Most of us experience moderate amounts of stress or distress in our lives. Some of us experience huge amounts of stress and distress that can make our lives a misery.
Naturally people want to feel better.
The self-help shelves at the book store groan under the weight of all the self-help books offering techniques and approaches to relieve your suffering. EFT books are finding their way on to those shelves in increasing numbers.
In the online age advice and suggestions for tapping self help are all around us. If you Google EFT + ‘your problem’ you are likely to be overwhelmed with suggestions. You may be invited to tap along with videos and scripts, sign up for courses and download ebooks designed to help you resolve this, that or the other, problem.
We are very lucky to have EFT/Tapping available as a powerful self-help tool, but there’s good news and bad news.
The good news is that EFT/Tapping is very powerful, it can reach deep issues and process difficult emotions. In the hands of a skilled practitioner who knows what to do and how to do it you can make a great deal of progress at relieving your stress and soothing your distress.
The bad news is that EFT/Tapping is very powerful, it can reach deep issues and process difficult emotions. In the hands of someone who doesn’t know what they are doing it may not work at all, or it may ‘work’ too well and you will get into emotional trouble that can be hard to get out of.
That’s one of the reasons why working with a good practitioner is so helpful, they know what to do, how to do it and how to keep you safe while you are doing it.
If you are using EFT/Tapping for yourself you are both your own therapist and your own client. It’s important not to bite off more than you can chew.
The deeper your troubles the more likely it is that a lot of the EFT self-help material will either not work or bring you into contact with emotions and memories you are not able to process by yourself.
But what if you want to use EFT/Tapping to help soothe some of life’s problems. How do you decide what to work on and how to work on it.
This article is a set of guidelines to help you stay emotionally safe and get the most benefit from your self-directed EFT/Tapping.
It’s like the instructions you might get at a safari park:
- Keep your windows closed.
- Don’t get out of your car.
- Don’t give your mobile phone to the monkeys.
- Don’t pet the lions.
Like the safari park instructions, these guidelines won’t cover all eventualities but they will give you a better chance of getting the best from your tapping without getting into difficulties.
First, Learn How To Tap
You might be thinking: “Well, duh!”!
But there are (at least) two ways of learning and one of them is much more useful than the other.
- Learning ABOUT tapping: this is what most people think of when they think of learning. In school you learned about geography, literature, history, etc. You acquired information about a subject. However, EFT/Tapping is not a subject it’s a skill! Learning about a skill is not the same as learning a skill. Learning about swimming will not make you a good swimmer. Having a script or tap-along video, even if it is specifically about your issue, is not the same as knowing how to tap.
- Learning HOW to tap: to use EFT/Tapping safely and effectively you need to learn the skill(s) of tapping. Whatever you learned about EFT/Tapping has to be put into practice. The easiest and best way to learn how to do something is to be shown how to do it and then to refine your developing skills. That needs another person (or people) to be your guide.
In this regard EFT is like:
- First aid
- Ballroom dancing
- Scuba diving
“Knowledge is just a rumour until it is in the muscle”
– Papua New Guinea Proverb
If you only know about EFT/Tapping the first thing to do is to go to a live training to learn how to tap or work with a practitioner who can show you how to use it. You will learn how to work with the emotions, process memories, handle difficulties and how to approach problems.
If you only know about EFT/Tapping, stop here, it’s not safe to go on.
If you want to learn how to tap go to AAMET International to find qualified trainers or practitioners in your area.
Second, How ‘Big’ Is Your Problem?
There are problems and there are PROBLEMS.
We have an enormous number of ways to be stressed and distressed. Some of our difficulties are small and simple emotional glitches, others are huge, complicated overwhelming difficulties that blight our lives.
In general the ‘bigger’ the problem the harder it will be to handle.
Before using EFT for self-help we need to work out if we will be able to handle what we are working with by ourselves.
There are two questions that need to be answered:
- Will I be safe?
- Can I work with the issue?
Here is a sequence of questions designed to help you decide?
How difficult is the issue you want to work on?
If we imagine that issues lie on a continuum of difficulty from mild to severe it’s easy to decide what to do if the issue lies at either end of the scale.
If the issue is a minor upset or everyday distress then it is probably safe to work with by yourself – get tapping.
If the issue is a major trauma, childhood abuse, abusive relationship or multiple interconnected issues then it’s probably not safe to work on by yourself – find a good practitioner to help you process this kind of issue.
Things get more complicated if the issue lies somewhere between those two extremes. We need to think more carefully about how to proceed.
- If you know something is wrong but don’t know what it is, work with a practitioner who can help you uncover what’s happening.
- If the issue scares you, or you feel very disconnected from it, work with a practitioner who can help you while keeping you safe.
- If the issue provokes a lot of shame or guilt – work with a practitioner to help create an accepting space.
- If you know (or suspect) that this issue has its roots in a difficult past – work with a practitioner.
- If you can’t get yourself to work on this issue – work with a practitioner.
Third, Make Progress Slowly
If you think it’s safe to go ahead there are two ways to approach this issue
If you know someone who also knows EFT/Tapping arrange swaps with them so you can help each other take care what needs to be done.
If that’s not possible, or you prefer to work on the issue yourself, you need to be your own tapping buddy.
In either case proceed cautiously
- Divide and conquer – work on small things.
- Sneak up on the problem – process feelings about the issues, before getting to the issues.
- Be persistent.
- Keep being persistent.
- If the issue gets too difficult to handle, work with a practitioner.
- If it becomes clear that this is attached to a big issue – work with a practitioner.
As an EFT Practitioner I can say that working with clients is complicated. I can also say that when you with yourself as a client that is even more complicated.
However, with a little care, I think it is possible to relieve a lot of the stress and distress in your everyday life and EFT makes that possible.