Using EFT to Change Your Mind
Change Your Mind with EFT
What we are really talking about here is a step-by-step plan for implementing lasting behavioral change on a neurological and biological level, with the help of EFT.
Bruce Ecker, author of Unlocking the Emotional Brain: Eliminating Symptoms at Their Roots Using Memory Reconsolidation, has developed a method for unlocking the brain’s processes for deep change. Behavior can change because of the brain’s ability to absorb new data and use that data to modify old information that is coupled with conscious and subconscious decisions based upon old interpretations and memories, much of which may have been distorted and/or filtered as it was originally taken in.
These kinds of results–of permanent behavioral change–can be achieved through many therapeutic approaches, and EFT stands out as one that is very well-suited for the task.
What types of behaviors would we like to change? Many of us would like to break negative habits, like smoking or over-eating. Or break into a new habit such as establishing an exercise routine. There are also emotional patterns we would like to modify, such as feeling anxiety in social situations, getting control over sudden, angry outbursts, and the multitude of fears that plague us in so many different situations.
To make real, lasting changes requires three crucial ingredients:
1. The complete cessation of symptoms; the issue disappears.
2. There is no reactivation of the pattern; it is not easily set off by situations that used to trigger it.
3. There is permanent extinction. The initiating memory is still intact, but it no longer has any power over you to affect your feelings or decisions you make about yourself.
As we grow up, we learn lessons about how to be in the world, based on our experiences. Some of these enhance our lives, some limit us. Maybe you were belittled by a teacher in math class, and concluded that you are not good at math. These experiences are fraught with emotion, and emotions attached to a memory are stored in a different section of the brain than the purely neutral sequential details of the actual episode, quite a few of which may be forgotten. Memory and emotional learning are stored uniquely. This is where we acquire our beliefs about ourselves and decisions we continuously make that become our behavior patterns–many of which we want to change or modify.
Ecker’s Formula for creating change therapeutically involves three preparation steps, and here is how they would be performed using EFT:
1. Identification of the symptom. Establish the problem that is to be changed.
2. Retrieval of the pattern that was set up. Recall the earliest remembered experience that caused the pattern to be formed. This helps bring to the surface emotional (and maybe unconscious) facets. Using EFT, this would only be done after good rapport has been established with a client.
3. Look for a contradictory experience. This is a crucial element–it must be some experience that engendered just the opposite result, to counteract the negative or painful one that was recalled in the previous step.
Now we begin the Memory Reconsolidation process:
1. The client brings back to awareness the original event and associated feelings while using EFT tapping.
2. Elicit the contradictory experience side-by-side with the original activating event. Client envisions some resolving situation that cancels out the painful feelings that led to creating the compensatory (unwanted) behavior. This is a key element.
3. Practice ongoing repetitions of Step 2 until the new feelings associate with the memory and become the predominant perception of the original situation.
The final step is to check for the eradication of the painful emotions, or test to verify that the emotional intensity is insignificant and evokes no negative response, which is a mandatory ingredient of EFT.
Read more about how EFT can help you!