TINA CRAIGEFT Master Practitioner and Trainer
Co-Author, Gold Standard EFT Tutorial

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Many online demonstrations of EFT include long paragraphs of inspiring or humorous Setup language. Watching those demonstrations can lead someone to believe that language is the key to success with EFT. With Gold Standard EFT we try to help dedicated students see that the other EFT skills, like asking good questions, being specific, testing, and focusing on specific events can represent far greater skill than producing fancy Setup language.

If you really want to develop your EFT skills, try this exercise.

Give up the quest for bigger, better language...at least for a while. Resist the temptation to include more of the issue, show off your amazing intuition, or simply make your client laugh. Operate with the basic EFT setup phrase only and use just a few words to describe the “problem.”

It will probably work beautifully for a while, but eventually you'll get stuck. If you can't turn to language, what are the other options? That's your opportunity to learn something new!

If you have studied Gold Standard EFT, you’ll see that being specific is an important next step.

The process of breaking an issue into its smaller parts will help you find better, more specific targets. It will teach you how to ask more effective questions, work with the Tabletop/Table Legs metaphor and improve your detective work. That, in turn, will show you how emotional issues are constructed, and provide valuable experience for working with other issues. In addition, the 0-10 intensity ratings are much more reliable when you’re measuring one specific thing at a time. And once you have become specific enough, the basic language is really all you need for results in every round.

Notice that any time we try to put more words around “the problem”, we end up making the problem bigger. Setup phrases turn into paragraphs of expression, including all of the different aspects and issues and beliefs that may be connected.  It’s like casting out a wider net to capture more of the issue at once.

What most people fail to realize is that by casting that bigger net, they have contradicted the principle of being more specific.

When the net gets wider, so does the client’s focus, and then we need to consider another EFT principle called switching aspects. When a client keeps jumping from one aspect to another, your session can easily become a disorganized daisy chain of issues that seem to go around in circles. By using concise, basic language in your Setups, you will only be targeting one small thing at a time. Your client will be less likely to bring other aspects or events into focus, and the results will be much easier for you both to see.

The allure of bigger language is usually only prevalent when using a Top Down Approach, which means starting at the symptom level and working through current issues to get down to the cause. If you’re a student of Gold Standard EFT, you would skip the surface work and focus your effort on clearing specific events with Tell the Story Technique. Once you have narrowed a problem down to its contributing emotional issues, and narrowed those issues down to specific events, and then work towards clearing each aspect within each event individually, then you are already being very specific and the most effective language options will be really obvious.  It just takes more skill to get there.

Don't let language be your only trick. Limit yourself to five words or less for referencing "the problem" in your Setup, then use that restriction to develop all the other tools. Your results are sure to improve.