A lot of our problems are repetitive.
We find our clients (or ourselves) getting into the same situations time after time.
Sometimes people have problems that keep cropping up.
- They get into arguments with their teenage son.
- They feel tense in team meetings.
- They raid the fridge just before bedtime.
We can use the repetitive nature of these problems to ‘unpack’ and resolve them because the memories of these events usually contain everything you need to work with.
As well as being a record of an event, the memory has connections to all the emotions, beliefs, perceptions, physiology, and all the other parts of the problem that need to be soothed with tapping.
Knowing this, you can work on problems that aren’t actually happening right now.
The ‘Three Memories And A Fantasy’ method gives you the ability to access all the features of a repetitive problem, resolve them with tapping, and mentally rehearse doing things differently. Completing the process usually creates a very different experience for clients when those troublesome situations happen again.
You can find out more about working with memories this way in Tapping For Problems That Aren’t There
- Identify the issue: what happens, when does it happen, and how does it happen?
- Ask the client to think of three occasions when the problem appeared.
- Ask the client to pick the memory that best represents the problem.
- Ask the client to go through the memory in their mind’s eye from the time it started until the first emotional ‘snag’ in the memory, i.e., the first tappable aspect.
- Tap out that aspect.
- When that is done, ask them to continue to run through the memory until the next aspect appears, then clear that aspect.
- Repeat this process for each aspect of the memory (NB: this is like the second part of the EFT Movie Technique).
- Some aspects may lead deeper into the problem and into the past.
- Work on those issues as you normally would with tapping.
- Then return to the memory.
- When the first memory has been cleared, ask them to remember the second memory and run through it in the same way. (Other aspects that were not obvious in the first memory may appear in this memory and can be processed.) Typically, this memory will feel much less charged.
- When the second memory is clear, ask them to think of the third memory; this will have probably changed quite a bit and may even be neutral because of the generalisation effect from working on the first two memories.
- Finally, ask them to imagine the next time they would expect this problem to occur and run through that fantasy of the upcoming event, looking for hidden snags. Typically, this imaginary experience will be much less triggering. You can tap on anything that arises at this stage.
- Once they can run through the imaginary scenario without difficulty, the process is complete.
Advantages of this approach
- It uses memory to access the problem, rather than the client having to be in the original predicament.
- It allows you to access and process all the aspects of the problem, including the hidden ones, in an easy way.
- As the memories change with processing, clients feel encouraged that something is changing as previously difficult memories are transformed by tapping.
- Imagining the problem situation after tapping gives them a chance to mentally rehearse a more useful scenario.
- This process may take you to some of the underlying issues without having to go fishing for earlier memories because these issues just show up naturally as part of the processing.
Clients who have used this approach have often reported that their next encounter with the problem situation has been very different from their previous experiences.
Important: Because some memories are encoded in different ways than others, they may need more subtle processing. Please read A Crucial Distinction For Releasing Troublesome Memories With EFT and Tapping For Problems That Aren’t There for more information.