EFT and the Art of Reframing – Time
EFT and Reframing
Mastering the art of reframing is one more tool in your therapeutic arsenal that can help you become even more effective in gaining results using EFT. Reframing is also fun for both the therapist and client. With that in mind, this article contains information on a stunningly easy, fun reframe. It is one I commonly use.
What is Reframing?
Reframing is the art and skill of helping people change their perspective and view on their issues. Reframing is a powerful therapeutic tool that can create profound and fast change. EFT and reframing are commonly combined. There are many different types of reframes that can be used. The particular method highlighted in this article is a very simple and powerful method that I have used many times highly successfully. It is also easy to use and master.
Example: Dealing with an Alcohol Addiction
The following case was taken from the work I did with Carmen (not her real name), a client who had an alcohol addiction. At the point in the therapy where we talked about the below we had already made massive progress with the client’s drinking issue. She had stopped and was now only having an occasional rare binge.
Questioning her about the binges, Carmen said they only occurred when her boyfriend went out. Whenever he left the house she had a sense fear that something dreadful would happen to him and that he wouldn’t come back. She went on to explain that this feeling had been something she had experienced throughout her life. (This statement implies that the causative event for this feeling was early in her life).
Finding the Core Event
I asked Carmen to access the feelings that she had when her boyfriend left the house.
When she had accessed her feelings, I asked her where they were in her body and asked her to put her attention on those feelings. We started to tap on the karate point and I asked her to keep her attention on the feelings and go all the way back to the very first time she had ever felt those feelings. (This technique can be read in more detail in a previous article I wrote called, “Finding and dealing with core issues”)
When asked what event had popped into her mind, Carmen told me about a time when she was about three years old. She was crying on the stairs in her house. Mum and Dad had gone out and she woke up and started to go down the stairs of her home. She had stopped half-way and was sobbing.
Shift between then and now
Karate Point: “Even though I was three years old and no one was there, I am all alone, I completely and totally love and approve of myself”
Karate Point; “Even though there was no one there and I was frightened, I completely and totally love and approve of myself”
Karate Point: “So even though they left me and no one was there, I completely and totally love and approve of myself”.
Eye Brow: “I was all alone”
Side of the eye: “No one was there”
Under the eye: They’d gone, mummy and daddy were never coming back”
Under the nose: I switched tonality at this point and directly addressed the adult client and asked;
“How long was it before they did come back?”
She laughed and said, “I think it was a few minutes, not long”
Chin: Switching straight back to the tonality and tense I had used before I had asked the question, I continued, “I was all alone”
Collarbone: “They are never coming back”
The words that I am using here when saying, “I was all alone”, reflect Carmen’s 3 year old’s point of view.
At this point we stopped as Carmen was now finding it highly amusing. She obviously had shifted her original emotions.
How does this Reframe work?
1. Reframes work by first identifying what your client isn’t seeing YET.
In time reframes this tends to indicate that the event is over. When you consider the above case that means: Mum and Dad came back. Carmen was locked into the perspective of the 3 year old who was alone and frightened and didn’t know whether her parents would come back. It is like a moment frozen in time.
2. The second step is deciding how to communicate that information in an effective way without forcing it.
There are many ways to communicate that the issue is over and in the past. You could tackle it directly with the statement as you tap: “It is over”. However in my opinion, asking the client the question: “How long was it before they came back?” is a much more subtle method of presenting this. Also, because of the subtly of it, it is much more likely to be accepted without resistance.
Other examples of similar Reframes
Another example of using this type of reframe is with the fear of public speaking, people feel very anxious waiting their turn to speak. When a client comes in and mentions this I ask them if they “can get that nervous, waiting feeling now.”
A lot of clients say yes to this question. When they are able to get the feeling while in my office I use the method I described earlier and trace that feeling back to where it began – their first experience of it.
When they then report when, what was happening and how old they were at the time, I then set the EFT up whilst tapping on the karate point. I simply restate their problem back to them using there words in the setup. Such as;
“So even though I have this nervous feeling in my (state where it is), I was waiting and I didn’t know what was going to happen, I was frightened, I completely and totally approve of myself”
Basically I am ‘pacing’ their issue. Pacing helps you gain and deepen rapport. Rapport is crucial to getting results in therapy.
After doing the setup three times we start the EFT sequence with;
Eyebrow: “I was waiting”
Side of the eye: “I didn’t know what would happen”
Under the eye: “And I’m still waiting”, (then I switch and address the client directly);
Whilst still tapping under the eye: “How long ago was that?”
Often clients will give an answer like;
“30 years ago”
Then I go straight back into the EFT again;
Under the nose; “I’m still waiting, thirty years later”
Chin: “Do you think it is OK to let it go now? Or maybe you might like to keep it for a few more years?”
Clients often laugh at this and as they do the issue often crumbles instantly.
Sometimes however I play with this and tap on, “No, no, I’m not letting it go, I’m keeping it for another thirty years.”
Technical Points of Reframing
Reframes work best when delivered at the right time. It is a point of intuitive knowing that occurs. This awareness comes with practice and clearing blocks to intuition – doing YOUR own work.
With Carmen, who was having alcoholic binges when her boyfriend left her the reframes during EFT worked instantly and created a profound shift for the client. Even though we were dealing with something that had been highly distressful for Carmen when it occurred, the session itself was very light, both of us enjoying the experience. In fact we laughed through most of the session. Reframes done properly can be immensely effective AND can be FUN!
Tania A Prince, EFT Master