One of the most common questions I encounter from practitioner trainees (and a hurdle that I faced as an EFT artist/ practitioner) is:
How do I complete/conclude an EFT session safely?
How do I close a session when there is still so much to do?
How do I stick to the time I have allocated for a session?
In EFT trainings I focus a fair amount of time on ways of creating rapport, beginning a session and being present with the client in a very real way. However I now include time to delve into ways to close a session. I notice that some practitioners stumble in this area of completing a session just like I did. Often, because the results with EFT are so rapid and the cognitive shifts are occurring so fast that it is easy to want to keep going, and so forget to give the client time to absorb the work that they have done. Also, if there are many aspects it is easy to keep going with EFT and come the end of the session the client is midstream with his or her next aspect and time is up. The practitioner then either has to continue beyond the allocated time (not entirely professional) or the client leaves feeling “What just happened there?”
Bringing Awareness to the Shifts
My belief is, the act of closing a session elegantly is set in place from the first deep breath at the beginning of a session (perhaps with a pre-frame), and from the first AHA by testing the results and letting the shifts land and sink in. When a client has come to see a practitioner to find closure or resolution on a problem or long-term challenge, tidying the loose ends and being thorough becomes very important. Part of that process involves ensuring that the client notices and is made aware of their changes in perception. That in every session you have time to recap what has been accomplished. The practitioner that is working from a place of intuitive awareness, will know when and how to mirror these shifts.
Often a client will come with tons of issues, as we begin to work together it can feel a bit like opening Pandora’s box, scary, endless and very unsettling. Staying focused on the cognitive shifts as they come and not just on what is begging to be healed/tapped on will keep the process safe. This will give the practitioner loads of resources for the end of the session. During a session I now keep notes not only on what is showing up but on what has been cleared and resolved, I share these with the client as it is very encouraging for the client.
The Benefits of Years of Practice
Actually it took me a few years of practice with a many clients and loads of self-tapping before I really worked all this out. The pitfalls I faced were:
- Being Impatient – I got caught up with the notion that I had to clear it all NOW i.e. I wanted to help the client get through the tunnel of stuff fast (unhelpful helper mode), and so did not allocate time for the client or myself to enjoy how far they had already come. I did not give them time to breathe or a chance experience the expansive (generalisation) effect of EFT.
- Focusing on Results - or my expectation of the resolutions to be achieved as opposed to the quality and depth of insight gained. I sometimes overran my allocated time with the client because I did not put time aside for completing a session, instead I was always moving on to the next issue/aspect even when we had some profound insights that could do with digesting. On some level I was striving for absolute resolution, I wanted the “perfect” result, but instead I was getting tired and there were times when my clients left exhausted by the EFT onslaught I subjected them too, not that they complained, mostly they seemed happy at the end of a session, but my level of fatigue made me question my strategy.
It may seem like the issues above are one and the same, but I had to develop two related, but quite different qualities to meet them.
I had to learn patience with myself and my clients, and I had to learn detachment. The patience helped me slow down and take stock. Once I did this the EFT generalisation effect took on new meaning and I did not need to work so hard. Cultivating detachment meant I no longer needed to prove my value to the client. I did not need be perfect or achieve a “perfect result”, my clients did notice and enjoyed my more “relaxed” attitude in sessions and our sessions continued to progress well without me having to be so unrelenting (quite liberating).
I learnt that if the client is not given sufficient space and time (this is relative to each client) to integrate the changes, they can easily slip back into their old way of thinking or behaving and so the process of healing actually could take longer. Depending on the issue, I now put time aside at the end of every session to applaud their willingness to heal and the changes they have created.
Now, if I'm facilitating an hour session, I begin the process of winding the session down at about 45 minutes, clearing loose ends, being still with the client for a moment, entering into a space of calm together, asking questions about the session and I might even gently ask for a summary of the session, ask what their experience of the session was and where do they see themselves going with this new insight. I might even share my insights if it is relevant and supportive. If it is an hour and a half session I need to start thinking of closing the session 20 minutes before the end.
The questions that I sometimes ask while closing a session are:
What would you do now that you could not do before?
What do you feel has changed for you, how might this show up in your life?
How do you perceive yourself now? Could you have seen this about yourself before?
And these will all help us conclude the session with some great EFT.
Sometimes, clients who come to me because they feel stuck and trapped with a problem and they do not know how to go forward in their lives any more, say to me during those closing moments, phrases like, “you know I thought this problem was so big, but it is not a problem any more, so it’s not holding me back….” At this point I know that all the reframes that showed up during the session have landed. Now I can ask them how they see this change of perception manifest in their lives. And can we close the session with this new feeling/thought? For e.g. we could tap with:
If this is no longer a problem, then how can my life be different now?
If this can change what else can change for me?
What if this is a moment in time when I can step through the gate of possibility and see my life going the way I want it to go?
The Story of K
A while back, a client (K) approached me with,
I am really stuck and I cannot be happy…
During the 90 minute session that followed it transpired that K felt “poor” and had felt this all her life; she disclosed that she did not deserve wealth or happiness especially as there was so much suffering in the world… her family had beliefs about having money being sinful and that it had to be given away…etc.
She had a whole jungle of belief systems around wealth and the “voices haunted” her. She also found it very difficult to get specific, to unravel her earliest experiences, or to access any intensity, however we did manage to build a rapport with continual tapping, laughing and conversing, it seemed like we weren't making any headway, but I was aware that we were coming into the last 20 minutes of the session.
I asked her if we could begin to conclude our time together and tap on,
And I give myself permission to see that things can be different for me now, maybe…
She agreed and we did this about 5 or 6 times. She then stated that she began to see that all her feelings of lack were due to belief systems that she had internalised and perhaps they were not helping her and she didn't have to live that way any more. We laughed together.
This was huge for her first session. I asked K at this point what would happen if she felt wealthy. She said it would feel very exciting. We tapped into this too. What a lovely way to end the session.
It was clear that there was a lot more work to be done but I stressed to K that we had made a wonderful start, and that we had already come a long way. We could discuss other areas to work on at a later date.
I let her know that we would need to break her issues into bite sized chunks and then clear them one by one. K left feeling excited after booking 3 follow-up sessions.
When it is clear at the end of a session that there is more work to be done, then I often take a client through some Setup phrases like:
Even though there is a long way to go and there is still so much stuff I want to clear, it’s ok, I’m ok, I have already worked through plenty.
Even though there is so much more to clear, I have come a long way. What if it is possible for the healing to continue effortlessly?
Nothing in the whole wide world can prevent love and peace blossoming in my heart now that I know that the seed exists and is been planted within me.
I may not understand why or how, I can still choose …. Knowing and wisdom…
Ending with a combination of continual tapping and positive visualisation, about the path ahead, how much has already been embraced, the possibilities, the appreciation for the breath can help the client leave with positive intentions. It is like planting the seeds in the subconscious mind for the healing to continue. I have learnt that almost anything is possible with EFT especially when I am patient and detached.
I might occasionally end a session with a “let’s bundle it all up technique”, i.e. we imagine bundling up all the “stuff” that is left and place it somewhere safe or preferably somewhere it can continue to heal and transform.
At times it feels right to end the session with some choices. I could ask the client, “What kind of choices would you like to focus on at this point especially after today's session/ after what we have spoken about/ after what we have tapped into?”
There are other possibilities that I share in our trainings but the ideas above are a good start. It is time to conclude this article.
I’ll close with something one of my clients said to me. She referred to an EFT session as coming in with an old pair of shoes, taking them off, dumping them and leaving with a new and more comfortable pair of shoes. What a lovely way to close a session; remind your client with a gentle query, what if they could let go of the old patterns, what if they could on leaving slip into something new and comfortable. What would that be like? Would it be something worth considering? Every client responds uniquely and not all leave with a smile on their face, some leave in an introspective mood, but if I take extra care in concluding a session I always feel I have done my best and I think it rubs off on everyone.
Closing an EFT session with care and understanding is as important for the practitioner as it is for the client. It takes the pressure off and makes what you do fun. It helps the practitioner let go and trust the process and ensures that the client can leave empowered.
Ranjana Appoo is an AAMET Accredited Certified Master Trainer of Trainers based in East Sussex, UK. She is an intuitive artist and a curious health researcher who has devoted her life to experiencing and sharing peace, delight, beauty and truth. Visit Ranjana's AAMET profile