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Official EFT Tutorial

PART II For Everyone: Getting to the Roots of Your EFT Issues

What Should I Say During the EFT Tapping Process?

Easy ways to "Get the EFT Words Right" while Tapping

When you first learned The EFT Tapping Basic Recipe you were given a simple, fill-in-the-blank sentence for the initial Setup Phrase.  It went like this...

"Even though I have this ___________, I deeply and completely accept myself."

This is the basic answer to the "What do I say?' concern.  You need only fill in the blank with words describing the problem, e.g. sore shoulder, EFT Tapping Wordsrejection memory, fear of heights, etc.  However, we later learned in Intro to Being Specific With EFT Tapping that adding specificity to the language is likely to provide more benefits.  This is because EFT works best on very specifically stated problems.  Thus saying, "This sharp pain in the front of my right shoulder" is better than saying just, "This sore shoulder." 

A common sense way to generate more specificity for your Tapping rounds.

This method is easy and requires no in-depth training.  With a little practice you should have it down permanently.  Just describe the problem in detail as though you were talking to a good friend and then use that language in your Tapping rounds. 

An example,

if you have a physical issue, such as a lower back pain, then you might say to a friend...

"When I bend over I get this shooting pain in my lower back that makes me want to scream so loud that even a deaf person could hear me."

While that is a bit wordy, it is perfectly fine to start with this Setup language...

"Even though when I bend over I get this shooting pain in my lower back that makes me want to scream so loud that even a deaf person could hear me, I deeply and completely accept myself."

For the Reminder Phrase you might want to shorten it to something like....

"Lower back shooting pain that makes me want to scream."

Remember, this is an indirect way to target the underlying emotional issues. If you have been as specific as you can and don’t have the relief you want, then more or better language is not the solution. Finding the underlying emotional issues and working with Specific Events is the next best step.

Another example,

this time for an emotional issue.  You might say to a friend....

"When I see a snake my heart pounds, I get dizzy and I think I'm going to die."

Your Setup language could then be....

"Even though when I see a snake my heart pounds, I get dizzy and I think I'm going to die, I deeply and completely accept myself."

The Reminder Phrase might be...

"Snake, heart pounding, dizzy, going to die."

Again, targeting the resulting, current symptoms of an emotional issue is an indirect way to target the real problem. Rather than finding different language for better results, it’s better to dig deeper and work with Specific Events.

Yet another example,

this time for a Specific Event.  You might say to a friend...

"When my third grade teacher told the class that I was too dense to learn anything, I was so mortified that I wanted to disappear from the earth."

Your Setup Language could then be...

"Even though my third grade teacher told the class that I was too dense to learn anything, I was so humiliated that I wanted to disappear from the earth, I deeply and completely accept myself."

Your Reminder Phrase might be...

"Humiliated, disappear from the earth."

If you prefer, you could write down the words, in graphic and specific detail, as though you were sending a letter to a friend.  Use those words in your EFT Tapping rounds.  With experience you will refine your skills and find ways to get the job done with fewer words.

Please note that the additional language in the example above is still describing one frame within a 1-3 minute event. The teacher said the words, I had the feelings, and this is how I would describe that moment. It does not include the 20 minute analysis that you may also go through when telling your friend about how the teacher must have issues of her own, how your mother used to say the same things, or how this is the very thing that perpetuates your fear of rejection issue in your marriage. Make sure you are still being specific to the moment.

CAUTION - Don’t “go global” with your language:

As reflected in the previous paragraph, be aware that this “telling it to your friend” version of language can easily take you off into other events or other global issues. The goal is still to be specific with the individual frames of the 1-3 minute segment of time, and you don’t want your language to distract you from that. Remember, the purpose of the language, particularly the Reminder Phrase, is to help you maintain focus on the specific target you have chosen to address with your round of tapping.

The target is more important than the language: If you are breaking each issue down into smaller parts using the concepts of Aspects, Being Specific, and Specific Events, then once you have a good, specific target, the language should fall right into your lap. If you are having trouble designing your Setup phrase, then you probably need to be more specific. It is only hard to design language when you have too much “issue” on your plate.

Where EFT'ers Get Confused Regarding the Words

The above methods are simple, straight forward and will lead even the newcomer to solid Tapping results in many cases.  But confusion can arise when you see me delivering EFT on the numerous videos on this website.  There I appear to be using "fancy language" that seems far advanced over the above explanations.  In a way, that is true.  I have refined my language over the years just as you may do as you gain experience.  But these language patterns are just refinements and add a little "icing to the cake."  You aren't there yet but what you have been given above is "the cake" and has been used by multitudes to gain solid results.  As a newcomer, it is not necessary, or practical, to expect to match my EFT skills.  At least not yet.

One thing is for sure, though.  It is FAR easier and FAR more efficient to develop this simple skill than to use the canned Tapping Scripts that are so prevalent on the internet.  See The Pros and Perils of EFT Tapping Scripts.  These pre-created wordings are supposedly designed to aim EFT at your specific issues and save you from learning this simple skill.  However, rarely will some outsider's attempts be effective in hitting your specific target.  If you choose, you can use a well trained Gold Standard EFT practitioner to assist you.

When you get to the more advanced sections of this Gold Standard EFT Tutorial, you will see how the Setup Language and Reminder Phrases can be used creatively to enhance the process.  This, of course, requires experience but, with practice, can be developed by anyone.  If interested now, you can peruse these advanced articles.

Premiere EFT Tapping Self Help Tools

These two articles provide excellent tools for self help.


In this article you learned more about choosing effective language for your Tapping rounds.

  • The purpose of the language is to focus on your target for the Tapping round.
  • The basic two-three word description of the problem is the best first step.
  • Being more specific about your problem or an Aspect thereof is often better.
  • Describing the problem as you would to a friend can help you be more specific.
  • Be careful not to let your language take you into global territory,
  • Digging deeper into underlying issues and finding a better target for your tapping round is usually more effective than finding “better language”.



© Gary and Tina Craig
All Rights Reserved

Please note: This Tutorial, while useful, was replaced in 2014 by my newest advancement, Optimal EFT. More efficient. More powerful. Full explanation given in my free, easy-to-read e-book, The Unseen Therapist