The box technique

Often intuitively we get a feeling that our client does not wish to share the details with us. Whether they be an adult, teenager or child. Often they are unwilling to discuss their issues or challenges. This can be for many reasons, such as fear of judgment, fear of being hijacked by overwhelming emotions, their feelings of guilt or shame, or specific details of the issue especially in abuse cases.

Reassure the client that you have a technique that you can use alongside EFT, which can help to clear emotions connected to their current situation/issue/challenge without them having to share the details with you.

It’s called the Box Technique, which Gwyneth Moss developed from an idea by hypnotherapist and past life regression specialist Steve Burgess.

I was recently at the EFT Gathering in Ilkley, UK, and in a group discussion I offered to share this protocol with the group. I thought perhaps more EFTers would like to use this on themselves and with others. There are many creative EFTers within AAMET and I would love to hear how you add your flavour to this basic recipe.

Here is an outline of the technique:

1. Ask the client to put all their issues or ‘stuff’ into an imaginary box, then get them to describe this box by asking:

  • Is it old or new, covered in cobwebs, does it have a lock on it? A padlock?
  • What colour is it? Does it have a smell? What does it sound like?
  • How big is it?
  • Where is it stored?

Note the keywords to these questions.

  • Remember if the box gets too full with stuff they can always make it bigger
  • Make sure the box is not within the client or their body - get detachment from the box if and when possible
  • If it’s too overwhelming to have in front of them put the box in another room, in the garage, or even another country
  • Give the client permission to share details as/when their box, the contents or the feelings around it changes
  • Note that during tapping on the box and its contents there may be different stages that the client experiences. For example, they might see the lid slightly open.... then open more fully .... then the lid or padlock might come off and then the box becomes empty. Alternatively, depending on the client’s representational systems, the box may change colour, smell, feeling, taste or touch, for example, from black to white, heavy to light or musky to fresh.

2. Ask the client what level/rating from 0-10 would there be if they were to open the box and look at the stuff. Note rating. Reassure client you will not be opening the box. Ask if there were emotions in the box, what would they be? Note these. Reassure the client that you won’t abandon the box.

3. Then create set-up statements with the information shared and tap together.

For example, “Even though I have this box, and it’s full of....[emotions], it looks like..., smells like...., it’s stored...., and it would be a rating of ...... if I were to open it, I really don’t want to look at it, open it, I accept that I have this box, I’m OK/I’m a good person/ kid/boy/girl.”

  • EB - “this box that looks like.....”
  • SE - “this box that smells/sounds like...”
  • UE - “this box filled with emotions of ....”
  • UN - “this box is stored....”
  • CH - “this box with a rating of ....”
  • CB - “I’m not ready to look at this box or what’s inside it...”
  • UA - “it’s time for a change”

Take a breath, and a sip of water for integration of the change. Wait for the client to share what it is that they feel, see.

4. Keep tapping with the information they share with you about their box as the rating drops.

Note that there may be a number of associated emotions within or alongside the box, for example, sadness, fear, shame, hurt, regret, disappointment, possibly betrayal, humiliation, abandonment, injustice, rejection, grief about having the box, concern about opening their box. If so, check and ask if this is the case and include this information in your set-up statements.

Sometimes I have observed that clients feel the box is a part of them. I have then created set-up statements to reflect this, for example: “Even though I still have this box, and it’s a part of me, it’s my identity, it’s who I am, and if I let this go, then who am I?”, then tapped on each of the points:

  • EB - “this box is my identity.....”
  • SE - “this box is who I am...”
  • UE - “this box is part of me and I am part of it....”
  • UN - “if I let this box go that would be a little scary....”
  • CH - “if I let this box go that would be a little exciting....”
  • CB - “who am I with the box, who am I without the box...”
  • UA - “maybe I could be free, free to be me”

Take a breath, and a sip of water. Wait for them to share what it is that they feel, see after this round. Whatever percolates up becomes part of your next round of tapping.

5. Once the identification with the box has been cleared, I check with the client what it would be like to really be themselves without this box that they have had with them, perhaps for years. Use their thoughts and then add them to your set-up statements, for example: “Even though I still have this remaining box, that was a part of me, it was my identity, I now empower myself to let it go, I am ready for a change, maybe I could reinvent myself.” Then tap on each of the points:

  • EB - “without this box I could reinvent myself I could be [whatever they have shared with you, for example, confident, happy, peaceful etc].....”
  • SE - “I empower myself to let this box go now...”
  • UE - “this box was part of me for many years....”
  • UN - “I am ready for a change, it IS time for a change....”
  • CH - “I choose to let this box and its contents go now ....”
  • CB - “I am open to discovering who I am in this moment now, without that old, boring box...”
  • UA - “I am open to now being free, free to be ALL of me”

6. After each round check ‘what’s happening with the box?’ and let this information be part of your set up, too.

When the client reaches 0, decide how they wish to recycle the box in an ‘environmentally friendly way’. For example, putting it in the sea or ocean might cause pollution; then again, it could feed fish. Perhaps they would like to create a bonfire that could add to air pollution, or create potash, which is invaluable for gardens and plants. The aim is to allow the client to see something good come from the box - when they are at 0. One 8-year-old I used it with while living and working in New Zealand literally picked up his imaginary box and happily put it into the family’s recycling container!

7. For completion I like to check “What skills did you/do you have as a result of having the experience that was the box?”, for example, an ability to speak out, not allow themselves to be in the same situation or attract the same situation/people or experience, make different life choices as a result.

Then I would tap this as part of a round, too, to end on a positive.

8. “Even though in the past I had that box, I have empowered myself to let it go, I am taking the best out of that situation, those skills now serve me well”, then tap on each of the points:

  • EB - “I am confident.....”
  • SE - “I speak up for myself...”
  • UE - “I am free....”
  • UN - “I forgive myself....”
  • CH - “I am compassionate with myself and others....”
  • CB - “I attract positive experiences that help me grow and evolve...”
  • UA - “I am free, and empowered to be me”

I have noticed in most situations when I have used the box technique that, when the contents of the box and SUDS level go down to about a rating of 1-2, the client is actually quite eager to share the details with you as all negativity has been tapped away and they are feeling so peaceful, liberated and free!

Michelle A. Hardwick
Adv. Dip Hyp., EFT Trainer & Practitioner,
Time line & NLP Practitioner

Release...Peace -
Ph: 0785 7369619 International: +44 785 7369619

Got an article?

If you’ve written an article about EFT or another meridian energy therapy, or reviewed a book or DVD, and would like to share your work, just submit it to EmotionalBuzz for publication. Remember to include your email address or business website address.

Add article (100kb max):

If you have pictures to go with your article, embed them in the Word file.

Before submitting this form, please enter the characters you see in this image: Image verification

Free newsletter