Finding Your Peace
The Personal Peace Procedure (PPP) is an important piece of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). We begin the PPP by compiling a list of specific events. These events are those from our lives that we consider to be bothersome. A bothersome event is anything that caused emotional distress at any time in our lives, the further back, the more psycho/emotional disruption it supports now. EFT uses an analogy of tables stacked upon tables. Each tabletop represents a current issue. The Personal Peace Procedure uses a list of specific events (table legs) that support the issue (table top). Here’s what the creator of EFT, Gary Craig, has to say about Personal Peace Procedure:
“Ideally, if you have a challenging issue in your daily life, you would treat it like a Tabletop and find the individual Table Legs or Specific Event(s) in your past that have led directly to it. Once the Legs are identified, you would use EFT to “remove” as many as it takes for the Tabletop to collapse, and then you’re free to move forward in your life without the challenging issue.”
The Personal Peace Procedure Is Specific
To be most effective, each of these specific events (table legs) will meet the following criteria:
- The event is not a current event. It occurred, at least, 5 years ago. This is to help contain the emotion that comes up as the event is recalled. As newer events are likely to generalize and confuse the process, they will be handled differently.
- The event is something that occurred in a 1-3 minute time period. Not that you can tell the story in that time frame but that it, actually, occurred in that time frame. Longer events will be broken down into smaller components.
- The event has a beginning, plot and end.
- The event will have 1-3 emotional crescendos, points of greater emotional activation.
Give Each A Movie Title
As you construct your list, number each event and give it a “movie title.” The movie title is a descriptive phrase that describes the event. Avoid using a phrase that is highly emotionally activating as the movie title. Keep it sufficiently vague to avoid activation but descriptive enough that you know what story it refers to. The number of the event and it’s descriptive phrase will be used to refer to the event throughout the Personal Peace Procedure.
Rate each event on a scale of 0 (none) – 10 (maximum) to indicate how emotionally activated you feel NOW as you recall the event, not how activated you guess you were at the time of the event.
You will not be writing about each of these events with any detail. Your list will look something like this:
- The Puppy Peed 6
- First Day of Kindergarten 8
- The Birthday Hat 5
- Not Enough Ice Cream 7
You may feel some emotional activation as you begin to recall your bothersome events. If you start to feel uncomfortable, set the list aside, take some deep breaths, move your body and come back to it later. Your list will evolve over time. Remembering one event is likely to stimulate the memory of another, especially as we begin to collapse the charge around a memory. Keep your list handy (maybe in your phone) so that you can add to it as memories arise.Once you have some specific events on your list, we can begin processing them to discharge the emotion of the events, one at a time.
You might find it helpful to recall your earliest bothersome memory and work your way forward, chronologically. Memory can be stimulated by recalling specific periods of time, e.g. grade in school. Who were your friends at that time? Where did you live? Who was your teacher? What was happening in your family? etc. You might ask yourself, “What’s a memory I’d rather not have?”
Some people worry about bringing up painful memories that they have learned to live with or have “dealt with.” If a memory of an event comes up, chances are there is still some emotional activation. EFT offers several techniques that allow us to process painful memories in ways that are not re-traumatizing. Our goal, unlike some other trauma treatments, is not to force you to deal head-on with the emotions.
Email me if you have any questions. More information about Specific Events and other terms used can be found at www.emofree.com. Gary Craig is exploring different avenues along which to take EFT, which he calls Optimum EFT and appears on his web site. I suggest sticking with Gold Standard EFT. It is the method I use in my practice.