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The "proper words" to use for the EFT Set-up Statement

EFt Tapping Outdated ImageNote: This is one of 3,000 articles written prior to the updated Gold Standard (Official) EFT Tapping Tutorial™. As a result, it is likely outdated. It provides practical uses for EFT Tapping but you should also explore our newest advancement, Optimal EFT, by reading our free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™, and/or get help from a Certified EFT Practitioner.


Hi Everyone,

Dr. Tam Llewellyn-Edwards (from the UK) sheds some light for us on the "proper words" to use for the EFT Set-up statement.

Newbies with minimal training in EFT often have the erroneous perception that there is something magic about the words used in the EFT Set-up statement and that, without these "precise pieces of profundity", EFT will not work. Some people apparently think that these special words are the only keys available to unlock the doors to certain ailments. Not so. Not even close.

Interestingly, that perception is not taught anywhere in our training videos and I don't know where people get it. My guess is that those with only partial exposure to EFT improperly put together the scattered pieces they have "learned" and thus make this assumption.

As Tam correctly points out, "This [Set-up] statement is not some form of 'magic incantation' and there is no perfect form of it for each specific problem that always works for that problem. Rather the 'Set Up' statement is personal and specific to the individual sufferer."

Very true! While there are some occasions where the Set-up statement should be very specific (you discover this by experience with clients), the only guideline necessary is that the Set-up statement must be a phrase that adequately tunes the client into the problem. Thus, the Set-up statement is a simple art and does not reduce down to a library of exact phrases.

Tam emphasizes this rather eloquently in his message below.

Hugs, Gary


By Dr. Tam Llewellyn-Edwards

My last posting to this series (about the use of EFT in cases of carpal tunnel syndrome) produced the most correspondence I have ever had following the posting of one of my case studies. However the vast majority of enquiries simply asked what 'Set Up' statement I used.

The actual 'Set Up' statement I used is completely irrelevant to all cases except the ones I was faced with. This statement is not some form of 'magic incantation' and there is no perfect form of it for each specific problem that always works for that problem. Rather the 'Set Up' statement is personal and specific to the individual sufferer.

To point up an extreme example, it is no use at all to have a four year old child recite the 'Set Up' - "Even though I suffer from enuresis, I fully accept and love myself". Instead the statement must be in the words of the client. In this case a statement such as "Even though I wet the bed, Mummy loves me" would be far more effective as the child would understand what he or she was saying. For an older child with the same problem a 'Set Up' statement such as "Even though I am not dry at night, I am still a cool dude" may fit the bill.

The actual form of words is not important as long as the client's subconscious understands what is intended.

To go further, I would say that the actual words used are quite irrelevant. Hidden problems (i.e. those the client does not want to disclose to the therapist) can be treated perfectly successfully without even mentioning the problem with 'Set Ups' such as "Even though... [client mentally but silently states the problem]... I respect myself".

When problems are very painful to the client, a token or metaphor can be used instead of the actual problem, using the set up phrase "Even though I have this daffodil problem, I am OK" (where "daffodil" represents the painful issue). The key to these 'Set Ups' being that the clients' subconscious knows what the statement refers to.

To demonstrate this, my case this time involves the use of a token statement but ,unusually, it is a token offered by the client himself for a simple problem that was not difficult for him to discuss. If the client offers a statement - use it.

My client, a 30 year old male we shall call Joe, had consulted me for homeopathic help with regards to his life long problem of very severe eczema. He had presented for homeopathy so he was treated homeopathically. However, I know that a significant problem with eczema sufferers is that their bodies itch and they scratch causing infection, which compounds the problem. Because of this I wanted to teach EFT to Joe so that he could learn to control his itching without scratching.

The problem was that he only itched at night and during our session his 0-10 intensity level was zero. I could have simply taught him the sequence and told him to get on with it, but I doubt if he would have believed me enough to try it out that night when the itching started, so I wanted to demonstrate the effectiveness of EFT to him.

A few days previously Joe had tripped on a stair and twisted his ankle. No great damage was done, but it remained very sore. He saw it as an inconvenience, but I saw it as an ideal chance to demonstrate the effectiveness of EFT.

The 0-10 intensity value on the ankle pain was 6 (if he stood on it). When asked to describe the problem in his own words, he simply said, "I do not have words to describe it, it is just 'Grrrrrough'". So we tapped with the 'Set Up', "Even though I have this 'Grrrrrough' problem I'm OK" and using the 'Reminder Phrase' - "Grrrrrough"

A simple round of tapping dropped the 0-10 intensity to 2, and when asked how he would then describe the problem then, he said, "Mummmm".

The modified statement for the next round was, of course, "Even though I have this 'Mummmm' problem I am OK," and the 0-10 intensity dropped to zero.

Joe was suddenly very interested in EFT (intrigued is a better word) and listened carefully to a full explanation of it. He then left without the limp he had arrived with and with a 'knowing' he could use EFT to overcome the itch that night.

Regards, Dr. Tam Llewellyn-Edwards

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