eradicating shame TEST YOUR WORK
As a new practitioner I did not want to test my work because I was afraid that it would prove that EFT didn’t work, mostly because I’d not applied it skillfully enough.
It’s imperative that we test our work, especially with shame as clients (like most of us) simply wants to get away from painful feelings and we can all pretend for a while that everything is ok; Robert Smith (FasterEFT) says thoughts and feelings buried alive don’t die.
One of the ways I like to test our work is by asking the client to imagine that something they reported as feeling shame about was splashed all over the front pages of the newspapers – and tap on all the remain- ing aspects that comes up.
Testing fulfills another crucial role. Those familiar with NLP will know about our internal ‘convincer’. Testing the work provides powerful proof to the client that the technique has worked – convincing the convincer that it’s real will only help enforce the new learnings and understandings as clients (physically and metaphori- cally) reinvent themselves as they let go of the shame.
I love the power of language and find the following type statements very powerful to start loosening the iron grip of shame:
- Even though there is NO WAY this can ever change for me, and all the tapping in the world’s not going to make any difference and I’ve had this forever, I’d like to be open to the possibility that this could change… and then throw in some ‘what if it could change’ or ‘what if it was possible to change’ statements on the other points.
- Even though I hate myself I’d like to be able to like (or forgive, or love) myself
- Even though I’m a very bad person, rotten to the core and I can never forgive myself I’d like to able to forgive myself…
Chris Howard says that ‘Prob- lems of imagi- nation require solutions of imagi- nation.’ Ask your clients (whilst tap- ping) to imagine what it would be like to be shame
free – ask them to write about it before the next ses-
sion and/or help them with a short visualization where they can step into that imaginary place of being shame free and ask them to describe it in detail – what do they see, hear, feel, think and do – while tapping.
This allows new neural pathways to form and allow for the possibility of change. If it’s true that what we focus on expands then starting to focus on what they want rather than what they have is a step in the right direc- tion.
USING TOOLS FROM OTHER ARCHETYPES
Sometimes tools from other quarters don’t work well with shame. As example, one of the tools in the Sov- ereign quarter is blessing; with shame based people, blessing (complimenting or honouring them) often induces more shame as they simply cannot believe it to be true; since they know they are not what other people see (they are bad, remember?) they feel even worse that people are seemingly unable to see their ‘real’ bad selves. ‘If only they knew how bad I really am…’ It is sometimes less stressful when they get rejected because even though it may hurt there is less inner tension as at least the other person’s behaviour (rejecting them) is consistent with their own inner be- liefs and expectations.
As the shame gets released and the internal mes- sage shifts aspects from ‘I am bad’ to ‘I am not good enough’ (the shaming message in the Sovereign archetype) the client may respond better to tools from that quarter.
RULES AND RESULTS
As always when we work with people rather than things, there are no hard and fast rules. I love Gary Craig’s philosophy which I paraphrase as getting re- sults is all that matters.
If you’re currently able to help clients transform shame without even using the word, referring to the concept or using any of these suggestions – great. If you have other tools, techniques and tips that get results please share them. If you’ve tried everything else and your client is not moving ahead, consider the possibility that shame may be the glue that keeps them stuck, try some of these tools and see what happens; I’d love to hear back from you!
Performance Consultant & Master Results Coach
AAMET LIFE SPRING 2011 www.aamet.org
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