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Articles & Ideas


Some thoughts about doing EFT with multilingual clients

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Note: This article assumes you have a working knowledge of EFT. Newcomers can still learn from it but are advised to peruse our Free Gold Standard (Official) EFT Tutorial™ for a more complete understanding.

Hi Everyone,

German born Carna Zacharias-Miller gives us a fascinating trip through EFT's use with different languages. Well worth reading if you, or your clients, are multilingual.

Hugs, Gary

By Carna Zacharias-Miller

Dear Gary,

Here are some thoughts about doing EFT with multilingual clients.

Since I am German-born myself, I seem to attract not only German speakers but immigrants from other countries as well. I always enjoy working with them since there is an additional layer of mutual understanding.

My specialty as an EFT practitioner (childhood issues) always brings up "the language thing" for my immigrated clients. The reason is obvious: If you were born in another country and spent your childhood there, your first emotional imprints are in that language.

Does that mean we have to tap in that language? Not at all. Here are some "guidelines" for immigrants tapping on their own, and for EFT’ers working with multilingual people:

1. Use English as the overall tapping language. There is a reason for this: The "morphic field" (informational structure) around EFT is English. It has been conceived in English, its basic language patterns continue to develop in this language (like the Choices method) -  it just has the most "even flow" energy in English. Also, most immigrants have been in this country for some time, and they feel most comfortable speaking English.

2. English is a good tapping language because it expresses basic emotions with ease.  This is especially obvious for me as a German, since German is an intellectually profound, sophisticated language - but it is not very expressive emotionally.  I (and many of my clients) can express basic emotions more easily in English than in their mother language. This might be different for you if your first language is Italian or Spanish, for example.

3. We think and feel differently in different languages. If you had a painful (abusive) childhood, it might be hard to access feelings and memories that you have stuffed away a long time ago.  In my experience, it is easier to access these repressed feelings in English - just because there is no emotional pain attached to that language. If you went through a lot of trauma in your country of origin (childhood issues or not), there is a breathtaking element of emotional freedom just in switching languages.

4. Use the mother language when it comes to the surface naturally. And it usually does when you work on childhood issues! There is this one word, this one phrase that stuck in your mind, and it just comes out in your mother language. Use it, tap on it. As a practitioner, I "jump" at these words and phrases and repeat them over and over. If I don't speak the language, I ask the client to repeat the original word while I am saying it in English.

5. Use childhood names and addresses.  Often, children have nicknames that they discard later. If you grew up in another country, this nickname will be in your mother language, and you probably forgot about it once you came to the US. Dig it out and use it. I always ask my clients for early childhood nicknames when we work on the inner child. These names are powerful; they can open emotional doors that might remain closed otherwise. Also: what did you call your parents? For example, I just can't tap on "Mom" or "Dad"; those are completely alien words to me. I need to go back to "Mama" and "Papa".

Of course, there is no right or wrong in this. Go blissfully with the slightly messy multilingual flow, and everything will work out just fine.

Carna Zacharias-Miller


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