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Was this a negative reaction to EFT?

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Hi Everyone,

Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Licensed Acupuncturist Suzi Tarrant from the UK was surprised that one of her EFT training course attendees appeared to have a negative reaction to EFT. Fortunately, she was persistent and tried many avenues with him. Eventually, the real reason for the distress showed up and provided a good lesson for all of us.

Hugs, Gary


By Suzi Tarrant

Hi Gary

For the first time ever, a delegate at one of my training courses seemed to fail to experience any benefit from EFT ... and ... have a negative reaction to it.  This man came to the course sceptical but curious.  He had heard good reports from his colleagues and was keen to try EFT to see what it was all about.  He was hoping that it would work for him in addressing his tendency to worry a lot, especially with regards to his performance at work.

Half way through the day, he reported back to the group that he was just going through the steps mechanically and was not experiencing any change in his issues.  He was starting to feel somewhat irritated and annoyed, perhaps especially as others were getting good results.  I encouraged him to be as specific as he could and to focus on the sense of irritation that he was experiencing right there and then. 

A little later I checked in with him again and found that he was becoming more agitated and increasingly uncomfortable.  He said that he did not like the tapping at all and was frustrated that it wasn't working for him.  I wondered at first if he was one of those who struggle to get in touch with feelings but this did not seem to be the case, especially as his feelings were becoming more intense the more tapping he did! 

I then wondered if he was getting stuck because he needed someone else to work with him, so I spent some time tapping directly on him saying, "Even though I feel so frustrated and annoyed that this isn't working for me ..." and "Even though I want to get up and leave the room because I feel so agitated ..." and "Even though I don't like this tapping ...". 

He then said that he was feeling much worse and I could see his distress quite clearly in his face and body language.  My next query was if it was the tapping that somehow didn't suit him as it was that aspect of the procedure that he said was annoying him the most.  I've found that some people find the tapping too stimulating (perhaps because their energy system is very sensitive or fragile at that particular time) and they can respond better to more gentle techniques. 

So we then used the Touch and Breathe technique continuing to work on his current distress and discomfort.  Although he prefered this to the tapping, he still did not feel any better.  Perhaps his system was very sensitive but that wasn't the barrier.  I wasn't ready to give up.

With a little further exploration, he was able to acknowledge that he didn't like the Set Up statement "I deeply and completely accept myself".  He said that this was not true for him at all, in fact the opposite was the case and this was part of the reason he worried so much about his work.  He felt inadequate and unable to match up to his own internal standards. 

I wondered then if we were not even getting past the Set Up.  In fact, the Set Up statement he was using was triggering a core issue for him - his lack of self acceptance.  He was triggering a core issue but then not focusing on it with the tapping, so it remained unresolved.  In fact he was feeling the impact of it more keenly because it was being triggered over and over again.

This certainly seemed to ring true for him but unfortunately we were not able to pursue this any further at the time.  I encouraged him to persevere with EFT, focusing on his lack of self acceptance and offered my help as well if he wanted it.  I haven't heard fom him as yet. 

I learnt a lot from this situation and am grateful for what appeared to be his failure to benefit from EFT during the workshop.  I have learnt about the importance of persistance, especially with regards to rooting out apparent blocks to EFT.  I have also learnt a lot about the power of the Set Up statement and to be more aware of how this can be an issue for some individuals.  I was encouraging people to say the words anyway, even if they didn't believe them.  Even to emphasise and shout the words (as we do!). 

I am aware now though, that I need to be on the lookout for how the Set Up (I guess no matter what the words are) can trigger off core issues and thus not allow the person to get any further - in fact to feel increasingly worse as their usual defenses against the core issue are possibly undermined as the Set Up statement, repeated over and over again, triggers an intense emotional reaction.

In summary then, I don't think he had a negative reaction to EFT at all.  Nor did he really fail to benefit from it - as he wasn't even getting to the "treatment " part of the procedure.  I am hoping that we will have the opportunity to work together so that he can find a way of using the tool to his own benefit.  I'll let you know how we get on.

My sincere thanks for a technique that has transfomed my practice (and my own life).

Best wishes

Suzi Tarrant

 

 

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