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Articles & Ideas


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Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Diane von der Weid from Switzerland gives us an interesting use of language to facilitate an EFT session. She starts her article off by saying, "I would like to share my experience in using onomatopoeias (words that imitate the sound they are describing) with EFT because I find that may greatly facilitate the expression of unspeakable emotions for children, teenagers, and adults."  

Hugs, Gary

By Diane von der Weid

Article: Dear Gary,

I would like to share my experience in using onomatopoeias (words that imitate the sound they are describing) with EFT because I find that may greatly facilitate the expression of unspeakable emotions for children, teenagers, and adults.  My husband and I have added them to our EFT techniques for more than a year now thanks to a client with whom I discovered their use.

My client, 8 year old Nina, had a pathological shyness.  She was silent during our first session - she would speak through her eyes which were wide open.  While I was explaining to her a little bit of what we would be doing for the following hour, I could see that Nina wasn't going to open up easily to me because she didn’t’ know me.

So I pulled out a list of different onomatopoeias, and asked her to pick one that would correspond best to what she was feeling just then.  She was surprised of course, and pointed out at one which said hmmpff with a faked indifference.  I asked her to tap on all the points with me, and made the setup with Even though hmmpff, I'm a wonderful girl.

I tapped hmmpff, emphasizing the hmmpff more and more.  Her eyes were getting bigger and bigger and she looked incredulous.  After only one round of EFT she was already more relaxed.  I asked if the hmmpff was any better, she nodded.  We did one more round, and the hmmpff wasn't there anymore.  Now she pointed at Grrrrr, so we tapped for Grrrrr, and then she burst out laughing.  From that point on it became easier for Nina to talk to me - she had started to accept me.

She came in for two sessions.  During the second session we worked to clear her core issues which were about her older brother.  She still used a few onomatopoeias - this time not because she was too shy to express herself, but simply because she found they were easy and fun to use.

EFT'ers who use metaphors know how helpful and pleasant they are to work with.  Metaphors are also a precious tool for surrogate EFT - because the sub-conscious mind often works through images.  Onomatopoeias work in a similar way; in fact we could say that they are tiny, abstract metaphors.  Yet they are very powerful.  In essence, they are a condensed sound PLUS a lively emotion - I believe this is why they are so effective - they do seem to have the capacity to amplify the release of negative emotions.

Here are the advantages in using onomatopoeias with EFT:

  • To help you be more specific when expressing a negative emotion by using very few words.  Because an onomatopoeia can be a wonderful shortcut to long sentences such as Even though I walked out of the room slamming the door with rage…  It is easier to say … Even though WHAM… while putting rage (or any other emotion) in it.
  • They condense emotions in a gentle but very strong way - thus reducing the number of EFT rounds needed to clear an issue.
  • They are easier to shout out because they are short, somewhat playful, and also because they are a little impersonal (just like metaphors).
  • By expressing an onomatopoeia, one tends to get into it more.  So far, we have never met anyone capable of saying Ouch, Ping, Argh, Wham, Grrrr, Wooshhhhh.., etc. in a monotone without any emotion.
  • There is something out of line about them, which tends to favor positive cognitive shifts.
  • Great with kids and teenagers - they love it

With my warmest Regards,

Diane von der Weid


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