EFT Insights: The Essential Question After Each Round of Tapping

Increasing your effectiveness with EFT, part 104.

As an EFT practitioner, knowing what to ask our clients after each round of tapping, when we pause to reassess, is very important. Today, I’d like to share the question I find most effective in my practice.

But first, let’s quickly recap: in an EFT session, we aim to help our clients pinpoint something specific to focus on while tapping. This often involves identifying a “specific event,” such as a recent memory or an imagined scenario related to the issue they want to address. Once they’ve done that, we ask them to describe the emotion or feeling that comes up in the present moment when they think about it. We inquire where they feel it in their body (if at all) and what aspect of that event triggers these emotions. We might also have them rate the intensity of that feeling on a 0-10 scale.

A setup phrase to use while tapping on the side of the hand might sound something like: “Even though I feel sad remembering the argument I had with my husband yesterday because I felt like he really didn’t understand me when he said that I always complain too much, and I feel this sadness in my throat, this is just where I’m at right now.” The reminder phrase could be something like “this sadness in my throat”.

One challenge practitioners sometimes face is knowing precisely what to ask their clients after each round of tapping. One approach is to simply inquire, “How would you rate the intensity of that sadness now as you think about the argument you had with your husband yesterday?” The intensity might be lower, the same, or higher.

However, what can also happen during a round of tapping is that “shifting aspects” emerge — the mind moves on to the next emotionally charged aspect. For example, your client might say, “Actually, what’s coming up for me now is how angry I feel at my husband for saying I complain too much, when he’s actually the one who is always so grumpy”. These shifting aspects often represent the next layer of the onion and can become the focus of the next round of tapping.

Sometimes, if all we ask the client after each round is to re-rate the intensity of the emotion we just tapped on, they might feel pressured or concerned about the effectiveness of EFT, or about whether “they are doing it right” in case the intensity doesn’t decrease after each round of tapping.

On the other hand, if we solely focus on shifting aspects and ask, “Did you notice any other thoughts or feelings come up during that round?”, this could also be overwhelming to the client if they feel like they should uncover a new shifting aspect every time.

This is why the question I tend to ask my clients goes something like this: “Again, as you think about the argument you had with your husband yesterday, what do you notice in terms of the intensity of the sadness or any other thoughts or feelings that might have come up?

This question is open-ended enough to allow clients to focus on either the intensity of the emotion we just tapped on or any other emotionally charged aspects that may have surfaced. It offers flexibility and relieves some of the pressure people might feel when reassessing their feelings.

In conclusion, asking this specific question during EFT sessions can help unlock progress and provide clients with a supportive space for exploring the different layers of thoughts and emotions they have about the issues they are working on.

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? How do you relate to the importance of specific questioning in EFT? Feel free to share your experiences, questions, or suggestions for future topics. You can either leave a comment below or send a private message. 

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