Increasing your effectiveness with EFT, part 26.
When we learn EFT, we are taught that the default “setup phrase” that we use while tapping on the side of the hand is: “Even though… I deeply and completely accept myself”. However, not everyone resonates with this statement or believes it to be true.
Here are 5 more increasingly neutral statements that might land better, and/or create less internal conflict when saying them, for you and your clients to try out.
- “Even though… I would like to deeply and completely accept myself anyway”.
Your client might not believe it to be true that they deeply and completely accept themselves, but maybe they believe that’s something they would like.
- “Even though… I’m open to the possibility of accepting myself anyway”.
Again, someone might not accept themselves right now, but maybe they are open to the possibility of being willing and able to do so in the future.
- “Even though… I accept this is how I’m feeling right now”.
Your client might not be able to accept themselves at the moment, but maybe they can accept how they are feeling.
- “Even though… this is how I’m feeling right now”.
With this statement there’s no explicit mention of acceptance, rather it’s more like a neutral acknowledgment. I like the “right now” bit because it implies that this feeling or emotion is a temporary state, not a permanent one.
- “Even though… And this is what I’m noticing right now”.
This is a very neutral statement. Chances are, it’s not going to create any sense of incongruence when saying it. This kind of statement (as well as option N°4) allows the person to acknowledge and express where it is that they are at, without feeling forced to accept themselves and/or how they are feeling. It’s a statement they can probably say without being distracted by the thought: “Do I? Do I really?”.
The reason why any of these statements might be useful is that when someone doesn’t feel comfortable saying “I deeply and completely accept myself”, we have 3 different options:
- We can ask them to say it anyway, hoping that eventually with more and more repetition it will start to feel true. While this might be true, it can nonetheless feel forced and break rapport, because we aren’t meeting the person where they are.
- We can suggest working on their lack of self-acceptance. However, if someone has hired us, for example, because they want to work on their fear of dogs, their lack of self-acceptance isn’t necessarily what they want to work on. So, again, we aren’t meeting them where they are.
- We can try to come up with another statement that they feel comfortable saying, such as any of the 5 statements I suggested above. I believe this is usually the best approach because we are meeting them where they are.
That’s it for today. I hope this article 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 negative emotional reactions.
And, I’d love to know: What do you tend to do if you or your client don’t feel very comfortable saying “I deeply and completely accept myself”? Do you have any questions or comments about what I wrote? I’d love to know in the comments below.
2 thoughts on “Five more neutral alternatives to “I deeply and completely accept myself””
I had a client who was not comfortable with “I deeply and completely accept myself”, which she shared when I asked if the setup statement sounded right to her. I switched it to “… and I acknowledge that’s how I’m feeling about it right now.” She visibly relaxed and after a round commented on how much more comfortable she felt with those words; she also now felt confident that this alternate phrase would benefit her self-tapping as well. It was positive to hear that the benefits of neutral statements would extend beyond our sessions!
That is so great, Tina! I think that being able to meet our clients where they are is one of the most useful and appreciated skills we can develop as practitioners. Otherwise, it’s like creating unnecesary barriers to the process, isn’t it?