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Articles & Ideas


The many benefits of EFT circles--and how to do them

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

A big thank you to Sonya Sophia Illig for elaborating on the use of EFT Circles. Many benefits here for all concerned. She says, "I don’t run ads for my practice and am often booked a month and a half in advance for as many 90 min sessions as I choose to do. This is due in large part to the EFT circles.  The circle provides a demonstration of the power of EFT (the power of love, acceptance and forgiveness applied to everything).  The circles also give new and prospective clients a chance to witness other real people using EFT with great success. They get to see that it is not just me, the practitioner, who believes in this modality. It is win-win for us all!"

Hugs, Gary

By Sonya Sophia Illig, EFT-ADV

I find weekly EFT Circles the best way to give my clients a cost-effective boost during the week. The Circle is an extra place for them to finish working on something from a previous session and it helps them to create community and support one another, to ‘borrow benefits,’ and to see how much we are all alike inside, ending the self-imposed isolation so many experience.  I get the added benefit of processing my own fears and limitations with my group, setting an example that you don’t have to be perfect in order to accomplish great things or to be an EFT practitioner!

The feeling of community that comes from our EFT circle is palpable.  Total strangers, who come feeling depressed, pained or anxious, usually feel connected after just one circle!  An extra benefit is that people can introduce friends or family members to EFT by bringing them to the circle.

The weekly EFT circle is conducted in a safe and professional way.  People are more likely to get friends to practice with them on small things after trying it out at a circle.  We get to see our regular participants’ lives BLOSSOM and change as a result of coming to the circle.  People get invested in caring for each others’ lives.  Because they see real progress in each other, people feel inspired to keep tapping.

My EFT Circles are funded by a suggested donation of $10-$20 rather than a set fee so everyone can attend no matter their financial circumstances.  I always encourage people to come regardless of their ability to pay.  Some donate set up/clean up time, some bring food, others offer rides.  The circle acts as a form of community outreach as well as a way of giving back to the community that supports me so well.

I usually receive from $50 to $120 per circle depending on the size of the group.  My circles tend to grow to the size of the space I am using.  Often in my small living room, we had 15-25 people.  I have had EFT Circles as large as 175-200 people at outdoor festivals and events.  Hearing 175 people yelling, “I love and accept myself!” at a festival is a natural high for everyone!

I don’t run ads for my practice and am often booked a month and a half in advance for as many 90 min sessions as I choose to do. This is due in large part to the EFT circles.  The circle provides a demonstration of the power of EFT (the power of love, acceptance and forgiveness applied to everything).  The circles also give new and prospective clients a chance to witness other real people using EFT with great success. They get to see that it is not just me, the practitioner, who believes in this modality. It is win-win for us all!

EFT Circle Format

I allot 3 hrs from arrival to clean up, for the circle.  This may sound long but it is really needed, (unless you have a very small group.)  I tell everyone to arrive at a certain time and that we will start 15 minutes later giving people time to socialize, get settled, use the restroom, or arrive a few minutes late without disruption.  I have soft music playing to warm up the space, with low lights and comfy cushions, couches and chairs to sit on.  Out of concern for the chemically sensitive, I do not burn incense or scented candles.

We sit in a circle, as equals, so each person can see the others.  If the group is large, we create two concentric circles with a circle of people on the floor on cushions, and others on chairs and couches.  Sometimes people like to stand for part of the session around the outer circle.  Some circles may be more like rounded rectangles because of the size or shape of the room.

Supplies needed:

  1. 2-3 pitchers of filtered water placed on the floor in the center of the circle. (I always suggest people bring recyclable water bottles as well)
  2. washable glasses or cups for drinking water
  3. 2 boxes of tissues (placed at opposite sides of the circle)
  4. meridian charts (from local acupuncturist supply shop or online)
  5. 1 stack of 5X7 index cards (preferably colored cards) assortment of colored pens
  6. 1 note book for EFT practitioner to write in 
  7. donation bowl
  8.  flyers and business cards to promote EFT
  9. appointment calendar
  10. sign in sheet to gather newcomers’ names and emails into EFT data base light snack for afterwards (optional)

What I include during the EFT circle

  • Welcome, including acknowledging newcomers.  I explain the boundaries for our session: not discussing other’s issues outside the circle, keeping personal physical boundaries appropriate, and logistics of the restroom.  I recommend people serve themselves water at any time and leave as needed to use the restroom.
  • Brief explanation of EFT.  Here is the time for introducing great EFT resources as I come across them. (I showed the EFT 7 min. video during this section when it first came out.)  Pass around meridian charts around or an Alex Grey book (shows meridians and energy body very well).
  • Mention the “interesting side effects” of doing EFT so no one is alarmed or embarrassed by people yawning or burping, having strange pains, tingling, getting extremely sleepy or sudden bursts of emotion etc.  I let them know that they are free to be natural and to move and process however their body naturally does.
  • We always begin with a water meditation to focus our group, center and to become more present, visualizing the water being filled with the highest thoughts they can think or feel in this moment.  We then serve up the super-charged water to drink, staying hydrated and able to process emotion more effectively.
  • Pass out index cards and pens.  I use index cards because they are stiff enough to write on and add a visual manageability to the size of the issue (How big can the issue be if it fits on a 5X7 index card?) I choose colored cards for cheer and to be different from school memories.  I ask people to take 2 cards, one for notes inspired from within (in case they get what I call a Divine Download.  I believe it is profitable to pay attention to these sudden insights.)  I ask people to write down what they put into the water first and then to write on the second card, the subject heading that they desire to focus some healing on.  I remind them to be very specific.  They can choose any category that feels less than wonderful: physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, or something they are wanting to create.
  • I ask them to list of all their negative emotions about their topic.  I also ask the following questions to help draw out more information, giving a moment to jot down answers:
  1. What are your disempowering thoughts or negative self-talk?
  2. Where do you feel it in your body?
  3. When did this start and what was going on in your life back then?
  4. What does it remind you of feeling before? (earlier memories) Who do you “secretly” blame?( including your self) What is the hidden benefit of keeping this pattern? or What do you get out of  having to do , be or feel, by keeping this issue as it is?
  5. Who would you be without this?
  • Finally, on a scale of 1-10, we assess the emotional charge of the issue, as well as assessing the rest of the written feelings, statements and beliefs that have been uncovered.
  • I give everyone a minute or two to introduce themselves and to share what they have written (if they feel inclined), reminding them to be very succinct.  (2 min times 20 people is 40 min!) I explain that they can just say pass, or they can keep the topic private, reading only the feelings and beliefs etc.  Most want to share, but some feel too vulnerable, especially at first.  I let them know EFT works either way.
  • I start the sharing with my own topic (modeling brevity), leaving out names or sensitive information about other people in my life.  I lead by example to put people at ease. (Sharing my process keeps me from being put on a pedestal.)
  • I ask everyone to begin by tapping their collarbone points using the thumb and fingers to get both points simultaneously.  They can tap there or follow the lead of others who know the points.  Tapping keeps us from taking on other people’s feelings or getting overwhelmed with our emotions as we speak.  I ask everyone to take a big deep breath releasing it with a audible sigh between each person’s turn.
  • As people speak, I take notes of the issues and feelings involved so we can touch on something for everyone.  I circle the statements most mentioned to be sure to emphasize those in the session.
  • If the words I am using do not fit their situation, I encourage them to use words that reflect their real feelings, even if the rest of the group is saying something else.  Honest naming of emotions is essential to effective EFT.
  • We tap in unison for as many of the common (or rare) feelings on the list as we have time for.  I guide this intuitively, usually starting with “impossible to clear this” and tapping early on for “numbness.” I generally cover the basic emotions of Fear, Anger, Guilt, Sadness, Exhaustion, Overwhelm, Embarrassment, Failure, and Unlovable.
  • I make sure to include positive thoughts to reprogram the mind for success, peace, courage, ease, health, strength, love, grace, intuition etc., especially the beautiful thoughts that they put in the water to reinforce those positive feelings.  The group tapping usually lasts about an hour to 90 minutes.
  • We conclude with tapping intuitively all over the body saying what we most need to hear in the moment.
  • We rest in silence for a minute or two to integrate the session.  There is usually a deep sense of peace and grace palpable in the room.  If you use this format, please leave space for this meditative silence.  It is often the most profound part of the experience!
  • Next we check in to see what our numbers are now and to see how everyone is feeling.  I ask people to adjust their numbers and give a brief report on what they are now noticing.  This time gives me an opportunity to give suggestions and tips for further tapping and to acknowledge the success so many people have getting great reductions in the emotional charges, or completely collapsing their issue’s charge to a 0.
  • We then stand, hold hands and bow, stretching our legs in a forward bend and raise our hands up together as we come up together we say YEAH!!!
  • Afterwards I put on some cheery music and request everyone clean up their glasses, cards and tissues.  Some enjoy a light snack together, getting another chance to socialize as my assistant restores the space.  

People often make appointments for private sessions at this time.  I also hear people making arrangements to go out for a late night meal together to continue the flow of good feelings.  I love to see my clients’ lives climb to new heights from the new friendships, deep love and powerful alliances that are created during our community EFT Circles!  May we keep creating new ways to share our loving EFT practice.

In Love and Service, Sonya Sophia Illig O.M. EFT-ADV


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