Using EFT with Family Members

Question: Is it useful to ese EFT with a family member?

This mother's asked question was too lengthy to reprint so I will summarize it here.  She asks how she can use EFT to help her 19 year old son who has a serious history of drug abuse and was recently released from a short prison sentence.  He is now on parole and feels deeply hopeless about his life.  She tells us that she herself has used EFT to deal with her own concern about him, and that her son has "agreed to try EFT".  We can not tell from the letter, however, just how genuine his agreement to try EFT is, or whether he just said "yes" to please his mother.  The reader emphasizes that she cannot afford any kind of therapy for her son, and that EFT is her only hope. I answer as follows:

Answer: While my ultimate recommendation (it is a strong one) is that you find a way to obtain (and somehow afford, I will address that issue later) the help of an EFT practitioner highly experienced in the kind of problems your son faces, in the meantime let me give you some recommendations for helping him now with EFT.


As his mother, you may face some difficulties doing this.  Among them are the following:


— Since you are his mother, whatever childhood experiences may have contributed to his deep-seated problems, can all too easily be invoked by your presence, either directly or indirectly.  It may therefore be extremely difficult for him to process many of these experiences with you, an objective professional would be in a much better position to help him here.


— Because you are his mother, he may be understandably reluctant to reveal to you many experiences he has had which nevertheless must be handled if EFT is to be effective for him.  He may, for example, think that telling you certain things would upset you too much, or that telling you some things would incriminate him, or be afraid that you might blame him.  Or he may simply be too ashamed to tell you about some of them.


For these reasons, any help you can give him using EFT would, in my opinion, probably need to be done without your asking him to reveal the contents of the memories or thoughts that he is tapping on.  This can be a useful option in EFT but it is tricky to accomplish and usually requires a good deal of clinical skill.  Properly used, however, the results of tapping without revealing what one is tapping on can be excellent.


If you plan to do this, I would suggest that you (or any readers who have not yet read it) read the account of how Rehana Webster handled a multiply traumatized recidivist offender using EFT, she did this without requiring him to reveal any of the traumatic incidents that he tapped on. You can read about this truly classic account of the use of EFT under initially extremely difficult circumstances (and with much skepticism on the part of the client at first), here


If you read Rehana's account, notice particularly the eventual high motivation of her client to help himself with EFT.  This is a key factor in the success that was reported.  If your son wants to be helped by EFT and is willing to work at it by using it on himself, then there is a chance of his obtaining substantial results from it.  But — — he must want this so strongly he is willing to go all out to get it.


For this reason, I think it a good starting place (if you want to use EFT to help your son) would be to have him tap on a phrase such as: "Even though I feel that my life is hopeless ("that nothing is any use," etc.), I choose to find unexpected help in EFT"


Before you have him do this however, ask him to give you a "Believability Rating" for the above statement.  It would be on a zero to 10 point scale, where zero is "no belief in the possible help of EFT", and 10 is "total belief in EFT's ability to help me".  After each round of EFT, he should reassess his Believability level –– it should be going UP on as the EFT progresses, hopefully approaching a 10.


After this, you might to have him tap on: "Even though I don't believe it will work, I choose to find a way to use EFT so it will really work for me."


These are only two are examples of how EFT might be used to introduce your son to the process.  An experienced therapist could suggest many more uses of EFT, and your goal now should be to help your son find enough hope so that he can seek out a therapist himself, possibly with help from you.  Telephone Therapy might be a good option. 

With strong motivation to succeed in this, your son should be putting away some money towards paying for an EFT therapist to help in this, but you will probably need to help out with it at first, so here is what I would suggest that you tap on for yourself:


"Even though I can't possibly afford to spend a cent on our ((your son's name's) therapy, I choose to…", then add one of the following Choices:


"… I choose to find creative ways to raise the needed money for his therapy." Or,


"… I choose to know that my need to help pay for his therapy will be only temporary — until he can afford his own treatment" Or,


"… I choose to be open to new and unexpected possibilities for obtaining help for (your son's name)."


I hope these recommendations are useful.


Dr. Patricia Carrington, EFT Master

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