EFT/Tapping is a wonderful self-help tool. You can use it to soothe difficult emotions and ease painful memories.
It’s so good, you imagine that if you just tapped on the symptoms of your problem, relief would be quick to follow.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to work that way.
A quick search on the internet will find a multitude of tapping scripts or tap-along videos for your problem. However, while tapping along can soothe the distress at the time, those old feelings can come back later.
It’s as if tapping on the symptoms is like hacking away at the leaves of a tree. If the trunk of the tree is untouched the leaves can grow back with ease. If we don’t work on the trunk and the roots then we could make slow progress.
Let’s imagine someone called Annie.
Annie is now in her thirties and has had the uneasy feeling that she is not wanted for as long as she can remember.
Although she is in a long-term relationship with a loving partner, she often imagines that she is about to lose him to someone who is ‘better’ than she is. In spite of his obvious love for her, she finds it hard to accept that he does love her and that it will last.
She strives to conceal her reservations and be pleasing to him. She puts him first to ensure she keeps his affections.
But, even when things are going well, she feels a deep-seated unease about her relationship and how long it will last.
For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.
– H. L. Mencken
There is an amusing and inspiring steamship story that is often told in trainings or workshops, it goes something like this.
In the days of the old steamships a passenger liner broke down just before the entrance to New York harbour.
The ship was helpless, there was nothing the ship’s engineer or crew could do. The liner lay dead in the water unable to make any headway.
The captain radioed the harbour asking them to send their most skilful engineer to solve the problem.
The engineer rode a pilot-boat to the crippled liner, where the captain showed him to the engine room.
To the captain’s surprise the engineer just wandered about. He walked around the engine room, putting his hand on the miles of piping and his ear to junctions and valves. He looked into the boilers and over the towering engine.
By now the captain was beginning to get impatient. “When is this man actually going to DO something?” he thought.
After half an hour of wandering around the engineer just scratched his chin, nodded to himself and asked for a hammer.
One of the problems of describing therapeutic techniques is that they can seem dry and remote. It occurred to me that writing a folk tale would be a good way to talk about the Identity Healing process in a way that spoke to the metaphorical part of ourselves that delights in a story. This tale is one way of telling you about it without talking about it. I hope you enjoy the story and see its potential. – Andy
In a land far away and long ago there lies a village remote and beautiful.
A scattering of rough stone houses and tangled gardens surrounded by high hills and deep forest.
The villagers lived the simple lives of villagers everywhere.
They worked, slept, laughed, cried, were born and gave birth, grew up, grew old and died in all the ancient and familiar rhythms of the world.
To their occasional visitors they looked the same as villagers everywhere and anywhere.
To those visitors who stayed a while they seemed happier than villagers ought to be.
In spite of the hard work in the daily and yearly struggle for survival these villagers had found a way to be contented with themselves.
The villagers had an easiness of being. A deep contentment with themselves and the world. And although they had all the familiar vexations in their lives, they lived them to the full without struggle.
Children growing here suffered all the usual knocks and blows of life.
If you saw such a moment in a child’s life here you would see all the things you would expect to see anywhere. The shock, hurt, anger or fear would run through their bodies and over their faces.
What you wouldn’t see, what you couldn’t see, if you were not from this village, is the secret way each child protected themselves from their pain.
If you look at your passport or your driving license you can see your name and your photo. Even if the photo is bad you can tell that it is you.
You appear to be just one person. But is that true?
On the outside you may project an image of calm, capability, or one of the other ways we like to present ourselves to the world. Behind the eyes and beneath the skin it can be a different story.
Have you ever said or heard someone else say?
I am not good enough
There is something wrong with me
I can’t forgive myself
Nobody loves me
I hate myself
Each of these statements is about an ‘I’,’me’ or ‘myself’. They speak about our identity, who we are.
Beneath what we hope are our socially acceptable exteriors there may be parts of ourselves that are not happy.
These parts: the ‘I’ in “I’m not good enough”, the ‘me’ in “Nobody loves me” and the ‘I’ and ‘myself’ in “I hate myself” are sometimes known as sub-personalities. Sub-personalities are parts of our inner selves that step up and wear the mask of our outer selves.
These parts of ourselves are usually suffering.
The ‘I’ in I’m not good enough is not having a good time.
The ‘me’ in “Nobody loves me” feels distress.
The ‘I’ and ‘myself’ in “I hate myself” are both feeling stressed.
These parts of ourselves are often formed in childhood at times of stress. They carry what they felt, thought and did at that time through life in a capsule of that stress and distress.
You may also remember times when it felt as if a younger part of yourself took control of your adult self. It’s as if you had been hijacked by a terrified child or angry teenager. If you’ve had this experience you have felt the presence of a sub-personality.
It’s bad enough that we can carry these pockets of stress and distress within ourselves, but it gets worse.
I recently found this comment by a guy called Robert Smyth posted on one of my webpages. If you read it, you will probably realise that it didn’t really fit with how I saw myself.
I thought I’d write a short answer to each of his criticisms, but it turned out to be a longer reply than I had expected.
Here’s what he said:
It’s guys like this who get therapy a bad name. There is no mention on his website of his being registered with one of the main UK accrediting body – either BACP or UKCP. Perhaps more concerning is that there is no indication on his website of the extent of his training, e.g., EFT can be learnt in a weekend, and NLP in a few months. A counselling training takes at least three years and a psychotherapy training at least four years. While he mentions that he received a counselling training it is unlikely that this would count if he were to apply to be accredited because of when he did this. Other aspects of his website are also concerning. For instance, why promote the work of someone else. If the reader did not look closely enough she could easily be mis-led into think that this was written by the website author. Also, it does not appear that he has enough experience to be presenting himself an expert on therapy which a video and self-publications indicate. Any publication that is not peer reveiwed and/or pubished by a reputative journal or publisher is highly suspect. In addition, on what basis is he setting himself up as an institute. It is clear that he does have enough experience to do this. Finally, it appears that there is more ego here than anything else, and that he wants to promote himself as a money making business. If you are a potential client reading this I strongly suggest that you go to the BACP or UKCP website to search for a therapist. BACP, for instance, have good guidelines which help people find a suitable counsellor or psychotherapist.
Obviously it’s not what I want people to be saying about me but I thought it would be worth addressing some of the questions he raises.