There will be times when you might feel EFT is not working. For some reason you are stuck at the same SUDS level and can’t seem to get it down. Here are some things to check that might get you going again.

  1. Are you dehydrated?
  2. - Drink some water.

  3. Did you use the full basic recipe?
  4. It is natural tendency and often just as effective to use the short version of EFT however there are times when including the 9 Gamut may move things along. The 9 Gamut is useful for pain and the eye movements can be helpful because you might have visually locked onto an image at the time of a trauma.

  5. Did you use the sore spot and also say your affirmative phrase with intention and conviction?
  6. Again it is common to use the karate chop for the set up but sometimes the sore spot can be a more profound point to use. Try saying the affirmative phrase with more emphasis or even louder. You might try adding to your affirmative phrase, “I accept myself with infinite love and gratitude” or “I am learning to accept and forgive myself.”

  7. Are you being very specific?
  8. Being global with an issue can prevent EFT from moving along. Do not be general with your issue. Think of one very specific scene and tap on each one individually. For example: A global issue might be this awful relationship with my father. Now, focus on one incident one time in which you felt upset about your relationship with your father. For example “even though I feel hurt because my father did not attend my graduation”  It would be helpful to write down as many incidents you can think of with your dad that was distressing for you and work through your list one at a time.

  9. Did the issue change?
  10. Let’s say you were working on being angry with your husband because he did not call you to tell you he got tied up and would be late coming home. You tap on this but still feel angry and you think “this is not working”. Check to see if you are still angry about him not calling or are you angry with him because of another incident that occurred earlier in the week. The feeling remains the same but the issue/ aspect has shifted and changed.

  11. Did the feeling change?
  12. In this situation you may have been working with a feeling of anger and notice you are still upset after tapping. Check in with yourself to determine if the feeling is the same or has it shifted. Often underlying anger when cleared moves into a feeling of sadness or hurt. If the feeling has shifted pick up the new emotion and tap on the new feeling.

  13. Where do you feel it in your body?
  14. Tune inwards and take a scan of any discomfort you might be experiencing in your body when you focus on the feeling or specific event. Because we are a holistic organism, working on the physical discomfort can also reduce the emotion. Identify the specific location, sensation, and quality of the physical discomfort; use those descriptors in your set up and reminder phrases. Take a suds reading and start tapping. Addressing the problem through the body might be more effective in reducing your intensity.

  15. Have you asked yourself “Do I really want to get over this feeling”? No
  16. I have found in my experience with some clients that sometimes with anger or grief feelings they actually may not want to let these go. Sometimes being angry helps motivate us to make choices that we might otherwise be too fearful to follow through on, like leaving a dysfunctional or abusive relationship. Holding on to our feelings of grief around the loss of a love one can help us still feel connected to them and although you might be in pain you might not feel ready to let this go quite yet. That being said you might consider using phrases like… “even though I don’t want to let go of this anger because I’m afraid I won’t have the courage to leave”…or even though I am not ready to fully let go of my grief because… it’s too soon, or people will think I didn’t not love her.”.. etc.

  17. Have you asked yourself “Do I really want to get over this feeling? Yes
  18. Sometimes our conscious mind is saying yes! yes! I want to let this go but somehow the tapping does not seem to be effective. When this happens the unconscious mind is saying No! No! The unconscious mind is in the driver seat! Consider the possibility that there are fears hidden from our top of mind awareness that are contributing to bringing your vehicle to a full stall.  Some statements to reflect on are:

    I really don’t deserve to get over this.

    I should be punished for what I did.

    I won’t have an excuse anymore for…

    All my relationships will change.

    It is too scary, or not safe for me to let this go.

    I can’t change this. This will never work and I will never be well.

    In the literature these are known as SBS, secondary benefit syndrome. These are the kinds of fears that might put the brakes on progress. These hidden aspects or SBS are part of P.R. psychological reversals. I have found it helpful to first acknowledge you might be in a state of reversal since the basic karate chop or sore spot point might not have been effective in correcting. Start over and begin first by doing your set up with the phrase “Even though I am psychologically reversed in getting over this problem” and do a round of tapping directly on this. Then identify what you think might be going on from one of the above phrases and do a round or two of tapping on that. This could realign your system. Go back to the original distressing event or feeling that was not moving and tap again. It might take you a little longer, like a detour, but a worthwhile one to take if you are serious about moving forward.

  19. Does this feeling or situation/aspect remind me of something I have experienced in my past?

It really is amazing the complexity of how we are hardwired from our past experiences and how it can disrupt our energetic body. If you are not having much success and feel stuck ask yourself “Does this remind me of something similar from my past? First try applying EFT to the similar memory or experience from your past and then return to the current aspect you were working with and see if that opens a space for releasing the original disturbing feeling.

Is your SUD level increasing rather than decreasing? Individuals new to EFT, who have a history of unresolved trauma or have been diagnosed with a mental illness, might experience the opposite effect. Sometimes EFT can be so effective that a number of feelings emerge one on top of another like peeling the layers of an onion and you might not have the objectivity or skill to get yourself out of a state of overwhelm. Rather than just stopping abruptly because you feel scared continue tapping the points repeatedly, breathing steady and slowly at each point but do not focus on any issue or use any kind of reminder phrase. Just tap the points repeating rounds until your system settles down which it will. If you are determined to continue working on your issues make sure to get support from a professional therapist or EFT practitioner.

Hope this provides you with some strategies to try the next time you find EFT seemingly not working.