Question: I have suffered from a fear of speaking and reading aloud in public for many years. When I prepare to do EFT, I often can’t call up the uncomfortable physical symptoms related to public speaking, making it difficult to obtain an initial SUDS level. Can EFT be effective when one is unable to “experience” the problem one is treating?
Answer: Of course EFT can be effective under these conditions or Gary Craig’s Tearless Trauma Technique simply would not work. The premise of his highly effective technique is that it is possible to use a general phrase relating to a trauma, purposely prevent yourself from re-experiencing it, and tap on a global phrase instead –– and get a superb result.
When you do Tearless Trauma you do not try to visualize or in any way “get into” the original experience, instead you imagine what your SUDS level would be if you WERE thinking about it. Gary has found this way of accessing a SUDS level to be just as accurate as if the person were re-experiencing the trauma and the technique itself just as effective in healing the repercussions of the incident as it would be if the person were once again suffering through it.
Those of us who have used the Tearless Trauma Technique find that often the charge can be taken off of an issue completely in this manner. However I will qualify this statement by a comment. When a person’s SUDS level has come down to a 2 or less when doing the Tearless Trauma Technique, I find that they often will spontaneously re-experience the original trauma or distressing event, but this time without undue distress.
Actually, anxiety and emotional pain does not appear to be necessary for healing to take place. In an article in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, Roger Callahan reports on several cases he has treated where the client was totally unable to access any feeling surrounding a trauma, but was able to clear the issue completely in spite of that. He concludes that “re-living” of the episode is unnecessary for the tapping to work. This agrees entirely with Gary’s observations about the Tearless Trauma Technique.
Dr. Patricia Carrington, EFT Master