Why Chasing the ‘Root Cause’ in EFT Isn’t Always the Best Approach

Increasing your effectiveness with EFT, part 78.

I’ve frequently noticed in online forums dedicated to EFT, such as Reddit, that many people struggle to identify the elusive ‘root cause’ or ‘core issue’ behind their concerns. I remember making similar attempts years ago, often without success and hardly any progress at all.

Today, I advocate for a more measured approach.

In my early days, when I was diving into as many EFT books and videos as I could find (before I was finally able to take formal training and certification), I was somewhat obsessed with uncovering the “root cause” of my challenges. I believed that once this cause was identified and addressed, it would be akin to achieving a breakthrough or, as I saw it, hitting a home run. This pursuit often consumed most of my tapping sessions, and sadly, more often than not, yielded little progress. Yet, the allure of possibly having a transformative session where the “root cause” would reveal itself kept me trying again and again.

Indeed, for certain issues, especially those with physical symptoms rooted in emotions, it might be essential to trace the origin. But when it comes to purely “psychological issues”, I believe it’s a different ballgame. When dealing with recurring or intense thoughts, triggers, emotions, feelings, or behaviors, I’ve found it’s often more effective to focus on recent or anticipated events—essentially, how the issue is showing up in your life nowadays.

There are several reasons why I recommend this approach:

Ease of Access: Recent or future anticipated events are easier to find. As long as these recent experiences or future anticipations bring up an unpleasant emotional charge when thinking about them now, they can be great targets for your tapping.

Incremental progress: Even without addressing the root (assuming there is one indeed), you can significantly diminish the emotional intensity of these events. As these events become less emotionally charged, their hold on you diminishes, leading to an improved quality of life. Therefore, you are going to be less reactive, and there will be a decline in the frequency, intensity, and duration of your negative emotions and triggers.

Safety: This method reduces the risk of unintentionally retraumatizing oneself, especially when attempting to tap into early traumatic memories without the guidance of an expert.

Organic Unfolding: As you tap on recent or future events, it’s not uncommon for deeper, related memories to surface either during or after the tapping rounds. These are the next layers of the onion, and can be addressed immediately or reserved for future sessions, as you see fit.

Reduced Pressure: The focus isn’t on scoring a home run. Instead, think of it as steadily advancing in a game, gaining ground with each move.

Lastly, as I often mention, if you wish to address any events or issues that appear overly traumatic, complex, or emotionally intense, I recommend seeking the aid of a certified practitioner.

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 this? Any questions or comments about this article, or suggestions for future topics? I’d love to hear from you, either in the comments below or through a private message. 

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