Don’t Just Say It

As a clinical Social Worker I am all about empowerment and EFT is all about acceptance of self – a great therapeutic combination.  Clients can often come to us feeling they have no power, little or no control in their lives and have been spending lots of time in negative self-talk about their own worth. One way I help begin the process of acceptance of self and the fact that they do have some power in their life is to help them see the strengths they do have and are currently exhibiting.  These approaches can also be helpful when coming up with Setups for your own issues.

In some EFT literature you’ll notice the EFT practitioner gives the instructions to client to  just say, “I deeply and completely accept myself” – whether the client believes it or not. Some practitioners add even more positive statements, such as love and honor and respect, etc.

Such recommendations can miss an important opportunity for  the client to find his or her statement of acceptance of self that is true for them right now – an empowering activity.  A statement they can relate to, and own, rather than simply following instructions of someone else.

Think about it. Wouldn’t you prefer to recognize your current strengths and abilities, particularly when you feel you don’t have much of any, rather than someone else just telling you to say words you don’t believe?

Coming up with what is true helps build rapport; you are indeed really listening and working to understand what is going on with them. You are also laying the groundwork for building a “partnership” between you both in which to work.

The below ideas help empower the client from the very first tapping rounds.

One way, of course, is to simply ask, “What would be true for you, right now, in spite of the problem.”  We spend a few minutes coming up with a unique acceptance statement, however inconsequential it may seem to you, that they are comfortable using immediately. Some picked are: “I love the green color I picked out for my living room.” “My dog thinks I’m great even if no one else seems to.” “Everyone loves my brownies.” “I have two kids who actually still speak to me.”

Or, you can help point out and create a reframe that states an obvious concrete strength that you see they have or you have gleaned from something they’ve said or done. Such reframes can “preframe” their view of self in a more positive and empowering way, however small.

…at least I’ve taken the first step by making this appointment.

…I do have the strength to keep the appointment I made.

…I have the good judgment to begin the process of finding resources that can help me.

…I give myself credit for trying something new to deal with this.

…I got up, I got dressed, I decided to take action and I’m here.

…I may have a problem I don’t know how to solve, yet, but I used my courage to walk in (or call).

…I admire my persistence for keeping on trying to find an answer.

Another simple way is to use in the “waffle” words or phrases. You’ve probably used ones similar to:

I want to (or would like to) accept myself.

I’ll think about accepting myself, someday, maybe.

There’s something, somewhere to accept about myself.

I can accept that I don’t accept myself.

If you are always telling the client to, “Just say it.” Or you are just saying it yourself in rote – try some of the above. Any statement that helps your client (or yourself) to elicit a feeling of responsibility for anything positive increases the sense of empowerment.

What are your thoughts? If you already use this what are some of the statements your clients come up with?

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Ann Adams

2 Responses to “Don’t Just Say It”

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  1. Catherine Rogers says:

    I’ve used “I believe” or “I want to believe I have the answers to this issue locked inside me and I deeply and completely accept that I want to find them.” I always tell clients they have their own answers and I’m just a guide to help find them.

    I had a client say “To do something weird like this I must accept myself.” :-)

    • annadams says:

      Those are good suggestions.It’s always useful to tie in an acceptance statement or positive preframe that helps the client begin the process of feeling hopeful about themselves and their situation and to begin to see their strengths. The challenge is to create a statement they actually can accept. It would be nice if there were a one size fits all statement that fits everyone all the time – but so far I haven’t found one.