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Articles & Ideas


What would happen if this problem wasn't there any more?

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Silvia Hartmann from the UK gives us, yet again, superb insights into the creative delivery of EFT. This time she introduces several questions we can ask clients that will point us directly to the core issues involved. Please write these questions down for future use. They can mean the difference between a so-so result and a jaw dropping success.

Just to make it easy, I am listing the questions below...

"What would happen if this problem wasn't there anymore?"

"What do we need to do BEFORE you can release this problem?"

"What do you have that makes this happen?"

"What don't you have but is needed to end this problem/situation?"

And, while we are on the subject, let me reiterate two of my favorite "get to the core issue" questions...

"If you had life to live over again, what person or event would you prefer to skip."

"If there was a deeper emotional contributor to this problem, what would it be?

Please note that Silvia emphasizes the need, at least for some problems, to address the various aspects in the correct order and sequence. This is similar to my contention that, to be successful, we must sometimes first address the foundational core issues.

Seasoned EFT'ers might be puzzled about the terms "order and sequence" because, in the early years, it was thought that the order (or sequence) in which one tapped the points was somehow important in getting results. Silvia uses the terms in a much different context.

Those interested in why I think the order or sequence in which one taps the points is inconsequential can read my article The Evolution of EFT from TFT.

Hugs, Gary

By Silvia Hartmann

Certain problems cannot be resolved until they are resolved in the right order and sequence.

A ship cannot leave a harbor successfully until the crew is on board, the anchor has been lifted, the ropes tying it to the quay released and the engines switched on - and all of this needs to happen in the right order and sequence or else the whole process simply gets nowhere at all.

Here is an example of how this works in problem solving with EFT treatments. Jerry had a problem with public speaking. He would freeze up entirely and described the sensation in these words, "It was as though there was a giant block between me and the people I am supposed to be talking to, like they are on the other side of a thick, high wall and I can't reach them at all, can't talk to them at all."

He was telling me this because he had tried every form of opening statement to get this "giant block" or "high wall" out of the way and it simply wouldn't budge - the EFT treatment wasn't working at all, there was no movement, no matter how hard and how long he would tap. I had an immediate sense of danger come to me and asked him, "Imagine for a moment if that wall wasn't there, what would it be like trying to speak to a group of people?"

GC COMMENT: Very impressive question. It uses the client's own metaphor to get to the core issue.

SILVIA CONTINUES: He went as white as a sheet, started to tremble visibly and nearly stuttered as he said, "No, no I couldn't stand the criticism!" "Ok," I said, "put it back as it was, quickly." He relaxed immediately but was still shaken from the experience which had shown us clearly that the wall was not the problem, but a SOLUTION to a problem that clearly needed to be solved first before the wall could come down.

In general, when confronted with a problem that won't budge, it is always useful to ask firstly, "What would happen if this problem wasn't there anymore?" This brings up, as it did with Jerry, most likely two further or deeper problems to which the original problem may well have been the solution so far, namely:

1. What you HAVE or what has happened to make it impossible to NOT have the problem. This includes bad memories, traumatic events and decisions, negative emotions such as fear, terror; expectations of failure and of bad outcomes, bad things you were told and you remember always, beliefs about genetic or character defects, etc.

2. What you DON'T have but you need in order to be able to deal with these situations. This usually includes all kinds of attributes such as strength and courage, talent, creativity, intelligence, good looks, the right ethnic origin, the right gender, the right connections, luck, God' s support or even a shining track record of previous successful attempts.

In Jerry's case, what he did have was a number of very traumatic school experiences that had taught him it simply wasn't safe to make contact with people in public situations, and life long beliefs about himself resulting from this.

We began tapping on these and once in a while, I would ask him about the wall and it was getting a little smaller but showed no sign of disappearing altogether. So we went to what he didn't have but needed profoundly to make it be safe for him to face a group of people and feel safe and confident in doing so.

He said that he didn't have the strength and courage necessary to face the criticism and not to fall apart. We tapped on these separately: "Even though I don't have the strength to face angry people." which led straight into watching his father beat his mother and being too afraid to come to her aid. And then, "I don't have the courage to stand up to bullies." It was a very emotional round of tapping and when that was done, the wall had gone.

All that was now left was insecurity and a feeling that he just didn't have any experience with public speaking - it had all stopped when the wall had been built all those years ago. Jerry went on to take part in a public speaking course to get some experience now in a safe environment to make up for this lost "practise time" and the wall never came back.

The two questions of "What do I have that makes this happen?" and "What don't I have but is needed to end this problem/situation?" are very useful when a problem seems to be stuck.

If you consider the Order and Sequence of the overall problem and it's own ecology, there are sometimes other questions to help discover what needs to be done first before this can happen, such as: "What do we need to do BEFORE you can release this problem?" This question gets some very interesting answers from different people.

One lady said, "I would have to promise to take care of myself much better if I was ever allowed to be in that situation again." This led to a sub-set problem group with it's own aspects, and as in the example with Jerry, once THIS was "out of the way", the previously unmovable problem could be tapped away with total ease.

I find it fascinating how our mind-body systems can "switch off" the effectiveness of the EFT treatment if it's deemed that by taking something away - a problem or more likely, a protective device - the person will be worse off than they were before. It can, however, "switch them back on" just as astonishingly quickly again when these very real reservations have been laid to rest.

Silvia Hartmann


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