We already know that finding events as far back in the past as possible is ideal, and here is one more reason. Let’s start by putting events into two categories – cause and effect - then consider these examples:
- If it takes one uncomfortable encounter with a spider to develop a phobia, followed by another hundred events where spiders are scary, which ones are cause and which are effect?
- If we spend 10 years being ignored by a parent, and then fall into half a dozen relationships with absent partners, which events are cause and which are effect?
Hopefully you can see that the first uncomfortable encounter with the spider and the 10 years with the parent would go in the cause category, and the rest would fall in the effect category.
Early in life we are gathering experiences and making generalizations about how the world works. At some point, we have enough data to make a decision and form a belief about ourselves or the world. All the experiences after that point are then colored by the new belief, leading us into the patterns that we eventually want to change.
Without a proper understanding of cause and effect, a common EFT strategy is to target the events in the pattern, like the most recent scary spiders and unavailable romantic partners. Most of these events are in adulthood and fairly current, but most importantly, they are after the decision point which means they are a result of the belief rather than a cause. While it does make sense to most clients to address these symptomatic events, we really want the causative or originating events - before the pattern started – for best results.
When we can't identify the exact moment when the belief developed, we can work with probability and just look as early in the history as possible. Here are some helpful guidelines:
Before age 10: These events are ideal because so many beliefs are formed during this phase of development. Access can be difficult when the client no longer remembers them.
Age 10-20: Events in this range can be ideal targets on their own, especially for social issues, or they can provide access into the events before age 10.
Adulthood: These events are more likely to be effect than cause. However, with that awareness you can address them with the intention of making earlier connections.
Which events led you, or your client, into the fear or belief that you are trying to shift? Asking this one question will transform your EFT results from average to outstanding.