Increasing your effectiveness with EFT, part 80.
In my last article, I introduced you to the useful “banana bread analogy”, a concept developed by the excellent EFT International Trainer Jules Vandermaat. Today, I’d like to invite you to dig deeper into this analogy and uncover some of its layers.
Think of any emotional issue you want to tackle with EFT as a “whole loaf of banana bread.” It’s too much to bite into all at once, so we need to slice it up. By focusing on a recent or future event – times when the issue has or might surface – we create a manageable slice. These slices, representing recent or future experiences, are both safer to work on and easier to access than early childhood memories.
But even a slice can be too much to manage in one bite. We need to cut that slice into smaller, bite-sized pieces, each representing emotionally charged aspects within these events. Essentially, each piece consists of a thought and a feeling related to a specific event.
When identifying a bite-sized piece to work on, it can be beneficial to articulate both the thought and feeling associated with the specific event (the slice of banana bread). An effective way to do this is to frame it using the following structure:
“Even though I feel… (feeling) when I think about (the specific event – slice of banana bread) because… (why do you feel that way, what’s the thought that’s coming up about the event that is making you feel this way?).”
By breaking down the experience into this format, you can focus your tapping on the precise emotions and thoughts at play. It provides a clear and structured approach to addressing complex issues, making the process more accessible and effective.
Let’s break it down with a couple of examples:
- Whole loaf (issue): “The feeling or belief that there’s something wrong with me.”
- Slice (recent event): Last Tuesday’s fight with your spouse.
- Bite-sized piece (thought + feeling): “Sadness in my chest (feeling) when I remember the look on his face, as if he’s not in love with me anymore (thought).”
Your tapping setup statement could be: “Even though when I remember last Tuesday’s fight with my spouse, I feel this sadness in my chest remembering the look on his face, it was as if he’s not in love with me anymore, this is just where I’m at right now.”
Your reminder phrase could alternate between the feeling “sadness in my chest” and the thought “the look on his face was as if he’s not in love with me anymore.”
After one or two rounds of tapping, you may discover other aspects (bite-sized pieces) within the same memory (slice of banana bread) or different memories related to the same issue. These are the “next layers of the onion.”
- Whole loaf (issue): “Fear of public speaking.”
- Slice (future event): Upcoming presentation at work next Monday.
- Bite-sized piece (thought + feeling): “Anxiety in my stomach (feeling) when I think about standing in front of all my colleagues, because I might forget what to say and embarrass myself in front of them (thought).”
Your tapping setup statement could be: “Even though I feel this anxiety in my stomach when I think about my presentation next Monday, because I might forget my words and embarrass myself in front of my colleagues, I accept this is how I’m feeling right now.”
Your reminder phrase could alternate between the feeling “anxiety in my stomach” and the thought “I might forget what to say and embarrass myself in front of my colleagues.”
After tapping on this aspect for a round or two, you might uncover additional aspects within the same event (slice of banana bread) or related memories (different slices of the same loaf of banana bread), such as a past embarrassing moment during a speech. This becomes the next layer of the onion, and you can continue to tap on these pieces until you feel relief.
- Whole loaf (issue): “Chronic feelings of inadequacy in my professional life.”
- Slice (recent event): A performance review with your boss last Friday where you received constructive criticism.
- Bite-sized piece (thought + feeling): “Tightness in my throat (feeling) when I recall my boss pointing out my mistakes, saying ‘Remember we had talked about this before?’, implying that I’m not smart enough to do this job (thought).”
Your tapping setup statement could be: “Even though I feel this tightness in my throat when I remember my boss pointing out my mistakes and saying ‘Remember we had talked about this before?’, implying that I’m not smart enough to do this job, this is just where I’m at right now.”
Your reminder phrase could alternate between the feeling “tightness in my throat” and the thought “He said ‘Remember we had talked about this before?’, implying that I’m not smart enough to do this job”.
As you proceed with tapping on this aspect, you may uncover additional aspects within the same memory or different but related memories from past jobs or academic failures, or even from interactions with your parents. These can all be considered as the next layers of the onion, allowing you to continue to work through your feelings of inadequacy.
The beauty of EFT is that we don’t have to tap on every single slice and piece of the banana bread. Thanks to the generalization effect in EFT, tapping on enough slices leads to noticeable progress. The unpleasant thoughts and feelings diminish in frequency, intensity, and duration. They become easier to digest.
As you continue to explore the different layers and aspects, you’ll likely find a newfound sense of peace and understanding. Remember, like enjoying a loaf of banana bread, healing is a process best savored one slice at a time.
If you ever feel like this is too much to handle on your own, it can be helpful to enlist the aid of a certified practitioner, such as myself or anyone else whose style you resonate with.
And 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 by sending a private message.