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Making Progress with EFT (or: Help! I’m stuck in the elevator of the Healing High Rise!)

Updated on May 14, 2012
Photo Credit:  Mikamatto
Photo Credit: Mikamatto

The way many of us have been taught EFT is to use it to deal with past issues. We resolve many problems that way and it is important to acknowledge and work on them. But eventually you come to realize that there is more to it than that. To a certain extent you (and anyone else involved in coaching or counseling) are colluding with your client in perpetuating the source of problems.

If we are to truly help someone with more complex issues like Social Phobia they need something more than just dealing with a variety of hurts and injustices – some way of totally reframing the way they react with the world so that new disruptions of their energy system do not occur so easily (many of the people who develop social phobias are highly sensitive people for whom the next trauma is just around the corner).

Byron Katie offers one way of creating that change. Her process – simply called “The Work” comes from a radical change that occurred in her that lifted her from a long and deep depression. The effects in clients may involve much more work and a longer period of time, but the process has proven highly effective for many people (and would be even more so if it were combined with EFT).

To greatly simplify it, the method is to ask 4 questions about any issue:

1. Is it true? (Yes or no – if “no” move to 3.)

2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true? (Yes or no.)

3. How do you react , what happens, when you believe that thought?

4. Who would you be without that thought?

There is another part of the process that is helpful with interpersonal problems is the Turn Around. An example would be the statement “My boss hates me!”. You turn it around and say “I hate my boss!” and find specific examples for this turnaround: for example “I avoid spending time with him.” or “I clam up when he’s around” and we would work on these statements and often come to the conclusion that we contribute to this negative situation or may we realize that our boss has his own problems and it may not be “all about me”.

I have found the more I used that process, the more I became aware of how much of my emotional life is an unnecessary overreaction. I am in a futile war with “What IS”. I often skip straight to question #4 and just let go of whatever anxiety I am harboring and I feel an immediate release. I find I have become more in control of my emotional life because I have a tool for letting go of unnecessary worry and dread.

It is not the same as telling yourself “You shouldn’t sweat the small stuff!” or any of the other ways in which we try to shape our emotional reactions by ”trying not to” do something – it is a genuine letting go.

As EFT Master Steve Wells says in his blog:

These 4 questions, followed by consideration of several opposites to the problem thought, which Katie calls the turnaround, can lead you to the realisation that the only thing you can really know is real is what is happening right here right now. And that is all you have to deal with. What a relief to find that what you have really been upset about is just a “story” about what is happening, or a concept or judgment that you have attached to.

The process of questioning your thoughts and focusing on only what you can really know as true can be liberating. As I said to one of my clients recently, you only have to deal with what you have to deal with … and you won’t know what that is until you get there! Everything else is a story…

To read his blog visit:

If a client is not making progress, this can be one of the ways to help them move forward and the format can really lend itself to use with EFT.

Byron Katie’s website is


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