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Articles & Ideas


New Uses for EFT

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

In this 3 part series, EFT Master Patricia Carrington superbly presents new uses of EFT to bring an extra level of richness to our lives. This is well worth your attention.

Hugs, Gary

Part 1 of 3: Using EFT to Create a Storehouse of Positive Memories
Part 2 of 3: EFT for Gratitude
Part 3 of 3: Using EFT for Forgiveness: The “1% Solution”

By Patricia Carrington PhD, EFT Master

Part 1 of 3: Using EFT to Create a Storehouse of Positive Memories

Gary Craig has suggested that with EFT we are on the ground floor of a healing high rise, and I am certain that the positive uses we have found for EFT so far are but the tip of the iceberg.  In this series of articles I will be sharing with you some new uses of EFT that I have been using with my clients and myself, and about which I am very excited.

Today I will tell you about a method by means of which you can consolidate memories of fleeting positive experiences that may occur during the day and otherwise be ignored, and then reproduce these same experiences later on so that you can resonate with a feeling of well being, goodness, optimism and appreciation any time that you want to.

I think you would agree that this is a desirable outcome.  If you happen to be familiar with the work of Abraham-Hicks (The Law of Attraction), or the popular version of their viewpoint presented in the recent movie “The Secret” (see references at end of article) you will understand why changing our “vibrational level” (the emotional tone of our lives which includes the tone of our entire physical being) is fundamental to creating the life we want.  What is intriguing about this is that I have found that we can use EFT to help achieve this goal!

Even if you don’t accept the concept of vibrational levels (some people don’t), you will probably agree that being able to change your responses to life events so that you experience them differently, with relish and delight and a new sense of meaning, is something to be desired.

I have recently been using EFT to create a virtual storehouse of positive memories which we can draw upon at any given moment to change our emotional state whenever we want.

This storehouse of “captured” positive experiences can be created through the use of EFT, then later be made available to us again, by using EFT at another time.

The positive memories that are stored by this process do not consist of words, sentences or mental images alone, but are made up of deeply-felt and compelling experiences that EFT can bring back to us whenever we need them.

The experiences that are captured in this way are those precious fleeting moments in our lives that we may actually come into contact with far more often than we realize, but which, in the usual hassle of life, often pass by so rapidly that we barely notice them, if in fact we notice them at all. 

The demands made upon us in modern life can engulf us so fully that we find ourselves responding to our days negatively as we try to fight off the distress that not being able to meet all these demands creates in us –– and  of course we can never come close to meeting all of them!  As a result, we often forget that we have within us the possibility of an amazingly deep joy in living.

The exciting news is that we can use EFT to shift our awareness so that the side of ourselves that revels in life for its own sake becomes far more available to us than it is at present. 

To show you how this process works out in action, let me give you an example from my own life.

On a cloudy morning about a month ago I awoke to the sound of a soft pattering of rain on my window pane.  It was a delicate sound, and I have always liked the sound of gentle rain.  However, my tendency, like that of many other people, has been to listen to it for perhaps 15 seconds or so, and then get up and go about my day because there is ”so much to do”.

On this particular morning, however, I decided to use EFT in the new way I had been experimenting with.

I wanted to fix this experience in my memory using EFT.  To do this, I created a short phrase that summed it all up for me:

                             “The sound of rain on my window.”

Without using any elaborate EFT statement, in fact without using any negative statement at all (there was no “even though…” phrase) and without the use of self acceptance affirmations or Choices statements, I repeated that one simple phrase at each tapping point, starting with the inner eyebrow and ending up on top of my head.

This is, of course, is the Short Form of EFT, but you can do this using the long form or any other EFT variation.    

The process went like this: 

Inner eyebrow:  “The sound of rain on my window…”

Outer eye “The sound of rain on my window…”

Under eye:  “The sound of rain on my window…”

and so on for one complete round.

One round of EFT was all I did, but at the end of it I felt an unusual sense of peace.  The sound of the rain pattering on my window pane had now assumed much more importance because I was “tapping it in” with EFT.

A deeper awareness

Tapping on this experience also seemed to have sharpened my senses because I was now aware of another sound, one I had not noticed before.  It was that of a single raindrop repeatedly tapping on an iron chimney which extends from my bedroom through the roof, connecting an old stove in my room to the outdoors.

The sound was hollow and seemed to reverberate like a distant bell.  The drop (it was actually a series of consecutive rain drops) was tapping intermittently at its own pace and had its own rhythm.  I decided to “capture it” for my repository of positive fleeting moments, so I tapped on the phrase:

Inner Eye:  Sound of the raindrop on the chimney…

Outer Eye:  Sound of the raindrop on the chimney…

Under eye:  Sound of the raindrop on the chimney…

Under nose: Sound of the raindrop on the chimney, taking its own time…

and so on.

I was impressed by the fact that the raindrop so clearly took its own time. I could not force it into my rhythm but had to allow it its own pace.  As I continued to tap, I was aware of an increasing acceptance on my part of the drop’s pace and its unpredictability, of allowing it to be outside of my control.

The more I tapped on the sound of the single rain drop against the metal of the chimney, the more it seemed to have a beauty of its own.  I didn’t want to leave the room, but to stay and listen to it.

Even finer awareness

Then I became aware of a faint sound in the distance of Canadian Geese honking in the early morning, a sound I frequently hear when awakening but usually pay little attention to.  I now tapped on:

“Sound of the geese in the morning…” for one whole round. 

EFT “Haiku”

My experience on that morning was meditative, gentle, and brought me close to all around me.  The EFT phrases that came to my mind reminded me of a Japanese Haiku poem. If you are familiar with Haiku, you know that the poet who constructs these poems works within a strict grammatical form most of which is lost to us in translation.  However, the spirit of Haiku is translatable and consists of simple everyday experiences which have been isolated as precious moments, much like the ones I had been noticing. 

When we read a Haiku poem, however, it only speaks to us if we ourselves resonate to the experience that it describes.  When it is effective it is because we respond to it much as a tuning fork responds to vibrations from a nearby instrument.

A Haiku poem comes to us from the outer environment, however.  It has been created by another person, whereas when we capture a fleeting second of our own life using EFT for this purpose we preserve our own personally meaningful experience.

Shifting our attention

During the day that followed, when things around me became hectic and tasks of the day demanded my total attention so much that I was becoming tense and hurried, I would repeatedly stop and commence a round of EFT, saying to myself one of these simple phrases I had tapped into my memory in the morning, as in:

                            “The sound of rain on my window.”

This use of EFT reminded me that there is a totally different dimension of living that has nothing to do with the pressures of the day, one which is outside of schedules and in a sense outside of time. This is a dimension of life where my own experience is so deep and so full that it eclipses everything else, and EFT can bring it back to me when I need it!

Later in the day I experimented with visual images as well as auditory ones, using EFT to embed them deeply in my memory.  I was driving my car in a light fog when I decided to do this because traveling on a highway in a fog is not ordinarily a desirable circumstance and I wanted to change the impact of it upon me so I could function at my best.

Accordingly, I pulled over to the side of the road to use EFT.  I could see the cars ahead of me through the mist, a string of little red tail lights that wound along the highway in front of where I was parked.

Tapping on the positive aspects

I decided to tap mentally on the mist and the lights,  I wanted to use EFT on the positive aspects of driving in a fog rather than on the inconvenience or potential dangers of it, so I tapped on:

“The mist on the highway…the mist on the highway … the mist on the highway…”

As I did this, I became keenly aware of the drifting nature of the mist and of the little jewel-like lights twinkling through it.

I found myself becoming much less tense and I knew that I would be able to drive much better when I resumed the trip.

The lights began to look extraordinarily beautiful to me.  Something had happened when I had used EFT to preserve this experience –– it had sharpened my total awareness.

Next, I noticed that the mist seemed to extend almost infinitely into the distance.  It was an amazing effect, one well worth preserving, so I mentally tapped on:

The mist reaches to infinity,,, The mist reaches to infinity...”, repeating this phrase at each imagined EFT point.

When I resumed driving –– even though the fog was still present –– I now enjoyed the drive.

Later when I was back home, I physically tapped on many of the positive experiences I had stored away during the day, repeating the same or almost the same phrases as I had used originally.

Doing this called forth a vivid reliving of each experience rather than a formal memory.  The feeling tone, the emotion, the thoughts that had grouped themselves around that experience, all were available to me once again.  The tapping was actually recreating these experiences.  They had become a powerful inner resource. 

                                             * * * * * * * 

“Tap in” your own experiences

I will be sharing more of my observations about tapping-in positive experiences with EFT in the next articles in this series.  In the meantime you may want to try this method yourself.  If so, here are the steps:

First, notice what is actually happening around you.

Next, select a fleeting experience that you want to capture, much as you would take a snapshot of a physical object in order to preserve it.  The experiences you will use for this purpose will probably be simple ones, small details of life that you might ordinarily ignore.

When a fleeting moment occurs that seems worthy of retaining for later use, put it into a few words that have meaning for you, such as:

“The light coming through the petals of the orchid…”

Or, “The quietness of my breath as I let it slowly out…”

Or, “The way my reading chair cradles me…”

Then “tap in” this experience using EFT.

As you do so, the experience will become a valued personal resource that you can draw upon at any time.  If you like, jot down the phrases you create in a notebook or write them on cards to keep with you and take out and use any time you feel you need to get back to the original positive state. I encourage you to experiment with this new method, as I am doing. 


Esther and Jerry Hicks ( 2006). The Law of Attraction. Hay House, Carlsbad, Ca. 

“The Secret”.  Movie available on DVD (2006).

Part 2 of 3: EFT for Gratitude

I am always interested in new uses for EFT that may not yet been recognized.  Many of us use this remarkable technique when things go wrong in our lives but fail to recognize that it can be used equally successfully to enhance what is already good in our lives. One such use of EFT is to increase the deeply affirming experience of being genuinely GRATEFUL.

The importance of gratitude in changing the tenor of our lives has been pointed out by many who have thought carefully about what can bring deep meaning and happiness into our lives.  Along these lines, Carol Look regularly advises her workshop participants to create a daily gratitude list on which they write down those things they are grateful for that day.  This is an important recommendation.  Today I am going to add to it by telling you about using this same concept to make this exercise even more powerful.

Before I tell you how you might use EFT to increase the sense of gratitude in your life, I want to point out that contrary to popular belief, gratitude is not easily come by–genuine gratitude that is –– despite the fact that there is much lip-service paid to “gratitude” in our society.  In fact, even for those people who are able to feel grateful from their hearts, there are many areas in even their lives where gratitude could be experienced but it is probably not.

This difficulty arises because, as a species, we are hard-wired, by natural selection over time, to be more alert to difficulties and dangers than to anything else.  Our well known “orienting response must have saved our lives many a time when saber tooth tigers lurked outside our cave-homes.  Under such life-threatening conditions it was certainly the better part of wisdom to be hypervigilant.  We needed to be alert to even the sound of a crackling twig on the forest floor which might signal the approach of an enemy. 

Given that the orienting response seems to be an important component of our inherited neurological makeup, how then can we allow ourselves to give equal attention to the positive things in our lives –– those things that bring us “good” each day?  This is clearly not as easy as we might think.

Many people agree that it is useful to be grateful, and many religious traditions emphasize gratitude as an important component of living, but today it is unfortunately most often expressed in a manner that results only lip service.  If, for example, you ask a group of people to write down five things for which they are grateful you will soon discover that the lists that they generate will more often than not consist of what each person feels they should be grateful for.  These people will indicate that they are grateful for their children, their homes, their partners and friends, their health, etc., but they will usually refer only to large concepts.  They may very well feel grateful in their minds that they have these things when they stop to think about them, but this isn’t what makes up an actual experience of gratitude.

It is the little things in life that bring us the experience of gratitude, and it is therefore far more useful to break up your description of those things that are good in your life into small segments, into real scenes, and then “tap in” the genuine gratitude that you feel for them. We can use EFT to do this in the following ways:

If you feel particularly good about something that has happened in your life, you can “tap in” the gratitude that you feel at the moment so that it becomes a permanent part of your life (see my first article in this series which describes the process of “tapping in” the positive). This is an excellent way to increase the energy of gratitude in your life.

You are more likely, however, to use the tactic of tapping-in gratitude when you are feeling uncomfortable about.  Perhaps something or someone has disappointed or angered or offended you and therefore you presently see only the negative that situation.

This is the exact time when it is most useful to use EFT “to tap” in the positive aspects of that person or situation and thereby change what is called your “vibrational frequency”.  Here is how you can do this:

First, acknowledge to yourself your disappointment, anger, discouragement, self recrimination or whatever other negative emotion you may be feeling by incorporating that into the first part of your EFT Statement that you will repeat as you tap.  Then follow this by an EFT phrase that expresses appreciation for some aspect of the experience or person in question by acknowledging some positive aspect of that experience or person, no matter how brief or fleeting it may be.

Here’s an example of how you could make use of EFT to create a true sense of gratitude if, for instance, you were disappointed in a social gathering the day before.

To handle this, you might formulate an EFT Choices statement that went something like this:

“Even though I’m disappointed at how I felt at that party yesterday, I’m grateful for the way I handled myself by not overeating when I easily could have.”

This statement would be appropriate, for example, if you had managed to eat sensibly and stick to a healthy diet despite the many food temptations that can present themselves at a party, and especially when that party had not been congenial to you.  Genuine self appreciation and gratitude for your own behavior under pressure is certainly justified here –– you handled something ordinarily difficult for you (an uncomfortable social situation) constructively, and overcame an old habit.

In using EFT for this issue you may be more comfortable using a more moderate and objective phrase such as “I appreciate” rather than saying, “I’m grateful for”, but both will bring you to the same experience  ─  that of genuine gratitude. 

Tapping on positive moments that have occurred during a negative experience (almost any negative experience has those moments) can bring to your attention these moments in a very special fashion.  You may well find that if you tap for one or two rounds of EFT using a positive statement of appreciation (repeated at each EFT point) that you will spontaneously begin to remember other moments that occurred during that party (or whatever your negative situation happens to be) when something went right  for you.  It is instructive to watch how our minds, once turned in a positive direction, will tend to remember more and more positive aspects of an originally negative situation; those moments that caused us to feel a sense of relief, gratitude, and possibly even pleasure.

One small moment of gratefulness that is “tapped in” using EFT, can begin to create a mood of appreciation, and by will then automatically call to mind other aspects of the same situation that will now bring forth even more appreciation in you, a vicious cycle has been reversed 

The trick is to identify the fleeting positive memories in the situation and then to tap on them.  In the instance I have just described about a disappointing party, it would be natural to thin first of a flood of negative things about the party.  You might have been disappointed by the people and their reactions to you, or by the general atmosphere, or by the fact that you didn’t say or do something you would have liked to have said or done.  However, as you begin to tap on the remembered positive moments (however brief and fleeting they may be) you will be starting your positive cycle.

One positive thought then leads to another so that before you have finished tapping on your appreciation for the way you handled your eating behavior at the party, you may well now remember a moment during it when you had a brief but enjoyable exchange with someone else.  You might recall that someone smiled briefly but delightedly at you as the two of you passed in the hall, or maybe did so just as they were leaving the house, or you were.  After that more brief positive moments may start to return to your mind, moments during which the party was momentarily satisfying.

When this happens, return to doing EFT and do another round of all-positive tapping to consolidate your gains and solidify these positive memories.  This is done by tapping on just the positive, not using any negative “Even though” statements at all

 For example, you might say at each tapping point something like:

 “Even though I was disappointed by the party, I remember that moment when (insert person’s name) and I exchanged those nice remarks that we really meant.”

If you do this, other thoughts of a positive nature will probably emerge.  You may suddenly remember how you found an easy parking place right in front of the house when you arrived at the party, or how your gift of a small food contribution to the dinner disappeared rapidly as guests gobbled it up delightedly, and other events of a positive nature may now come to your mind, ones that were initially obscured by your feelings of disappointment.

Such small specific events, now appreciated, constitute the essence of true gratitude.  They are not just lip service to the concept because now there is concrete evidence in your memory that there WAS good in this situation.

Similarly, appreciation for another person can emerge when you identify your own positive response to something specific that they did, perhaps yesterday, perhaps last week, or maybe when you last saw them.  This will be some moment when you were delighted with what they were saying or doing, a moment which added something to your life.

You can “tap in” positive memories of fleeting moments with another person at a time when you are feeling annoyed at, disappointed in, or upset with that other person.  In such a situation you might make use of an EFT statement such as:

“Even though (name of person) infuriates me when they start criticizing everybody, I choose to remember the way they shared with me that important piece of information that they had come across last week that I would never have known about.”

Or, to shorten that statement for the sake of tapping, you might use this variation:

“Even though I’m annoyed at (name of person) for their criticism of everyone around them, I’m grateful for those gems of information they shared with me.”

The point is that, by isolating the positive fleeting moments of GOOD you may have experienced in a particular situation or with a specific person, you will be able to create an entirely different energy within you by “tapping in” the genuine appreciation you now feel. This can lead to a gratefulness that is spontaneous and unforced.  It is the gratefulness for life when it is truly good.

In my next article in this series, I will discuss the difficulties that people so often have experiencing the emotion of forgiveness, and suggest how EFT can be very useful to deal with this. 

Patricia Carrington, PhD

Part 3 of 3: Using EFT for Forgiveness: The “1% Solution”

I cannot tell you how often people have told me that they simply cannot conceive of forgiving some other person for destructive acts that person has done –– even if they use EFT for this problem.  They feel that to do this would be paying mere lip service to the concept of “forgiveness,” it would not come from their heart.

I agree that the act of “forgiveness” is all too often a pretense entered into by a person who feels they must “forgive” someone (or fate) perhaps for religious or ethical reasons.  To truly forgive however, especially when one feels deep resentment, fear or anger about a “wrong” that has been done to self or others, is one of the most difficult and "unintuitive" things that we can be asked to do.

The reason for this may be the fact that the act of forgiving is not an act at all in any real sense.  When it happens it does so by default, as we let go of resentment against the other party and the desire to punish.

Webster's New International Dictionary and the Oxford Dictionary of the English Language , both define the verb “to forgive” as:  "to give up resentment against or the desire to punish; to stop being angry with; to pardon.”  It is quite clear that their definitions of forgiveness refer to the result of letting go of anger or resentment or desire for revenge.  Forgiveness, then, is basically an absence of these negative emotions.

This makes for difficulty, however, when we attempt to use EFT to create forgiveness because it is much more difficult for people or animals to let go of something, than it is for them to hold on to it.  Ask someone, for example, to place a book on a table, and more than likely (if they have no particular reason for not doing so) they will find it easy to comply with your request for they are being asked to do a direct and simple act.

However, ask that same person to “let go” of a book they might already be holding and they may well resist that request, or at least hesitate to carry it out until they give considerable thought to the consequences.  They will probably consider possible outcomes that come to their mind and will try to decide whether it is safe and advantageous for them to let go of the book (perhaps it will fall upon the floor and get damaged? Maybe they will be “pushed around” or otherwise manipulated by you if they comply with this request? etc.).  The result is that this person may be reluctant to let go of the book.

I am reminded of the way newborn infants show such a powerful grasp reflex; they can hold on with enormous strength to a finger or object within reach and not let go of it for a long time –– sometimes their fingers will have to be pried loose from the object.  This grasp reflex may well be due to some inherited instinct that helped newborn humans to survive when we were tree dwelling primates.   It is likely that the newborn had to be able to grasp onto their mother or onto a tree branch to protect against a disastrous fall.

Whatever the reason, however, the fact is that it is usually easier for us to hold on to something that it is to let go of that same thing, and because of our use of language, we have a strong tendency to hold on to remembered wrongs and seemingly cannot pry ourselves loose from thoughts about “justice” and “punishment” for such a wrong.  We cling to such thoughts tenaciously for long periods of time, sometimes for a lifetime, and it is not surprising that we hear stories of vendettas that carry on from generation to generation in certain cultures, where a revenge motive actually controls the lives of the people caught in it.

How then can we bring about “forgiveness”, which basically involves a letting go of resentment and giving up of the wish for revenge, even with the use of EFT?

Because forgiveness is actually something that happens automatically when resentment, anger, revenge and a desire to punish have been relinquished, I am going to suggest a way in which EFT can be used to lessen or eliminate resentment and the punishment motive, thereby creating the natural state of forgiveness which is, in fact, an absence of the need for revenge.

Since there is much reluctance in people to letting go of resentment and the need for retribution, I have found it is far more productive to approach this matter in an indirect manner, little by little.  One way I have found extremely effective is to break up the revenge motive into tiny manageable pieces.  I call this the "Divide And Conquer"  tactic.  Here’s how it works: 

Suppose that one person has been deeply hurt another person in the past.  If you ask Person 1 to “forgive” that other person, it usually seems impossible at first.  Even if you ask her or him to “let go” of any resentment they have toward the other person, it still tends to feel impossible.  How, they reason, can a person just let go of resentment at being deeply hurt if they’ve been deeply hurt?

A way to get around this trap, one which I find to be extraordinarily effective, is to BREAK UP the “letting go” process into tiny chunks, so that you prove to yourself that your conviction (i.e. that it’s impossible to let go of your resentment ) isn’t true, that resentment can be let go of in little pieces –– which of course paves the way for a much greater letting go to come.

The way to do that is this:

When you formulate your EFT statement, end the statement by a Choice to “let go of only 1%" of your resentment” (you can even add the phrase, "and keep all the rest of it" if you wish).  Here is how this statement might look in practice 

A person would formulate an EFT statement such as:

“Even though I’m outraged at what "X" did, I choose to let go of 1% of my (anger, resentment, etc.) against (him/her)."

If you use this “1%” solution”, you will probably find yourself able to let go of such a ridiculously small portion of your resentment –– after all it is not much to ask of yourself to give up 1% of it, and you are still allowed to retain most of your righteous anger!  However –– and here is the secret in this approach –– if you are able truly to let go of 1% of your resentment (anger and desire to punish etc.) then you will be in a very different state of mind than you were before.  Something that seemed impossible before will suddenly have become possible, even if on a very small scale, and by letting it happen at all, you have actually opened a door to letting go of your resentments totally.  A little release is always a big release.  You will now have abandoned a deeply entrenched belief, a certainty that you cannot under any circumstances let go of your resentment!

I have many times seen this simple strategy (letting go of 1% of resentment) result in a person's ability to now entertain the possibility of letting go of all of their resentment.  Once relinquishing a desire for revenge is seen as being possible, the road has been cleared for you to release your entire resentment/punishment motive.  When you let go of your tenacious hold on the conviction that “justice must be done at any cost”, and punishment must be meted out for you to be at rest, you finally will be at rest.  You will have lifted a tremendous emotional burden from yourself and be able to move ahead constructively with your life. 

You may decide that you don’t want to see that person again or put yourself in that kind of situation again (or you may decide to do so, according to rational decision) but you are now free to choose what is really best for you.  This is because the emotional charge has been removed from the situation. Now you will have “forgiven” that person, in the true sense of that word. The revenge motive will have evaporated, and because unforgiveness depends on that motive, it too will have melted away.  You will have forgiven this person or circumstance or fate in the true sense of the word, and can go on from there to build a new relationship or other better relationships, or whatever you desire.

I strongly recommend the “1 percent solution” when the need to forgive is resistant to any other approach.

Pat Carrington



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