One (of the many) of the brilliant aspects of EFT are concrete the Stages and Steps that we have to guide us through the model. The EFT Stages 1-3 and Steps 1-9 help us organize what we are doing in our sessions by helping us understand where we’ve been, where we are right now, and where we want to go. It is like the music for the dance of therapy— it’s in the background, it helps us keep time, it keeps us in the mood. But even though we know the music (and love it!) we can still find ourselves stuck, anxiously tapping our toes in our chairs instead of dancing when our clients escalate into anger or touch some pain or sadness. “What do we do NOW?” Just because we know the music (the Stages and Steps) doesn’t mean we always know how to dance—when to lean in, when to have them turn, how to lead our clients gently but purposefully in the way we know they need to move and drop in and reach.

This is where the EFT Tango comes in (The Five Process Moves of EFT, by Sue Johnson. Find a diagram of it on Rebecca Jorgensen’s website at . It is a simple dance step, one that repeats over and over again in session. If you get lost and miss a beat, you can dance right back into it. For an easy way to remember it, I labeled the steps to all start with a “P”:

Present Process

Primary Emotion

Pass It over (Enactment)

Process the Enactment

Put a bow on it

Very simply (and we know that it often doesn’t feel simple!)…. as you are talking about/processing/exploring the cycle, bring it into the PRESENT moment, into Present Process… “Jordan, as you talk about being angry with John last week, what’s happening for you right now, right now on this couch…” OR  “What happened just now, just now as you looked at John, I thought I saw something flash across your face… can you help me with what was happening for you just now?” OR “As you are talking about the sadness you felt, can you feel it now? Yes, it comes up for you right now, as you are talking about how sad you felt, you can feel it even now.”

Then stay with and heighten Primary Emotion, knowing that you are moving towards Pass it Over (Enactment). “Jordan, we’ve talked about how when the cycle kicks in, when you feel sad, and it feels like you can’t share it with John, you get angry. Which makes so much sense. But how about right now… can you turn to John and tell him about this sadness you are feeling right now?”

Process the Enactment: With both partners. “How was it to tell John that?” And then, “John, how was it to have Jordan take that risk and share that with you?”

Put a Bow on it: Organize what just happened for them, help them understand what just happened, put it in the cycle and/or help them understand how it was new and different. Validate! Sometimes referred to as “zooming out”.

Then start the Tango again. 🙂

Bring these 5 Process “P’s” into session with you and Play with it!

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