Working with metaphors in EFT

Increasing your effectiveness with EFT, part 94.

As you might have heard me say before, EFT tends to work best when we are specific with the issue we are focusing on. This is typically done best by focusing on a specific event, such as a recent or future time where the issue you want to address might show up. However, there’s another way that we can be specific without having to tap on a specific event: by using metaphors.

The way you do this is by asking your client (in case you are an EFT practitioner): “If there was a metaphor or analogy that represented this issue that you want to address, what might that be? Does it remind you of any landscape, object, animal, etc? Is there anything that comes to mind, even if it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense?”.

Some examples from my practice include: “This anxiety feels like an invisible prison”, “This grief feels like a never-ending stream of water”, “This tendency to criticize myself feels like an angry goblin sitting on my shoulder”.

Once your client comes up with some kind of metaphor or analogy, you can then ask them what emotion comes up as they think about it. And, based on their response, you can then come up with a setup statement to use while tapping on the side of the hand, for example: “Even though I feel sad, when I think about my fear of public speaking because it feels like an invisible prison there’s no escape from, and I feel this sadness in my chest, this is just where I’m at right now”.

When tapping on the other points, for the reminder phrase you can either just mention the emotion and/or one or two phrases about the metaphor, for example: “this sadness”“this feels like an invisible prison there’s no escape from”.

After each round of tapping, you assess with your client whether there’s any change in what they notice about the metaphor, and/or about the emotion they feel when thinking about it now.

For example, the next round of tapping might sound like this: “Even though I feel disappointed in myself, when thinking about this invisible prison, now it seems like there’s a way out but I just can’t find it, and I feel this disappointment in my solar plexus area, this is just where I’m at right now”.

Again, after that round, you reassess with your client whether there’s any change in the metaphor itself and/or in the emotion they feel when thinking about it. You can ask them: “Are there any words you’d like to add or modify, when describing that metaphor, for the next round of tapping?”.

Perhaps the third round of tapping could sound something like: “Even though I feel angry, when thinking about this invisible prison, the door seems to be right in front of me and yet for whatever reason I can’t bring myself to go through it, and I feel this anger in my fists, this is just where I’m at right now”.

Eventually what tends to happen is that either the metaphor shifts into something a lot more pleasant and/or the emotion they feel also becomes more pleasant, for example, hope instead of despair.

Working with metaphors with EFT gives us a different way to access our subconscious mind, from a more “right hemisphere of the brain perspective”.

It can sometimes offer a gentle, fresh way to work on our issues, and gives us a break from always working on specific events, and it can also help our clients come up with insights that are contained within those metaphors. For example, something like: “I realized that this prison is of my own creation, made of my limiting beliefs and fears, and therefore they can be released. The key that unlocks the door was always within me”.

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. Remember to follow my profile to stay updated on my latest posts.

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