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Intro to Being Specific With EFT Tapping

The More Specific You Are, The More Precise Your EFT Results.

Tapping Be Specific image

In learning how to find Aspects, we began the process of breaking an issue into smaller parts, which is a big step toward better Tapping results. Next we will improve that skill by being more specific with each Aspect. Any time we work with an Aspect of an issue rather than the issue itself, we have become more specific because we are narrowing in on the actual source of the problem. With further exploration, you will find that each Aspect has smaller parts, or Aspects, of its own, and by being more and more specific we get closer to resolving the core of issue.

As you will learn...

The more specific you get,
the more precise your results


the closer you come to the core of your issues.

All this draws you into deeper and longer lasting results. Although our focus is still on emotional issues, we’ll begin with a physical discomfort as an example for simplicity and then translate it for use on emotional issues.

Headache example - Being Specific with EFT

A headache may sound like a specific ailment and, in a way, it is.  After all, it is a specific sounding discomfort (ache) located in a specific part of the body (head).  Now that you know about Aspects within the EFT Tapping Process underneath the surface, hopefully you can see how “this headache” might serve as an umbrella for a combination of different sensations, like a sharp pain behind the left eye combined with a throb in the left temple and a heaviness in the forehead. Each of these sensations could be seen as an Aspect of the headache.

Instead of targeting “this headache” with The EFT Tapping Basic Recipe, I try to reveal the Aspects by looking for more specific information like its precise location (front, top, back of head, behind the eyes, etc.) and its specific nature (sharp pain, dull ache, throb, etc.). That way you can target the most intense part of the headache first, and recognize the additional parts as they show up. 

Once you have a specific description, you can use The EFT Tapping Basic Recipe to target that Aspect, for example, “Even though I have this sharp pain behind my left eye…”.

Check the intensity after a round or two and, if the pain is not completely gone (down to zero), you will likely find that the specifics have changed.  The sharp pain behind the left eye, for example, may have “moved” to a throb in the left temple. This is critical information because it means that the sharp pain behind the eyes has either substantially improved or disappeared.  It didn’t really “move,” although it may certainly have appeared that way. Now that the pain behind the eye is gone, the pain in the temple is next in line for attention. This is a form of switching aspects that can be easy to miss if you aren’t being specific and looking for new aspects to appear.

Here are the three most common signs of an Aspect switch when using EFT Tapping for physical symptoms.

  • Pain moves to a new location
  • Pain changes in quality (different size, sensation, shape, etc)
  • Pain increases in intensity

EFT Tapping Digging Deeper image
When we become more specific,
we are simply digging deeper

When we become more specific, we are simply digging deeper to find more Aspects of the issue. As in the last article, you can treat each new Aspect as a separate issue in the Tapping process.  Thus your first round of The EFT Tapping Basic Recipe might start with, “Even though I have this sharp pain behind my left eye….”  Once the intensity of that pain has come down to zero, you might notice the “throb in the left temple” and do a few rounds until that comes down. Your next step may be to address the “heaviness in the forehead” and you would continue in this manner until all the Aspects of the headache have disappeared.

When Being Specific on a physical symptom or discomfort it is best to get at least five different types of description for the pain so you can see how the symptom is shifting. Common options are as follows:

  • Exact Location
  • Exact Size
  • Shape
  • Sensation (throbbing, stabbing, tight, etc)
  • Density, Thickness, or Weight
  • Temperature
  • Color

The list of details, of course, is endless.  The idea is to gather specific information about the discomfort and then use The EFT Tapping Basic Recipe on those specifics one at a time. In the following video, Tina demonstrates how you might be specific while addressing a physical pain with an actual client (Cathy).




If your primary complaint is pain or physical discomfort of some kind, this might seem like an appropriate way to use EFT Tapping to resolve it. Indeed, it is one way, but being more specific with the descriptions is a much more efficient approach than targeting the issue as a whole. However, this latter method takes longer.especially when the underlying emotional contributors are more complex.

When working with emotional issues, we often target things like “butterflies in the stomach,” “a knot in the neck,” or “a constriction in the breath” that can show up with emotions like nervousness, anger, or fear, and it is very useful to observe those sensations as they change. We may also begin by addressing a physical pain hoping that it will open the door to an emotional contributor.

Translating the EFT Tapping Process from Physical to Emotional Issues

When directing EFT at something physical, I always assume that there is (or may be) an emotional issue behind the scenes. I also assume that the Aspects of that emotional issue are being either reduced or resolved by the Tapping rounds. As the specific descriptions of the pain change, I see those as evidence that we are switching from one Aspect to another and I can keep track of our progress based on how the pain changes.

Being specific can be seen as looking more closely or more deeply at the issue. The most obvious way to look more deeply at a physical symptom is to identify the emotional contributors behind it and address them directly with The EFT Tapping Basic Recipe. If the emotional contributors can in turn be broken into Aspects, or individual parts, of their own, then you can be even more specific and get faster results.

If, for example, you are working on a relationship issue with your spouse and the problem is that you feel that your partner is too critical, you could start by tapping on “Even though my partner is critical…”

However, that would be a very global approach. The real problem is your response to the criticism, so being more specific would mean targeting your feeling of rejection. “Even though I feel rejected when he/she criticizes me…”

It is likely that there are one or two particular areas of criticism that bother you more than others, so you can be more specific by identifying those individually “Even though I feel rejected when he doesn’t eat the dinner I made…”

Going further, you can identify the words he/she uses and use his or her name in your Setup. “Even ‘though Jack(Jill) said I should have made pasta and I felt rejected…”

With that level of specificity it’s much easier to see when that Aspect has cleared and a new one presents itself. For example, you might find that once the rejection is clear, there might be anger to address. After you clear the comment about the pasta and find that there was another comment about how you manage the schedule, there could be different emotions around that.

By trying to address an issue in its more global form, you miss the opportunity to see the progress as it happens. In addition, by being as specific as possible, the new Aspects we find will often lead us toward the core issues behind the problem.

Now let me draw your attention to a fact that tends to separate the lasting results from the rest.   In our relationship example, you could have ignored the specifics and just addressed the issue by doing several rounds of The EFT Tapping Basic Recipe with “Even though he criticizes me….”.  Chances are, you would feel less intensity about it, as your persistence may have collapsed some of the specifics behind the scenes.  Targeting a global issue like this instead of the individual Aspects is like doing EFT with a blindfold because you can’t see where you have made progress and where you haven’t. It may provide some relief because of the raw power of The EFT Tapping Basic Recipe, but...

...when you fail you have nowhere to go.

So going for the specifics gives you a deeper, more intelligent pathway into the problem and your Tapping successes are likely to be more frequent, deeper and more permanent.  It gives you the option of being surgically precise.

Consider this … when you’re Tapping “blindly” on “he criticizes me,” we assume there are more specific Aspects of the issue being addressed under the surface. Let’s say there are 5 different aspects and your global Tapping rounds resolved part of Aspect #1 (the rejection about dinner), all of aspect #3 (his tone of voice), and half of Aspect #4 (your anger about dinner), which was enough to provide some relief. Now, let’s say that Aspect #5 (the comment about the schedule) kicks in a week later and the general upset about his criticism comes back.  Now, you might conclude instead that “EFT doesn’t work”, in which case you will never know the real results. What do you do?

One option is to do some more blind, global Tapping on “he criticizes me” and hope to resolve the remaining Aspects. However, you don’t know there are 5 Aspects because you haven’t investigated that far … there may be 25 for all you know.

The better option is to be more specific, investigate for Aspects, and resolve them completely, one by one. That way, we know that Aspects #1 and #4 weren’t resolved all the way and need to be revisited, and you can check to be sure aspect #3 is still gone. If you also address aspect #5, then dig up and resolve aspect #2, you will be headed for longer lasting results.

Another EFT Tapping Example

How might we approach a social anxiety issue? Do we perform tapping on “Even though I have social anxiety…” and expect a few rounds to help us be more comfortable in all situations? No, we don’t. Being more specific involves looking at the different people or situations that trigger your anxiety and tapping on them one at a time. If you recognize that going to happy hour at a bar is the hardest social situation for you, break that down into smaller parts. Why is that harder than being at work? Why is it harder than being around your family? Is there something about strangers? Are you more nervous around men than women? Is there something you are afraid will happen? Is there something about the quality of the light or the lack of personal space in a crowd? Working with those individual details of that one type of situation will target the problem more precisely, and you can test it by going to happy hour and seeing if you are less and less anxious each time. On the other hand, if you tried to test your work on the happy hour scenario by looking for changes in your social anxiety at the office, that wouldn’t make much sense. If you had been tapping on “Even though I have social anxiety…” you may have resolved the issue in one area but tested it in another without knowing the difference.

This concept can be applied to any emotional issue you can imagine, but if asking yourself the right questions is difficult, there are EFT professionals trained to do that for you. Hiring a practitioner to help with your process can often streamline it for you and help you apply these concepts to your individual situation.

Let me emphasize that we are still near the beginning of this EFT Tapping Tutorial and are still laying down the foundational parts of this process.  Being specific gives you more detailed information about the issue and allows you much greater control of the process.  It lets you work directly with the building blocks of any issue and is vital if you are going to achieve the best possible results.

If you find that exploring specifics is taking you back to events from earlier in your life, that’s good news! That means your system is showing you the way to the most influential issues to address so that your current problem can be resolved. Our discussion of Being Specific is far from complete, and we will soon get to the importance of addressing the events in your past which is where the real EFT results happen.


In this article you learned how Being Specific with your Tapping can help you be more effective.

  • It can help you find more Aspects to address.
  • It can help you get to the core of the issue.
  • It can help you recognize and evaluate your results more easily.
  • You can be more specific with physical or emotional issues, but working with emotional issues is often the shorter path to lasting results.



© Gary and Tina Craig
All Rights Reserved

Please note: This Tutorial, while useful, was replaced in 2014 by my newest advancement, Optimal EFT. More efficient. More powerful. Full explanation given in my free, easy-to-read e-book, The Unseen Therapist