Stefan's EFT Articles
Why might my good feelings not last after an EFT breakthrough?
I had a client a while back who had heard about the effectivness of EFT
and called me to set up an appointment. He was a very unhappy person
and hoped that EFT would be the answer to his problems. In our first
session, I taught him how to do the basic tapping process, and we
discussed the roots to his unhappiness. In the second session, we
identified one of his key early experiences contributing to his current
unhappiness and completely cleared all of the pain from that experience
using EFT. He left the session feeling very good and excited about the
future. Four days later he called me and said that his good feelings
only lasted for three days, and he was feeling discouraged. Maybe this
EFT thing wasn't so great after all. I explained to him why his good
feelings didn't last and thought that my explanation might be helpful
Good Feelings Generally Do Last
of all, let me say that many people do experience their good feelings lasting after
having an EFT breakthrough. They no longer feel plagued by the issue
they addressed and are excited and encouraged by the effectiveness of
EFT. This leads to a feeling of lightness in their lives and
hopefulness about the future.
However, some people have a different experience. Like my client's experience above, they will feel much
better for a few days, but then the good feelings will "wear off" and
they will go back to feeling pretty much as bad as they did before,
maybe slightly better. What is happening in this situation?
There are a number of possible explanations for this phenomenon that
can apply to a given individual. We will start by discussing the most
common and simplest reason for good feelings not lasting. After that,
we will talk about some of the more subtle reasons.
There May Be Multiple Sources of the Bad Feelings
Let's say, for instance, that you have 10 big issues causing you to
feel bad in your life. If one issue is resolved using EFT, you may
temporarily feel much better from the success and from
relief from that issue. However, there are still 9 big issues left
contributing to you feeling bad! Those remaining issues may cause you to
fall back into feeling pretty much as bad as before (though if you
check within closely, you may notice feeling a little better than
before). This can be very discouraging, and some people quit at this
point, mistakenly thinking that EFT is not working for them.
If this is you, don't lose hope! EFT has worked and your life has
improved in that area. You just need to persevere and continue to clear
the remaining 9 issues. As you clear more and more of the issues, you
will keep feeling better and better.
We will now discuss some of the more subtle reasons for good feelings
not lasting in spite of having an EFT "breakthrough."
There May Be a "Problem" with Feeling Good
One possibility is that the person may have an issue with feeling
good itself. For instance, some people have the negative
belief/expectation that if they let themselves feel good, something bad
will happen. The "other shoe will drop." They may have had a number of
significant experiences growing up where something very bad happened
right after feeling particularly good. Alternatively, their parent(s)
may have expressed that type of belief over and over again until the
child absorbed the same expectation.
This fear/negative expectation would have to be cleared before it would
feel "safe" to feel good. If there were specific experiences of
something bad happening after feeling good, then those memories would
need to be cleared using EFT.
Once the memories have been cleared, it may still be necessary to clear
the fearful expection that something bad will happen if I let myself
"Even though I'm afraid that something bad will happen if I feel good..."
This same phrase could also be used to shift the negative belief/expectation that was absorbed from one's parents. Once
this fear/belief has been cleared, it will now feel safe to feel good.
Could this be another EFT breakthrough? Life would certainly feel
different once a belief like that has been changed.
General Issues Interfering with Feeling Good
There may be other reasons why it's not okay to feel good. For instance, a person may
feel "unworthy" of feeling good. Another person may believe that
feeling good leads to not accomplishing anything. "I'll just be a blissful slug." There are many
possible reasons why a person may have an issue with feeling good. Once
the reason is identified, it can be cleared in the same way as above
using EFT. Original experiences will need to be identified and then cleared with EFT.
There is a Hidden Investment in Feeling Bad
Another relatively common explanation for why the good feelings may not last is
the issue of "secondary gain." Secondary gain would be involved if
there is a hidden benefit to feeling bad. For example, a person may get
a lot of sympathy from friends and family for feeling bad. This person
may not be very good at having connections with others in any other
way. Subconsciously then, the person would be reluctant to give up that
source of sympathy (connection) and go back to feeling bad.
When secondary gain (hidden benefits) are involved, they can be tapped on to release them:
"Even though I will lose their sympathy if I feel good..."
In the case of a secondary gain, it is sometimes sufficient to tap on
the negative side of the hidden benefit as in the example above. Other
times, EFT will have to be applied to the specific original experiences
that culminated in the hidden benefit. In this particular example, it
could also be helpful to learn new, more healthy ways to connect with
people rather than relying on sympathy. Once the hidden benefit has
been addressed, the good feelings will come naturally.
It is my greatest hope that this article has helped you understand and
give you a better perspective as to why bad feelings might return after
an EFT breakthrough. It's understandable to get discouraged, but hang
in there. Take hope from each success. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Persevere with EFT and joy is indeed possible for you.
Hugs to all,
Stefan Gonick, EFT Practitioner, Trainer & Mentor to EFT Practitioners