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Tapping via typing--email sessions

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Hi Everyone,

There are many ways to conduct EFT sessions. Face-to-face is one method, of course, but it can also be done effectively in groups, over the phone and BY EMAIL. Deborah Mitnick has recent experience with using email and gives us some worthwhile tips to consider. Please note that Deborah conducts some important screening with her clients before using these methods. While many people can benefit through this technique, some are better served by face-to-face sessions.

This is the first of a several part series. The remaining parts are appended below.

Hugs, Gary


By Deborah Mitnick LCSW

Hello EFT,

I love doing energy work by phone and most of my sessions are now conducted that way. I rarely need to go to my local office in Baltimore any more (does anyone want to rent my office part-time?) and recommend that others give phone work a try.

Even though phone sessions are very convenient (and surprisingly effective), there is still the matter of the phone bill and time-zone differences. I've found two methods for getting around these challenges! In this essay, I'll address the phone bill issue by describing "instant tapping" that I do with Instant Messenger--a cyberspace facility available to most people through the internet. Next time, I'll address the time-zone problem and describe how I conduct tapping through standard e-mail sessions

For clients who are on a budget, we can use Instant Messenger or ICQ. We can see each other typing as the letters are being typed and we have "sessions" by typing. I guess you could say we have tapping by typing.

Here's an example of how it works. Each of us is typing on half of the screen and watching the other person respond on the other half of the screen. It's almost "real time." I'm a very fast typist, so the client doesn't have to wait long for my response. I've also found that clients don't mind waiting. I've instructed them to keep tapping while I'm typing.

One man I worked with was addressing the grief and guilt he associated with the death of his wife. I'll call him "Jeff" for the purpose of this report. Jeff knows about tapping. He has the diagram of the tapping points that I faxed to him. He knows all of the tapping points by the initials that Gary uses in his manual. For example: EB = Eyebrow; SE = Side of Eye; CH = Chin, etc. He also knows many other points that I have learned from other sources. (A few of these points are mentioned below.)

We've had one session by phone, so he knows my voice and the "patter" that I use. He knows that my affirmations often end the same way ("Even though I have this [challenge], I want to deeply and completely accept myself.")

We've developed a "shorthand" method of communicating and I'm often fairly certain as to what he's thinking and feeling without a lot of talking.

For reasons of confidentiality, I will modify the following transcript excerpt, but I think you'll get the idea.

Jeff: Now I'm feeling sad. I'm a 10

(He's referring to his intensity on a 0-10 scale)

Deborah: Even though I'm sad... SAD.

(Jeff knows what to do. He knows to tap the side of the hand spot and say the psychological reversal (PR) affirmation three times. And then he knows to use the reminder phrase "Sad" and go through all of the points.)

Jeff: Now I'm a 3.

Deborah: Good. "Remaining sadness." CH, CB, Thymus, Wrist Points.

(Jeff knows to do the PR affirmation and then tap these specific points for this round.)

Jeff: Throat lump now, but less sad.

Deborah: Even though I have some emotional throat lump with the remaining sadness... Remaining sadness.

Jeff: Wow! Crying now. Sobbing! Back to 10.

Deborah: Was there a new memory?

Jeff: Yes. I remembered a throat lump incident when I was six. Mom left me at school for the day, but I thought she'd never come back. Now Susan (wife) will never come back. The lump feels the same.

(I could have handled this through addressing the memory at age six, or through exploring the specifics of the emotions about the wife, or just somatically. I decided it would be less complicated to address this intensity through the symptom of the throat lump. I trusted that Jeff's unconscious would know what to address! And, as you can see below, I get two for the price of one by going with the general physical issue. Jeff's unconscious makes the connections!)

Deborah: Even though I've had a number of throat-lump memories...EB Mom throat lump; SE Susan throat emotions; UE Mom throat lumps; UN Susan memories; LL Mom and school; CB Missing Susan. (And this alternating Mom-Susan sequencing continues with the other tapping points and other reminder phrases that occur to me from what I know about Jeff and his history.)

Jeff: I'm tapping. I'll be right back.

There is a long "silence" while Jeff taps. I just sit, with my fingers poised on the keyboard. After a few minutes, Jeff writes:

Jeff: Thank you for those suggestions. I remembered a lot about Mom and felt some old anger melt away. She was only taking me to school! I put the "meaning" to it and it wasn't what she intended. Susan died and I miss her, but she didn't really leave me. It's not about me. She just got sick and died. It's not about me. It's about cancer. I didn't cause it and I'm not to blame. I'm still sad, but I don't expect not to miss her. What is different for me is the sense of blame I've had about her death. I now feel peaceful about that. I don't want to tap away this sadness. This is real and natural; and now I have time and room for it since I don't have to blame myself anymore.

Deborah: Sounds good. Is there anything else about these emotions that you'd like to address today?

Jeff: No. I feel peaceful now. This is where I want to stop. I'm going to tap for a little remaining sadness, but you've taught me how, and I can do it on my own. Next time I'd like talk about a related issue regarding when my girlfriend dumped me when I was 16. It seems to be another "throat lump" issue.

And here the session winds down.

Yes, face-to-face sessions are wonderful. And I adore working by phone. But it's possible to have a successful tapping session without ever hearing the other person's voice. It's important to have all the ground rules explained ahead of time and for the client to be totally familiar with the tapping points. It helps if s/he knows the "routine" of the tapping and the wording that might be used.

It might seem a bit unwieldy to tap by typing, and it is. But for me, it's definitely worth the effort! I can accommodate clients who don't want to make the toll calls.

Yes, tapping by typing takes a bit longer than a "talking" session, but the client gets to choose how s/he wants to communicate.

Deborah Mitnick, LCSW-C


"FLABBY ARMS"

Therapeutic E-Mail: Part II

Hello EFT,

Last month I wrote to this list about communicating with clients through Instant Messenger or ICQ. This is the method where we both type simultaneously and have almost-instant access to each other in "real time." This "Tapping by Typing" allows tapping sessions without voice contact to clients who have budget constraints on making long distance calls. Of course, clients should be carefully screened to be as certain as possible that they are suitable for such work. I have to be very confident of the person's ego strengths to work with someone with whom I didn't have voice contact because of the lack of verbal cues about what's going on emotionally for the client.

In my next few posts, I want to describe another "no-voice" communication method for "E-mail Clients." This is both convenient and economical. They can take all the time they need to answer and thus minimize any emotional or financial pressure.

Here's one example.

"Marsha" was terribly self-conscious about her "flabby" arms and wrote at length about this. She'd tapped on the issues, but she hadn't found any success. I decided to try a "back door" approach about this, so I asked her:

"Do you want to take a guess about this? If so, just finish the sentence, 'If my arms were trying to tell me something, it might be ________________.' Or try, 'If there were an emotion associated to those arms, it would be __________.' "

She wrote back at length about what she had learned in answering these questions. "My arms tell me there's too much excess in my life, that I am flabby in mind and in spirit, that I haven't exercised my body or my mind, that I'm just flapping around and not focusing on what's important to me! The emotion they express to me is that I don't seem to care enough about myself, or I wouldn't be using words like 'flab' to describe myself!"

With some additional email questioning from me, she was able to identify specific areas where she felt flabby in mind and spirit, what her excesses were, where she wanted to focus her interests, and how she could develop more self-care.

This gave us tapping material that cleared the flabby arms negativity. It was after having the time to reflect on my questions that we had a successful tapping session.

I think clients sometimes feel "on the spot" to answer in person or on the phone. With email work, the client knows she can think about the questions overnight or longer, can start an answer, erase it, edit it, even ignore it!

It's also convenient for me because I can take the time I need to think about her email and compose an efficient and thoughtful response. I can even take the time to "search" the EFT web page for an example similar to the one the current client is addressing and take into consideration how others have responded to such challenges.

As you can see, there can be many advantages to email sessions.

Deborah Mitnick, LCSW-C


"ANXIETY FORGIVENESS"
Therapeutic E-Mail: Part III

Hello EFT,

Last month I wrote about using email communication with a client who worked on "flabby arms" wherein we used a round or two of email to prepare for a tapping session by phone.

The following example is also an email communication, but it's different from "flabby arms" in that an on-going email dialogue develops between "Sam" and me. We have at least five email interchanges over the course of a few weeks before he feels complete about the issue. We never actually speak directly by phone or have tapping sessions by phone.

Sam had been a client in my office for a few months about a year ago, but when he moved to another state, he began to suffer from episodes of anxiety. The tapping he did on his own seemed to alleviate most of the anxiety but, at times, he felt too overwhelmed to even tap.

Because of his occasional feelings of being overwhelmed, we started an email relationship which allowed him the luxury of writing at his own pace. (Note! This process can be contagious for the right client. Some have written to me between 300 and 700 times!)

Although e-mail was sufficient for Sam most of the time, he once paged me in distress (person to person phone contact can be important at times). We didn't connect via phone because he wasn't home when I called. However, he wrote to let me know that he felt better (although still quite anxious) and no longer needed the voice contact. (Remember: one of the reasons that some clients choose email work is to save on the long distance phone bills. This is especially true when the client lives in a country where there are very few or no energy therapists. I've recently worked with email clients in Israel, Italy, France, and Saudi Arabia.)

So we continued with the email relationship. He wrote that his anxiety had begun "without any cause."

Hmmm.... Now here's where therapeutic intervention is so important. He writes to me that the anxiety began without any cause. This is his belief. How should I handle that comment and maintain rapport?

Sometimes my email responses involve directing clients to use EFT to tap for specific issues or aspects of issues. At other times, my responses are in the form of questions for the clients to consider and to answer. Clients are encouraged to take as much time as they need to reflect on their answers and to write as much as they think is needed to respond to the questions.

I will then respond to what they've written. Sometimes this is in the form of an ongoing dialogue, similar to an in-person therapy session, but it's done over time, with each of us reflecting on what the other has written.

In Sam's case, I offered him a combination of questions and comments to reflect on, as well as a few suggestions of tapping affirmations.

I wrote back to him: "You said, 'without any cause.' Take another look at what happened right before the anxiety started. Also, see if anything from our work triggered some intensity for you. If you notice any triggers, build your tapping sequences from that.

"If there were no specific triggers and if you are unable to identify anything that happened right before the anxiety started, just tap for 'that anxiety experience,' or 'that panic that I felt then' or whatever the physical symptoms are that you are currently experiencing. For example, if you have rapid heartbeat or sweaty hands, tap for each of those individually."

"I wish you well. And my guess is this is going to pass."

He responded a day later with a lovely report that included a list of many of the precipitants to the anxiety attack and also a report on how the tapping had calmed it all down once he allowed himself to view the "thing" that started this cycle.

He also used my suggestions for more generic tapping.

But then he wrote, "I am so angry that I fell into that cycle again!"

What does Sam mean? Now he's calm and much less anxious. But he's angry with himself for having experienced the anxiety in the first place.

With an on-going email communication and by maintaining good rapport, I thought it would be appropriate for him to consider how hard he is on himself when he gets anxious.

I wrote, "I understand that you might feel angry at yourself. Would you be open to consider tapping for 'forgiving myself for falling into the anxiety cycle'?"

After about a week, he responded that the forgiveness tapping was the most powerful that he had done! He's being much kinder to himself now.

Deborah Mitnick

 

 

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