My friend Liz Kirsopp replied to a question about using EFT for OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) on our EFT Cafe email group. It’s an excellent description of how to use EFT with what is thought of as a difficult condition.

The question was:

“Hi was wondering if there was some advice on EFT and OCD – I was
imagining it might be best to work on compulsive behaviour with the
film technique and see if this lowers the compulsion rather than doing EFT in the moment to stop it happening – would this set up a kind of EFT compulsion???”

Liz answered:

It’s a very good question. I had one patient with very severe OCD who was too scared to try EFT in case it did become yet another ritual. Also, just as there is a danger with worriers of trying to attack every single possible worry, there is a danger of trying to tackle every little compulsive behaviour or obsessive thought with OCD which may only lead you further down the plughole of the problem. So I find it useful to look at the purpose of the whole behaviour in general and the beliefs behind it.

I have used EFT with effect with OCD starting in the following kind of ways:

  1. Even though (this compulsive behaviour) thinks it is keeping me safe…..
  2. Even though I don’t know for sure that my feelings are survivable if I don’t do (compulsive behaviour)
  3. Even though I have to be certain of safety at all times

I tend to do a few rounds of these and move them along with alternating eg “I must be certain” on one tapping point and “maybe I might take a little risk” on the next and so on. Or going on to general statements like “the truth is – it’s not a certain world, I don’t control most things in the world/my life and I am still ok, I am a grown up capable person at least as much as anyone else” type of thing. These would not carry any weight at all without tapping but when you have tapped out some of the reversals to it, people are able to hear the truth from themselves and incorporate it successfully.

I sometimes ask the questions about when it first came on and what would you do instead but it all boils down to safety and if they can get rid of their perception that they need the compulsions to be safe, then they are cured regardless of the whys and wherefores.

Because of their need for the safety of certainty they can be hard customers to convince to give EFT a proper go.I never see such a thing as a mild OCD – people only come when they are desperate. So the likelihood with EFT and OCD is that they just get a little bit improvement and then go away again as they can “cope” with their miseries again.

Liz and I are running an EFT for Professionals training in September for mental health workers in the North East.

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