Increasing your effectiveness with EFT, part 5.
As we discussed in Part 1 of these series, “shifting aspects” is something that happens frequently after we complete one or more rounds of tapping. Let’s say that you are originally focusing on a certain aspect of a “specific event”, such as “the way he looks at me” when thinking about a memory or an imagined situation in the future. And that makes you feel a certain emotion, such as sadness, that you feel mostly around your heart area. “Shifting aspects” is when one or more of these elements spontaneously change after you complete one or more rounds of tapping. This means that for EFT to be most effective, you have to adjust your wording for the next round so that it reflects these changes.
So, after you complete that first round of tapping, maybe now you are no longer focusing on that same aspect (e.g “the way he looks at me”), or even that same event (because some other memory showed up). Or perhaps what’s coming up for you is even a different emotion or location in your body.
When doing EFT, it helps a lot to just acknowledge “what is”. That’s why our next tapping round needs to reflect what our mind is focusing on now. That means we need to adjust the language of our setup statement and reminder phrase to the “shifting aspects” that just took place.
Sometimes though these “shifting aspects” can be hard to detect. Especially if you are the practitioner and you are working with a client. How can you know if the client is still focusing on the same event, aspect, emotion and body location as they were in the previous round? There’s a very useful question that can help you with that and inform your next round of tapping.
That question is: “As you are thinking about this event we just tapped on, what’s most noticeable about it now?”
This question will probably help your client come up with useful information. For example, they might report “well, now it’s not so much the way he looks at me, that part is calmer, but what’s most noticeable about this memory now is how my friend was there and she didn’t stand up for myself”. And then you can proceed as usual and ask your client: “and what feeling or emotion comes up for you when thinking about this part of the memory where your friend is there and doesn’t stand up for you?”. Now you know what your next round of tapping needs to be focused on.
Or they might say “actually I’m not thinking about that memory anymore, I’m now thinking about this other one”.
What’s great about this question is that it allows you to inquire about shifting aspects in a gentle way. Because sometimes, especially after a round where the intensity level apparently hasn’t dropped at all, clients might feel put on the spot by our questions or might worry that “this isn’t working”.
“What’s most noticeable about this memory/event now?” is a more open-ended question, while also not being too open-ended because you are still referencing the event/memory you were just working on. In my experience, it helps diffuse some of the pressure that some of our clients might feel after a round of tapping when checking whether the emotional intensity decreased or not, and invites exploration and curiosity instead.
As long as “what’s most noticeable about it now” keeps changing in some way after each round, then you can rest assured that the tapping is doing something, even if the SUDs level (subjective units of distress) seems to remain the same. That’s because if SUDs level remains the same after tapping, one of the possible reasons for that is precisely that there are “shifting aspects” at play. And that’s what this question of “What’s most noticeable when thinking about this memory/event now?” helps you and your client to detect.
So, to recap, when using Basic EFT to work on a “specific event” it can help if you ask after each round: “When thinking about this memory/event, what is most noticeable about it now?”. Because this can help make sure that the next round is going to be focused specifically on what needs to be focused on next.
I want to acknowledge EFT trainer Andy Hunt, and his book, The Tapping Toolkit, which I read recently and is actually where I learned about this question.
I hope this post was helpful to you. My name is Bruno Sade, and I’m a certified EFT practitioner with a mental health background as a clinical psychologist licensed in Argentina. I use EFT as a tool to help people (who speak English or Spanish) change their emotional reactions and also to help them overcome their fear of rejection.
And, I’d love to know: have you ever used this question: “when thinking about it, what’s most noticeable about it now”? Do you have any other tips or questions around this? Please share in the comments below.