How to use EFT for Fear of Flying

The most important skills as an EFT practitioner are listening and observation. The language clients use to describe a problem very often reveals where the issue is exactly.

Let’s use the example of flight phobia to make it easier to understand. Questions you could ask are: ‘When did your phobia start? What was happening in your life back then? How are you feeling when you are thinking of flying and being on a plane? Where do you feel it in your body?’

Our client may say things like: ‘I’ve been having this phobia for about 3 months. I was feeling very pressured at work back then. When I’m thinking about being on the plane I feel like I’m trapped, I can’t move, I have no control over the speed and the height, I don’t like being in small spaces and I have this constant fear that the plane will fall off the sky and I can see myself thinking about the moments while we are falling’.

The next step is to take every word our client has said and put it in our EFT tapping process.

We can start with the feeling of being trapped. We ask how intense is the feeling on a scale of 1 to 10, one is too low and 10 is very intense. Our goal is to reduce the intensity of the feeling so it will go down to one.

Now all your attention should be on your client’s facial expressions and body movements (provided that the session is online). You will have more information coming from your client’s body if the session is face to face.

We start tapping on the first point which is at the side of the hand. The way we phrase the first sentences are: ‘Even though I’m feeling trapped when I’m thinking about being on a plane I deeply and completely love and approve of myself.’ A slight variation would be, ‘Even though I’m feeling trapped when I’m thinking that I HAVE to fly I deeply and completely love and approve of myself.’

Pay attention to these sentences, they may look similar but they are actually very different.

The first one says I’m feeling trapped when I’m thinking about being on a plane, which refers to a sense of claustrophobia, can’t move, it’s too narrow. The second sentence means ‘I’m forced to fly even though I don’t want to, someone else is pushing me to do something I don’t want to do’.

These two sentences are describing two different aspects of the problem and should be dealt with separately. How we use our words is the most important part of the EFT process. Always ask the client to clarify and describe exactly what they mean.

Then we move to the next point which and the reminder sentences. My advice to you is to use your reminder phrases cleverly because they might resolve the issue. For the first aspect, the reminder phrase could be,’ I’m feeling trapped, it is too narrow, I can’t move’.

Check with your client if they felt anything in the body or if any memories have surfaced.This is a free flow approach so please use it when you are confident enough so you don’t confused with different aspects.

This doesn’t stop here, keep tapping. You will notice that if you write down all that your client is telling you, you create a story. Separate the feelings, the physical sensations and the limiting beliefs. Tap on them separately as it will give you a better control on what you are tapping on.

You can use the ‘Story’ technique to test it. You can use this technique either for a past or future event. Ask your client to visualise the day of their flight, starting from the moment they wake up. Tap out any part of the story that holds emotional intensity.

Ask your client to describe their feelings:

  1. When they wake in the morning and thinking of the flight.
  2. The time when they are in a cab/train/bus to the airport.
  3. While they are waiting at the airport.
  4. When they are boarding on the plane.
  5. The moment they sit on their seat.
  6. When they look outside the window.
  7. Ask them to imagine that they are sitting in the middle seat and the passengers sitting next to them are very tall and overweight.
  8. Ask them to visualise the moment the airplane is taxiing and taking off.
  9. Ask them to feel the taxiing speed.
  10. When there is turbulence.
  11. When the airplane is adjusting its height.
  12. When the airplane is preparing for landing and the landing speed.

That was a very brief description of an EFT session. It is important to work on all aspects. Every aspect will lead you somewhere else. Make sure you have good control of where this is going because because it’s very easy to lose track especially if your client is moving from one aspect to the other.

Good luck!

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