I love to do group work. The synergy of people tapping in a group and the multiplier effect of Borrowing Benefits makes group work energizing, fun, and cost effective for the participants.
To this end, I launched a group in May 2012 dedicated to removing blocks to abundance. My concept was to use the EFT philosophy rather than Law of Attraction or prosperity-mindset tenets, to see what could happen when sustained group work focused not on materializing income or goods, but on removing the energetic blocks to living an abundant life however the individual defines it.
This inaugural group had seven members. I had hoped for ten, and in retrospect found that seven was a more manageable number. I intended to hold one-hour weekly meetings for three months to give the participants time to learn and assimilate mindset and behavior changes. My format was to teach the precepts of EFT, and tap in a group on the issues that group members brought to the table. We ended up having several 90 minute sessions to cover holidays and other conflicts on my calendar. By the end of the session in July, the 90 minute format was the clear winner with the group.
Most of the group had done or were doing spiritual or mindfulness practices of various sorts. Several had done EFT. To that extent, the group was aligned on the self-awareness scale. This gave us a common conceptual framework for our work, although not necessarily EFT concepts.
Establishing Ground Rules
Key to the success of a group is the establishment of safety. I gave the group three ground rules to start with: confidentiality of what was shared in the group; focus on working on ourselves rather than each other; and permission to share only what we wanted to share.
Confidentiality of group discussions is an obvious guideline, but the other two ground rules are uniquely possible because of EFT.
Focus on working on ourselves rather than on each other is enabled through Borrowing Benefits, assuring that everyone is getting work done even when we’re verbally addressing one person’s issue. This helped keep the group from going into “fix-it” mode whenever a member presented an issue. Later in the course of the work some peer coaching and feedback naturally took place, once the group was feeling safe and bonded.
The third ground rule, permission to share or not share, is one of the most delightful benefits of tapping over other kinds of group work. As practitioners know, people will benefit from tapping even if they keep silent about their pressing emotional issues. In addition, given the universal nature of the problems we humans face, it’s likely that everyone’s issues will get surfaced even if members don’t verbalize their own problems.
I devised a pre- and post- assessment that asked the group to measure their satisfaction on six measures of their lives. This was for my own use, to see where the work was and was not effective, and also for the group members’ use, to help them perceive progress at the end (and avoid the Apex effect.)
On a simple line continuum, they were asked at the first meeting to make a mark to indicate how satisfied they were with their lives financially, socially, in significant relationships, in leisure time, professionally, and their physical and emotional health. The categories were intentionally broad and the endpoints were “Not!” and “Totally”. There were no numbers or words on the line, to avoid getting people cognitively stuck on whether they were “4” versus “5” or “somewhat” vs. “mostly”. Each group member put their sheet in an envelope, and I explained that I would not be looking at them until after the post-measurement was done at the last class.
Organizing the Material: Being the Change
The first weeks focused on doing straightforward EFT with homework each week. I often shared articles from EFTFree.net, and other participants sometimes shared things that helped them, not always EFT-related. I introduced the group to Faster EFT and we used it a small percentage of the time; otherwise, we used the short-cut rounds with set-up statement. In the early classes we identified writing on our walls, family and cultural conditioning about money, success and abundance. Each week started with a brief check-in and discussion of what people had observed in their practice the week before. The goal was to starting “being” the change so that we could learn to observe the change. We discussed risks of letting go of these, and moved into the power of feeling gratitude as an abundance practice.
Improvement in the group members’ circumstances and attitudes happened very quickly, more quickly than I had anticipated. In addition, group safety built quickly due to everyone’s willingness to “go there” and to be present with acceptance of each other’s processes. It was a very inspiring group!
In Part II I’ll share the second and third sections of our group work, and the exciting and sometimes surprising changes that were made.
Ange Dickson Finn is an AAMET Accredited Certified EFT Advanced Practitioner. She is based in Houston, Texas, USA, and works with clients over the phone and via Skype. Ange has helped clients with issues including physical pain, health and well-being, work-related stress, equestrian sports and relationships. Visit her on the web at www.TapIntoYourself.com or www.RideWithoutFear.com.
From the EFTfree Archives, which are now a part of AAMET International.
Originally published on August 19, 2012.