When Your Client Wants to Work on Something Confidential: The Silent Movie Technique

Increasing your effectiveness with EFT, part 90.

Today, I want to talk about a technique that’s great for when your client wants to work on a memory but wants to keep the details to themselves: The Silent Movie Technique. It’s also good for dealing with potentially traumatic memories.

For this technique to work best, your client should have a specific memory in mind, ideally one that lasts just a few minutes and has no more than 4 or 5 “peaks of emotional intensity.”

Start by asking your client to come up with a title for their memory. It doesn’t need to make sense to you as the practitioner, but it should to them, like “that day in the kitchen”“last night after dinner”, or “what happened with Jean”.

Next, ask them to guess how they’d feel when they think about that title. For example, when they picture that title on a movie theater’s billboard, how intense might the emotion be? Guessing helps them approach the emotion gently. If they guess it’s more than a 2 out of 10, you can tap on the side of the hand using this setup statement: “Even though there’s this movie title, ‘that day in the kitchen’, right here and right now I’m ok.” You can continue using the reminder phrase “this movie title, ‘that day in the kitchen’” as you tap on the other points.

Notice that we aren’t naming any emotion. We do this as a way to bring in some “gentle distancing”, in this case, by only referencing the movie “from afar”. 

Once they guess that the emotion tied to the title is at a 2 or lower, ask them to start watching the memory in their head, keeping their eyes open. This helps them stay grounded and lessens the risk of becoming emotionally overwhelmed. They should tell you when they hit the first peak of emotional intensity.

When they reach that point, ask them to guess how intense the emotion might be for that part of the memory. Start tapping on the side of the hand saying: “Even though I’m at this first peak, right here right now I’m okay.” For the next points, they can use the reminder phrase “this first peak.”

You won’t know what the memory is about, but that’s okay because they do. If after a few rounds the emotion doesn’t go down, maybe their mind is wandering to other parts of the memory or even other memories. If this happens, ask them for one word that relates to that part of the memory. For example: “Even though I’m at this first peak, ‘hand’, right here right now I’m okay”. They can then use “this first peak, hand” as a reminder phrase.

After they guess that the emotion for that part is a 2 or lower, ask them to go back and watch the memory again, and to tell you when they get to the next peak of emotional intensity. Do the same tapping as before: “Even though I’m at this next peak, right here right now I’m ok”. And for the next points, they can say “this next peak”.

If you ever get stuck, ask them for a word to describe that part, like: “Even though I’m at this next peak, ‘table’, right here right now I’m okay”.

Once you’ve worked through all the emotional parts of the memory (that’s why it’s good if it’s a short one), have them watch the memory one more time. If they feel okay, they can watch it with their eyes closed to see if there are any parts that still bring up emotional intensity. If there are, it’s a good thing that you helped your client uncover them, and you can tap on them as before. If not, that means the memory was successfully processed.

To sum it up, the Silent Movie Technique lets someone work through a short memory in steps, and they can keep the details to themselves if they don’t want to share.

And that’s it for today! 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. 

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