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What Happens When You Combine NLP & EFT?


by Alexander Lees, DCH, RCC

I took my first NLP training in 1982. Over the years I have been fortunate to meet, and learn NLP from, many of the "greats" and became a Certified International Trainer of NLP in 1996. Then in 1999 I learned EFT and incorporated it into my private practice, as well as teach it at workshops. Tapping specific acupuncture points (EFT) combined with NLP makes for a perfect marriage, each complimenting the other, beautifully. I purposely use the generic term "tapping" simply because there are so many different names now in the field of meridian tapping techniques. Although each seems to use the same basic acupuncture points, each has their own slight variants as well. I encourage everyone to review them all, and choose the one that appeals.


For those already familiar with NLP, consider tapping as the ultimate anchor collapse. Aspects of NLP training allow for gathering information, that is achieving a much clearer understanding of the presented problem. Also, NLP teaches techniques to speed up change work, that is, allowing for less effort and time spent to "program in" preferred responses to various things.

The Swish Pattern for instance, used properly, allows the person using it to teach the brain "When I'm in the particular situation, I no longer want this old response, I want this new response." The elegance of the Swish Pattern is that it utilizes the "trigger" (a signal from the environment) that evoked the unwanted response, and "hooks up" a preferred way of responding to that same trigger.

Allow me to borrow a statement from a client I had taught the Swish to – "Whenever 'X' happened at work, I'd be devastated. If it happened one or two more times in the same week, I'd end up spending most of the weekend hiding in bed. My mind would repeat the scene(s) over and over again." After we "swished" the problem, she stated, "The very same situation would put me in a resourceful state, rather than ruin my week!"

So, NLP provides tools to change mental states, to change unwanted reactions, to generate new responses, behaviours and attitudes about things. Every once in a while a physical reaction (a kinesthetic, in the world of psychology; kinesthetics also includes emotional responses) is so overwhelming that the person experiencing it ... well, to borrow once again from a client – "When he acts that way, it's like I blow a fuse. I can't think properly, I can't react. Later, I beat myself up for letting him get to me like that." We had done the Swish, and applied several other techniques, all to no avail. So, I thought that I would try a little tapping and see what happens. I said, "When we experience such an overwhelming feeling like you do, it can stop changework cold. There is a technique whose sole purpose is to reduce or remove, unwanted feelings. Let's give it a go."

I then tapped her, and very quickly, the emotional response was down 80+%. This allowed her to concentrate on programming in a better way of responding. Interestingly, because she reacted differently to her 17 year old son, he too began to make changes, which in turn reenforced her new way of dealing with him – a win-win!

The two techniques, NLP and tapping, supplement and compliment the other in such a way that more can be done in less time, and both can be learned by the individual, should they so desire. Over the years I have applied the combination on allergies, phobias, compulsions, traumas, anxiety, depression, fear 'ofs,' procrastination, motivation, self esteem issues and a further list far too long for this article. Both the clients and I will attest to the pleasure derived from achieving a satisfactory outcome even more easily.

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Posted: 10/01/2009

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