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Using Clean Language in EFT

Using Clean Language in EFT

AMT Trainer Ben Huss writes: "Have you noticed when using EFT with metaphors you often make the most substantial shifts and behavioural changes? Would you like a simple and easy way to elicit rich metaphors to work on while tapping?"

Read on for more information on using Clean Language in EFT...

One of my favourite ways of facilitating deep change is working with and transforming metaphors. Whether it is simple EFT “where do you feel that?” “what colour is that?”  “what does it feel like when you touch it?” or the more advanced forms of EFT such as Deep State Repatterning and Matrix Re-imprinting. I always found it almost magical when, while tapping, spontaneously my clients would say “its like....” or “its as if..” and then proceeded to give me an abstract metaphor. For example "I feel like I'm stuck in green goo. It's really hard to move, and the harder I try the harder it gets” and “It feels like there is an old wrinkly hand wrapped around my neck trying to strangle me... and it is making it hard for me to breath... I am gasping for air."

With my background in Hypnotherapy I am familiar with the power of metaphors. You only need to look at our dreams to realise we think in metaphor. Our daily language is bursting with metaphors too, especially when trying to describe complex or abstract ideas (well done if you noticed 'bursting' is a metaphor).The old adage ‘a picture is worth a 1000 words’ could not be truer. So much information is contained within a metaphor, and that information is unique to you and your experiences. e.g. “I am at a crossroad”, “I feel under pressure” and “I feel stuck”. Did you know we use 6 metaphors a minute in everyday talk?

It can be extremely useful to listen out for these metaphors while tapping. Metaphor is the language of the unconscious mind and when people experience change, both their metaphor and their life experience generally associated with it changes too.

I was talking to Judy Rees, author of ‘Clean Language’ based on the works of David Grove and found her concepts perfectly complement Tapping.

You may be surprised to find that Clean Language, in its most basic form, only consists of 12 questions. Even more interestingly, I have found that an entire EFT session can be conducted by only asking two key questions:

1. "What kind of (X) is that (X)?"
2. "And is there anything else about (X)?"

'X' is a key word the client used.

Although I don’t recommend limiting yourself to just two questions, here is a transcript of a session with one of my clients where I did just that.

My client is a proffessional who works in a very well paid job in the city, He is confident at work and with his friends, but is struggling forming romantic relationships. In this session we worked on his overwhelming sensation of anxiety when he approaches women.

Client: I find it hard to talk to women
Ben: And when you talk to women, what kind of [hard] is that [hard]?
-Looking confused, but then answers
Client: Well, my heart starts to beat really fast and my breathing becomes shallow, I know I really want to talk to her, but then I am scared she will reject me, and everyone else will laugh at me.
Ben: And what kind of [scared], is that [scared]?
Client: Well, lets say I’m in a bar. Everyone is going to watch me get knocked down, and everyone is going to point and laugh.
-Notice the metaphor ‘knocked down’. I chose to go with ‘point’ because in his voice there was more emphasis, but noted ‘knocked down’ to potentially revisit later.
Ben: And what kind of [point] is that [point]?
Client: It's like arrows all around me, closing in.
-We now have another metaphor ‘arrows’. We could tap on this, but I wanted the client to develop this metaphor more.
Ben: And what kind of [arrows] is that [arrows]?
Client: They are about a foot long and have a sharp metal tip with feather fletchings, and they are all around me.
Ben: And is there anything else about these [arrows]?
Client: They will really hurt if they reach me.
-I could have asked about the 'hurt', and tapped that away, I choose to ask more about ‘reach’
Ben: And is there anything else about [reach]?
Client: Well, they aren’t touching me yet, but they are very close. They will pierce me if I move.
-We did a round of tapping and I asked the client what he notices.
Client: The arrows are further away now. This gives me more space to move.
-A couple more rounds of tapping and again I asked the client what he notices.
Client: That’s interesting, the arrows have reversed!
-It is important for me to refuse the temptation to give my interpretation. A central idea in Clean Language mirrors that which I believe separates good from excellent EFT practitioners - the practice of keeping your advice, opinions and assumptions to yourself. This is ‘behaving cleanly’.
Ben: Imagine being in a bar, and you notice a woman you wish to talk to.
-We have had a big shift, so I wanted to run him through a situation and see how he now reacts given his new metaphor.
Client: Actually, I just noticed these arrows are MY arrows, and I have the bow too. This sounds silly but kind of like Cupid. I can fire the arrows at whoever I choose and it doesn’t hurt them. When I fire it at the lady across the bar, it creates interest and I feel compelled to talk to her.

I asked a few more ‘Clean Language’ questions to develop and enrich this new metaphor and then ended the session. One week later my client called me to say the other day he was in a bar with his friends and for the first time since graduating from university he approached three different women that night. He was nervous, but fired his arrow and did it anyway.

Key learnings:
It was his metaphor. If I had projected my beliefs I probably would have thought to eliminate the arrows altogether, but by working with his metaphor and not interjecting my beliefs he transformed it into something appropriate for him which I could never have thought to suggest.

Also note that throughout the entire session, apart from the tapping, I only used two sentences to gather information. This is a unique quality of Clean Language. There was plenty of scope to investigate other areas to get a complete picture. There are many more questions when working with Clean Language one can use too. When I work with clients I don’t just use Clean Language, but now you are aware how useful it can be.

Have fun using Clean Language and let me know how it works for you.

Ben is an GoE EFT Trainer and will be running workshops in London throughout 2011. He sees clients privately and also runs regular affordable tapping circles. www.EFTclinic.com

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