Cognitive Shifts


Lecturing a client instead of fostering his or her own development of cognitive shifts while tapping can be disempowering as well as ineffective. Clients shift when they are in the drivers seat in terms of the choices that they make. Tapping is a powerful way to unblock any meridian which hence opens up the client to a new way of thinking. Let the tapping do the work. Once a client is open, it is important to respect that they get to choose the perspective that they want to stand in. Different ways of looking at an issue is explored, and the perspective that is chosen is one that feels right to the client.

As an EFT practitioner, it is important to help clients make new cognitive shifts by supporting them as they wander down the path of sorting out what a specific event or life theme means to them. A technique that can be used to invite the clients to be in the drivers seat is to ask, What is coming up for you now? or What are your thoughts about this now? at the end of a round of tapping. When they give a response that indicates a shift in their thinking, they can then be asked, Is this way of thinking different for you? which allows them to recognize that there, in fact, has been a cognitive shift. The recognition can help them more deeply anchor it.

Another technique to empower the client is that intuitive hits (insights that the practitioner has in the observer role which can also be new perspectives) may be offered throughout the tapping session. The client decides if those hits are true or not with regard to how they perceive an experience. One of the questions that can be asked after a hit is: Is that true for you? If the response is a negative one, then they can be asked: What is true for you? This may spark the client to remember and challenge a belief that may not be in their best interest.

At times, the clients physical rather than verbal responses indicate whether they are resonating with the intuitive hits that are being offered. Noticing the physical shift (sigh or facial expression) can be followed with a question like: What just happened for you? The response may be a new cognitive shift or insight which then may point in a new direction that needs to be explored. It becomes a dance between practitioner and client as new versions of their dream are explored and then expanded upon with these new insights. Again, the client gets to choose which beliefs land or not; and which beliefs they will stand inor not. When a client has a physical response, for example, a release at a specific tapping meridian, it can be an indicator that a new experience has emerged or the client has shifted aspects. For example, one client had a fear of dentists. While being tapped, there was a visual release on the gall bladder meridian (SE), a heavy sigh, which indicated that a shift may have occurred. She was asked; If there was something rageful about this fear, what would it be? The client then remembered a traumatic incident when she was just four years old and pinned in the dental chair by two hygienists and bit the finger of the third hygienist trying to insert a tool into her mouth. Her emotional response led to her understanding her fear of dentists in a new way which then freed her up to make a cognitive shift. In actuality, her fear of dentists was secondary to the rage that she experienced while at the dentists office. After this cognitive shift, she reported that two weeks later when she visited the dentist, she was so relaxed that she fell asleep in the chair. The practitioners responsibility is to read the physical cues and check into their meaning.

Another way to foster cognitive shifts is to play back the responses of clients during the detective work of uncovering limiting beliefs. It is not necessary that the play back is verbatim. It can be an expanded view that invites the client to either embrace or reject a new way of thinking. Again, checking in with the client either verbally by asking, Is this true? or nonverbally by paying attention to the physical cues, is paramount.

Asking powerful questions that require a client to make cognitive shifts in order to answer them is important. It is their answers that lead to tapping out their limiting beliefs. For instance, many clients can easily identify what they dont want. An important question is: What do you want? What gets in the way of you having it? Another is: If you looked at this in another way, what would it be? This provides fuel for cognitive shifts which are client-driven.

Good detective work is essential in helping clients foster cognitive shifts. Powerful questions will support clients in making those shifts.

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