Hi all! I am on vacation this week, enjoying the sunshine in Florida and the sounds of my kids laughing and splashing in the water. I am of course, also thinking about EFT, and so wanted to write a quick thought.  🙂

I am realizing more and more that our use of RISSSC (Repeat, Images, Slow, Soft, Simple, and Client’s Words) is not just to help our clients stay in the moment and plug into emotion, it also helps ground us. I had this lightbulb again this week as I watched a session back and realized that if I had only slowed the session down right there, if I had only interuppted my client sooner and focused on that one piece, then I would not have been faced with a decision about where to go, which part to back up to. If I had slowed down and grabbed onto the first “juicy”, emotional moment that bubbled up, the session would have been more focused. Instead, I waited until the client was finished with her point, her paragraph, and was then, for a moment, up in my head, cognitively trying to choose which piece to bring her back to. I now had several threads in play and while it was all good emotional information, I was, for a moment, weighing agendas… do I go here or there? The longer my client talked, the more I had to sort through, and the less focused my session was. 

So “Slow” is for us as well.

The same goes for Repeat (or reflect), and client’s words. Sue Johnson says “a good reflection is a revelation,” (Johnson, Susan M., 2004) and this is true for both the client and for us as well. Repeating our client’s words gives them power, emphasis, and deeper meaning for everyone in the room. A good reflection reverberates inside us as well and helps us to climb deeper into the emotional experience of our client.

The other parts of RISSSC are for us too. Images are as powerful and vivid for us as they are for our clients, and of course being Soft and Simple plugs us into the emotion (and helps keep us out of our heads) just as it does for our clients. 

So this week, when using RISSSC, use it for yourself as well as for your clients. Notice what happens for you as you use it. Notice how it impacts you, focuses you, and then notice how that shift inside of you shapes your session. 

Johnson, Susan M. The Practice of Emotionally Focused Marital Therapy: Creating Connection. New York: Bruner/Routledge, 2004. Print.

9 thoughts on “RISSSC HELPS US TOO!

  1. Wow, such a perfect suggestion, and so timely. The exact thing happened to me in a clip I was watching with my supervisor. The husband had said the word “fog” and I let him complete the paragraph about his feelings, letting the word slip away. My supervisor drew 3 circles, one with the word fog, one with a smiley face, and one with a sad face. He asked, do you know which of these faces his word “fog” evokes? I didn’t, really; I just assumed, illustrating how I should have stopped at the word and stayed there. I would have been able to get him closer to his anxiety about losing her, which would have intensified his next reported feeling state of loneliness. Instead I focused on the loneliness, but it didn’t get as far as it could have. Thank you so much for posting this!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great reminder of the use of RISSSC – it is how we ARE in our sessions with our clients, our very presence, using RISSSC helps to embody the clients’ emotions, while acting as instruments of change…..

    Now soft and slow for you, Karyn…..Turn. Off. Your. Computer. Enjoy. Your. Vacation. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for this! I can relate to letting a couple talk too long without ssslllowwwing waaaay down. At that point, it feels like a “choose your adventure” game which is the last thing I want to be doing mid-session. I love your blog posts-they’re these precious little nuggets I carry with me throughout my day. Thank you for all you do! It was also lovely putting a face to a name in Denver!

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  4. I really appreciate your vulnerability in what you share, Karyn! It can be painful to watch my tapes right now and feel like I’m missing almost everything. It helps to know even fantastic EFT therapists can miss things now and then. Thanks for modeling that learning is ok, even though uncomfortable.

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  5. I really appreciate how you model vulnerability and learning! It’s painful to watch my tapes right now and feel like I’m missing 90% of the opportunities. It helps to know even fantastic EFT therapists sometimes miss them, too. Ugh, the humility of learning 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, and for your vulnerability! And I SO hear you about how watching our tapes back and seeing moments we might want to do differently can be painful. It can be invaluable to notice what we miss, what we want to practice doing differently next time. But be gentle with yourself when you watch! You are doing courageous work, and it is hard, and each time you sit with a couple and offer your compassion and your attachment lens and your EFT learning you are helping them and getting better at the same time. AND, remember to watch your tapes for what you do RIGHT too! 🙂


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