Eyes Open or Closed? Managing Emotional Intensity in EFT

Increasing your effectiveness with EFT, part 69.

Last week, we discussed the “cup of tea” analogy in Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)In this context, the “tea” is our focus during tapping. We want to ensure it’s neither too cold (lacking any emotional charge) nor too hot (evoking overwhelming emotional intensity). As practitioners and clients, understanding this analogy can help us manage emotional intensity by adjusting the “temperature” as needed.

Today, let’s delve deeper into a concept mentioned briefly in the last article – keeping our eyes open or closed while tapping. Whether you’re a practitioner seeking guidance for your clients or an individual interested in EFT, understanding when and why to close or open your eyes can be beneficial.

In general, you may want to keep your eyes open (or advise your clients to do so) to “add some cold water” to the “tea,” or reduce the likelihood of being excessively drawn into an adverse or traumatic memory. Keeping your eyes open allows you to maintain a level of distance from the memory or event you’re working on. It acts as a grounding tool, helping you remain in the present moment.

Sometimes, however, maintaining eye contact with the practitioner can be distracting and may hinder the process of fully tuning into the memory or event we’re addressing. It’s important to note that constant eye contact with the practitioner isn’t necessary. Aside from the option of closing your eyes, you might also choose to focus your gaze to the side or elsewhere in the room to maintain focus without the pressure of continuous eye contact.

On the other hand, closing your eyes (or suggesting your client does so) may be helpful when you want to “add some hot water” to the “tea.” In cases where the emotional intensity isn’t likely to become too overwhelming, closing your eyes can help you “tune in” more effectively. This method can also be useful after tapping on something and believing there’s no emotional charge left. By closing your eyes to visualize the memory or event, you may uncover additional emotionally charged aspects needing attention, or confirm you’ve successfully cleared all emotional charge.

If you are a practitioner working with a new client and you’re unsure how they might respond to EFT or the likelihood of them becoming emotionally overwhelmed, it might be advisable to err on the side of caution and suggest they keep their eyes open. You can also allow clients to choose for themselves, reminding them they can open their eyes if they feel overwhelmed. This approach ensures the EFT process remains as safe and gentle as possible.

As always, if you suspect a memory may be too intense or traumatic to address alone, don’t hesitate to seek the aid of a certified practitioner with a mental health background. Feel free to reach out to me for advice or guidance on how to approach these sensitive topics with EFT.

That’s it for today! My name is Bruno Sade, a compassionate, open-minded clinical psychologist and certified EFT practitioner. I’m dedicated to helping you break free from negative emotional reactions and cultivate a balanced, resilient mindset. My approach is flexible and tailored to your individual needs and preferences. Your experiences, beliefs, and background are always honored and respected in our work together.

What are your thoughts on keeping your eyes open or closed during EFT? Do you have questions or comments about this article, or suggestions for future topics? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below, or through a private message.

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