In a trainer's meeting once, the matter was raised of two rather persistent problems. Two very important components of EFT were being consistently overlooked, ignored, forgotten - or were simply flying over students' heads: Specific Events and Aspects.
The first one I already knew about. In spite of joking with my workshop attendees that they should consider having the words "specific events" tattooed on the insides of their eyelids so they'd never forget, I had seen over and over again that this important rule was being bypassed in their sessions. Specific events, for the uninitiated (and, too often, for the initiated as well), are where EFT's lasting effectiveness comes from...
addressing specific events - the "what happened", usually in childhood - that form the foundations of the problems clients were presenting with.
The second one, Aspects, was a bit of a surprise, though I suppose it shouldn't have been, considering its close relationship to Specific Events. It was noted in the call that practitioner candidates who were otherwise doing a great job of grasping the fundamentals of EFT were, based on their session notes and case studies, getting quite mixed up about what the term Aspects even meant. In brief, Aspects are the separate components of an experience. If the Specific Event was "When the Coach told me I was off the team", the Aspects might be:
I sometimes use the Buddhist analogy of blind men describing an elephant. One says "Elephants are thick like a pole", another says "They're long and thin like a snake" another says "They're sharp like a spear" and the other says "They're big and floppy like a fan". The elephant is so big that none of them realise what each one of them are exploring with their hands is only one Aspect of the elephant - so they each think the whole elephant is like the trunk, or one leg, or the tail that that blind man is experiencing with his limited perspective.
It's not a perfect metaphor but it's one that's easy to remember. If the elephant is the event, the Aspects of the elephant (tail, trunk, leg, etc.) are the sounds, tastes, textures, smells and sights - in other words the sensory perceptions by which the event entered the consciousness.
And imperfect though the metaphor might be, I think it serves to remind us of the relationship between Specific Events (the elephant) and Aspects (the parts of the elephant).
Not so hard, right?
So why is it so hard for everyone to remember the importance of Specific Events in the first place? After puzzling over it for quite a while, I think I have the answer!
I noticed that my students and clients that had done the most work on themselves before coming to EFT seemed to have the most trouble working with Specific Events. It perplexed me. Here were intelligent, self-aware people with experience in psychology, philosophy and any number of other modalities - and yet there was almost a concerted effort to bounce away from Specific Events identified in a session, and go running back to generalities. This tendency is usually attributed to an unconscious desire to avoid the discomfort of accessing specifics - and yet I wasn't seeing this same tendency as pronounced in people for whom EFT was a first experience in self work.
Then it hit me what was going on! The goal of just about every other intervention I can think of is to identify these generalities. For example, the point of examining your history of being attracted to unavailable men is to eventually arrive at a eureka moment of something like "I don't feel worthy of love!" with the expectation that that insight alone has the potential to help you shift. And it well might.
But with EFT, the process is the opposite. Instead of using specific events to lead us to identify behavior patterns and core beliefs - we start with those big, general statements and beliefs...and then go looking for the experiences that created them.
So, if EFT doesn't seem to be working the way you want it to, try identifying and focusing on the specifics more and see what happens!
In the meantime, if you've taken any EFT training at all and you want to hone your skills - working on your own issues or working with others - you'll love my Clarity Tapping workshop. It's a one day online training and it's a fun way to go to the next level in effectiveness. More info, some enthusiastic reviews by people who have taken it, and the link to register here: Clarity Tapping™