My journey through EFT Training Course day two
I wake up early at the start of day two and my overwhelming desire is to stay in bed, to stay safe, to stay away from the EFT course – at all costs!
I’m feeling vulnerable, way out of my comfort zone. I risk being pulled apart, shaken up, turned inside out until I no longer know who I am and all the embarrassing stuff is on the outside. It’s an irrational feeling, or so I keep telling myself. In reality, what’s the worst that can happen?
I get up and dressed and button myself up both literally and emotionally. I’m here to learn, after all. When I arrive at the busy meeting room, I take a seat at the back and open my notebook. And I’ve soon forgotten my unease, because EFT is such a fascinating subject and Karl is insightful and amusing - a powerful therapist and a charismatic speaker - soon all of the students are engaged and stimulated. There’s a tangible buzz in the room and at the conclusion of each topic the questions come thick and fast. Karl covers a lot of new ground whilst also revisiting some of what we explored yesterday, the practical and the more theoretical essentials of the technique.
We go over the Set-up, the 9 Gamut Procedure, the Movie Technique, Chasing the Pain, and Karl introduces fresh enquiries and possibilities for us to consider; How to test throughout the sequence, how to deal with switching aspects, and other issues that might block progress such as psychological reversal.
Everything is becoming much clearer to me now and by the time we split into groups and pair up for a swap session, I’m eager to practice. I feel much more confident. For me this method of teaching is very effective. Theory, practice, fine tuning and repetition, and with a good peppering of demonstration thrown in to show just how emotionally transformative this technique can be.
The repetition is particularly helpful for me. In order to fully tune in to the client, I need to know each stage of the sequence by heart, so that I can work methodically and fluidly whilst allowing an open sensitivity to the client’s emotional shifts and subtle changes in energy. There’s a lot going on and it can require quite an intense focus, especially for a beginner. It feels as if both my left and right brain are being used simultaneously.
My practice partner has a clear memory she wants to work on. An upsetting event that happened years before in her marriage. She tells me the name of the movie/memory and we check her emotional level (subjective units of distress – SUDS) and do an initial round to bring it down . Then she talks and taps through the whole movie and where, in each scene, new aspects arise, until the SUDs come down respectively. When we arrive at the emotional peak tears stream down her cheeks, and we get stuck in, tapping round after round until the intensity comes right down.
It’s hugely rewarding for me to notice the change in her expression, the relief she clearly feels at shifting a memory that had quietly caused her distress for years. It’s the first time I’ve ever really felt I’ve been effective as a practitioner and I’m uplifted and warm inside.
My turn next and I choose to work on a childhood memory, where two friends tricked and humiliated me. At the time I was incredibly distressed, but when I talk through the event with my partner I feel nothing. I can’t tune in at all. I feel a world away from it. Such a change from yesterday, when I got triggered so easily by someone else’s issue. Perhaps I buttoned up a little too well this morning!
Karl had discussed this kind of disassociation, explaining that it’s more common with men. That someone might describe an event or memory that was obviously extremely disturbing for them at the time but there is no emotion. He said it is still possible to shift the issue, and with Matrix Reimprinting, it’s sometimes easier, without the powerful and complex emotions in the way.
So my partner encourages me to focus in on where the physical sensations might be, if they were there, what size and colour, what intensity, and this helps me to work on through the movie technique. As a result I think I now understand the role of this kind of imagining when the emotions are inaccessible.
We work though aspects and at the end my partner asks me if there is a belief I ended up with that day, what it would be. I think about it, and finally reply:
“In the end, you can’t fully trust anyone, not even your friends.”
This is a big one for me. It will need lots of attention, and I know it stems from other childhood memories as well as. I reflect for moment on how this core belief has affected many of my relationships since. I feel pretty sad about that.
After lunch we all trickle back to the meeting room.
Karl describes how EFT can be effective at reducing physical pain, which has its roots in trauma. He explains how often pain in certain areas might be associated with certain core beliefs or negative experiences. For example shoulder pain is frequently associated with the feeling that you are carrying too much of a burden, and that you are not strong enough to handle it. Knee pain is feeling not as good as others and being over competitive. He describes how his own lower back pain, which for years was debilitating, was a result of not feeling listened to, not feeling good enough. He asks for four volunteers, all who suffer daily pain, to come to the front of the room. Four women raise their hands and stand in a row at the front of the class.
One by one Karl demonstrates, in a manner that is respectful and sensitive, how this physical discomfort soon translates as an emotional one. And one by one, each volunteer is moved to tears. As he taps on each person, we all join in, and an initial focus on the physical sensation is quickly stripped back to the anger or sadness or fear stemming from a problematic relationship with a parent or significant person. EFT helpers are at hand and some of the women choose to leave the room and continue privately in another room. It’s a moving scene to witness, especially when one woman, who initially can barely bend forwards, is able to move considerably lower after the session than she could at the beginning. My own eyes fill up again with tears, but it’s a good feeling, a heartfelt compassionate feeling, triggered by the terrible, beautiful, vulnerable humanness of us all. This is an inspiring and impressive demonstration. But I wonder whether I would ever be able to achieve such results, and also whether partly the effectiveness is down to the power and experience of the practitioner, and the supporting presence of the group? Only time will tell…
Before we leave, Karl lets us know, with a wicked smile, that tomorrow we have something to really look forward to – addictions and cravings. He suggests we all bring a sample of the unhealthy thing we can’t say no to: chocolate, cigarettes, alcohol, crisps. For me, the problem is deciding which one!
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