Our life is a storybook. Unique and personal to us. Our own individual story. Full of ups and downs, happinesses, sadnesses, joys and regrets. Most of us can identify particular episodes and definitive chapters. And we can see how one bit of the story leads to the next. Like a book, we can appreciate the detail and we can draw back to gain an overall picture.
Emotional Freedom Techniques has a full tool box of techniques with which to address those past events that still hold negative emotional charge.
Those events that set us in certain directions, gave us particular beliefs and contributed to our understanding of the world and our place in it.
And above all, that gave us our sense of how safe we feel in the world. Because if we have deep unconscious beliefs that the world is an unsafe and threatening place, we will never achieve the life we want to live.
We will always hold ourselves back. Or else make catastrophic, impulsive decisions that we live to regret.
The difference between specific episodes and global issues.
One of the key components of EFT is an understanding of what constitutes an ‘episode’.
When we start thinking about emotional issues and blocks in our lives, we tend to think in global terms.
Here are a few examples:
‘I’m still angry at my dad after all these years.’
‘I get anxious every time I talk to my boss at work.’
‘That teacher always humiliated me.’
‘I always eat sugar-laden foods when I’m nervous.’
Sometimes it’s possible to use EFT to address ‘global issues’, and there are times when it’s a useful way of opening doors to look for hidden issues, however, EFT works best when we use specific episodes.
Here are a few examples of specific episodes ...
‘The time when I arranged to go out with my friends after school and my dad wouldn’t let me go. I was so angry.’
‘That time my boss called me in to his office and criticised the work I’d done on the project. I thought I was going to be sacked. I was panicking.’
‘That time that teacher hauled me up in front of the whole class and told me I was stupid. I felt so humiliated.’
‘The morning of my job interview I ate a whole bag of donuts. I couldn’t stop myself. I felt disgusted with myself.’
Specific Episodes that still hold Emotional Charge.
When a particular event comes to mind, imagine the unfolding of the story, and when you want to Tap, focus on the few moments leading up to the emotional spike.
I spent ages getting ready to go out with my friends, it was all arranged where we were going to meet. And I was really looking forward to it. But when I went downstairs, my dad said : ‘Don’t think you’re going anywhere.’
I couldn’t believe it. When I asked him why he just told me to go back up to my room and stay there. I was so angry.’
Focus on the burst of anger you felt when you realised your plans were about to be ruined. Tap on the anger.
Here's another example ...
I was making breakfast before going to the job interview, but I suddenly felt paralysed with nerves. I saw the bag of donuts on the kitchen counter and I ripped it open and just started eating them. And I couldn’t stop. I felt so disgusted with myself.’
In this example there are two emotional spikes : The nervousness, and then the self-disgust. Tap on them as separate issues.
It’s the emotional spikes where you still get an emotional charge, however long ago the episode takes place that is the focus for EFT ~ Tapping.
So, when the memory of a specific episode that holds the emotional charge has come to the fore, name the emotion and give it a number on the SUDS scale, and then Tap on it. If you’re new to EFT/Tapping, you can learn the Basic Technique by clicking here: Basic Tapping Recipe.
Tap on each particular episode separately ...
It’s likely that you may be Tapping on an episode that echoes many others, for example; binge-eating when nervous. If it’s a habit that has been going on for a long time, you’ll be reminded of other similar episodes. Perhaps you’ll remember the very first time you did it. A good question to ask at that point, would be: ‘What prompted me to do it back then?’ That would be an important episode to Tap through. Just establish the dominant negative emotion associated with the episode, and start Tapping.
Whichever way, Tapping on each individual episode as it comes up will eventually dismantle the global issue of ‘binge-eating when nervous’. It’s unlikely that you’ll need to Tap on every single episode. Just enough to collapse the issue. It could be ten or twenty. You’ll learn to sense when the issue is collapsing.
Sometimes an episode will have layers or 'Aspects' ....
The only thing to be aware of is that core issues are often a tangled web of episodes and emotions, and it requires time, practice, increasing self-awareness and, sometimes, the guidance of a professional EFT practitioner to untangle them all.
A final note.
When you practice EFT on your own please look after your own well-being.
I would always advise seeking professional guidance when you know there are traumatic episodes in your life. EFT has shown remarkable results with difficult and chronic issues. However, there is an artistry and a skill to practicing EFT that cannot be achieved instantly.
Be patient. Be kind to yourself.
‘ We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.’