Grief to Gratitude: How EFT works
Using EFT to help someone with the grief process can occur either in a group or individual context.
The session usually begins with an interview. In group work the practitioner may poll the group to get an idea of the main issues. The clients are always asked to place a number from 1 to 10 on the intensity of the emotion. This scale is called the SUDS scale (stands for Subjective Units of Distress). The purpose of this is to help the practitioner know how progress is going and if it is time to move on to another aspect or issue. Ideally the intensity should go down to near zero before moving on.
The SUDS scale also helps the client to appreciate the progress being made and to increase their awareness of feelings and related body sensations.
The style of interview varies, but the goal is the same – to map the aspects that are at the root of the issue. These can be early experiences – the “writing on your wall” as it is referred to by founder Gary Craig, comments made to you that hit home, negative events in your life – a variety of experiences, attitudes and labels that are accepted as true but not examined (they are often only true in a limited way).
Some practitioners use continuous tapping during the interview – a style promoted by EFT Master Steven Wells. His belief is that you are gaining ground on an issue any time you focus on it and tap and the interview is a perfect time to tap.
In a group the practitioner will work with one individual at a time. Those not currently receiving individual attention will write down a list of issues or aspects they would like to work on. While the practitioner works with someone they tap on their own issues. It has been common experience that many times those tapping along will receive benefits similar to the person receiving direct attention. This process, discovered by the founder of EFT – Gary Craig, is called Borrowing Benefits.
A grief support group is an ideal place to do EFT because many of the participants are going through the same experience. Although intensity of a particular issue will vary, the kinds of issues are pretty common. We almost all deal with increased loneliness, with a financial or material cost, with a feeling that we should had done something different and so on. By tapping and tuning into an issue we can gain some benefit rather than being a spectator.
A good practitioner reacts intuitively to any shift in the process. This may involve using a different tool (there are several techniques that have become incorporated into the practice of EFT) or working on a different aspect, or tweaking the language.
The goal is to release the block, to have the energy flow, to facilitate a move to a new perspective that rings true – it is not imposed, does not seem like a platitude that we resist (we all have that little voice that says “yeah right” ).
We often see tears as the genuine grief comes to the surface - but in a healthy way. This shifts yield a feeling of relief and, often, gratitude that this person was in our lives, that we were enriched by knowing them, that we have discovered things about ourselves and are ready to move forward with renewed energy.
From Grief to Gratitude: The Flow of Energy
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