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EFT and the Double Bubble technique: Or how to successfully deal with chronic issues!

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Hi Everyone,

Colette Streicher shares with us, in her detailed article below, a useful protocol for dealing with chronic problems and for uncovering core issues. She calls it the Double Bubble Technique and, with it, she identifies conflicting thoughts within the same person (sound familiar?). She says,

"So what is a double bubble? In one part of the bubble there is the desire and in the other part there is the resistance to the SAME thought. For example: I desire to smoke and I resist to smoke. I hate these people and I love/accept/have been like them; I want to survive cancer, and I don't .... "

With this metaphor in mind, Colette then uses EFT to collapse both sides simultaneously. Details are given below.

Hugs, Gary

By Colette Streicher

The double bubble technique is one I have developed out of what I have learned over the years in different spiritual workshops on how to create one's reality and change chronic states of affairs.

Knowing this simple technique has helped me solve numerous mysteries and get people out of the rut, where nothing else seemed to help. It works especially well with clients in psychological reversal and not benefiting from therapy.

First, let me define chronic issues. I am not only talking about chronic illnesses here, but also chronic behaviors, "chronic" identities/definition of self, and addictions.

The key of the chronic state is that there is a secret tug of war happening between a desire and a resistance on the same issue.

There are two types of beliefs; one such type contain simple, one "bubble" beliefs. They are usually easy to take care of with a few rounds of EFT. They are of the descriptive type: "he hurt my feelings" . It is a fact, you can tap on the emotions around it and change your opinion on it, you can change your point of view and realize that he didn't mean to... etc. But there is no resistance or desire about the fact.

The other type of belief often begin with "I want to' or I don't want to..." are charged with resistance or desire and those are often much more difficult to eliminate. For example: You would like to eliminate the thought: "I want (desire) to smoke" or "I want to bite my nails" (desire) or "I am not this kind of person" (resistance), "I don't like rich people" (resistance). Often times, even if you use EFT to eliminate them, they come back, sneak back on you, nothing seems to clear them forever. You can spend all the time you want tapping, a few days/minutes later they are back.

Why is it that those beliefs, issues, behaviors, definitions of self (identities) are so strong that they can spur back again out of nowhere...or so it seems. The answer is very simple: In fact, they are not single headed beasts, they have two opposite heads, pulling them in both directions at the same time. To go back to the bubble metaphor, the secret is that there is and has always been another connected bubble that is secretly nourishing the one you want to eliminate. Destroying the first bubble (the desire to smoke, for example) will not be enough.

In fact, the whole thing is a special type of bubble: a double bubble!!! (imagine a balloon squeezed in the middle, creating two smaller balloons connected together)

In other words, if you don't recognize the hidden side, you will not succeed.

Only cut one half of the bubble and it still has enough energy to grow back again.

So when you see no progress, and things are coming back, it means that you have simply not addressed the issue fully. You have left enough energy for it to grow back.

So what is a double bubble? In one part of the bubble there is the desire and in the other part there is the resistance to the SAME thought. For example: I desire to smoke and I resist to smoke. I hate these people and I love/accept/have been like them; I want to survive cancer, and I don't ....

To use the metaphor, you can imagine that in between the two bubbles there is a passage where energy is exchanged. The more powerful one bubble is (the higher the desire), the more powerful is the other bubble (tug of war phenomena). There is a conflict in the person: there is both desire and resistance for the same thing.

Now when you feel that you really really want will tend to deny that there is also the opposite belief in you. So, beware of falling into that trap. Go on questioning and you will finally get to it. You will be able to reconnect with the part of you that does or did desire what you are resisting today (or inversely).

The secret is to destroy the two sides of the double bubble at the same time by focusing on the entire bubble: the desire, the conflict and the resistance. NOT one bubble and then the other one!!! Other therapists have used a similar idea but at best they alternate the positive and negative or they attend to the two opposite thoughts separately , the clue here is to dissolve the conflicting feeling , the tension between the two bubbles, and to destroy both the desire and resistance simultaneously!

Let me tell you about a client of mine. Traumatized and abused as a child she left her home at 14 and had been wandering almost homeless since then. When I first saw her she had been both an anorexic and an insomniac since her teens, living in an unwelcoming environment. She came to me to help her find a safe home and a place where she could sleep. Of course, my role is not to go around the neighborhood and look for free property. I began working with her using EFT to help her feel empowered and able to create her life and a safe place to live and stay.

Almost all we did was find those double bubbles and destroy them one at a time. The most powerful ones are those that you can not even dare think that there is another bubble behind.

For example: this woman really wanted a safe and stable home to live in. Who would even dare tell her that this was not the case.... So when I asked her if there could be any reason why she didn't want a home...she looked at me as if I was crazy.. I knew, however, following the double bubble theory, that there must have been a resistance somewhere for her not to have succeeded yet, 15 years after having left her parent's house.

So I used the back door technique I have developed. I approached it from the perspective of someone else in the world that could not be interested in finding a stable place to live. I thought of the wandering monks in India...who pledge non-attachment and who wander all their lives. So there were in the world people who didn't want a home. We used the procedure below with someone else's desire to stay free, to live a life without a stable home, with detachment.

This relaxed her and made her at least conceive that this idea could be possible.

Then she suddenly got it... when she left her home she really desired at the time to be free and had absolutely no trust in any "stable home' for she had only known (even at her grand parents' home) abuse and danger. So she had associated home with danger, abuse, unhappiness.... No wonder why she had this unconscious conflict that made her sabotage any chance she had to be and stay in a stable home.

We used the technique described below to dissolve the conflict (not only the desire or resistance to have a home but also the tension between both). After working on other issues, she now lives with a wonderful boyfriend in a home and feels safe for the first time in her life!


After talking to the client, I find out one of the persistent issues in her life, the patterns of behavior or patterns of identity to focus on during the session. Then I ask the client to fill in the blanks:

I really want to........ (what they say they want) because.........................(as many answers as possible)

And I also am very afraid to (same thing)........................because...........................and it is in the last part of the question, following 'because" that we are going to discover all the hidden conflicts. At first, sometimes nothing will come...they will think it is stupid. So I give some examples to relax them. Then is flowing...several issues come up.

Find out the core tension. Chose the one most charged. Often they are surprised by what they find, this is a sign that we have found a core, unconscious issue to treat.

Then we begin the tapping:

Set Up: even though I really, really want to be successful because I would be happier and...I also do not want to be successful because...

- I don't want to leave my nice quiet life,...

- I am not supposed to be successful because as a child I was the "loser" of the family....

- my mother never worked outside and this is the definition of a mother (whoa.. I didn't expect that one). This is the core issue.

And now THE KEY is to use the conflict, the tension and release the tension!

So as Reminder use" I want to be successful... and I am afraid to be" or "this conflict"

It is powerful moment to witness the dissolution of the tension.

After a few rounds, it is the perfect time to introduce a Choice: CREATE A CHOICE

Homework: I ask the client to tap 3 times a day with the conflict and then tap the choice.

Other examples of the double bubble technique I used with the same client:

'I want to be happy because I deserve it, I am also very afraid to be happy because... I could lose it and it is a risk I don't want to take, I prefer to stay numb and unhappy this at least I know well, there is no surprise (some provocative therapy in there can help too).

Later on the client remembered having been punished as a child for something that made her happy.

The choice was: "Even Though I have never been happy up to now, I choose to allow myself to experience happiness in life"

Repeat the conflict as well as the choice 3 times a day.


Example #2

I desire to control my life because I am so frightened of everything, and I also want to trust the process of life because I cannot control anything and, to shut down and protect myself constantly, is robbing all the joy and pleasure in my life.

Another client, older man frustrated about life. He said to me "I have never been able to be all I could be despite great gifts from God"

So even though I really want to succeed, I also am VERY (I exaggerate) afraid to succeed because... and let him fill in the blank with numerous thoughts...

I would not know how to handle it, people would expect more from me, and I couldn't live up to their expectations, they would be disappointed and I would disappoint myself, so I prefer not to take the risk to disappoint myself.

I then chose the most charged and unexpected answer. : I may disappoint myself!

This is my favorite technique when clients come with depression, no energy to work on things, deeply in PR. The client often leaves with a deep sense of having uncover an unconscious block. It is a great way to discover their specific core issue.

Regards, Colette Streicher


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