How do I find the right words with EFT?

Tina Craig

For anyone who has learned the basics but has also seen more advanced demonstrations of EFT, this is a very common question. Until you understand the mechanics behind the language, finding the right words seems to be the most important EFT skill other than tapping the points themselves.

by Tina Craig

The most effective EFT language will first depend on your goal. Are you taking a global approach? Are you addressing a specific event? Are you trying to resolve a core issue? These are actually trick questions, and we’ll see why in a moment. Most of the ‘advanced’ language we see in EFT demonstrations these days is based on a very global approach, in which a practitioner is trying to encompass a large segment of someone’s history in one extended setup phrase. In that case, we have a huge collection of disruptions to resolve at once, and indeed, finding the right words to accomplish that would be difficult…if not impossible.

According to official EFT instruction, being as specific as possible is one of the fundamental principles, and one that is not disregarded as we move into more advanced skill. In fact, being more specific means isolating your target for the tapping round to something that contains as few disruptions as possible. Once you have done that, the language you need falls right in your lap.

For example, if you have found a specific event, and are using Tell the Story Technique to address it, you will stop at the first crescendo, or first sign of intensity in that event, and start tapping. The disruption, or cause of the intensity, will be something like “my brother told me I was stupid”, so our Setup can be “Even though my brother told me I was stupid, I deeply and completely accept myself”. That was easy!

The challenge with trying to address something more global with a few rounds of EFT is that there will be many events, many crescendos, and consequently many disruptions involved at once, and herein lies the trick to the questions above. In official EFT global targets are not recommended because of these challenges. We use them sparingly, and in particular situations, with language designed accordingly. The most powerful applications of EFT rely on finding the most specific pieces of someone’s issue and addressing them one by one. The generalisation effect kicks in quickly and tabletops start to fall!

If you are having trouble finding the right language for your setup, consider that your target is still too global and find something more specific. Specific events are the best targets, and Tell the Story Technique is designed to help you find and resolve all of the aspects easily and methodically. If you don’t know how to find a specific event, try the Personal Peace Procedure in which the client makes a list of unpleasant specific events in their past. If you have a hard time explaining how the Personal Peace Procedure can be helpful to the EFT process, spend some time learning about tabletops and table legs.

Many people get stuck trying to create language when what they really need is more training in EFT itself. That training can be found online for free, from Gary Craig, the founder himself. Even if you are in a training programme, referring to the official EFT instruction will ensure that you are learning everything correctly. If you are looking to be trained or certificated in a professional capacity, the programme I direct for ACEP is available in the UK as well with workshops coming up in London and Edinburgh. Our lead EFT trainer Helen Walker is a fantastic resource and is prepared to take these concepts much farther for you in a workshop environment.

While there are more creative uses of language in the advanced levels, they include testing methods, reframing methods, looking for new doors, and are still based on finding specific targets. You’ll see in our Official EFT Tutorial that there is a lot of training and experience required between the basic recipe and the most advanced EFT applications, so take your time, develop your skills, and let the language fall in your lap!

Tina Craig
Co-author, Gary’s Official EFT Tutorial
Director, ACEP EFT Certification Programme

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