Interrupting the addiction

Sue Beer

Adapted by EFT master Sue Beer from her ‘Healing the Addicted Heart: 5 stages of transformation’.

An addiction is any behaviour, action, thought, feeling, mood or thing you cannot stop when you decide you want to. Addictions are no longer under our conscious control. Addictions are driven by unconscious programmes. They seem to happen on auto-pilot. But who set up the programme in the first place? We did of course!

Once an addiction has really taken hold it perpetuates itself. Quite simply the more you do it, the more you do it. The unconscious programmes that drive it are much more powerful than your conscious intention to stop. The first step towards freedom is to interrupt the old addictive programme. By doing this you reclaim some of the power you have mistakenly invested in the addiction.

The following tapping exercises will help you to do this. The key here is to practice the exercises before you are actually craving or doing your behaviour. Imagining or pretending to be in the situation will allow you to become aware of what has been happening on autopilot.

You will learn to simultaneously:

  1. Identify the ways of thinking that trigger the behaviour
  2. Disconnect the link between thought-trigger and behaviour by tapping.

How do you know when to do your thing? In spite of all your best intentions somehow you are fooling yourself – how do you do that? Thoughts always drive feelings which drive behaviour. We think all the time, consciously or unconsciously, and we have to be making pictures or listening to self-talk to think!

What pictures are you seeing when you want to xxxx? What are you telling yourself when you want to xxxx? And when you want to xxx where are you feeling it in your body?

These pictures in your mind’s eye, self-talk and feelings in your body are the way the unconscious programme tells you to do your thing ...(they are also exactly what you need to tap on). If nothing comes to mind right now go straight to B, otherwise:

A. Focus on whatever you are aware of, however vague it seems, and begin tapping using the short cut version. Here is an example.

Set up:

  • Even though I feel all tight and anxious in my throat, I deeply and completely love and accept myself
  • Even though seeing Lucy always makes me want to xxxx, I accept myself anyway
  • Even though I just have to have it and I’m going to do it anyway, I accept where I am right now
  • Eyebrow: I’m all mixed up and confused
  • Side of eye: I feel it in my throat
  • Under eye: awful tightness in my throat
  • Under nose: something about Lucy makes me feel anxious
  • Chin: something about her makes me feel ...
  • Collarbone: why shouldn’t I? It’s my choice
  • Under arm: throat feels so tight
  • Top of head: I’m tired of this conflict now ’ I could choose peace instead of this?

Take a deep breath in and let it out. Continue until you feel more relaxed. Now go to C.

B. What if you couldn’t identify anything?. That’s not unusual as these are unconscious programmes after all, and often happen so fast you might not notice anything at first. How are you feeling – just fuzzy, annoyed or spaced out perhaps? Whatever it is TAP on that first. For example:

Set up:

  • Even though I don’t know what I’m thinking or how I think I deeply and completely love and accept myself
  • Even though I don’t see anything, it’s all fuzzy and nothing works for me anyway, I love and accept myself and all my feelings about this
  • Even though I’m all spaced out, I can’t concentrate and I don’t want to, I am OK
  • EB: I can’t see a thing
  • SE: I’m not saying anything to myself ... not me
  • UE: I feel spaced out trying, so tired of trying
  • UN: it’s just fuzzy/blank/nothing, that’s all
  • CH: something’s blocking me
  • CB: something’s getting in the way of me seeing clearly
  • UA: I wonder how I do it ...?
  • TH: what if I do know ...?

Deep breath ... continue until you feel a shift, more peaceful or relaxed.

Then ...

C. See or make up a picture that represents you just about to xxxx.

In your mind, step in and notice how the conflict feels in your body ... there is always conflict when you do want to do something (old unconscious programme) and don’t at the same time – (you today).

Tapping example (short cut version)

Quick pace. Leave out set up

  • EB: just once more then I’ll stop
  • SE: just this once
  • UE: makes me feel good
  • UN: I feel it right there
  • CH: makes me feel bad
  • CB: I feel it right there
  • UA: I have to have this
  • TH: It’s not true that I have to have/do/feel this now ...

Look at the picture that represents you just about to xxxx again. Blow it up, let it grow and grow as big as it can. When you are ready, shrink it right down ... where are you now? Where is it?

Beginning to reprogramme yourself

Once you have interrupted the addictive behaviour you have a wonderful opportunity to use the tapping to clear your way towards a better future. The external circumstances of your life always reflect unresolved internal conflict. This means you start right now with what is happening now.

Look at your relationships: they are always great places to release the kind of tension, conflict and negative feelings that in the past led you to xxxx.

Choose someone you feel badly about – your mother, brother or a friend.

TAP – saying it as it is. Don’t hold back or try to be nice. Give yourself permission to say out loud the things you think anyway – as long as you are tapping!

For example, I’m furious, I cant bear it, I could kick him ... she hurt me ...

Make a picture to represent your thoughts and feelings about this person. Let it grow. Tap as it’s growing.

Then, try out these phrases while continuing to tap:

I’m angry because I have forgotten who I am/my truth
I could choose peace instead of this ...
I could choose love ...

Notice what happens to the picture?

Now, go in your mind to a time when you know the current feeling will be over ... 1 week? 2 ...?

I understand this now
I accept this now
I release this now

Towards real freedom

Addictions are very often complex, multi-layered problems. Quitting the substance or behaviour is just the starting point. However with tapping as a tool and a systematic approach it is possible to begin reclaiming the power you gave away and feeling better right away. In this way it is possible to work towards true freedom without fear of relapse or the need to substitute another addiction.

© Sue Beer, 2011
For more information on
Healing the Addicted Heart: 5 Stages of Transformation workshops and book visit:

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