The Futility Of Reassurance

Have you ever overheard, or been in, a conversation like this?

“Is there something wrong with me?”

“No, not at all.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes of course.”

“I don’t feel that I’m a good person.”

“You are a great person! Funny, generous and thoughtful.”

“I don’t think I’m like that very often. I’m not a very nice person at all.”

“You are lovely (said with less conviction)”

“I don’t feel like it”

“But you are really.”

“Do you really mean that?”

“Yes (with more irritation)! Why do you always go on like this?”

“See! I told you there was something wrong with me!”

On the face of it, this exchange is about unhappiness looking for reassurance and not finding it. Unfortunately we usually only address the surface unhappiness with ever greater reassurance.

However great your reassurance is, it isn’t going to help the deeper wound.

Just below the surface, in the bigger game, the engine that drives the self-doubt swallows up reassurance with ease. This kind of unhappiness is fuelled by shame, guilt, self criticism, even self-hatred.

These wounds can’t be healed by reassurance alone, they need something else.

Tackling the causes of this conversation needs more courage and determination than asking (or begging) for reassurance. It requires being uncomfortable, at least for a little while, as you undo those patterns.

Once that work has been done no reassurance is necessary. When you know that you are a worthwhile person you don’t need to be told, and if you are told you can believe it without difficulty.

“To seek approval is to have no resting place, no sanctuary. Like all judgement, approval encourages a constant striving. It makes us uncertain of who we are and of our true value. Approval cannot be trusted. It can be withdrawn at any time no matter what our track record has been. It is as nourishing of real growth as cotton candy. Yet many of us spend our lives pursuing it.”
~ Rachel Naomi Remen

EFT Café – Meet The Blockers! – Newcastle – Sept 15th

Have you ever had goals that you just can’t quite get started on (or finish)? Goals or plans that should be easy to attain but somehow you just keep putting it off, or getting in your own way.

If so, you have met The Resistance – a collection of internal barriers or limiting beliefs that get in your way success.

Fortunately it is easy to work with limiting beliefs using EFT.

Unfortunately they can be very difficult to spot. Like strong tidal currents they are often not visible on the surface but can work below the surface to drag you off course or even stop you in your tracks.

In the September EFT Café Andy Hunt will demonstrate a simple, two-part process for uncovering a wide range of limiting beliefs and show you how to use EFT to dissolve those beliefs once they have been found.

This EFT Café is on Thursday 15th September from 7pm-9pm at St Oswald’s Hospice Teaching Centre, Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne. The cost for this workshop is just £10.

Please note: Because of a booking clash at the Hospice Teaching Centre we are running this EFT on Thursday night rather than the usual 2nd Wednesday of the month. The EFT Cafe will return to its usual Wednesday slot in October.

Image courtesy of echiner1

Stepping Back From Negative Thoughts

We do lots of thinking every day. Our thoughts come and go constantly from the moment we awake until the moment we fall asleep.


Each of these thoughts has an effect on us. Many thoughts trigger emotional states in us for good or ill

Thoughts like this probably make us feel good:

  • "that chocolate cake looks good"
  • "I love you too sweetie"
  • I think this is a great song

Thoughts like these probably make us feel bad:

  • "I am so fat!"
  • "She makes me so angry"
  • "How could I be so stupid"

Sometimes we are stuck to our ideas of ourselves and what is going on. If these ideas or thoughts are unhelpful this identification with them can be very stressful because we believe that what we are thinking is true. The thought triggers an emotional response whether it is appropriate or not. Our mistake is that we forget that the thought is just a thought about something, not the something itself. It's as if we see a sign saying "Beware of the bull" and become afraid even though the field is quite empty.

A common response to having negative thoughts can be to try to add positive thoughts to the mix as an attempt to counteract or attack those negative thoughts.

This is like putting another gladiator in the ring and expecting the fighting to stop.

What we don't do, or can't do, is step out of the mental arena and let the thoughts go.

Fortunately, there are ways to ease the power of these thoughts by stepping away from them. One way of doing just that can be found in the book The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris. It is one of several, simple techniques that you can use to step out of unhelpful thinking patterns.

The process is simplicity itself. Let's imagine that you have the thought "I'm no good" going around in your head. When you have this thought it provokes a very stressful and debilitating reaction.

First I would ask you to think the thought: "I am no good" then notice what effect that has on you.

Second I would ask you to think the thought: "I am having the thought that I am no good" then notice what happens when you do that.

Third I would ask you to think the thought: "I am noticing that I am having the thought that I am no good", then notice what happens when you do that.

When they do this, people usually report that this technique puts the original thought "at a distance" to them, and that they are less troubled by it.


1. Choose a thought that stresses you.

2. Think that thought and notice what it does to you

3. Then think "I am having the thought … the thought"

4. Then think "I am noticing that I am having the thought … the thought"

This is a really simple process for taking the charge out of negative thinking.

The only challenge is remembering to use it. Here are two approaches that might help:

1. When ever you have an unhelpful thought make a note of it in a journal or piece of paper. At some convenient time of the day, review your notes using the technique for each thought that causes you trouble.

2. When ever you are in difficult or stressful situations ask yourself the question "What am I thinking now?" and make a note of your answers, treating each one with the process.

Image courtesy of Sander van der Wel

How To Use NLP & EFT To Undo "I cant …"

Road Closed"If you think you can, or you think you can't – you're right"
– Henry Ford

When people say "I can" or "I can't" they are telling us the limits of what they think is possible for them in their world.

  • I can't speak in public
  • I can't fall in love
  • I can't say that to my mother
  • I can't leave this job
  • I can't get out of this relationship

Each can't is a line in the sand which they can't cross.

In the NLP Meta Model "I can't …" belongs to a linguistic class given the very fancy title "modal operators of possibility", which are all about the way we talk about what is possible or impossible for us. The Meta Model gives us a way of challenging the statements beginning with "I can't …" This tapping technique is a combination of EFT and the NLP challenge to an "I can't …".

Let's go back to the line in the sand which the person thinks they can't cross. This line in the sand was probably formed long ago as a rule based on experience, it is probably held at an unconscious level, hidden from view. As far as the person is concerned now, the "I can't …" is self-evident and convincing. This technique is designed to unpack the underlying reasons for the rule so that they can be tapped on. To do this we use part of the NLP Meta Model which is a set of questions designed to uncover the hidden basis for a lot of our unconscious limitations and assumptions.

Like a line in the sand there are two sides to this internal line.

On one side there may be something stopping you from crossing over that line into a desired outcome. At some level you are being held back. Asking the question: "What stops you?" helps bring into awareness whatever it is that is stopping you from moving forward.

On the other side of the line there may be an undesired consequence of stepping over that line. At some level you don't want or fear the consequence of stepping over the line. Asking the question: "What would happen if you did?" helps you bring that undesired consequence into awareness.

This routine consists of a setup statement and tapping through while asking three questions.

Read more

EFT Level 1+ Early Bird Rate Extended


Early Bird Rate Extended To September 1st

Just £125 For Two Days Training

The first of the new, two-day, Practical Wellbeing EFT Level 1+ training is on September 18th & 19th 2011.

This AAMET approved course is for people who want to learn how to use Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), a simple and powerful self-help technique for themselves, family and friends. It is also the first step for counsellors and therapists who want to learn how to add these techniques to their toolboxes.

Why is this a two day training?

Most AAMET EFT Level 1 trainings take just one day. In fact, my earlier EFT Level 1 trainings have been in the one day format so why the change?

There are a few reasons:

1. There is a lot to learn
There is a large amount of information and techniques to fit into a one day training. To cover the ground in the time available means that you don't have much time to explore the techniques in much detail. It's a whistle-stop tour through the basics, working with memories, dealing with cravings, and using EFT with physical issues. That is a lot of material to cover in a short space of time and it's difficult to do it justice in one day.

2. To learn EFT you need to practice.
You can learn about EFT in a day, to learn how to use EFT you need to practice. The more practice you get the more you learn. In a one day Level 1 training it is only possible to give a limited amount of practical experience in the time available. In two days there is more time to practice, reflect on, and discuss what you are doing.

3. Practice gives confidence.
Many people have the experience of being bowled over by the results of EFT during a one day training. They are amazed and inspired by what they learn during the day, but when they get home they are not sure how to put their learning into practice without the trainer to ask. You need to have the practice to gain confidence in what you are doing and how to do it so that you can use it for yourself.

The EFT Level 1+ course covers the AAMET Level 1 syllabus, gives you many opportunities to practice and adds two new processes specifically designed for using EFT In daily life. It is designed to give you a thorough introduction to EFT and give you the skills and confidence to use it beyond the training room.

The EFT Level 1+ consists of eight modules spread over the two days.

Module 1: Introduction to EFT and 'The Basic Recipe'

Module 2: Principles of EFT and the Simple version.

Module 3: Using EFT to take the strain out of challenging situations.

Module 4: Neutralising unpleasant memories with EFT

Module 5: The Personal Peace Procedure – A step by step process for undoing the past.

Module 6: Working with cravings and physical issues

Module 7: Taking the strain out of challenging relationships

Module 8: More practice and how to use EFT in daily life

The course includes a full manual and all training materials. At the end of the training you will receive an AAMET EFT Level 1 Attendance Certificate which is required if you want to progress to the EFT Level 2 training to add EFT to your professional tool box.

Time and Place

10am to 5pm on September 17th and 18th at St Oswald's Hospice Teaching Centre, Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne.


The first four people to apply will receive a special price of just £95 for the two days.

Thereafter the Early Bird fee will be £125 until August 1st September 1st, then the full fee of £145 will apply.

Anyone with an existing AAMET EFT Level 1 certificate can attend this course as a refresher for just £30, if you have previously trained with Practical Wellbeing you can attend for just £20.

Email to secure your place.

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