The Freedom to Choose: Is Forgiveness a Required Step in EFT?

Increasing your effectiveness with EFT, part 109.

In the realm of emotional healing, particularly when working with Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), there’s a common assumption that the ultimate goal is to forgive those who have wronged us. Today I’d like to talk about the idea that forgiveness doesn’t have to be the end goal.

Many times, in our journey of personal development and healing, we encounter the belief that to truly move on from a hurtful event or to heal completely, we must forgive the person or situation that caused us pain. While forgiveness can be a powerful step for some, I believe in a more nuanced approach, especially when applying EFT in my practice.

EFT is a set of techniques that can help us diminish and release the unpleasant emotional charge tied to specific memories, situations, or individuals. It’s a gentle way of acknowledging our feelings, validating our experiences, and, ultimately, finding a place of inner peace or resolution. However, this process doesn’t necessarily have to culminate in forgiveness.

The beauty of EFT lies in its ability to help us process our emotions on our terms. It can indeed lead to forgiving someone, but it’s equally valid if it doesn’t. The key here is choice. As a practitioner, I see my role as facilitating my clients’ journey towards a greater sense of emotional freedom, not dictating the direction it should take.

When the goal of forgiveness is imposed—either by societal expectations, cultural norms, or even well-meaning therapists—it can sometimes do more harm than good. The pressure to forgive, especially before we’re ready or when it doesn’t align with our true feelings, can invalidate our experiences and emotions. It can make us feel as though our pain doesn’t matter, or worse, that it’s being dismissed.

Instead, I advocate for a process where we allow ourselves to feel whatever comes up, without the added layer of needing to forgive. This approach respects our individual timelines and honors our unique paths to healing. It acknowledges that sometimes, not forgiving is just as valid and healing as the act of forgiving itself.

Of course, if forgiveness is a personal goal, that’s a different story. If you come to me with the desire to work towards forgiving someone, I’m here to support you every step of the way. EFT can be a powerful tool in facilitating forgiveness, helping to soften the hard edges of our hurt and enabling us to see the situation from a new perspective.

But, let’s be clear: this is your choice. Your healing journey is yours alone, and the goals you set should resonate with you deeply. Whether it’s forgiveness, understanding, acceptance, or simply peace you’re seeking, EFT can support your path—without preconceived notions of what the outcome “should” be.

Many people believe that in order to “heal” an emotional wound, you first have to forgive. But what if it’s the other way around? If we simply focus on healing the emotional wound, by using EFT to help us process the different emotions that come up regarding a painful memory or situation, then forgiveness, in the sense of “no longer harboring resentment” might take place spontaneously. Or maybe it won’t, and that’s also ok.

So, to recap, remember that healing is a deeply personal process, one that doesn’t follow a linear path or a one-size-fits-all approach. Whether or not forgiveness is part of your journey is entirely up to you. As an EFT practitioner, I’m here to guide, support, and walk with you towards whatever resolution feels right for you.

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 forgiveness in the context of healing? Have you felt pressured to forgive when it didn’t feel right? Or have you found forgiveness to be a crucial step in your journey? I’d love to hear your experiences and perspectives. 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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