Increasing your effectiveness with EFT, part 31.
It’s not uncommon to meet people who want to have EFT sessions, but feel skeptical about whether EFT will work for them. They might have seen it work for other people, but they believe that it probably won’t work for them. Someone asked me recently if this belief is something that might get in the way of making progress with EFT, and if so, how to address it from the get go. So here’s my response.
First of all, during a first session with a new client, it can be useful to ask them: “What do you think might get in the way of being able to resolve or make progress with this issue?”. If they respond with something along the lines of: “Well, I feel like I’ve tried everything and nothing works for me. I’m not very confident that these sessions will work for me either”.
The belief that someone might have that “this might work for other people but it probably won’t work for me” is most likely based on their life experiences. So, in terms of meeting them where they are at, rather than asking them to “try to be optimistic and not think like that”, it might be beneficial to tap on it.
So, how could we go about tapping on it? A useful question I like to ask myself is: “How can I turn this belief/problem/issue into a specific event?”. Let’s say that we have a new client that wants to work on their fear of public speaking. What are some of the things they’ve tried before that didn’t work for them?
In other words, where did they learn that “it might work for others but not for me”? Maybe in the past they’ve attended certain trainings/seminars/sessions on different modalities, where they noticed other people were getting good results but not them. Out of all of those experiences, is there any one of them that stands out as being particularly charged emotionally as they think about it now? That could be a specific event worth tapping on, because events such as these would be the “table legs of evidence” that support the “tabletop belief”.
As you might notice, by doing this you are also working on how they feel about having the issue. E.g. “I had to spend all this time, energy and money trying to resolve it, with nothing to show for it so far”.
If they feel so inclined, you might also want to help them come up with a future made-up scenario where they notice that EFT didn’t work for them either, and they are regretting even trying it. I know this can sound like inviting/attracting a negative outcome, but maybe it’s just addressing the elephant in the room (in other words, a concern they already have).
All of that being said, besides tapping on specific events pertaining to “it works for other people but not for me”, the other thing that can help shift this belief, at least when it comes to EFT, is getting actual results.
This is why goal-setting can be useful. In other words, coming up with a behavior-oriented, specific, realistic, measurable and achievable goal, so that when they do achieve it, they can start getting a sense that “maybe this can work for me too”. When it comes to goal-setting, you can come up with a multi-session goal, such as being able to carry out the first or next step towards their vision of “feeling confident speaking in public”. Maybe that first or next step is something like asking a supportive friend if they might be willing to hear them rehearse a presentation they’d like to do at work some day in the future.
But even using single-session goals, such as “reducing the emotional intensity of a specific event related to the issue of fear of public speaking by 50%”, can also be very useful. Because hopefully they can notice by the end of the session that, when they think about it now, they don’t feel nearly as stressed or upset as they did at the beginning of the session.
So, to recap, some of the ways to deal with the belief that “it might work for others but not for me” are to tap on specific events where they noticed that taking place (whether it was EFT or some other method/modality) or they can imagine it happening again in the future. And also coming up with specific realistic goals, so that they can also notice themselves achieving them with the help of EFT. Even if one of those goals is to no longer feel X unpleasant feelings about a certain memory or future made up scenario.
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 are some ways that you would deal with the belief that “it might work for others but not for me”? Do you have any questions or comments about what I wrote? Is there any particular topic you’d like me to write about? I’d love to know in the comments below.