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Articles & Ideas

Using EFT

Using EFT with our "internal parents"

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Stefan Gonick gives his views on our "internal parents" and proposes how we might use EFT for this influence in our lives.

Hugs, Gary

By Stefan Gonick

In this article, we are going to discuss a powerful EFT approach for achieving a very deep level of healing and literally rewriting our emotional history. It involves using EFT to heal what I call our "internal parents" or the parents that live within us. Using this technique I have helped my clients heal difficult issues and achieve a greater degree of peace than ever before.

We need to start with an important concept in psychology called "internalization.” This is where we internalize, or make part of ourselves according to the ways that we were treated by our parents growing up, both good and bad. If we were praised, loved, and supported, we will internalize these good behaviors and continue to praise, love and support ourselves without our parents being present.  Likewise, if we were yelled at, criticized, and judged, we will internalize these negative behaviors and yell at, criticize and judge ourselves without our parents being present.

Our Parents Live Within Us

I would like to take this concept one step further. I believe that we internalize our parents' energy as well as the patterns of how we were treated.  We have a version of our mother and father still living within us. These internal parents are still doing to us what our original external parents did when we were children, both good and bad. For instance, if we had a raging father as a child, that father is still raging at us inside, even if he no longer rages now or is no longer a part of our lives (or even no longer living). This internal parent lives on.

We can tell that this is true because we can feel that energy coming from our parent whenever we choose to tune into it. For example, we can literally feel the rage coming from our internal father at any time we focus on it. This goes way beyond just remembering what was said and done. We are actually feeling that rage coming from our internal father right now. Unfortunately, we also often feel our parent's energy when we don't choose to. This is not a happy thought that we are still being raged at by this internal father, but it opens up some very interesting healing possibilities.

Our Internal Parents Can Be Healed With EFT

What if we were to apply EFT to the parent living within us? If we could use EFT to heal this internal raging father, for example, then he will no longer rage at us inside. This internal negative experience will come to an end. What a relief that would be! But is it possible to heal an internalized parent? After all, this internal parent is not a real person.

In my experience, the answer is a definite yes. When we relive a memory, we can tune into our internal parent's feelings and thoughts. We can then use this when we apply EFT to heal our internal parent's feelings. The procedure for doing this will be described next.

How to Heal an Internal Parent with EFT

The procedure for using EFT to heal an internal parent is a little strange but fairly straightforward. You start by replaying a memory long enough to tune into the parent's emotional energy. Once you have done this, you have actually tuned into your internal parent rather than just your memory of your real parent.

You then start tapping on yourself while imagining that you are tapping on your internal parent at the same time. If you can visually see your parent while doing this, that's great. Or if you can physically feel yourself tapping on your parent, that's fine too.  Otherwise, you can just imagine that you are tapping on this internal parent. While tapping, it's important that you use wording as if you were the parent rather than yourself.

For instance, if we use the raging father example, you would tap as if you were your raging father and say something like:  Even though I am furious with my daughter…

You would then keep tapping, as your father, on the anger feelings and any other feelings and thoughts that come up. In our raging father example this might include things like:

Even though I get so angry when I'm not in control of everything…

Even though I'm so stressed by all of my responsibilities in my life…

Even though I'm scared that I won't be able to keep it all together…

Just let your internal experience and intuition guide you as to what to tap on.  Remember that this is not your real father, so you don't have to know what your real father was thinking or feeling. You are tapping on the parent that lives within you, so whatever feelings and thoughts that you get in touch with are the ones that matter and need to be healed within you. You keep tapping on the feelings that come up for your internal parent until they have all been relieved. If you check in with your internal parent now, you will notice a calmness and greater degree of openness that wasn't there before.

Once you have completely neutralized the negative energy of the internal parent, you can take it a healing step further by using EFT to bring loving feelings into the internal parent to replace the negative energy.

Replacing the Negative Parental Energy with Loving Energy

Go back to the original memory and you'll see that the negative energy, raging in our example, is no longer present. While that's a big relief, we don't have to leave it there. We can now redo the memory and replace the negative energy with an ideal parent's loving energy.

You do this by tapping on yourself and imagining these loving feelings merging into your healed internal parent. You then play out a scenario in your imagination that expresses these loving feelings. For example, this might include your father expressing understanding, acceptance and appreciation (instead of anger) and then playing a game with you. Let yourself enjoy the new version of the memory and the good feelings for a good length of time. Really get into this and even have fun with it! This will serve to change your internal history and experience. The loving energy and new "memory" will literally replace the original negative energy and become part of your emotional history and foundation.

Final Thoughts

It's important to realize that this internalized parent has no relationship to our real external parent. Our real parent may have changed very much since our childhood. Our real parent may no longer be in our lives or even have passed on.

When we heal our internal parent, it has no bearing on our real external parent.  Some people don't like the idea of "helping" an abusive parent, while some people like the idea. It doesn't matter. It's the parent that lives within us that we are primarily affecting so that he or she won't impact us negatively anymore.

Also, it will likely take multiple EFT sessions using this approach to fully heal our internal parents. This won't be a one session wonder, but you will likely feel much better after each session.

Imagine what it would be like to no longer have the negative energy coming from our internal parents! Imagine the depth of healing that comes from replacing the negative energy with a loving parent's energy instead.

Stefan Gonick


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