Can you remember your reaction when you first heard about EFT?
Were you a sceptic? I was. When a therapist friend told me that he was getting better results by tapping on people’s faces my reaction was to conclude that he was away with the fairies and to dismiss it completely. Thankfully EFT kept on coming up and eventually I paid attention.
We all meet sceptics and our EFT enthusiasm can reach a brick wall. Over the years I have been making attempts to spread the word of EFT to the members of my psychotherapy professional body. One of my postings to the association’s e-mail group was greeted with this response; its the old joke about the guy who goes to the shrink and says that he thinks that he is a dog. Here it is and here is my reply. I have found with sceptics that it is best to go with their view of reality and then to tweak it slightly with some humour.
I wonder if EFT would have worked on this client I had the other day, he came to see me quite agitated… I asked him to calm down and tell me what I could do for him….he then went on to explain that he had a strange delusion…..he believed himself to be a dog, a spotted terrier to be precise… I didn’t know what to do so I asked him to take a seat and tell me all about it…to my surprise he refused. I asked him why, he replied “I’m not allowed up on the furniture!” Can you help? Best regards J
Dear J Our philosophy with EFT is to “try it on everything” and in true Ericksonian fashion to respect and utilise the clients own reality and experience. So regarding your client who believes himself to be a spotted terrier…here is an outline of the approach that I might take.
Me: Spot, what would make this session valuable for you?
Spot: I’d like to be able to sit on that sofa and feel ok
Me: Spot, what would you experience now if you were to sit on the sofa?
Spot: I’d feel tense, scared and quite panicky
Me: And would that be a little bit scared or a lot scared?
Spot: A lot
Me: Spot, I know a simple mind-body technique that has helped both dogs and people. Now it looks daft and it feels silly and I don’t even know for sure if it will help you or not and what I do know is that it is very quick and we will know in a few minutes if this is going to be the way to help you. Would it be Ok to try this?
Spot: Yes fine
Me: Well lets just do it and then I can give you an explanation, because after we do this you will be able to ask better questions and I’ll give better answers. OK Spot can you tap here and say these words after me “Even though I feel scared and panic on the sofa, I’m a good dog” that’s right and now watch me and tap where I tap and say these words as we tap “sitting on the sofa” Great, now then Spot, could you climb up on the sofa and let me know how you feel?
Spot: Well this is surprisingly Ok, no panic at all. Not scared anymore. A bit guilty though. I remember one time I got muddy paw marks all over the cushions and they shouted at me.
Me: Ok Spot, sit there and lets do some more tapping “Even though I got mud on the cushions and they shouted at me, I’m a good dog” and now tap where I tap and say “Mud on the cushions” and here “They shouted at me”
So J, I suggest you simply continue with Spot, tapping on whatever aspect or emotion arises until he feels quite comfortable on the sofa. In the next session, or when he is ready to, you can address his species identity confusion, if it is still a problem for him.
Hope that helps Best regards