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Articles & Ideas

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Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Most of us have had the experience of completely collapsing a fear of something (e.g. flying, heights, public speaking) while the client is sitting in a comfortable office located a far distance from the feared object or event. So long as the client can "tune into" all the various aspects of the problem, we can often "tap it away" without the client being "on the spot" (e.g. in an airplane, on top of a tall building or in front of an audience).

This is not always the case, however. Sometimes the client needs to be "on the spot" in order to tune into all the aspects involved. Unfortunately, we can't always be physically present during these times and this is when the telephone becomes indispensable.... particularly portable cell phones. By using EFT over the phone we can be available just about anywhere our client goes.

Patricia Carrington, PhD gives us a live example of this process at work. Within her engaging story she also weaves in (1) a clever "choices phrase" and (2) the important and useful concept of borrowing "Personal Resources".

This idea has wide ranging applicability and is not limited to fears. It applies to confrontations of every kind as well as sales call reluctance and athletic performance (to name a few). There is a lot of useful info here. Read on.

Hugs, Gary

By Patricia Carrington, PhD

Recently I have been experimenting with an interesting method of leading people through an EFT session at a distance right when a fear-arousing situation is occurring. The client is at the other end of a cordless or cell phone as they confront a real-life fear head-on and talk to me at the same time.

I first tried this "portable phone technique" with my client "Edie",,who had done extremely well in therapy, dispelling the bulk of her multiple phobias through the use of EFT. One by one we had chopped down the "trees" in a huge forest of issues involving a fearfulness of life in general. However, one remaining area was so persistent that she chose to devote a whole session of her therapy to a fear of -- yes -- BIG BLACK BEARS, the kind that come out of the woods and "stare at you".

Edie lives in a residential community in the mountains where the houses are situated on forested land and typically have long winding driveways that lead several hundred feet to the street. The mailboxes are all on the street, and so it is a bit of a journey to get to them in the morning.

Although Edie has lived in this same area for many years and her children have grown up there, and although most of her neighbors easily wander down to their mailboxes daily and many of them even take long walks on the road through the woods without even thinking about danger, Edie could not go 10 feet from her house without beginning to feel panic arise in her. She would have to get into her car and drive the several hundred feet to retrieve her mail, and needless to say she did not even want to think about walking on the road itself, which wound through forest land.

Because a species of large black bears does inhabit these hills, people in her neighborhood typically encounter a live bear once or twice a year on their walks, but when they do they follow a few simple bear-encounter rules such as:

If a bear crosses your path, especially if he or she stops and stares at you pointedly, stand still and face the bear but don't look it in the eyes.

Keep an eye on the bear's legs or feet so you know where it is.

If you return to your destination, walk backwards so that the bear's hunting instinct is not aroused.

There have been no accidents whatsoever in many years regarding the black bears in her vicinity. Apparently these bears are as afraid of people as Edie is of the bears.

Being very adept at EFT, Edie had tried tapping for this fear, but had made little headway with it and whatever gains we were able to make in any of her therapy sessions did not generalize to real-life. She was unable to go further than 10 feet from her house without severe "bear-anxiety".

Obviously something other than the ordinary EFT protocol was needed here. On the spur of the moment during one of her telephone sessions with me, and knowing that she was talking on a cordless phone, I asked her if she would be willing to try an on-the-spot EFT treatment for her fear of bears. After only brief hesitation, she agreed to this.

Edie went outside her house, held the phone and talked to me while she walked five feet from her house. At five feet I asked her to stop and take her Intensity Level. On a zero to 10 point scale of Intensity, it was a 9 just thinking about the possibility of meeting a bear on the road. Edie then tapped on this, but her intensity level didn't come down much. It stayed hovering at about an 8. There was apparently a tough barrier to overcome here.

As I tend to do in difficult situations, if ordinary tapping is getting nowhere, I asked Edie if she knew anyone, perhaps someone in her neighborhood, who had the kind of attitude toward bears that she would like to have -- an attitude that would "solve the problem for you if you had it."

With no hesitation she said she thought of her friend, Susan, whom she described as being so put together about things (including bears) that she cheerfully took long walks along the road without giving them a thought. Very occasionally Susan had met up with a bear, but this hadn't seem to bother her at all and she had handled it beautifully.

I asked Edie to use Susan as her Personal Resource, and to create an EFT Choice that would include her. The setup phrase she came up with was:

"Even though I feel sure I'll be targeted by the animals, I choose to be like Susan".

This Choice, used along with regular EFT tapping, worked wonders. In one round Edie had come down to a zero Intensity Level when standing five feet from house.

With my encouragement, she now increased that distance to 10 feet - it was till a zero. Then she went to 20 feet. At this point her Intensity Level rose to a three -- and I had her tap it down again, still using Susan as her Personal Resource.

Once again her Intensity reduced to a zero and so she was able to walk another 20 feet. She was now 40 feet from her house and at this point she had to stop because the radius of the cordless phone had reached its limit. She tapped her intensity down to zero again and we ended the session there.

However, as is typical of this cooperative lady, Edie was into doing EFT homework on this matter. Accordingly, I asked her to make an EFT Choice Card (a 3' by 5' card on which she would write her setup phrase), and every day to walk out of the house for as far as she felt comfortable to go towards the road. When she felt any distress she was to stop and tap her anxiety down to zero, using Susan as her Personal Resource.

Two weeks later, when she checked in with me again, she said she had forgotten to do the homework after the first three or four days, but she realized, on talking to me, that she had been walking down to get her mail each day with no fear about bears. Her not realizing this until we talked about it was a version of what is known as the Apex Effect, where a person does not realize themselves a beneficial effect of EFT. It was unusual in this case, however, because Edie feels EFT has been very valuable for her in many respects and has no difficulty admitting this. It seems that she simply didn't notice the change in herself THIS TIME until asked about it.

"Have you seen any bears in the past two weeks?" I asked.

"Only from the car and that doesn't count" she said. "It was exciting to see a bear from the car."

I am not certain that she would have been so at ease seeing a a bear from the car before she had worked on this issue with EFT but there is no way to tell about this since we didn't test it beforehand. For all practical purposes, however, her fear of bears has now come down to a very manageable level making Edie's life in the mountains much easier.

Of course it would have been more convenient if we had used a cell phone instead of a cordless phone for this exercise for then we would not have had a limited radius for our experiments. In more recent sessions, with other clients, this is in fact what I have arranged for. The cell phone may be able to be a great help to us in our EFT work. Imagine, for example, a golfer taking a cellphone on the golf course with them and talking with their therapist from time to time, who is leading them in tapping down specific anxieties as they arise. The possibilities are exciting. At another time I will report on developments along this line.

Patricia Carrington, Ph.D.


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