EFT and Using Personal Dialogues to Facilitate Closures
Using Personal Dialogues to Facilitate Closures
This article on personal dialogues is a more detailed expansion of one of the approaches discussed in the chapter that I wrote called “EFT for Turning Points” which was published in the par excellence book “EFT & Beyond” (2009) compiled by Pamela Bruner and John Bullough. My chapter in the book is concerned with facilitating the resolution of severe traumatic experiences that were long lasting turning points for the worse.
Using Personal Dialogue EFT Techniques may uncover or locate important aspects that didn’t come up when using the Movie or Tell the Story techniques (which ideally should be applied thoroughly before using a dialogue approach).
There are times when it is useful to go a step further by encouraging the client to communicate directly to someone who was a key person in a distressing or painful experience, and to also talk empathetically to the younger self who experienced that event firsthand. This approach is also useful when a person repeatedly has imaginary conversations with someone that are negatively orientated.
Talking directly to a person involved
This personal dialogue consists of: (i) asking the client to talk directly to a key person, who was involved in a particular, painful experience, as if that person is present right now, and (ii) to do EFT on any intense emotions, feelings, impulses, assertions, happenings, stories, etc. that arise while doing this.
Many clients experience a more complete closure after openly and directly expressing their own personal truths and feelings about a happening, which can spontaneously result in moving towards forgiveness or letting go and closure.
Asking the client, a female, what she would like to say to a key person who was involved in an experience may bring up additional aspects that wouldn’t otherwise have come up just by telling the story. Some aspects may be related to things that occurred before or after the happening itself, such as misleading information beforehand or consequences, revelations, decisions or solutions following that event.
The usual way to do this is to get (or coach and coax) the client to speak and express herself as if she is actually talking directly to that person right now. One of the best ways to do this is to use an empty chair and get the client to imagine the person in that chair right now. If the other person has passed on or this is preferred by the client, it may work better to simply intend and send the message(s) out to that person wherever he/she may be and assume that she is getting the message (in some way or at some level).
Some example questions are as follows:
“If (the person involved) were here with us right now, what would you like to say (to him/her) about this particular experience?” (staying with this experience and not going off to any other events or issues), and
“OK, what else would you like to say to (person) about this experience?” or, if referring to a charged part of or moment in this experience, “OK, what else would you like to say to (person) about that?” and
“Is there anything else you’d like to say to (person) about that experience (or part thereof)?” and
“Would you like to expand on that?” (or similar) where it seems appropriate zero in on a charged area or topic.
Do EFT on anything that comes up that has emotional intensity, especially if it tends to persist or fixate attention. Doing this requires thorough familiarity with the core EFT techniques and skills. It may include tapping on exactly what the client said to the other person until the intensity drops to zero or it may require locating an underlying core issue or memory, and so forth.
Then, ask the same or a similar question again to see if there is anything else. Then, continue in this way until she has said what they want or need to say and is now more present and cheerful.
Gently draw the person out and encourage conversation. Make it clear that it’s very OK for the person to take their time while doing this or to take time out if needed to discuss what to say or how to express it accurately, and then do some more.
Talking directly to a younger self
This dialogue involves getting the client to talk directly to their younger self within the context of a specific painful memory (unless it’s a series of very similar events with the same “me” in each one) and tap on their emotional pain when it pops up or manifests in some way. The younger self is the “me” or “I” at the time of the incident. It may be when the person was a younger person or a teenager, child or baby, even in the womb.
As I see it (per my model and, therefore, under ongoing review), this younger self is typically an overwhelmed and disempowered “wounded self” who has experienced a painful event or situation. At a later time (even years or decades afterwards), this incident can be re-activated when triggered by something and this younger self then temporarily manifests herself (along with her personality traits).
When this is happening, the person has unconsciously identified with this younger self and is temporarily being or acting like that younger “I” or “me” (to a greater or lesser degree). In this state of being, the client may behave or solve things in an immature way (such as having a childlike tantrum). When things have settled down sooner or later, the person is likely to feel bad about it and give themselves a hard time with negative “I” and “me” self-judgements. When this occurs, identity confusion is taking place.
This technique aims to bring the existence and influence of a traumatized younger self into the client’s consciousness and to eliminate the tendency to automatically and subconsciously identify with that self (and with no more tantrums).
Healing a younger self would include giving the client some useful validation, information, advice, support, encouragement or similar that this younger self can understand (from the person’s point of view and within the person’s capacity to relate to or comprehend).
As the session rolls forward, watch out for any emotional intensities and tap on aspects that manifest using appropriate language. If just starting or the younger self isn’t showing any emotional intensity at this point, an example start could be:
“What would you (the client) like to say to this younger self (as you were then) concerning this particular experience?” And…
“What else would you like to say to your younger self (or similar) about what happened (or a specific part of the event)?” or similar.
Some clients may find it hard to know what to say and may need some assistance, even ‘guided positive self-talk’. In this case, you can discuss this or educate the client in what may be useful or suggest things to the client or even feed her possible things to say, maybe even phrase by phrase. What is communicated should be real, encouraging or nurturing and designed to help the earlier or younger self or inner child to overcome her emotional pain.
When the younger self is observably upset or emotional about something (as observed or sensed in the event or viewed in the client’s imagery), then get the client to tap for her (the younger self) including any other aspects that show up. The approach below is based on the article “Healing the Wounded Inner Child with EFT” by Carna Zacharias-Miller (which is available on the web). It is very effective. If the younger self feels all alone and she’s a little girl named Alice, these examples show how it should be worded:
“Even though Little Alice feels all alone…” (with the client tapping for her and saying, “Little Alice feels all alone” at each acupoint).
If that feeling shifts and is replaced by another aspect (as observed or sensed by the client in the imagery or impression of her), change the focus over to:
“Even though Little Alice is angry…” and so on.
Bring the intensity down and go with the flow. Doing this by tapping on emotional aspects that come up helps the younger self to cease being upset and it also helps the client to feel more at peace with that younger self – and, subsequently, more at peace with herself.
When working with a younger self and it’s nearing “the home run” or she is ready to go more deeply or when simply guided by intuition, the following can be quite powerful. It’s usual to tap on some or all of them (or some other empathetic statements tailored for this younger self) and do them in a sequence that seems most appropriate.
Get the client to talk directly to the younger self in a relevant, understandable, personal, genuine and encouraging way (with plenty of scope for creative empathy). Continuing the process, the next step is for the client to now be more specific or more open or deeper in expressing positive things such as in the examples below, while tapping continuously (most of the time or at your discretion):
“I want you to know that…” and/or,
“I acknowledge you for…” and/or,
“It is important that you know that…” and/or,
“I know that you did your best to…” and/or,
“I thank you for…” or similar.
Examples: “I want you to know that I am here for you“ and/or “I want you to know that this situation will pass and there are great times ahead“ and/or “I am very proud of you“ and/or “I know that you did the best you could at that time and I acknowledge you for that“ and/or “I am here now to support you, and you are not alone“ and/or “I want to tell you how proud I was when you did the right thing“ and/or “I want to thank you for being you and I love you“ and more.
There is often loving tears when going down this pathway into acceptance, love and peace. It helps the client to consciously separate the now self from the emotionally wounded self and opens the door to accepting and owning this part of him/her.
The Matrix ReImprinting EFT Technique and the Personal Dialogue EFT Techniques both address younger selves. They are complementary but in different ways as they come from different angles and tap on different pieces of the pie.
In Matrix ReImprinting, the client communicates and interacts directly with the younger self (in real time two-way communication plus the client imagining actually tapping on that self) and it is highly recommended to all serious EFT’ers and EFT practitioners.
NOTICE: This document may be passed on or freely copied or printed or shared providing that it is not altered at all or subtracted from or added to in any way and includes this notice plus the author’s name, website, date and the copyright notice.
Peter Graham, EFT Founding Master
Web site: www.tap4peace.com.au
6th of December 2012
Copyright 2012 by Peter D. Graham. All rights reserved.