What Does Intention Tapping Add To EFT?

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

Since Gary Craig invented Tapping / EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) back in the 1990’s there has been an explosion of different varieties of ‘tapping techniques’.

One new addition to the field are the Intentional Energy Processes (IEP) created by psychologist and performance coach Steve Wells (co-creator of Simple Energy Techniques and Provocative Energy Techniques).

While IEP is recognisable as a tapping technique it differs from standard EFT in important ways.

In this article I’m going to explain my understandings of those differences and what, in my opinion, makes IEP (sometimes known as Intention Tapping) a very powerful addition to the tapping techniques family. (I’m going to assume that you are already familiar with EFT/Tapping).

Read moreWhat Does Intention Tapping Add To EFT?

The Road Of Fire And Ice

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Imagine you are driving down a road.

It’s a wide road and you are the only car on the road.

This road is very strange.

On one side there is a raging forest fire that reaches right up to the edge, on the other there is a deep cold lake covered by a thin layer of ice.

Your car is also very strange.

You can turn the wheel to steer the car but it also has a special feature where the wheel will turn itself when you feel emotional distress. It will turn left or right (you’re never sure which) and the stronger the distress the further the wheel will turn.

You have to drive along this road you have no choice.

Read moreThe Road Of Fire And Ice

Get Out Of Your Mind To Tap

“Lose your mind and come to your senses”
    – Fritz Perls, founder of Gestalt Therapy

MindEveryone lives in a sensory world.

Our experience is what we see, hear, feel, smell, taste, think, imagine, remember and do (thinking, imagining and remembering are seeing and hearing in our inner world).

When we tap we are tapping on our internal sensory experience and how that makes us feel.

If you know about EFT you will know one of the foundations of successful EFT / Tapping is to be specific about what you are tapping on.

When we talk about being specific we are focusing on the sensory parts of our experience. The unpleasant feelings, the scary images, critical voices and painful memories that distress us, all happen at the level of sensory experience.

If we spent all our time in our sensory experience our tapping would be very simple, but because we are able to think and imagine we can take ourselves out of our sensory world into the realm of abstraction.

Thinking About Our Problems Can Cause Problems

Our capacity to think gives us ways to create abstractions and theories about why we are suffering. These theories, concepts, names, abstractions about our experience take us away from our sensory experience.

In one way it may be less distressing to spend our time thinking about the problem, in another way it can get in the way of resolving the problem.

We talk about low self-esteem, co-dependency, procrastination, borderline personality disorder and all the other conditions and syndromes that can appear on social media or in our Google searches.

While it might be useful to discuss diagnoses amongst ourselves or with professionals such abstractions are not directly amenable to tapping.

You can’t show your therapist low self-esteem, co-dependency etc because they are abstractions. They are labels for experience not the experience themselves.

The further away from sensory experience we get the more vague and un-tappable the problem gets.

Some things are just so vague that it is like wrestling with (or tapping on) fog.

So, how exactly do you tap on low self-esteem, procrastination, indecisiveness or all those other abstractions? These problems are very real to the people experiencing them, but they are hard to tap on directly.

Read moreGet Out Of Your Mind To Tap

A Crucial Distinction For Releasing Troublesome Memories With EFT

Warning: This article is for EFT Practitioners who work with difficult or traumatic memories. It is not designed as a self-help intervention. If you recognise some of your own memories from this article I encourage you to find a skilled and experienced EFT Practitioner to help you process them.

Disassociated perspective

Have you ever cleared a memory using the Movie Technique, reducing the emotional charge to zero, but still find the memory bothering, even if there is (apparently) nothing left to tap on?

You may have had this experience and wondered what you did wrong or what you missed. Well you probably didn’t do anything wrong, but you may have tapped on only one part of the memory.

If you have such a resistant memory, bring it to mind for a moment.

There are two ways of remembering an experience, one of them yields to tapping very readily one of them requires a little extra something.

Are you on the inside of the memory looking out, or the outside of the memory looking in?

I suspect that if your memory bothers you, even if you have tapped it down to zero, it is because you are on the outside of the memory looking in.

But what does that statement even mean?

Read moreA Crucial Distinction For Releasing Troublesome Memories With EFT

Tapping For More Freedom

Not in controlAs adults we can make decisions and cause things to happen, we have the ability to be ‘at cause’ in our lives.

Being ‘at cause’ means we are resourceful, capable and able to act to influence our lives and we know that we can influence the course of our lives.

But sometimes, we might feel as though we are at the mercy of events or other people, things happen to us and there is nothing we can do to influence our lives. In other words we are ‘at effect’ in our lives.

When we are ‘at effect’ the world does things to us and we can’t change anything. Other people and circumstances control our lives, we might feel we are powerless and can’t influence what happens to us. We are a hostage to other people and circumstances.

Some of the symptoms of being at effect are:

  • Feeling like a victim of circumstances or other people.
  • Being passive, waiting for someone else to get things moving
  • Needing permission from other people to take action.

Being at effect can also show up in how we speak.

  • “There is nothing I can do until they ….”
  • “My family run my life”.
  • “I have to wait until they …”
  • “I need my mother’s approval”
  • “I can’t move on until he apologises for what he did”
  • “I am a coach and I’m waiting for new clients to ask me for the help they need, but they never show up.”
  • etc

When we hear other people (or ourselves) say things like this it indicates that they are ‘at effect’ in this area of their lives. They are telling us that someone else is responsible for how they think and feel and what they do.

Being at effect is a good way to keep chronic emotional problems going indefinitely. If you make other people or circumstances the cause of your problem there is nothing that you can do to change things because they are in control. If they have to change for you to get better, you could be in for a very long and probably unhappy wait.

By now you might be thinking that some people [insert favourite oppressor here] really are causing you physical or emotional distress. It’s true, there are certainly limits and constraints in the physical world and there are people using and abusing power in our social and political worlds. However, all those factors make themselves known through our subjective personal experience. How we respond to them will affect our experience of them and how we choose to act.

‘Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms: to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.’
– Viktor Frankl – concentration camp survivor.

Liberté, égalité, fraternité … or not!

The French national motto: Liberté, égalité, fraternité – freedom, equality and fraternity – describes the state of being at cause.

  • Liberty: Having the freedom to act
  • Equality: Having as much power and influence as everyone else
  • Fraternity: Being in a state of goodwill, wanting the best for ourselves and others without impinging on their freedom or equality.

Being at effect is the opposite.

  • Constraint: Feeling boxed in by real or imaginary limitations.
  • Powerlessness: The other people or circumstances have, or seem to have, all the power.
  • Vulnerability: The people holding the power do not have your interests at heart or may even be hostile towards you.

What can we do to change this?

Fortunately you don’t need to storm the Bastille or behead members of the nobility to reclaim some of your personal freedom, equality and fraternity.

Stepping out of the predicament

One of the problems of being at effect is that if you are in that predicament it can be quite hard to spot, because this may be the ‘normal’ state of affairs for you and you are on the inside of the problem looking out.

It’s hard to read the label if you are inside the jar!

One way of getting outside the jar is to work with a skilled practitioner who is able to see and hear when you are at effect and help you work through it.

Another way to is using drawing to create a tappable metaphor.

All you need a piece of paper and pencil and the willingness to do some tapping.

If you started to panic when I mentioned drawing … relax … this isn’t art school! You do not need to be able to create a Rembrandt or Van Goch of your situation to get the benefit. A simple diagram with stick figures will work really well.

Here’s the kind of diagram that I use:

As you can see Leonardo Da Vinci has nothing to fear from me.

This process consists of two parts:

  1. Defusing the situation, identifying the stress and distress in that situation and resolving it with tapping. Clearing the feelings and beliefs that hold you at effect.
  2. Infusing resources that will help you be different in that situation. After the stress and distress has been soothed it’s much easier to tap for the resources that would help you handle things differently.


WARNING: If your being ‘at effect’ is the result of historical or continuing trauma and abuse you need to work with that first. Find a practitioner who knows how to work with these kinds of issues and resolve them before you consider using this process

This process can be used for everyday situations where you feel ‘at effect’ in your life.

Part 1: Defusing The Situation

  1. Pick a situation in which you feel you are ‘at effect’
  2. Take a piece of paper, divide it in half. On one half draw a stick figure diagram of yourself (at effect) and the other half the person or persons (at cause)
  3. On the ‘your half’ list all the qualities and feelings of the stick figure of yourself in that situation. For example:
    1. “she is very small”
    2. “she has her head in her hands”
    3. “she doesn’t feel safe”
    4. “she is in the dark”
    5. etc
  4. On the other side of the paper write a list of all the qualities of that person / those people / the circumstances that affect you. For example:
    1. “they don’t care”
    2. “they are looking the other way”
    3. “they are not interested”
    4. etc
  5. Tap for the ‘at effect’ you, using tapping in the third person to process all the qualities of that you. â€
    1. “Even though she is very small, I deeply and completely accept her … she is very small”
    2. “Even though she has her head in her hands, I deeply and completely accept her … she has her head in her hands”
    3. etc
  6. Check the page to see if there are any signs of stress and distress – do more processing if necessary.
  7. When all the stress and distress has been soothed, ask yourself the question “What would it be like to be that me in that situation, now?”

Important: One of the reasons for drawing a representation of yourself is to help you step back from the problem and look at yourself as if you were another person. From this detached perspective it’s much easier to see what is going on.

Your stick figure self now becomes your stand-in and when you tap you formulate the tapping as if it was for someone else. Rather than tapping on “Even though I am very small … etc”, you tap on “Even though she is very small … etc”. You could think of it as surrogate tapping for yourself.

Now that the stress and distress in the situation has been defused you can move on to the second part

Part 2: Infusing Resources

  1. Look at the ‘you’ in the picture.
  2. What does that ‘you’ need to be more capable?
    1. Emotions – what feelings do they need – e.g. courage, acceptance, determination, etc
    2. Capabilities – what abilities would help them – e.g. the ability to speak up, the ability to stand firm.
  3. Write a list of resources that ‘s/he’ needs. For example
    1. courage
    2. confidence
    3. the ability to speak up
    4. etc
  4. For each resource use the following tapping sequence based on Paradoxical Tapping to work with that ‘you’
    1. Tapping on the eyebrow point “In how many different ways could s/he be more [resource]”
    2. Silent tapping on all other points
    3. For example:
      1. “In how many different ways could she have more courage”
      2. “In how many different ways could she feel more confidence”
      3. “In how many different ways could she speak up for herself”
      4. etc
  5. When you have the feeling that the ‘other you’ has been resourced, ask the question: “What would it be like to be that me in that situation now?” ‡

‡ At the start of the process you distanced yourself from ‘that you’ and the situation by drawing the picture. This allowed you to tap out the distress on behalf of that ‘other you’ and then resource that you so they could be more resourceful in that situation.

The question at the end: “What would it be like to be that me in that situation now?” causes you to ‘re-occupy’ that resourced self and imagine being in that situation. It helps you get back into yourself.

As always I hope you find this useful, please leave a comment or get in touch if you have any questions.

Tapping Into (And Out Of) The Resistance To The Resistance With IEP


“What you resist persists”
– Carl Jung

The resistance and I go way back.

I have been very creative in finding ways to avoid and delay important work.

I have also been very creative in finding ways to identify and dismantle limiting beliefs and feelings so that I can move past the resistance and get things done.

Recently I noticed that I was avoiding doing some important work, then I noticed that I was avoiding working with the resistance and that got me thinking.

Our culture is full of references to working / fighting / overcoming the resistance to get to our goals. Books like (the excellent) “The War Of Art” by Stephen Pressfield talk about overcoming resistance, pushing through the things that get in our way to reach our goal.

We are encouraged to resist our resistance, to struggle with it and overcome it (even if that feels like wading through treacle).

Unfortunately, I’m rather more lazy than heroic, so my struggles have often been half hearted.

I realised that all the time I spent struggling with my resistance could be better spent doing the thing I was resisting. It dawned on me that struggling with my resistance was a large part of the resistance.

So how do (did) I struggle with my resistance?

Read moreTapping Into (And Out Of) The Resistance To The Resistance With IEP

%d bloggers like this: