How Much Do We Need to Dive into the Past with EFT?

Increasing your effectiveness with EFT, part 76.

The other day, one of my clients asked me how much we need to dive into the past with EFT to resolve our issues. She was wondering about this because she knew that other types of therapy often spend lots of time looking back at a person’s past. So today, I thought I’d share the response I gave her.

In the EFT process, as I perceive it, we spend as little time in the past as necessary. Ultimately, what most people want to change is their present and their future. That’s why a large portion of our sessions is spent focusing on recent or future events. Our main goal is to help you feel calm, in control, and ready for whatever comes your way.

Sometimes, as we are tapping while focusing on the present or future, past memories spontaneously surface. When that happens, it’s usually a sign that this memory is connected to what we’re working on. If you’re okay with it, we can start tapping on the feelings and emotions that come up when you think about that memory. Often, this process can help you become aware of what beliefs were formed at the time of these memories (such as “there’s something wrong with me”), and/or how these memories might be influencing you today. 

There may be times when you feel that a certain memory or period from your past is important to the issue we’re working on, and you might want us to address it with EFT. That’s completely okay. But remember, we don’t want to get too lost in our past memories. We avoid this by continually checking in with what’s going on in your mind and body as we refocus on the present and the future. By “future,” I also mean goals such as “I would like to feel at peace when X situation happens.”

So, EFT is really a blend – a bit of the past, a bit of the present, and a bit of the future, all mixed together in just the right amounts.

Here’s a quick example: if you’re scared of public speaking, we might start by tapping on times when you felt this fear recently, or when you think you might feel it in the future. As we’re doing this, a memory from the past might surface. If it does, we can tap on it to help you release the unpleasant emotional charge connected to it. Then we return to the present and the future, and see what else your mind comes up with.

In another session, you might tell me that last week, you recalled a time in the 3rd grade when you had to give a presentation, made a mistake, and everybody laughed. If you’re comfortable, we can tap on that memory. Then, we again explore what comes up when you think about the next time you have to speak in public. 

With EFT, we’re always focusing on helping you heal and grow in the present, but we’re ready to deal with any echoes from the past if they’re affecting your now. It’s like having a friendly chat with yourself, isn’t it?

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 do you think about this idea? 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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