EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) suggested approaches

How to uncover a person's "hidden emotional issues"

Introduction by Healing Cancer Naturally copyright © 2007

The reader not yet familiar with EFT (an emotional hybrid or variant of acupressure which can be self-applied or received via an EFT practitioner) is advised to read Introduction to EFT: Healing Mind and Body By Reestablishing Healthy Energetic Flow as well as the book The EFT Manual.

The following article penned and copyright by Gary Craig belongs to the “Frequently Asked Questions & Answers about EFT” section originally published on emofree.com and was triggered by the question of an EFT practitioner who was “stuck” in his treatment of a man with cancer.

It addresses one of EFT’s “finer points” of possibly particular relevance and importance for cancer patients: hidden issues. These are issues such as past traumatic events, painful occurrences and realizations, unexpected shocks etc. that are presumed to negatively affect the person’s “energy flow” and energy system (and hence to contribute to disease formation incl. cancer) but which seem buried, forgotten and inaccessible.

Such accessibility is deemed (and often confirmed as) necessary to make them amenable to energetic resolution/rectification via EFT or similar energetic techniques which address the body’s energy system.

When asking his question, the EFT practitioner specified that the cancer involved was of a kind unamenable to chemotherapy or radiation treatment (in fact, precious few cancers truly are, see On Conventional Cancer Treatment and On Cancer Statistics).

His client (the cancer patient), believing that most cancers are caused by a preceding trauma, hoped that Energy Psychology techniques might help him - the hitch being that he couldn't recall having suffered any traumas (and was unable to feel any anxiety about his illness), i.e. seemed rather emotionless.

The EFT practioner tried numerous approaches. He used the EFT “Basic Recipe” on unspecific statements like "even though I have this cancer..." as well as specific ones such as "even though I have this low energy". He "forced” the client to find some old experiences that he could remember were bad for him, for instance "even though my son began smoking...".

He also used brainstorming techniques on the subject of cancer such as “even though I am afraid of spreading”, “even though I am afraid of cancer in [organ], “even though I am afraid of dying/of hurting others” etc. With all that, he was unable to find any aspect that got the 0-10 intensity of his client up [this refers to the so-called SUDS level of emotional intensity one feels about any given issue, with 0 representing no intensity and 10 maximum intensity].

Feeling stumped, possibly off-track and unable to find the real issues which seemed to be veiled both from the client and himself, the practitioner asked Gary Craig for advice regarding ways to address this client’s apparently hidden issues. Gary proposed the following methods and thoughts.

How do I find a client's "hidden issues?"

by Gary Craig, originally published at emofree.com

Who knows if we are ever on the right track? Sometimes we have to keep coming after a problem from different approaches until we achieve some success.

It is my non-medical view that most of our ailments are manifestations of unresolved emotional issues (not just from trauma, as your client supposes). This includes cancer and most other degenerative diseases.

But remember, that is my non-medical view. It comes from watching physical symptoms subside as we resolve the guilts, fears, angers, traumas, etc. that build up over a lifetime. There can be other causes, of course, but going down the emotional avenue has produced partial to complete results so often that, to me, healing practitioners should [put] it on top of their "cause pile."

Your client can't find anything that brings up intensity. Maybe he has led a pristine and sheltered life, but that's not likely. The mere fact that he has cancer is evidence, at least to me, that something important is unresolved.

He may be repressing something or is just so used to living with certain emotional states that he thinks they are normal (thus not worthy of resolving). Unless these things are explored with the client, they will go unnoticed and continue to limit the client's life. Examples of this may include...

  • A feeling of inadequacy because he never matched up to what he thinks his parents or society expected of him. This can be a big one and the client is often unaware of it.
  • A "forgotten fear" that was established in childhood and is carried over to the adult belief system. This could be something as simple as a monster movie seen on television. Dracula or Frankenstein, for example, could generalize to, "You never know who people REALLY are. No one can be trusted." I know that's not logical but people tend not to respond according to logic. They usually respond emotionally, however irrational that may be.
  • This category can also include a long list of emotional issues that the client has put on the back burner because of his belief that nothing can be done about them anyway.

Other possibilities include (1) having a deep set guilt for something he has done (or didn't do) and he simply doesn't want to discuss it or look at it and (2) your client thinking he has "sinned" and thus, according to his religious persuasion, God may be out to get him. These can be difficult to uncover because they seem soooo normal to the client. This "God thing" underlies more issues than we might think. It is, in many cases, an important, but undiscussed, core issue.

Getting to these "hidden issues" often requires experience and artistic approaches. In addition to relying on my intuition, I find the following questions quite useful in uncovering hidden or core issues....

"If you could live life over again, what person or event would you prefer to skip?"

"When was the last time you cried and why?"

"Who/what makes you angry and why?"

"What is your biggest sadness orl regret?"

"What is missing to make your life perfect?"

"Name 3 fears you would rather not have."

"Will you be going to heaven?"

"What do you wish you had never done?"

These often take us down useful avenues toward core issues. Sometimes the answers place guilt on something outside of the client....e.g. "Joe ridiculed me." However, such responses are usually outer projections of an inner state and it is that inner state that needs to be addressed. In my example, Joe likely triggered some past event within the client and that past event often holds the key to meaningful healing. Good detective work will find it.

Hope this helps, Gary

P.S. Gary Craig shares related insights in an article called How do you help a “non-feeling” client?.

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