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Articles & Ideas


NLP procedures enhance anyone's delivery of 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Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Dr. Alex Lees, from Canada, is a true expert at Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and provides us with a series that displays its many benefits. I am a Certified Master Practitioner of NLP myself and hold a deep appreciation for its teachings. It has substantially enhanced my ability to deliver EFT. In fact, ANYONE that chooses to pursue NLP will become much better at not only delivering EFT but also in their everyday skills with people. And who couldn't use that? NLP! Highly recommended!

Part 1--Using NLP for Rapport
Part 2--Introduction to reframing and NLP
Part 3--How not to mind read
Part 4--Information gathering & EFT
Part 5--Subconscious Rapport

By Dr. Alexander Lees

Part 1--Using NLP for rapport

Recently I had the privilege of being an Emotional Assistant at the EFT and Serious Diseases workshop in Bellevue. Watching and listening to Gary help volunteers on stage prompted several participants to ask me some questions. Although the issues presented on stage varied, the questions regarding these excellent demonstrations were fundamentally the same: "How does Gary do what he does?"

I suppose the easy answers would satisfy some -

"He created EFT!" "He's devoted years to practice and refinement." "He just throws something out, and notices what happens." "Well, he's an engineer." "He has a natural talent." "It's probably a genetic thing enhanced by diet."

The list of interpretive possibilities is endless, and we are free to select one from this tree of possibilities, or combine several, for that matter, and perhaps be satisfied with our new "insight" and "understanding." Some of you won't be content to stop at this level of understanding however, and therefore will wish to continue to probe a little bit further.

For those that do, they will begin to discover certain patterns exist in Gary's approach, and that learning the patterns can be similar to discovering there is a map for the territory, that there are pathways through the Mindfield. All journeys begin with a first step, and each step leads to another and so on, until the journey is completed. The only variables are when, and how.

To unpack how Gary does what he does, I propose we start by exploring what he does, so that others can begin to generate their own maps, their own pathways that lead to elegance. We will discover on this journey of learning that there are many parts, or steps along the way. This article will mention or unpack a few of these for you, and if the resulting feedback suggests interest, more articles will follow.

Step one is Rapport. As a matter of fact, rapport should be considered a prerequisite. Rapport is a precursor to trust, or the glue that holds everything together. Another metaphor for rapport is "The Golden Thread" that links a conversation together.

Rapport can be established in a variety of ways. Some books on the subject advocate matching the other person's body language, facial expressions, voice tonality, rhythm and volume, and word patterns. Any of these can be combined, or used alone, and once an individual decides to practise and integrate this ability you will be surprised and perhaps delighted to discover how much more easily the conversation can flow. Here is a short list of examples, just to give you an idea.

The person you are helping speaks in a rhythm, and the rhythm is in the form of groups of words. Let's say you have noticed they tend to group their words (groups of words are referred to as sentences, for those that may have forgotten!) by approximately five or six words.The practitioner would then begin to answer in the same manner, groups or sentences of five or six words.Another example might be the person's tone is quite "flat," or monotone. The practitioner can adjust their own delivery to match this tone.Still another example might be the person tends to cross their legs at the ankles. The practitioner can cross the arms at the wrists, or cross their legs at the ankles.

Another important extension of the concept of rapport is a process called pacing and leading. Practising the steps to rapport allows the practitioner of EFT to enter the client's model of the world (pacing) more easily, which in turn allows for a fuller understanding of the problem presented.

Once this step is achieved, (rapport) the practitioner would then "test" By offering a solution, namely tapping "out" the blocking emotion, or tapping "in" the resource required (lead).

Pace and lead is also an excellent way to "test" for rapport itself. The practitioner can match some aspect of the client's body language, etc. (pace) and then subtly adjust the personal physiology or voice speed, tone or volume, and then notice if the client also makes an adjustment (leading). If the client does so, rapport is established. If the client does not, this is simply feedback for the practitioner to continue to establish rapport (pacing) and test again by leading.

Rapport, pace and lead can also take other forms. For instance, the practitioner of EFT has been listening to the client, and then might interject by stating the problem presented in a succinct form, and then add, "And I assume this is what you would like to change," or any other statement suggesting, "Let's work on that."

If the client indicates acceptance, rapport, pace and lead have been successful. If the client answers, "Yes, but... " and continues to offer further information, the practitioner may then decide to pace (listen) further, and then test again in the same way: Namely offer a succinct statement referring to the problem, and another request to begin change work.

The above is but a small representation of some of those factors that influence the quality of the delivery of EFT, and hopefully will allow the curious student to realize even the Art of EFT has a structure, and therefore is learnable

So why use Gary as the focus in order to introduce some of these concepts? Most readers will by now own at least one set of his DVDs (and hopefully more!), or will be acquiring one in the near future. With the introduction of the concepts of rapport, and pace and lead, the serious student of these videos will be able to glean more from repeated viewing, and improve their competency at applying EFT even more. Also, Gary has an excellent DVD called "Doors to Rapport" that I highly recommend everyone have a look at.

So, for those that wonder "How does Gary do what he does?" please begin to incorporate the above information into your application of EFT, and who knows, perhaps one day, others will ask the same question of you... "How do you do what you do?" You will also be well on your way to becoming an EFT Master!

Dr. Alexander R. Lees, Contributing Editor EFT Insights

Part 2--Introduction to Reframing & EFT

By Dr. Alexander Lees

A very old Chinese Taoist story describes a farmer in a poor country village. He was considered very well-to-do, because he owned a horse which he used for plowing and for transportation. One day his horse ran away. All his neighbors exclaimed how terrible this was, but the farmer simply said, "Maybe."

A few days later the horse returned and brought two wild horses with it. The neighbors all rejoiced at his good fortune, but the farmer just said, "Maybe."

The next day the farmer's son tried to ride one of the wild horses; the horse threw him and broke his leg. The neighbors all offered their sympathy for his misfortune, but the farmer again said, "Maybe."

The next week conscription officers came to the village to take young men for the army. They rejected the farmer's son because of his broken leg. When the neighbors told him how lucky he was, the farmer replied, "Maybe."

The meaning that any event has, depends upon the "frame" in which we perceive it. When we change the frame, we change the meaning. Having two wild horses is a good thing until it is seen in the context of the son's broken leg. The broken leg seems to be bad in the context of peaceful village life; but in the context of conscription and war, it suddenly becomes good. This is called reframing: changing the frame in which a person perceives events in order to change the meaning. When the meaning changes, the person's responses and behaviors also change.

Reframing is not new. Many fables and fairy tales include behaviors or events that change their meaning when the frames around them change. The different looking chick seems to be an ugly duckling, but he turns out to be a swan - more beautiful than the ducks he has been comparing himself to. Reindeer Rudolf's funny-looking red nose becomes useful for guiding Santa's sleigh on a foggy night.

These stories are examples of a concept called Reframing, and learning to use them is an important part of people helping. If you take the time to do so, you will find you have set conditions more favorably for a person to accept EFT. Not only that, since you have nicely loosened the frame they were in, the use of reframes beforehand will enhance your success rate with EFT admirably. For example, those of you that have watched Gary's videos will begin to realize and notice how often a reframe is "slipped in" while he is tapping the person, especially so when he introduces humour.

So, beginning to understand the concept of reframes, and adding it to your growing knowledge of certain NLP techniques, such as rapport, pace and lead (see previous article above on rapport/pace and lead) will enhance your success rate with EFT even more, and if that doesn't appeal to you, then you just might have found a personal issue that might be worth your while to reframe.

Here are a few examples of using reframes from a case in which I'm currently involved. 'Ted' has cancer. The MRI scan determined the cancer is in his spine, lymphatic system, stomach, lungs and in his brain.

"Two weeks to a month," was the prognosis, and this was told to Ted on Christmas Day. "We can't cure him, we can only make him comfortable, and reduce the pain."

His devoted wife 'Alice' called the church, organized the ceremony, ordered a casket, and then dealt with the complexity of the will.

Ted missed the funeral, as he was home watching "What the bleep do we know?" a copy of which I had given to him previously.

Just before our last scheduled appointment, Alice phoned to cancel it. She said, "Ted is really down, I think he's depressed, and he has no energy and requires assistance from the bathroom due to weakness and dizziness."

I replied, "All that does is increase receptivity," and I agreed to go to their home immediately.

Now, I had been seeing Ted since he first received the diagnosis; I've been to his home many times and also to the Cancer Clinic. By now we had a very good relationship which I enjoy tremendously. We had established rapport right from the beginning, which has enabled me to do and say things to Ted that might not be acceptable to everyone, especially so if you don't have rapport. Another way of saying this is - I can get away with a lot when I'm talking to Ted - he trusts me.

When I arrived Ted was propped up on the couch, so with my usual bedside manner, I cranked up the enthusiasm and asked, "Hey Ted, how are doing?" "Like hell," he replied. "That chemo stuff is worse than I could ever have imagined. I wanted to see you, but I think I'm too tired. I'm nauseous too, so this is probably a wasted visit."

"Ted, you're a highly successful businessman, and your battery has been on high output for forty years. That's what has made you so successful. Then you found out you had cancer, another challenge, and your battery got depleted even more. So rather than sit here talking, which you say you don't have the strength for, why don't we recharge your battery first?"

We tapped together on the dizziness, nausea and lack of energy, doing several rounds on each, with variations. As I was leaving Ted asked, "Hey, how come that stuff worked so well? I felt like I was gonna die today, and asked Alice to cancel this appointment."

Mustering up my most optimistic look, I stared him straight in the eye and said, "Because whenever I've had a bad cold, I thought I was going to die, and couldn't get off the couch. You've got the equivalent of a bad flu. That takes a little more help from your friends. See you next week."

By the time I returned home, Ted had already phoned, talked to Berit (my wife), and had set up another appointment for the next day. We are now almost six months into Ted's "two weeks."

Now, how many reframes did you spot in the above?

Dr. Alexander R. Lees, Contributing Editor EFT Insights

Part 3--How not to mind read

By Dr. Alexander R. Lees

In my first article outlining ways to combine EFT and NLP, we explored some of the structural components of rapport building and pace and lead. It is in the latter (pace and lead) where speed bumps on the pathway to changework can appear. Remember what speed bumps do? They slow forward motion down. To backtrack for a moment, pace and lead is about joining another person's model of the world, or the process of beginning to understand another's perception of an event, circumstance or situation.

To do so, the practitioner paces the presented problem, that is, the practitioner actively gathers enough information through listening and asking questions to gain a sense of where or how the client is "stuck." As this process evolves, the practitioner may suddenly glean an insight into what is amiss. If this insight is then verbalized as a statement or fact, congratulations, you have just discovered your first speed bump!

A very quick way to break rapport is to purport to know what another person is thinking. This is referred to as mind reading and/or projection. The only specialized group on the planet that are reasonably good at mind reading with any measurable accuracy are called wives. Leave it to them.

For the rest of us, when you gain one of these insights when working with a client, pose the information as a question, and wait for a response. This is another example of Gary's statement, "Wait for it to land."

If what you just have offered, by way of your question is useful, the client's response will so indicate, and what you did will be referred to as a brilliant reframe, insight, or understanding, helping things to move along nicely.

Just remember, by telling a person what they are doing wrong can (at best) simply add insult to injury. This kind of thinking can easily set the practitioner up to take the next step, which is labelling the behaviour or reaction. And the problem with labelling is there is a strong tendency to then treat the label, and we are off in ga-ga land.

The philosophy behind EFT is much more straightforward. The whole idea is to discover what a person actually does (that they want to change), zero in on the energy that fuels 'the problem' (referred to as an emotion) and neutralize it.

Once this field of energy is successfully treated, it's 'expression,' that is the unwanted response or behaviour, also dissipates. For example, let's consider a person with a phobic response to elevators. What you are actually listening to is a problem with two components:

Elevators, andA story, or narration, describing a fear expressing itself.

At some point, the EFT practitioner may say something like:

"So you would like to use an elevator without the fear overtaking you?"

Given the client's agreement, the practitioner then taps accordingly. For example, starting with the P.R. (Karate Chop) point and tapping continuously, have the client (and the 'client' can be yourself) repeat this statement with emphasis, three times:

"Even though I have this fear overtake me every time I use an elevator...."

Then tap the rest of the points using a reminder phrase, such as:

"This fear of elevators."

To summarize, we started this example with:

Elevators plus phobic response, and We end up with elevators minus phobic response.

Sounds simple? Well, it can be, or at least you can learn to make it simpler. So, stay away from mind reading, projecting and labelling.

Learn to:

Listen to the problem, Assist in identifying the unwanted emotion, And tap it out.

Then you will be secure in the knowledge that you are on your way to becoming an excellent EFT practitioner.

Dr. Alexander R. Lees, Contributing Editor EFT Insights

Part 4--Information Gathering & EFT

By Dr. Alexander R. Lees

In our zest to apply EFT efficiently, we sometimes phrase this desire in our mind as: "The more tapping, the better." This can be quite a valid assumption, to a point! While teaching EFT, I have observed some EFT practitioners begin tapping the 'client' within a few seconds of sitting down, and continuously doing so throughout the session. Others do not. The question I am asked by students is essentially the following, "Which is the right way?" By way of helping them to understand this issue more fully, I usually suggest they ask: "What is the difference that makes the difference?"

The answer to that question is essentially one of information gathering.

The information gathering portion of any intervention can be just as important as applying a technique, in this case EFT, to 'fix' things. Part of the time devoted to proper information gathering rests with the client. It is well known we all speak about things both globally and specifically.

"I hurt," is a global statement. Answering the questions, "How are you hurt? Who hurt you? You hurt because of?" leads to specifics. As a general rule, the more specific and succinct a person is in describing a problem, the more time can be devoted to doing something about the presented issue. Most of you are now familiar with generalizations vs specifics.

A generalization is a form of global communication, that is, an individual is sharing a rule that is used to classify experience(s). Tapping on the presented generalization can make some headway; the client (who can also be oneself) feels better. However, much more can be accomplished by assisting the client to become more specific, which is just one reason for the information gathering.

There are perhaps as many ways to assist a person in recalling specifics as there are imaginative and versatile people. However, if you would like a tried and true map to guide you to greater skills, I suggest learning NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming).

One specific segment of that training is referred to as The Meta Model. The Meta Model is simply a description for the process of learning how to ask questions for information gathering purposes, for gaining a more complete understanding of the problem presented. Once this phase is satisfied, EFT can be applied with even more enriching and empowering results.

By way of comparison, we'll now look at a possible excerpt from an exchange between a practitioner and client, without this extra training, and with this extra training.

Without extra training:

Client: "My mother didn't love me."

The practitioner introduces EFT, and after a round, asks the client for feedback.

Client: "Much better. I feel relaxed."

With extra training:

Client: "My mother didn't love me."

Practitioner: "How do you know your mother didn't love you?"

Client: "Huh?"

Practitioner: "What, specifically, did your mother do, or not do, that sent you the message she didn't love you?"

Client: "She never smiled at me."

Practitioner: "Do you always smile at people you love, all the time?"

Client: "Well, I guess not."

Practitioner: "Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you didn't necessarily love someone, yet found yourself smiling at them?"

Client: "Well, sure."

Practitioner: "So how do you know that your mother not smiling meant she didn't love you?"

Client: "Well, I guess I don't."

Practitioner: "Tell me, do you feel uncomfortable when you are in the presence of a female, and she doesn't smile at you?"

Client: "That's it!"


In the second example we have effectively begun to address a generalization, or more specifically, the adverse affects of a "negative" generalization. The client is more in doubt than surety that his mother didn't love him, and is beginning to realize the connection to his present situation, i.e., women make him uncomfortable when they don't smile at him all the time.

Applying EFT to this uncovered information will certainly serve the client more usefully than simply tapping on: "My mother didn't love me." Both will work; however, the second example would be even more empowering.

Please remember, you are engaged in helping, be it yourself or someone else. "Being understood," means you have supplied, or are about to supply, a solution. It also implies the client is ready for it. Information gathering is an important part of this process, and developing your skills to do so enriches the experience tremendously.

It will also add a better insight into a statement made by Stephen Covey, in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - "Seek first to understand, before being understood."

So please understand that sometimes hopping right to it and tapping away turns out the best thing you could have done. At other times, taking the time to gather the necessary information will be more important. By knowing about both approaches you increase your chances of success through versatility, and that's what you and/or your client want, is it not?

Dr. Alexander R. Lees
Contributing Editor EFT Insights

Part 5--Subconscious Rapport

By Dr. Alexander R. Lees

Another awareness that learning NLP helps you to develop is that human beings think on certain 'channels' or in certain 'modes.' By attuning yourself to the client's channel, or mode of thinking they are using, the practitioner of EFT can more easily develop rapport. And, when I use the word rapport, I'm referring to rapport with another's subconscious mind.

Many of you have probably read books, attended seminars or listened to tapes dealing with matching body language, gestures and so on, for purposes of achieving rapport (another word could be trust). More often than not, this information is designed to achieve a sense of sameness (he/she is like me) and trust develops more quickly.

The rapport I'm referring to here is in the context of connecting with the other person's unconscious, or subconscious mind.

Think about the world of computers for a moment. If you want to edit a document, the best way is to use the same word processing program that created it. If you use a different word processor, a conversion is necessary, and inevitably, the possibility of distortion or other forms of mistakes increases.

The three main channels, modes or information processors that the human bio-computer uses are referred to as visual, auditory and kinesthetic. When we use them in some sequence, we refer to this as a strategy.

Suppose you are in an EFT session with someone. The person you are listening to is explaining the problem to you (information gathering stage). With knowledge of the above (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) you can now begin to listen to the narration with a more finely attuned ear. You can begin to pick up on the clues that indicate how the person is accessing the problem, that is, which channel is the dominant one.

For a visual example, the client might say,

"Let me show you what happened."

"Let me paint a picture of what occurred."

The above are but two examples of visual processing, that is, it's as if the client is watching a movie in their mind and sharing it with you. Here's an example from my files:

"Mary" was sitting on the couch, and was practically out of breath after completing her rapid fire account of the upsetting incident that occurred to her. I matched her speed when I said,

"That was some movie! Now, at the time you couldn't see yourself getting away from the situation, you couldn't picture a solution, and all your mental maps of possibilities went blank."

Mary said, "Gee, Doc, you understand!"

I then said,

"Let me shed some light on this for you. Have you ever seen EFT demonstrated?"

For information gathering purposes, you may require more information regarding a point (more details) and you decide to ask questions for clarification. Your intervention could be worded to match channels, thus increasing rapport.

"Please clarify something for me, could you give me a little more detail about that point, so I can see more clearly what happened?"

This same concept also applies to auditory and kinesthetic processing. With auditory 'dominance' prevailing, the client will pepper the narration with predicates appropriate to auditory. For example,


"Let me tell you."

"Does this sound real?"

"Doesn't a story like this just hurt your ears?"

"He said, and I said, and he said."

Example from my files:

Jim was seventeen, comfortably slouched in the overstuffed chair, as only teenagers can, and began his story.

"Let me tell you about my stepfather. He's really a loudmouth, always telling me what to do, how I should talk to him, and that I don't listen. I'm sick and tired of hearing him flap his gums."

I replied:

"It certainly sounds like he thinks he's the big gun, booming orders at you all the time. Tell me, does he also bark at your mother?"

Then I added,

"Sounds awful. Have you heard of EFT?"

With kinesthetic 'dominance' prevailing, the client will pepper the narration with predicates appropriate to kinesthetics. For example,

"I feel miserable."
"I just can't get a handle on how to deal with it."

Example from my files:

"Well doc (voice deep in the chest, pauses between words, spoken slowly).
I just don't feel my wife loves me anymore.
There's no more neck rubs or pats on the back for the effort I put in.
We've drifted apart and her voice feels distant."

I replied:

"I know it pains you to get in touch with all of this, but recognizing and acknowledging what is going on is the first step in getting a handle on possible solutions."

Client responded: "I hope so, 'cause I'm grasping at straws here."

Then I said,

"A technique called EFT is a gentle way to massage those feelings away."

The idea is to pick up on the processing channel and respond accordingly. With practise and, perhaps some training, your abilities to 'tune in' by responding on the same channel will enhance rapport considerably, as well as to help optimize your understanding of the issue presented.

The client will feel not only listened to, but understood.

Certainly there are other cues to learn about that will enrich your knowledge of how to assist people to resolve problems, but the above will certainly get you started. After some practise, do yourself a favour. Compare your new EFT sessions with the ones prior to incorporating the above. I'm sure both worked, as EFT is an excellent tool. However, developing the Art of Delivery makes you a craftsman or craftswoman, and you're well on your way to becoming known as an expert.

The information I've shared with you above is to help you understand how one becomes an expert, and that is - learning even more!

Dr. Alexander R. Lees
Contributing Editor EFT Insights


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