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Articles & Ideas


Adding EFT to conventional talk therapy

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Ryan Harrison gives us a very practical way to inject EFT under circumstances where the client insists on doing conventional talk therapy. Any experienced EFT'er knows that "tapping while talking", a version of our Tell the Story Technique, is far more useful than just talking alone. Ryan gives yet more evidence for this as well as some interesting "how-to's". Note that one of his methods also uses surrogate tapping.

By Ryan N. Harrison, MA, HHP, NC, EFT-ADV

Hi Gary --

I know I just recently sent you my Turbo Tapping idea, but I have to tell you I have been experimenting with EFT lately and am discovering all sorts of other wonderful things. What I'm writing to tell you about today is something that is perhaps already out there, but if not...well, it should be!

I frequently have clients that come to me expecting to experience the usual "talk therapy" session. Sometimes, no matter how much I try to get out of that box, my client simply wants to talk. Period. Well, because I firmly believe that people truly do know what they need -- even if only on a subconscious level -- I have begun to relax into the listening role. Alas, I have managed to work EFT into that situation in two ways:

1. Having the client tap while they talk; or

2. Tapping for them while they talk.

In the first instance, I just ask them to tap along with me as they talk through whatever it is that is demanding so much of their attention and energy. I tap and move from point to point and I as I do, they follow me. The entire time, they simply carry on and I listen, asking questions when appropriate or giving confirmation, support, etc.

Example 1.

One of my clients came to a session completely out of sorts because of a run in with a co-worker with whom she has a myriad of issues, ranging from jealousy and competitiveness to feelings of friendship and some ambivalent sense of sisterhood. In the past we had focused on some of these issues and always have experienced a shift, but on this particular occasion, my client practically demanded that she just "get to talk." (In her own words, actually, she said she just wanted a "pity party" for herself!)

I told her that was fine with me today, with the condition that she tap with me while she vented. She agreed and together we started tapping from point to point while she went through a long and drawn-out story about her relationship with this co-worker.

50 minutes later, and rather abruptly, she sighed and said she thought she was done. I smiled and asked her how she felt. Suddenly, she looked rather startled and said, "Oh my gosh -- I feel fine!" She couldn't believe it, because usually she would obsess about these kinds of issues for days on end. I suggested that tapping while she talked helped to smooth out some of the rough and disturbed energy in her system that surrounded all these issues. She went back to work feeling much better about herself and her situation and later called to tell me that the problem with her co-worker had been worked out, faster and easier than ever before.

When tapping FOR a client, I usually ask their permission. Then I simply begin tapping in a subtle and gentle way -- the movements are a little slower and less distracting than when I'm actually doing EFT with someone.

Example 2.

A different client of mine came to a session feeling completely out of balance. She even brought her dog and was distressed about it, because she forgot when she made the appointment with me that her cleaning lady was coming and she couldn't leave her dog at home during that period of time. This was only one recent complication in life, however, and soon the session became something more like "talk therapy," as my client really just wanted to process everything verbally.

When she immediately launched into her story, I subtly began tapping while I listened to her, placing myself in her shoes, imagining that I were she. She paused in her narration: "You're tapping for me, aren't you?" I smiled and said yes and asked if that was okay. She nodded her consent and then continued on with her story.

For a good 30 minutes I did this surrogate tapping, listening actively and placing my intention on her healing. Finally, as she wound to a close, I asked her how she was feeling and she said she was surprised at how much better she felt. "Usually, talking about things either exhausts me or winds me up even more!" I suggested that the surrogate tapping probably helped and then spoke with her a bit about the power of intention.

She left the session feeling much more centered and ready for her day.

So, Gary, all that to say that I just LOVE being able to use EFT in every situation. I am constantly amazed at its efficacy in such a wide array of circumstances.

Warmest regards,

Ryan Harrison


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