martin's attitude toward school was radically changed and his marks, plunged. His reaction now became one of discouragement and dislike of school.

Could it be that it was the computer teacher's comment, "Now you're on your own", which had triggered Martin's adverse reaction of intense sleepiness? As soon as I asked him about this, Martin felt in touch with this concept.

Still, however, I wasn't sure we were on the right track until I had tested him by saying to him loudly, "Now you're on your own!" and saw his immediate reaction of high anxiety and a sense of helplessness.

Aha! Now we had a clear-cut issue to work on. Martin and I formulated the following set-up phrase:

"Even though the teacher said "You're on your own", I choose to see how strikingly different this is from the that public school class."

I wanted Martin to make a clear distinction between the past and present, which is why I suggested he include the word "new". One of the most important reasons that a problem may linger from the past and affect the present is that the unconscious mind has no sense of time. To this part of the mind, if it happened before, it is happening NOW. It is therefore extremely helpful when making an EFT Choice to word it in such a way that the difference between the past and the present is clarified. This can free a person from the tyranny of the past, can let bygones be bygones.

After one more round of the Choices Trio, tapping on this new phrase, Martin spontaneously commented that it was now clear to him that "You're on your own". had been a trigger phrase for him. So, I decided to test Martin again by saying to him "You're on your own!" -- very forcefully this time. He reported that although his intensity level was now reduced somewhat and was now a "5", he could feel his heart beginning to race when I said that.

For the next round, therefore, Martin created a new set-up phrase which went as follows:

"Even though my teacher said "You're on your own.", I choose to know that he's always there to help me."

He explained that, in fact, his computer teacher was very responsive to the class (which was a small one) and that the structure of the class was for the teacher to circulate among the students, each of whom was working on their own computer, and help them whenever they raised their hand. This was quite different from the public school class of his childhood!

Martin did one more round of the Choices Trio using this set-up phrase, and he was down to "1", and this time, when I called out, "You're on your own!" it simply didn't bother Martin anymore.

"I'm feeling better about the whole thing" he said, "And now I'm remembering that what perked me up during the class was when my teacher made a couple of mistakes himself -- and HE'S a Ph.D. in computer science!"

He was now at the end of his hour, and clearly there was another issue to handle with regard to Martin's ability to be imperfect, but he was already on the way to handling this. He took home a Choices card with his last setup phrase on it and enthusiastically declared that he would be tapping on this issue some more at home.

When he returned two weeks later, he told me that at the next meeting of the class he had that "groggy feeling" again, but that this time he tapped in his head, doing mental EFT (an excellent option that works for many, but not all people) and that he then felt fine.

"The course is actually making sense to me -- I'm actually enjoying it." he said, and added that he is planning to take a more advanced course in the same subject next semester. What a change!.

Since Martin is diligent about doing his EFT homework, I have no doubt that overcoming this latest challenge has represented another turnaround for him, and am certain that it will lead to a new level of competence in his computer training. It will be intriguing to watch!

With all best wishes,

Pat Carrington


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