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).
Emotional Freedom Techniques
In the standard ‘classic’ EFT techniques:
- If you have an experience, memory, fantasy, sensation or belief that evokes distressing feelings then that is a problem. You can use EFT to soothe those painful feelings to change the way you think, feel and act in the world. From the EFT perspective the problem is how you feel about the problem.
- The practitioner helps the client unpack the problem to get to specific tappable issues (aspects), then designs tapping sequences to help soothe each aspect and thus resolve the problem. In EFT the more specific you can be the more progress you can make.
- The practitioner creates a tapping sequence consisting of a set-up phrase and a reminder phrase, tests the intensity of the aspect, applies the tapping sequence, tests the intensity of the aspect again and repeats the tapping sequence until the aspect is soothed. The process is repeated on each aspect until the problem is dissolved.
- Practitioner and client measure progress by testing using the ‘SUDs scale’, measuring your progress in this way is an important way of finding out what else needs to be processed. To assess the strength of the aspect you need to stop the tapping, tune in to get an ‘accurate’ reading, then restart the tapping.
- The process of identifying tapping targets, creating specific set-up phrases, testing, tapping, testing again means that Standard EFT can become a stop-go cycle where the client flips between being in the problem and thinking about the problem. This stop-go can inhibit getting into a state of flow.
There is no doubt that EFT is a powerful process. Personal experience and many scientific studies demonstrate that EFT can successfully relieve trauma, anxiety, cravings and many other problems.
Intentional Energy Processes
- IEP also uses tapping, but starts from a very different perspective. In IEP the problem itself is not the main problem, the problem is our attachment to the problem and the disturbance in our energy system that the attachment causes. The way we emotionally hold on to the problem and (sometimes unconsciously) refuse to let go of it. That suffering caused by attachment is not a new idea, Buddhism is framed around that perspective, and it appears in many other traditions and techniques including the work of Byron Katie.
- Instead of a set-up statement, IEP starts with an intention statement that invites the unconscious mind to release its attachments to the problem and restore the energy balance in the system. After that, the tapping is delivered without reminder phrases and the client just attends to their inner experience as it changes.
- There’s no formal measurement of the intensity of specific aspects with a SUDS scale, the client is directed to pay attention to whatever is going on in their whole system from moment to moment and work with that.
- The IEP process is continuous: once started tapping is continuous, whatever arises in consciousness is fed back into the intention phrase and continues. This continuous tapping, guided by the client’s unconscious mind leads to a powerful ‘tapping state’ that allows previously hidden connections to emerge and be resolved without having to cognitively figure anything out.
- The direction of the tapping is mostly guided by the unconscious mind of the client rather than the conscious mind of the practitioner. The tapping state allows the client to easily traverse the networks of unconscious associations and connections dissolving the net as it goes.
- The session starts with whatever is going on for the client, you don’t need to get specific before you start. IEP works just as well with vague or specific starting points. The client can start from anywhere, even if that is very vague or general.
- Intention Tapping can help the client to process many tangled aspects of a problem with surprising speed and leaves them with a sense of of calm clarity.
If you haven’t guessed yet, I’m very impressed with IEP. I don’t think IEP is, or should be, a replacement for EFT or other tapping approaches but it is a particularly useful addition to the practitioner’s tapping repertoire.
You can find out more about Intention Tapping on Steve’s website.
Steve Wells will be running a workshop The Power Of Intention Tapping in London in late October, 2019.