Before I tap with a client, I will often tell them what they can expect to happen after we clear emotional distress. The reason I do this is because, otherwise, they will not believe that tapping influenced the changes. If they fail to see this connection, the magic of tapping will be lost on them and future tapping opportunities will missed. Here’s one example.
My client, “Ben” called in a state of distress asking to tap on the spot. As a lawyer working for a Wall street firm in New York he was so overwhelmed, he didn’t know what to do. Due to time constraints, our emergency session was very focused on reducing emotional charges without discussing details of the situation he was experiencing. This client is an experienced tapper and so we were able to work quickly, dispensing with story telling and SUDS ratings.
I let Ben start to explain the numerous overwhelming aspects of his current condition. Each time he got to an emotionally charged place, I asked him to switch from his mental state of telling the story to a clear and intentional focus on feeling the emotion coming up, paying particular attention to physical feelings.
First, Ben was dismayed because a colleague had turned out to be less of a team player than Ben had hoped, keeping himself in the limelight without attributing certain work to Ben. He explained how he felt confused, angry and betrayed. Ben really wanted to discuss the details and mentally figure out what had happened and whether he had done anything to cause the colleague’s apparent shift. I guided him to simply feel each emotion. When you focus on an emotion and there is no resistance, the emotions clear in moments. Confusion quickly gave way to anger, betrayal and sadness.
Next, Ben switched to his distress about being trapped in an out of balance life, believing that he had few viable options for making a life change. Without discussing the reality of the situation, I simply had him feel the feeling of being trapped, explaining briefly that this was surely not a new feeling, but rather one that has and would repeat, unless the original source of it cleared. We didn’t have time to search for and find root causes, so I again directed him to focus fully on feeling trapped.
Rather than tapping globally on this overwhelming job situation, I kept identifying each aspect as it arose and encouraged him to pause and feel each one while tapping. Each time he advanced to another aspect.
A new aspect arose around Ben’s concern that the supervising partner would judge his performance negatively since this partner was unaware of all the facts. I had Ben imagine the partner standing in front of him in a judgmental stance looking skeptical and disapproving. Ben felt that and continued tapping.
We addressed other minor concerns and there was some conversation interspersed in between our focused tapping.
Finally, we ended. Ben was emotionally more calm. Within 12 hours, the following things happened:
- A major event took place that resulted in the entire work flow being delayed 2 months which will alleviate the extreme pressure he’s been working under.
- The partner, out of the blue, sent an email to the bossy colleague essentially validating a piece of Ben’s work the colleague had criticized.
- The partner uncharacteristically called Ben for a chat. During the call, the partner suggested that Ben needed some time off This gave Ben the opportunity he’d been looking for to mention upcoming vacation plans.
Ben reported these events to me the following day and said, “let’s keep tapping.” I had previously told Ben that relief would come when we tapped on the emotions. I even suggested that one possibility that might happen was a delay in the project. More precisely, as emotions cleared, cognitive shifts happened. As we change our underlying core beliefs, our environment changes to align with these beliefs. Tapping practitioners see this every day and that’s why we love tapping.