In my training classes I teach the mantra “For results that are terrific, it’s best to be specific.” If you’ve listened to many audio or video demos or tap alongs you may note that the “scripts” they use are not very specific. After all, it is tough to get really specific if you are tapping for dozens or hundreds of people at the same time. General Setups and phrases as you tap can be helpful when you are already tuned into an emotion or physical sensation or are thinking about a specific event.
Actually, you may not need words. If you are in tune with what is happening in your body as you tap, this may be enough to resolve your issue. In fact, I’ve tapped many times with someone with no words at all and had wonderful results.
John comes into my office furious at a thoughtless comment made by a coworker. Lot’s of places to start with such a presenting problem: using the movie technique and concentrating on the worst aspects of the scene, another time he’s felt the same way, what are the deeper feelings beneath fury, what the comment meant about him, focusing on the emotion of “fury,”etc. All of these would be appropriate depending on your particular approaches and relationship with John. John’s body is clearly in high arousal, he’s sitting there tapping his foot fast enough to power my refrigerator. We choose to focus on what is going on in his body.
You may remember that EFT came from TFT (Thought Field Therapy). Callahan, originator of TFT, stopped using words at all during tapping. He felt it was tapping the points that was effective in calming the body and emotions, not the words. Tapping is relaxing for our bodies and your body cannot be relaxed and tense at the same time. And, because our subconscious appears capable of picking what needs fixing, and because everything in our body is connected to everything else, even general tapping will hit something.
But focusing specifically on what is going on in your body is even more effective. Easy, fast and effective.The purpose for getting specific is to know how to evaluate your results – what are you making progress on and what still needs to be addressed. A key concept in EFT is evaluating the results or testing. We want to know specifically what we are working on because how else can we know we are finished? You can only test or evaluate the results for something that is specific.
Sometimes it’s a challenge to find a specific event around an emotion, e.g. I’m depressed. Think a minute and create a specific answer to, “How do I know I am depressed?” You could answer, “Because my boyfriend left me.” No, that might answer, “Why are you depressed?” but not,”How do you know you are depressed?” You know you have an emotion because your body is reacting in some way. Close your eyes and focus on where you are feeling “depressed.” Describe how that feels. You now have a description of what “depressed” feels like in your body and where the depressed feeling is located. Now you have a specific to tap and to test. Or perhaps, You have a specific example of a time or experience when you also felt depressed in this way. It really doesn’t matter what it is that you tap for, after all whatever we tap for is in some way connected to everything else. Motivation to continue is stronger if you are able to see or feel results in your body.
For the best outcome, keep your tapping focused on the physical sensations your emotion or issue is bringing up in your body or when possible, focus on a specific event, which often can start with, “the time when…”
“How, exactly, do I know I have this problem?” is a great question for getting to the specific.
But it is certainly not the only question you could use. What are your favorite questions you ask yourself to help you identify a specific event or feeling?