EFT is very simple and at the same time, unbelievably effective! To achieve the best possible results very soon, you need to keep in mind the following keys to success:
If you possess the knowledge and experience associated with the keys described here, along with the ways to deal with failures, your success ratio could well be over 80%.
Tuning into the problem
Effective tuning into the problem may be the single most important success factor in EFT. "Tuning" here means having the best possible access to the problem.
Tuning can be achieved by using the setup phrase ("even though...") before running the sequence and the reminder phrase during the tapping. Some times the tuning can be immediate and effortless, if the problem has completely come up to surface that specific moment.
Some times though, you may need to bring the retrieve the incident from your memory (or scenes from it), or apply other techniques to tune into the problem. This is typical when your self has suppressed the problem (for defensive purposes) and has "hidden" the details in memory associated with it. These are cases where tuning could be much more difficult.
Persistence, persistence, persistence!
Some problems may immediately dissolve with EFT. These are what (in the EFT world) we call as "one minute wonders". These however is the exception, not the rule...
In most cases persistence is needed in applying EFT, which means tracing and dealing with the "aspects" of the problem, using different EFT techniques with several combinations and adjustments, dealing successively with associated problems, etc. "Freedom" can come within an hour or two, but it may well take several hours and additional EFT sessions during a period of days or even weeks.
Some times, you just persist in applying EFT directly to a general problem (especially if you are a beginner), in which case you really need to be a persistent and patient to see some results! By the way, this is NOT the proper way to use EFT...
Dealing with different aspects
Every problem (energy disruption) can have different aspects which need to be dealt with, in order for resolution (balance) to come. This usually becomes apparent by the fact when, after successfully diffusing a problem, all of a sudden a new annoyance comes up related to it.
For example, a spider phobia could have several aspects, such as fear of moving spiders, fear of a spider coming close, fear of a spider on your body, etc.
Another example: A person with fear of heights can bring down to zero the intensity of fear when imagining itself looking down e.g. from a building's roof down the street. It is possible, however, that when this person is on the top of a mountain, he/she feels an intense fear of height, which this time is related to having no foothold. It's a different aspect of the person's fear of height than needs to be dealt with the use of EFT.
EFT provides us with smart tools for bringing up and dealing with all the aspects, so one can completely overcome a problem, however composite it may be.
You have to deal with every emotionally negative upcoming aspect, until the problem gets completely diffused and no other annoying aspects come to surface.
Many times however, you don't have to discover and deal with every single aspect of a problem, as diffusing some of them causes a domino effect on all the related aspects (see the "Generalization" section in the EFT basic principles page).
Following the principle of being specific and precise, you should use setup and reminder phrases best fitted to the problem.
Also, the wording has to be appropriate in order to express the person's own thoughts and feelings.
For example, instead of using a phrase like "I feel intense anger", it may be much effective to use a phrase like "I got mad", if this automatically comes into the mind of the person. Each human being has its own meanings and experiences associated with common words. For example, my interpretation of "anger" may be a moderate annoyance, while yours interpretation may be "I wan't to kill you!".
So, accurate or spontaneous wording can result in a much faster and effective problem resolution, as it better tunes the person into the problem at all levels and can more easily bring up to surface new aspects.
Don't be surprised if you discover that intelligent people with a very extensive vocabulary may have much more complicated psycho-emotional problems that "ordinary", "every day" people...
Dealing with psychological reversal
The extreme importance of this factor can be summarized as follows:
If psychological reversal is present (which is experienced as a strong resistance to improvement), it is impossible to achieve diffusion and therapy, regardless of the method we may apply (including EFT and all other methods).
We all have in mind incidents and cases, especially of chronic and severe illness, where however hard one tries and whatever medicine he/she may take, either no improvement is possible or any improvement is temporary.
Dr. Rojer Callahan, the founder of TFT (from which EFT has evolved) and of the term "psychological reversal", describes this phenomenon as follows ([Gallo,1999]):
At times we all become aware that we are behaving in a destructive and hurtful way toward people we love, and yet we seem helpless to spot behaving that way. It is almost as if our will power is suspended and we seem unable to do anything about it. At such times we are what I call psychologically reversed.
When you are psychologically reversed, your actions are contrary to what you say you want to do. You might say that you want to quit eating when you aren't hungry, and in your heart of hearts you really do want to quit overeating. But in reality you are continuing to overeat. You are sabotaging your own efforts, you feel helpless and you don't know why.
These are cases where the person itself strongly resists therapy and in general any significant improvement.
Psychological reversal can be present in cases where your self believes, for example, that the problem:
Protects you from weariness or overloading.
Protects you from a part of your self that is self-considered as dangerous.
Protects you from having other people coming to you with an intention of friendship or sexual relationship (perceived as dangerous).
Help you gain the attention, care or sympathy of friends and relatives.
Empowers you so you can achieve something specific.
Protects you from undertaking specific responsibilities.
Reminds you of something "bad" you've done in the past, so you don't repeat this and suffer again.
Punishes you for something you have done or you have not done.
There are also cases where, however deep you may search, you won't find any subconscious motive like the ones above, but where psychological reversal is present and very strong.
A distinctive and invaluable feature of EFT is that it offers means to overcome psychological reversal within minutes or even seconds, even temporarily, so improvement can be possible. It also offers ways of testing the presence of psychological reversal, without investigating possible causes and the exact nature of it.
Testing and verification
Because a problem may have several different aspects, the EFT subject should be tested for the problem's presence as accurately as possible, even when the problem seems to have been resolved. This could mean from making the subject remember or imagine something to have it experience a real situation associated with the problem.
For example, for a person suffering from fear of mice, the best test is to be exposed to a real mouse, first at a safe distance and then closer and closer, up to the point of touch! Then you really have a proof that the problem does not exist any more. If something like this is not possible (which usually is the case in a therapeutic session), the test can be a mental representation of the real situation.
However, if "imaginary test" is used, there is a high probability that when the person gets exposed to the real situation, the problem will come up again, due to aspects not successfully dealt with during the sessions. Fortunately, the person can apply EFT right at the spot and overcome the problem for good.
It is of extreme importance for the final success of using EFT for a problem that you verify resolution through the best available means of testing. This is also appropriately stressed out in the
the free basic EFT Manual of Gary Craig.
Rapport between the practitioner and the subject
Especially in cases where EFT is applied in a therapeutic manner, it is highly important to have a good level of rapport between the practitioner and the subject.
When this rapport is present, the subject can be more easily open itself to the practitioner, mentally and energetically and the practitioner can then use his/her intuition and instinct to achieve much better results. That way, therapy is much faster and the success ratio can be close to 100%.
If you are a mental health professional, you probably already know how much important this rapport can be in any psychotherapy case, as well as in counseling sessions. The same is true for EFT.
Continuous practice is essential for maximizing your effectiveness in the application of EFT. To be honest, this is true for almost anything that you may do in your life!
By continuous practice, you get experience and you learn how to deal with different issues with increasing success ratio and with decreasing application time. It is normal for one to begin using EFT with a success ratio of no more than 30% and reach 95% or more after years of practice.
You seriously cannot expect to have such high success ration after a couple of hours reading about EFT, or even after you first seminar, right?
For example, to fully zero a specific phobia case, a beginner may need several hours or even days of EFT application, while an experienced practitioner can do it in half an hour, possibly also solving a core issue hidden behind the phobia!
EFT allows, as long as you have experience and know well it's details, to gradually discard the "mechanics" of the techniques and move to higher level of extremely fast action, where you'll only need to apply a few techniques and follow your instincts.