EFT Emotional Freedom Techniques Article
Wanting to Want to Heal… With EFT
by Silvia Hartmann
I had recently an occasion to advise a long term addict on the use of EFT to help make some inroads into a long standing and very entrenched problem.
They had previously tried all manner of opening statements and approaches in self help but nothing had budged; I just spent some time finding out what topics they had tried to cover.
These included a wide variety of significant experiences and entrainments, notably:
- having a same-sex parent who had had the same addiction all their lives and including during this person's pregnancy;
- the many failures to "beat the addiction" by the parent who still had it when they died from it;
- their own withdrawal traumas and failures to change their own patterns;
- formative experiences with the substance;
- the person's beliefs and experiences around the entire scenario;
- and finally, their entrenched and automatic behaviours which they suspected to be simply learned now and which would run even in the absence of underlying drivers.
I would add to that further that this person seemed to me to have a very high-level of background stress all the time; they were very anxious just as a bye-the-bye and even though the situation was as non-threatening as could be (we were simply having a discussion, with no idea suggested that the addiction would be tackled at all); they confirmed that they were indeed, always very nervous and had always been.
I asked them to pick out one of the most impactful opening statements they'd ever come across and just tap it to show me how they did it and so I could get a sense of what was happening.
It was really interesting to observe and sense; it was a good opening statement and the person applied themselves to the task of tapping the round most earnestly, but there was really absolutely no response I could detect, no energy shift or any form of change in their voice or bearing as they went through the points.
I had the strong sense that the entire system was "locked down" (not reversed) and on an intuition, asked them to try the opening statement of, "I want to be free of this addiction."
Once again, they applied themselves earnestly but that same sense of lock down was most apparent again; then I had a very good idea.
I asked them to tap instead for, "I want to want to overcome the addiction," and as thought these had been the magic words, things began to happen as soon as they tapped the KC point.
The very first thing was that the person started to cry spontaneously and when they recovered use of their voice, there was tremendous longing and real emotion present for the first time. Now and on this round, there was yawning, movement, insights and not just the energy system, but the entire person seemed to be coming to life on the topic at last.
What came out of this round was a whole list of criteria and reasons as to why the person had not ever really WANTED TO want to give up their addiction; as well as a number of pre-requisites which had to be dealt with before they could allow themselves to really want to end this, put it in the past and start a new life.
Amongst the list were:
- They would have to be sure that they weren't being disrespectful or unloving to the parent by living a different life and in essence, needed the parents approval (although deceased) to be allowed to want to end it;
- they would have to have some hope or faith that it could be done at all in the absence of any personal or observed proof of any kind that it was possibly;
- they would have to be not as terrified of withdrawal trauma and pain as they were because they simply could not want something that hurt and frightened them that much.
Opening statements for these pre-requisites were duly found and when they were applied, the person was very engaged and responsive, very motivated and the energy system responded also very well indeed to each round which was applied.
It was really most fascinating to observe how things were unfolding and with hindsight, it was really quite obvious that this person had needed a bridging step into the first step to starting on changing their behaviours and their lives. It had always been quietly presumed that of course they wanted to change this health threatening and frightening problem which had killed their parent; and the usual approach of looking for "benefits" which may have counter-balanced the away-from motivation only produced side effects, essentially lemonade the person had made from the lemons they had been dealt.
But of course, every addictions counsellor knows that a true motivation and desire for change is just about the only thing that can get a person into true long term and lasting change; and to build up the desire to WANT TO change FIRST and to take the blockers to this out of the way is logical, effective and very motivational indeed.
This double phrasing of "I want to want to ... (change, stop doing X, stop feeling Y, stop remembering Z etc)" is an interesting neurological event that can be used in many situations where although there may be logical reasons for doing or not doing something different, still a real heartfelt motivation seems to be lacking.
A different version of this could be, "I want to be able to want to (...)" to make it easier to understand; and investigative versions are possible also, such as,
- "I don't understand why I don't want to change,"
- "I don't know what I would need to allow myself to want to change,"
- "I just can't allow myself to really want to change because ..."
- "I wonder what else I can do to really motivate myself to want to change,"
- "Before I can wholeheartedly commit myself to wanting this change, I would have to ..."
... and so forth to discover what is standing in the way of a real desire to power all further endeavours and of course, further and regular application of EFT for cravings, fears, doubts etc. as well.
I would add that this is not just a pattern to help motivate addicts towards change and unlock "frozen" systems, but that statements such as
"I want to want to be loved,"
"I want to want to be healthy,"
"I want to want to be happy,"
"I want to want to be wealthy,"
... and so forth can be used to build a real and powerful motivation from the inside out for a person on a wide range of topics and really help with deep and lasting change.
Silvia Hartmann, PhD
© Silvia Hartmann 2003
EFT Emotional Freedom Techniques
with Silvia Hartmann