Increasing your effectiveness with EFT, part 42.
As we know, one of the best ways to make sure that we are tapping in a focused and targeted way is to tap on specific events (past memories or future made up scenarios), which act as “table legs” that are keeping our issues or “tabletops” in place. That is the “tabletop and table legs” analogy we use in EFT.
I recently wrote another article where I used the Hollywood Movie Script analogy, where the issues/tabletops we want to resolve would be like the main theme of a movie, but rather than tapping on them in a global unfocused manner, we come up instead with specific movie scenes that show that theme at play, or that show how that theme came to be in the first place. These movie scenes would be specific events or table legs.
When tapping on specific events / table legs / movie scenes, we usually want to focus on the different sensory aspects within them that hold an emotional charge when thinking about them now, such as the other person’s tone of voice, facial expression, or a certain phrase that they said, etcetera. Again, those sensory aspects help keep our tapping focused and targeted enough. However, what happens when one of the emotionally charged aspects within the specific event is actually a global “tabletop” statement?
Let me explain what I mean by that by using the following example: Let’s say that the issue I’m working on is the limiting belief that “I’m unlovable”. If I try tapping on it directly in such a global way (“Even though I believe I’m unlovable…”), I might start thinking simultaneously about ALL the different times in the past where I felt that way, therefore my tapping session will be a bit too scattered, as opposed to focused and targeted.
However, if instead of tapping globally, I choose a specific event / table-leg / movie scene, and tap on all the different aspects within it, chances are that the belief that “I’m unlovable” won’t feel quite as true afterwards. So, let’s say I choose a memory of asking someone out when I was in college, and she said “Sorry, you are not my type”.
As I think about that memory now, what part of that memory draws my attention the most? What part bothers me the most? Maybe it’s remembering her tone of voice as she said that. As I think about that now it makes me feel an unpleasant sensation of tightness in my throat area. So I might tap on: “Even though as I remember the tone of voice with which she said “Sorry, you are not my type”, I feel this tightness in my throat area, I accept this is what I’m feeling right now”.
Maybe after that round the part or aspect of that memory that my mind is most drawn to now is the facial expression she had when she rejected me. It’s like she was saying “there’s no way in hell I would go out with you!”. And when thinking about that now, it makes me feel sad. So I might tap on: “Even though just remembering the facial expression she had when she said to me: “Sorry, you are not my type”, it was as if she was really saying: “There’s no way in hell I would go out with you!”, that makes me feel sad, and I feel this sadness in my chest, I accept myself anyway”.
Now, here’s the important part for this article. Let’s say that after that round, the aspect that comes up when thinking about this particular memory is the thought: “And that facial expression made me feel that I’m really unlovable”.
It’s true that “I’m really unlovable” is a global/general statement that is probably connected to other memories other than the one I’m working on. However, it’s still an emotionally charged phrase that’s coming up in connection to this specific memory I’m working on, as yet another aspect to be tapped on.
Therefore, what I recommend doing is tapping on it, but keeping it in reference to the specific event I’m working on. So this is how the setup statement might sound: “Even though just remembering when I asked this girl out in college and she said “Sorry, you are not my type”, her facial expression seemed to be saying “There’s no way in hell I would go out with you!”, it made me feel really unlovable, and when I think about it now I feel sad, and I feel this sadness in my chest, this is what I’m feeling right now”. The reminder phrases might be alternating between: “her facial expression”, “it made me feel really unlovable”, “this sadness in my chest”.
By doing this, you are not only tapping on the important sensory aspects within a specific event, but also you are making sure not to leave out other important aspects of that experience, such as emotionally charged thoughts/statements/beliefs, which tend to be more global in nature. But you are tapping on them in such a way that you are still keeping them referenced to the specific event you are tapping on.
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 when you are tapping on a specific event but as you are doing that you notice a global statement/thought coming up? 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.