In our zest to apply EFT efficiently, we sometimes phrase this desire in our mind as: “The more tapping, the better.” This can be quite a valid assumption, to a point! While teaching EFT, I have observed some EFT practitioners begin tapping the ‘client’ within a few seconds of sitting down, and continuously doing so throughout the session. Others do not. The question I am asked by students is essentially the following, “Which is the right way?” By way of helping them to understand this issue more fully, I usually suggest they ask: “What is the difference that makes the difference?”

The answer to that question is essentially one of information gathering.

The information gathering portion of any intervention can be just as important as applying a technique, in this case EFT, to ‘fix’ things. Part of the time devoted to proper information gathering rests with the client. It is well known we all speak about things both globally and specifically.

“I hurt,” is a global statement. Answering the following questions leads to specifics -- “How are you hurt? Who hurt you? You hurt because of ?” As a general rule, the more specific and succinct a person is in describing a problem, the more time can be devoted to doing something about the presented issue. Many may be familiar with generalizations vs specifics. For those that aren’t -- A generalization is a form of global communication, that is, an individual is sharing a rule that is used to classify experience(s). Tapping on the presented generalization can make some headway; the client (who can also be oneself) feels better. However, much more can be accomplished by assisting the client to become more specific, which is just one reason for the information gathering.

There are perhaps as many ways to assist a person in recalling specifics as there are imaginative and versatile people. However, if you would like a tried and true map to guide you to greater skills, I suggest learning a little NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). One specific segment of that training is referred to as The Meta Model. The Meta Model is simply a description for the process of learning how to ask questions for information gathering purposes, for gaining a more complete understanding of the problem presented. Once this phase is satisfied, EFT can be applied with even more enriching and empowering results.

By way of comparison, we’ll now look at a possible excerpt from an exchange between a practitioner and client, without this extra training, and with this extra training.

Without extra training:
Client: “My mother didn’t love me.”
The practitioner introduces EFT, and after a round, asks the client for feedback.
Client: “Much better. I feel relaxed.”

With extra training:
Client: “My mother didn’t love me.”
Practitioner: “How do you know your mother didn’t love you?”
Client: “Huh?”
Practitioner: “What, specifically, did your mother do, or not do, that sent you the message she didn’t love you?”
Client: “She never smiled at me.”
Practitioner: “Do you always smile at people you love, all the time?”
Client: “Well, I guess not.”
Practitioner: “Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you didn’t necessarily love someone, yet found yourself smiling at them?”
Client: “Well, sure.”
Practitioner: “So how do you know that your mother not smiling meant she didn’t love you?”
Client: “Well, I guess I don’t.”
Practitioner: “Tell me, do you feel uncomfortable when you are in the presence of a female, and she doesn’t smile at you?”
Client: “That’s it!”

In the second example we have effectively begun to address a generalization, or more specifically, the adverse affects of a “negative” generalization. The client is more in doubt than surety that his mother didn’t love him, and is beginning to realize the connection to his present situation, i.e., women make him uncomfortable when they don’t smile at him all the time.

Applying EFT to this uncovered information will certainly serve the client more usefully than simply tapping on: “My mother didn’t love me.” Both will work; however, the second example would be even more empowering.

Please remember, you are engaged in helping, be it yourself or someone else. “Being understood,” means you have supplied, or are about to supply, a solution. It also implies the client is ready for it. Information gathering is an important part of this process, and developing your skills to do so enriches the experience tremendously.

It will also add a better insight into a statement made by Stephen Covey, in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - “Seek first to understand, before being understood.”
So please understand that sometimes hopping right to it and tapping away turns out the best thing you could have done. At other times, taking the time to gather the necessary information will be more important. By knowing about both approaches you increase your chances of success through versatility, and that’s what you and/or your client want, is it not?

Dr. Alexander R. Lees

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Alexander R. Lees is an EFT expert helping people in his private practice (20+ years) and using EFT for over 9 years, as well as teaching EFT to thousands in his EFT Level 1, 2 & 3 workshops. With his passion for helping people and his sense of humour, he has a 95% success rate. He strives to provide a safe and comfortable atmosphere in his office and during phone sessions from around the world.

Besides his skill in applying and teaching EFT, Alex is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with a Doctorate in Clinical Hypnotherapy, a Certified International Trainer of NLP, and an expert in the mind/body connection. He uses all of his training to assist his clients to achieve the outcomes they desire. As well, he is the author of Pathways Through Your Mindfield, EFT – What is it and how does it work? and co-author of Freedom at Your Fingertips.