It’s helpful to understand a few basic ideas as you begin your EFT journey. This is in no way intended to be an exhaustive, scientific exploration, but rather a simple framing, absolutely from my point of view.
Specific Events: Most of the time, we explore specific events during tapping sessions. Most of us have general areas of vulnerability, let’s say anxiety, fear of failure, or low self-esteem. These vulnerabilities develop over time as a result of the events of our lives. The EFT approach involves resolving the emotional intensity of past events to shift the overall pattern of vulnerability.
Generalization Effect: Thankfully, it’s unlikely we’ll have to process every single event related to a general problem. By processing and releasing some events from a specific category, similar memories lose their emotional impact.
Exposure: EFT involves deliberate exposure to past events. We don’t aim to talk at length about what happened. Rather, we work together to activate sensory memories in the present moment. Sensory memories unlock the emotion of the event itself. Here’s where the magic of EFT comes in: Memories processed in the presence of soothing, calming signals (tapping on acupoints, making statements of self-acceptance) are reconsolidated and their emotional impact is reduced.
Acceptance: Exposure to past events is coupled with a statement of self-acceptance in EFT’s ‘Basic Recipe.’ This acceptance statement might be ‘I accept myself and all my feelings,’ ‘I love and accept myself,’ ‘I’m safe right now,’ or something similar which feels comfortable to yu.
Carl Rogers, American psychologist, said, “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” To turn it around a bit, change can happen when we accept ourselves completely. The effect of the combination of exposure to ‘the problem’ and the statement of self-acceptance is that you feel seen and validated exactly how you are in the present moment.
Cognitive Shift: A cognitive shift is a change of thinking or perspective. This is a common experience during EFT sessions. Perhaps after working through a specific event, strong emotion is released, you no longer feel a threat, or you have new compassion for yourself or someone else.