EFT for Learning Challenges

By Dr. Patricia Carrington

Those of you who read my article about Martin, the Web designer who overcame a block to learning an essential computer language, JAVA, by using EFT, will be interested to hear what is happening with him now.   Even if you didn't read this article, however, you may well be interested in hearing how we handled the next obstacle that came up for him in his saga of computer training. 

Martin's original EFT session on this issue consisted of him using his JAVA textbook to work with me on identifying specific learning blocks that prevented him from going forward with a study program in this area.  With the help of EFT, Martin not only identified his blocks to learning JAVA, but was able to change his attitude about learning additional computer skills in a significant manner.

Now, from having formerly been postponing any plans whatsoever to learn needed computer programming skills, Martin has grown to have real enthusiasm and interest about learning these skills.  Also, instead of looking upon learning programming skills as somehow "beneath a pure Web designer", he is now fully open to this learning.

An example of this is what happened when I recently asked him to bring in his JAVA textbook to a session again. When he arrived, he was able to open it at virtually any spot and fully and easily understand what was printed there.  He was also able to check on anything he did not understand.  In short, he had made excellent progress with respect to the learning which he outlined for himself.

However, he now faced a new challenge.  On his own initiative (not at his wife's suggestion, although I am sure she was pleased about this) Martin had recently signed up for night school in an intensive course in advanced computer science.  The course teaches the programming language ASP, which Martin expects will advance his career considerably.

Because he had been resisting going back to school for such a long time, and for good measure, Martin scheduled an appointment with me to take place immediately after the first class meeting.

When he arrived for this appointment, Martin was of two minds.  He found the teacher definitely competent, the textbook clear and not too difficult to comprehend and he was actually looking forward to mastering this new computer language.  However, during the class itself he had suddenly become extremely sleepy– not just a little bit sleepy, but so overwhelmed by fatigue that he could barely hold his head up making it near impossible for him to concentrate.  What had happened? Martin was understandably concerned.

True, it had been hot in the room and he had not had enough sleep the night before, but there was something about the suddenness of the sleepiness and its intensity that made Martin suspicious.  He did not understand this and wanted to look into it.

The way we tackled this problem confirms something that many of you may know but that I cannot repeat often enough — and that is the value of searching for hidden aspects of a problem and tapping on them one by one until the original difficulty finally disappears. It also shows the value of being able to meet the client where they are, so to speak, and not push ahead against odds until those odds themselves are first handled with the EFT.  

Martin didn't have a clue as to what his strange sleepiness in class was all about and could think of no reason for it. In response to my questions, all he could remember about the class was that it seemed to him as though there had been something " vaguely intimidating" about it, but he had no idea what that was.

Actually, the feeling of intimidation didn't seem to have much, if anything, to do with the actual class, which Martin had so looked forward to. Therefore, to try to get at this "unknown" quality (an example of Backing Up in EFT), Martin formulated the following set-up phrase:

"Even though there was something vaguely intimidating about the class, I choose to see this class as a very NEW and stimulating experience."

He included the word "new" at my request because I suspected that some old patterns from Martin's childhood might be replaying themselves here.  Could it be that what had happened when he switched schools as a boy when his family moved to a new city –– a traumatic experience for Martin –– was the culprit here?…  We were about to find out.

Martin commenced his EFT session with an Intensity Rating (on a 0 to 10 scale) of "6" with regard to his feeling of fogginess in the class and his need to escape from that room.  After one round of the Choices Trio (for a detailed description of this strategy see Chapter 3 of my Choices Manual) he had come down to a "3" on his Intensity Rating. He commented that while he was tapping, he had been thinking of how he really wanted to learn this, yet at the same time he could feel himself wanting to lean back and simply go to sleep.

I asked him to try to remember the class in as much detail as possible and he commented that he had been pretty excited about the class prior to arriving, but at one point the teacher began to go much faster because the material was familiar to some of the students. At that point, he had felt "kind of lost." 

We were preparing to tap on that "lost feeling", when something else came to Martin's mind that supplied a clue to the real difficulty underlying his reaction of sleepiness.  Martin casually mentioned that his sleepiness began when he was asked to type an example given in class (each student works with a computer in front of them) and work on it by HIMSELF.  Up to that point the teacher had been demonstrating to the class, but at this point the instructor turned to the class and said, "Now you're on your own."  It was then that Martin's sleepiness occurred.

Something rang a bell in my own mind when he told me this.  When Martin had been forced to switch schools as a boy (his family had moved to the new city), this event had been extremely difficult for him because in his former school the classes had been very small and he received a great deal of attention and encouragement from the nuns who were teaching him.  But in the new public school into which he had suddenly been thrust, he found himself in a class of 60 children where there was virtually no possibility of individual attention.  From that point on, Martin's attitude toward school radically changed and his grades, plunged.  His reaction became one of discouragement and dislike of school.

Could it be that it was the computer teacher's comment, "Now you're on your own", which had triggered Martin's adverse reaction of intense sleepiness?  As soon as I asked him about this, Martin felt in touch with this concept. 

Still, however, I wasn't sure we were on the right track until I had tested him by saying to him loudly, "Now you're on your own!" and saw his immediate reaction of high anxiety and a sense of helplessness. 

Aha!  Now we had a clear-cut issue to work on.   Martin and I formulated the following set-up phrase:

"Even though the teacher said "You're on your own", I choose to see how strikingly different this new class is from that public school class."

I wanted Martin to make a clear distinction between the past and present, which is why I suggested he include the word "new".  One of the most important reasons that a problem may linger from the past and affect the present is that the unconscious mind has no sense of time.  To this part of the mind, if it happened before, it is happening NOW.  It is therefore extremely helpful when making an EFT Choice to word it in such a way that the difference between the past and the present is clarified.  This can free a person from the tyranny of the past, can let bygones be bygones.

After one more round of the Choices Trio, tapping on this new phrase, Martin spontaneously commented that it was now clear to him that the words, "You're on your own," had been a trigger phrase for him.  So, I decided to test Martin again by saying to him, "You're on your own!" Very forcefully this time. He reported that although his intensity level was now reduced somewhat to a "5", he could feel his heart beginning to race when I said that. 

For the next round, therefore, Martin created a new set-up phrase which went as follows:

"Even though my teacher said "You're on your own." I choose to know that he's always there to help me."

He explained that, in fact, his computer teacher was very responsive to the class (which was a small one) and that the structure of the class allowed the teacher to circulate among the students, each of whom was working on their own computer, and help them whenever they raised their hand.  This was quite different from the public school class of his childhood!  

Martin did one more round of the Choices Trio using this set-up phrase. He was down to "1." This time, when I called out, "You're on your own!" it simply didn't bother Martin anymore. 

"I'm feeling better about the whole thing" he said, "And now I'm remembering that what perked me up during the class was when my teacher made a couple of mistakes himself — and HE'S a Ph.D. in computer science!"

He was now at the end of his hour, and clearly there was another issue to handle with regard to Martin's ability to be imperfect, but he was already on the way to handling this.  He took home a Choices card with his last setup phrase on it and enthusiastically declared that he would be tapping on this issue at home. 

When he returned two weeks later, he told me that at the next class he had that "groggy feeling" again, but that he tapped in his head, doing mental EFT (an excellent option that works for many, but not all people) and then felt fine.

"The course is actually making sense to me — I'm actually enjoying it." he said, adding that he is planning to take a more advanced course in the same subject next semester.  What a change!

Since Martin is diligent about doing his EFT homework, I have no doubt that overcoming this latest challenge has represented another turnaround for him. I am certain that it will lead to a new level of competence in his computer training.  It will certainly be intriguing to watch!

EFT Master, Dr. Patricia Carrington

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