How to Measure Progress in EFT: VOC vs SUD Explained

Increasing your effectiveness with EFT, part 84.

When it comes to measuring progress in EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) in a quantitative way, there are two complementary methods: “SUDs” and “VOCs.” It can be useful to know both, and to understand the difference between them. While these are valuable for quantitative assessments, it’s important to remember that qualitative ways of measuring progress also exist and can offer additional insights.

Before diving into definitions, let’s briefly revisit the “banana bread analogy” from a previous article. Think of the issue you want to address as a whole loaf of banana bread. Tackling it all at once is overwhelming. Instead, you can slice it by selecting a recent or future specific event related to the issue. For instance, if the issue is a “fear of public speaking” (the whole loaf), a specific event (or slice) might be “next week’s presentation at work.”

Defining SUDs and VOCs

“SUD” stands for “Subjective Units of Distress,” a 0-10 scale used to measure the current emotional intensity associated with a specific event. We can’t generally “tap away” our anger, but we can lessen the anger we feel in particular situations.

“VOC” stands for “Validity of Cognition,” or in simpler terms, “How true does this feel right now?”. Usually, we use a 0-100 percent scale to gauge this. It’s used to measure the overarching issue or “the whole loaf of banana bread”.

Using SUDs and VOCs in Practice

After tapping on one or more specific events that are relevant to the issue at hand, you may notice an improvement in your VOC scores. For instance, if you previously felt that “there’s something wrong with me” was 80% true, after some focused tapping, that might drop to 60%.

Monitoring Progress Over Time

By consistently measuring the same statements across multiple sessions, we tend to notice a gradual and steady improvement over time. This measurable data can serve as valuable feedback in your emotional healing journey.

Goal Setting with SUDs and VOCs

For session-specific goals, you could aim to reduce the SUD score related to your upcoming work presentation from an 8 to a 4. For a longer-term perspective, the aim could be to reduce the VOC score for the belief “I’ll never be able to speak in public” from 80% to 30% over the next six sessions.

Achieving such a significant reduction means that the limiting belief will likely have a much smaller impact on your life moving forward.

Need Help? Seek Professional Assistance

If tackling these issues feels overwhelming, consider enlisting the help of a certified practitioner like myself, or anyone else whose style you resonate with. A trained professional can guide you through the process and tailor the techniques to fit your unique needs.

In Conclusion

I’m Bruno Sade, a compassionate, open-minded clinical psychologist, and certified EFT practitioner. My approach is tailored to your individual needs and preferences, always respecting your experiences, beliefs, and background.

What are your thoughts on today’s topic? Feel free to share questions, comments, or suggestions for future topics. You can either leave a comment below or send a private message. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *