By removing emotional trauma, EFT helps heal physical symptoms too.
Norm Shealy, MD
Author of Soul Medicine.
The EFT Tell the Story Technique - The Workhorse Tapping Method
One Easy EFT Tapping Tool That Automatically Integrates Everything You've Learned To Date
If you’re doing high quality EFT, then addressing Specific Events - An Essential Concept Within the EFT Tapping Process will be the centerpiece of your work. Just like anything else, resolving a Specific Event means clearing all the Aspects so that we don’t leave any intensity behind. The Tell the Story Technique is the most comprehensive way to get there, and is the workhorse technique that will likely dominate your in-depth work.
The idea is very simple. Just narrate a bothersome Specific Event as though it was a story and stop to do The EFT Tapping Basic Recipe whenever you get to emotionally intense parts of it.
I provide some guidelines below but, in essence, that's it! Each of the stopping points in the story represents another Aspect of the issue that, on occasion, will point you to even deeper issues. This can save you a lot of detective work and, conceptually, it is about as easy as it gets. Further...
I mean all the critical parts of EFT's in-depth work are contained within this one easy-to-use method. The opportunities for Testing unfold naturally during the process and the element of Being Specific is automatically included because you are telling your stories about Specific Events. While Specific Events are Aspects of global issues, each event has Aspects of it own, which are presented at each stopping point in the story. This allows you to be even more specific without sophisticated detective work. By simply following the instructions, this tool will allow you to cover all the bases in step-by-step fashion.
It will take some practice and you will likely stub your toe a bit before you master it. But once you own this process you will never again rely on just The EFT Basic Recipe.
Here are a few guidelines to enhance the EFT process
First, choose the event: Find a Specific Event that, typically, lasts one to three minutes and contains at least one emotional crescendo. If you still need help finding them, review the previous article on Specific Events.
Take the edge off: Before actually telling the story, check out any intensity you may have about actually doing the narration. If your intensity is at 5 or above it is worthwhile to do a few global type rounds of The Basic Recipe to take the edge off.
"Even though I'm nervous about telling the story....."
"Even though I'm afraid of what might happen when I tell this story...."
"Even though I don't like this whole thing....."
"Even though just starting the story gives me the jitters...."
An easy reminder phrase for any of the examples above might be “this story” or “telling this story.”
Do as many rounds as necessary until your intensity about telling the story drops to 3 or less. This serves to "take the edge off" and allows you to proceed more comfortably through a highly charged event. If you start to tell the story and the intensity rises to an uncomfortably high level then perform the above routine again. Repeat as often as necessary.
How to Tell the Story
A. It's best to Tell the Story out loud. That tends to bring the story more to life and helps to bring the important issues to the surface. You can tell it to a mirror, a friend, a wall or talk to an imaginary friend (smile).
B. Start at a neutral point when there is nothing to be concerned about. An example might be having lunch with a friend just before having, let's say, a car accident. This tends to ease you into the experience.
C. Most importantly, you must STOP telling the story when you feel any intensity whatsoever.
D. At each stopping point, use the EFT Basic Recipe to address that intensity and, once released, continue the story to the next intense moment.
Stopping is critical to the success of this procedure. Most people are conditioned by conventional techniques to "be courageous" and to "feel the feelings" and to "be brave and gut through it." Thus, if you don't stop when intensity arises, you are likely to go right by an important healing opportunity. So, to repeat...
...if you don't stop,
you have missed a healing opportunity!
You are looking for Aspects here and this process often brings them to the surface without your having to dig. How perfect! Remember, we are looking for thoroughness so we want to "tap down" every ounce of the intensity involved.
Please recognize that each stopping point is an Aspect of the story and each such Aspect should be addressed as though it was a separate event. So, in the interest of being specific, you want to target one emotional crescendo, (Aspect) at a time with the Basic Recipe. So, for each emotional crescendo (Aspect)....
A. Estimate a 0-10 intensity rating on this part of the story.
B. Keeping in mind the “accident example” from the Finding Aspects article, design your Setup and Reminder Phrases to target the part of this emotional crescendo that caused the intensity (note that the emotion involved is mentioned in the Setup phrase. For example:
“Even though I was furious when she said that to me…”
“Even though I cringed with fear when I saw that horrible thing…”
“Even though I felt guilty when that cop was chasing me…”
“Even though I was really angry about that…”
C. Use the EFT Basic Recipe and keep evaluating intensity before and after each round until the intensity is down to zero or a low tolerable level.
D. Each emotional crescendo might have a few Aspects of its own, so once you use the EFT Basic Recipe on the most obvious one, go through that part of the story again to see if there is still intensity. If so, repeat the step above.
E. Once the intensity has been released from that crescendo, resume the story and look for another stopping point. Also, be aware of your possible tendency, while telling your stories, to jump ahead to the most intense crescendo(s). You know what is coming in your story, of course, and thus you will often access the emotions before actually getting to that place in the story. Just treat this intensity as you would any other stopping point.
F. Once you have tapped through all the intense moments of the story then start from the beginning, Tell the Story again, and stop for any intensities that may arise. Don’t be surprised if there is still more to address ... just be as thorough as you can.
G. Repeat this process until you can tell the story nonchalantly ... like it was a shopping trip. This should collapse all or most of the Aspects. For good measure, Tell the Story tomorrow morning or next week to see if anything is left. Sometimes, letting time go by will bring up remnants (Aspects). If so, repeat the process until you achieve a more thorough success.
EFT Testing Methods - Going Deeper Into the Tapping process
You can use any of the Testing methods that you learned in the previous article on Testing Your EFT Tapping Work, but an often used one for a Specific Event is Vivid Visualization. Once you have been through the event aloud and have reduced the most intense crescendos by Tapping, you can again go through the event in your mind, one frame at a time. Look for those intense moments and exaggerate the sights, sounds, colors, sizes, etc and really try to get yourself upset. As soon as you find more intensity, do some more tapping on whatever you have found and then try it again. Keep going through it vivdly until you can no longer get upset about anything in the event. However, do not continue with this Vivid Visualization if your previous tapping has not brought the intensity down to manageable levels. In this case it is best to seek a qualified health professional.
You can also use the Testing methods of Props or an Actual Situation if those are appropriate for the event. If you are successful with digging up intensity with any kind of Testing, again, use The EFT Tapping Basic Recipe for whatever comes up until you cannot get upset about the event.
Tell the Story Tapping Tips
Your 0-10 measurements should reflect how much intensity you have NOW when you remember what happened THEN. We cannot change the intensity you felt at the time, but we can release the intensity you feel about it now.
I don’t feel intensity on my event:
Your emotional intensity can show up in a variety of ways. Most people will recognize their intensity right away, but if you don’t, check to see if there are any changes in your body sensations. Tension, shortness of breath, or discomfort in any part of the body can be used as a measure of intensity as long as it shows up only when you recall something in the event.
If you notice that the quality of your breath changes when aspects show up, then use Constricted Breathing Technique until the breath is back to normal and continue through the story.
You might start by tapping through an aspect of the event that you assume would be distressing in some way and then notice what changes after you tap. You may notice that it feels softer, less tense, or somehow easier to remember, and that would be an indication that you have released some intensity.
Tapping will usually help the intensity feel clearer to you, so do what you can with a few events, get used to how your body responds to intensity, and it should get easier as you go.
I feel too much intensity on my event:
If this is the case, you may want to work on other, less intense events until the harder ones seem more manageable. Many events in your life are related to each other, so working on others will often help the harder ones become easier. If you are working with a history of abuse or trauma, you may want to consider working through those events with an EFT professional.
Another event or issue is coming to mind:
This is a form of switching aspects and is an indication that you have made good progress with the original event. However, before moving to another event, check the aspects of the original event and see how much is left to do. If you can, finish tapping on the event you started until all the intensities are zero and then move on to something else. If the new event or issue is simply too distracting, then switch to it if you like, but do your best to maintain a methodical process. Keep records of your intensity levels for any event you abandon mid-stream so you can come back and finish it later.
Also, be sure you can distinguish between events and issues. An event is a 1-3 minute segment of time, very specific and in line with solid EFT practice. An issue is a new Tabletop, supported by Specific Events, so you would want to break it into those parts before you start tapping. For example, if you are working on a 1-3 minute event where someone on the playground said something mean about your clothes, and then you realize that your mother was always critical in the same way, you do not want to start tapping globally on “Even though I feel rejected by my mother…” Instead, list out the individual 1-3 minute events you can remember where she made the critical comments and tap through those one at a time.
My event is longer than 1-3 minutes:
Most events will be longer than 1-3 minutes until you get used to narrowing them down. Many of the experiences you would consider “events” will actually have several brief segments within them that carry the emotional impact. They should all have some relatively neutral spaces of time in between, and those will help you separate one event from another.
My events all seem the same:
If there has been a pattern of similar experiences in your life, then the first step is to work with the earliest one you can find. For example, relationship issues often reveal patterns of behavior or emotional responses, and those patterns often begin in childhood. You can start by working on the current problem, but it will be sitting on top of so much similar history that you may have a hard time getting anywhere. It’s better to think about what the current problem reminds you of in your past, and go further back.
If you were in a long term situation in which the same painful things were happening on a regular basis, you can try to make up an event that would represent the common themes in each one, but it will be a lot harder to get each intensity to zero, and you may end up triggering too much intensity at once. The good news is that all of those events are closely related so they may all collapse together, but the bad news is also that they are closely related, and you may have a hard time sparing yourself the pain of feeling them all at once as you go through the process. Properly trained EFT professionals know how to help you contain events in these scenarios, so if you have a hard time getting through it all, you might consider getting some help.
Testing the Overall Issue:
The testing methods that you learned in the previous article were applied to your issue in general. However, when you start addressing specific events, the goal is still to make progress with the current problem. You want to test the events you address as thoroughly as you can, but set up separate tests on the overall issue to see if clearing the events is helping you make progress in the right direction.
The EFT Tell the Story Technique has several benefits....
1. The "story" provides a built in procedure for finding Aspects.
2. It allows the issue to unfold as gently as possible.
3. You can easily test at each stopping point and that allows you to know how you are progressing.
The following video is an example of the EFT Tell the Story Technique on an actual event. As you will notice, this event contains two crescendos, each with multiple Aspects. Most of the early Tapping rounds address the anticipation of the upcoming first crescendo. In this case, the goal is simply to take the edge off until we get to the actual crescendo, so we aren't concerned with bringing those intensities all the way to zero. Once we get to each of the actual crescendos, we are able to address individual Aspects and bring the intensity down to zero.
Can you identify the two crescendos and what Aspects were addressed for each of them?
In this article you learned how to use Tell the Story Technique on Specific Events.
- This is an easy-to-use method to methodically clear the intensity from a Specific Event.
- It incorporates the concepts of Aspects, Being Specific, and Testing all in one tool.
- It allows the story to unfold as gently as possible.
- Once complete, Testing your work is easy to do with Vivid Visualization.
- Tips were also provided for unusual situations you may encounter with your own events.
© Gary and Tina Craig
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