Increasing your effectiveness with EFT, part 49.
Today I’m going to talk about one of the most important concepts within EFT, and one that will probably make a great difference in your tapping once you learn it. It’s the concept of “shifting aspects”.
In a nutshell, “shifting aspects” is when, after a round of tapping, when you reassess what you were focusing on during that previous round, you notice that now your mind is focusing on another component of the issue and/or you are feeling something else about it.
Let’s say that you are tapping on a recent memory of feeling very stressed out while driving. As you know, tapping on “specific events” or memories is a great way to increase the effectiveness of your tapping because it makes it more targeted and focused. A very important question to ask yourself is: As you think about this memory, what part or aspect of it are you focusing on the most now?
Maybe it’s remembering how another driver cut you off, and it felt like he was putting your life at risk. As you remember that now, what emotion or feeling do you notice coming up? Remember that in EFT we tap on how we feel now, because that’s what we can change with the tapping (we can’t change what we felt in the past).
Maybe it’s anger at that other driver. And do you feel that anger anywhere in your body? Maybe you do, maybe you don’t, it’s ok either way. Let’s say that you are feeling it in your fists.
You would then start tapping on your side of the hand saying something like: “Even though when I remember last Monday as I was driving to work, there was a driver that cut me off, putting my life at risk, I feel angry at him, and I feel this anger in my fists, I accept this is what I’m feeling right now”.
And on the other points you could alternate between: “this anger in my fists” and “he cut me off, putting my life at risk”.
Now, after that round of tapping, when you stop to reassess, maybe you notice everything is the same. But maybe one or more of the following aspects have now changed:
- You are no longer thinking about this recent memory of driving to work last Monday, but another (somehow related) event.
- You are still thinking about this same memory, but are no longer focusing so much on the aspect of the other driver cutting you off, putting your life at risk, but another aspect within that same memory, for example: “I almost didn’t know what to do when that happened”.
- Instead of feeling anger, the main emotion that “comes to the forefront” now is embarrassment.
- Perhaps you are no longer feeling the emotion in your fists, but it’s now in your chest.
These are all examples of “shifting aspects”. What that means is that you now have to adjust the phrases for your next tapping round so they reflect “the most updated changes” in what you are focusing on and feeling. You are uncovering the next “layer of the onion”.
So, for example, maybe the next tapping round would start by tapping on your side of the hand while saying: “Even though, when I remember last Monday as I was driving to work, this other driver cut me off, and I almost didn’t know what to do in that moment, I feel embarrassed about that, and I feel this embarrassment in my chest”.
And on the other points you could alternate between: “this embarrassment in my chest” and “I almost didn’t know what to do when he cut me off”.
So, we have the same memory / specific event, but a different aspect within that memory, a different emotion and a different body location. Notice therefore that, after that first round (where you were tapping on the anger at the other driver), the memory still has an emotional charge, but it’s about something else: it’s about a different aspect (the embarrassment you feel now because you almost didn’t know what to do when that driver cut you off).
That means that the first round of tapping was effective at diminishing the emotional intensity enough for this other aspect to come to the forefront. This other aspect was probably there to begin with, but it didn’t become noticeable until the first one was tapped on and diminished enough.
This is why it’s really, really useful, when using EFT to work on a specific event, don’t just ask yourself what emotion you are feeling now when thinking about that event, but also ask yourself what part of that event are you focusing on. Because that’s what is most likely to change after each round. Until, eventually, no aspects within that event hold any unpleasant emotional charge, which means you were able to fully process or clear that memory. And that means you are less likely to get triggered by something like that in the future.
By the way, if you suspect that a memory might be too emotionally intense and/or traumatic to work on your own, feel free to enlist the aid of a certified trauma informed practitioner, such as myself, to help you with that. The same applies if you feel like it might be too hard to keep track of all the different memories and aspects at play. Feel free to get in touch with me, even if only to ask me for some free advice or guidance on how to tap on something by yourself.
That’s it for today. I hope this article was helpful. 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: How would you define “shifting aspects”? 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.
By the way, I hope you’ll join us at the free 23 Day Tapping Challenge that starts on January 1st, 2023 . I’ll be hosting a Live Tapping Circle on Thursday, January 12th, 2023, at 12pm EST, where I’ll tap with one person while the other attendants tap along to borrow benefits. And another one on Thursday, January 19th, 2023, at the same time.
You can sign up for it here: