In my over 10 years as an EFT practitioner and teacher of EFT, countless people have emailed me, messaged me on Facebook, and commented on my social media posts that they're not getting the results they had hoped for with tapping.
Thankfully, if you know what to look for, this is relatively easy to troubleshoot.
Here are four common issues to look for to ensure that you get great results with tapping.
1) Stopping Too Soon
I see this one all the time in my students, clients, and even myself. If your intensity level starts at a 9, once you get to a 3 or 4, people feel so much better that they will often stop there.
They figure that since the statement they're tapping out no longer makes them cry or have a knot in their belly, they must be done. Big mistake!
Even though a 4 or 3 isn’t terribly painful, it will still affect you. The issue is still there, it’s just not as intense.
Go for zero! When re-testing a tapping statement, trust the number that comes to you. If it's a 3, but you feel okay, let the number decide whether you can stop tapping, not the feeling (or lack thereof).
As I mentioned above, even though I know better, when I'm doing my own personal tapping work, I'm often tempted to stop tapping on a statement once it gets down to a 3 or a 4.
I catch myself having thoughts like, "It doesn't really hurt anymore, so why bother continuing? I'll just move onto the next statement....."
I'm never tempted to move on prematurely in my work with clients, but it took me years to overcome this inclination in my personal tapping work.
Whether you're using EFT on your own or working with a practitioner, I urge you to go for zero.
2) Not Being Thorough Enough
This one is similar to the previous one, but rather than stopping before you get to zero, it's about stopping before you've found and tapped out all of the aspects of the issue you're working on.
I see this very often in my work with clients, who feel like they've completely healed an issue, but when I take them through my testing protocols, discover that there's still a lot left to release with tapping.
I cannot overemphasize the importance of testing to assess whether an issue is fully healed!
There are myriad ways to go about this. For example, with grief, one testing method is to look at a photo of the deceased loved one, and see if any painful emotions arise.
Another test for determining whether an issue is fully healed is forgiveness. For instance, if you're tapping to release anger toward someone who hurt you, unless and until you feel that you have completely forgiven that person for what he or she did, you still have more tapping to do.
That's because spontaneous forgiveness is a natural by-product of healing an issue with tapping. It just happens effortlessly once all aspects of the issue have been uncovered, identified, and released.
When using EFT to heal an issue, don't assume that you're tapping work is done because you feel better. Be as thorough as possible by testing your results, so that you can be sure that the issue at hand (pun intended) can no longer effect you.
3) Not Finding and Releasing the Root of the Issue
This comes into play most often when tapping to release fears and limiting beliefs, nearly all of which arise from traumatic or upsetting experiences.
For example, I had an adult client who was afraid of the dark, and who, well into her 30s, had never slept with the lights off.
If we had simply focused on her fear of the dark, tapping out statements like, "I'm afraid to go to sleep with the lights off," "Darkness frightens me," and so forth, she would never have gotten over her fear.
What was necessary was to identify and release the reason she was afraid of the dark in the first place, which was abuse she had suffered as a child, most of which took place after bedtime, in her darkened room.
Once we healed those wounds, her fear of the dark just fell away without even being tapped out, and she was able to sleep with the lights off for the first time in her life.
So when you're tapping out an issue, especially fears and limiting beliefs, be sure to be on the lookout for whatever the reason is that you have the fear or limiting belief in the first place. That is nearly always the key to getting your desired results.
The gentle power of tapping can trigger all kinds of fears, and unless they're addressed, they can prevent you from healing the issue you're working on. For example:
Fear of losing an aspect of identify if you no longer have an issue which has, in some way, defined you, such as, "I'm a damaged person," "I'm a rape survivor," "I'm poor."
Fear of success
Fear of failure
Fear of judgment or criticism
I often see fears like these surfacing when tapping out grief, trauma, a fear about something else, and limiting beliefs. It's important to tap out these as they come up, as they are integral aspects of the issue you're working on, and healing that issue thoroughly won't be possible without healing the fears that are part of that matrix.
For instance, when tapping out grief, it's not uncommon for people to become frightened that they'll be judged by others if they're no longer sad about their deceased loved one.
This is like a roadblock on the road to healing, and once we remove it with tapping, we can continue on our way toward healing the grief itself.
So whether you're using EFT for self-healing or working with an EFT practitioner, I hope you'll keep these potential obstacles in mind to ensure that you get the best possible results.
You deserve to be free from whatever is holding you back and causing you to suffer, and if you use it skillfully, tapping will help you get there.
When doing EFT tapping on your own, if you aren't able to completely heal the issue you're working on, so that when you think about it, it no longer causes any stress, emotional pain, anger, or fear, I recommend working with a professional EFT practitioner. If you decide that this is the best course of action for you, click here to schedule a session or free consultation.
BY HEATHER AMBLER
Heather Ambler is a San Francisco Bay Area EFT practitioner and mindset coach. Through her private practice and online programs, she’s helped over 10,000 people in 78 countries recover from loss, heal trauma, release fears, increase confidence, and achieve goals. To schedule a session or free consultation, click here.