How to know when the healing is done
By Dr. Grant McFetridge, 1999
[Editor's note: Grant wrote this for the EFT support list quite a while ago, but it is still a very important topic. Gary Craig, the developer of EFT, makes an excellent introduction to this text: "It's time for a little philosophy. Grant McFetridge sent me his thoughts on "how to know when the healing is done." He is an insightful, inquisitive fellow and a substantial contributor to this field. Accordingly, I thought you would find his message of interest and so I include it herein. My thoughts on this subject, however, are quite different from Grant's. The contrast between our perspectives should be stimulating."]
How to know when the healing is done
[Grant McFetridge writes:]
The issue of what issues can be healed, and how to know when you are done came up in the Las Vegas Energy Conference, but I don't recall seeing it on the list or your site. I'd like to throw in my two cents based on work done on peak states of consciousness.
To know if healing can be done: Especially in the case of an issue which seems to have an appropriate and reasonable response given the circumstances, you can quickly test to see if old trauma is actually driving you or your client by asking if you feel calm, peaceful, and light when you think about the issue. If you don't, you know it is from the past and can potentially be healed. Knowing this is particularly useful in interpersonal situations. Obviously, most people would respond that they rarely feel calm peace and light, which actually is a measure of how much their past traumas are continuously driving them. For example, one client had a painful and terminal gut cancer and wanted to heal his fear of dying. Applying the test showed his fear could be healed, and we proceeded to do so. Another odd use for this principle is around feelings which we consider positive. If the client doesn't also feel calm, peace, and light at the same time then you know that old trauma is being activated.
To know when healing is finished: In the same way, a client has finished healing any given issue or trauma when he has an experience of calm, peace, and lightness when he thinks about it. This can be particularly important to know in cases when unpeeling the emotional layers brings us to a feeling that we consider "good", such as joy. If the client doesn't also feel calm, peace and light with the feeling, be it positive or negative, then you can be sure it is from a past trauma that is still unhealed. One caveat - any given issue might have other layers associated with it which have not been triggered, leaving the client feeling calm, peace and light on the current cause but with other aspects or earlier trauma still lying in wait. Incidentally, some of your clients may report that they feel calm, peace, and heavy. This is actually repression at work, and more healing is required.
So, why is this feeling of calm, peace and lightness significant? It turns out that when a person is totally in the present, they have an underlying feeling of calm, peace, and lightness even when they are experiencing feelings. For most people, being in the present is quite uncommon. However, when we eliminate past issues, the client typically enters into the present for seconds to hours. In very rare people, this state of consciousness is relatively permanent. Incidentally, no need to test in the case of physical problems, they can be healed, it's a question of using strong enough tools, some of which still need to be invented, unfortunately.
[Editor's Post Script: The Whole-Hearted Healing process uses the criteria of 'calm, peace, and lightness' (CPL) as the endpoint to healing a trauma moment. For in utero trauma, we add the criteria of 'large and bright' - the sensation of becoming very large and luminous inside.]
[Gary Craig writes:]
It's time for a little philosophy.
Grant McFetridge sent me his thoughts on "how to know when the healing is done." He is an insightful, inquisitive fellow and a substantial contributor to this field. Accordingly, I thought you would find his message of interest and so I include it herein. My thoughts on this subject, however, are quite different from Grant's. The contrast between our perspectives should be stimulating.
In my perspective, we are never done until we have absolute personal peace. I speak here of the ideal state of peace which most spiritual disciplines point to as our birthright. I know that may seem impractical to many and a bit too lofty for others. But, to me, that is where our energy based techniques are taking us--back to our spiritual home. Why stop at anything short of that?
To gain rapid relief from a given traumatic memory or a phobic response is a major wow to many of us--especially newcomers. Further, when the client reports no trace whatsoever of their problem (e.g. no more pounding heart, sweating or nightmares), it certainly seems like the "healing is done." In fact, singular marvels like this is what most of us (including me) speak of when we talk about our successes. But is the client really healed or have we merely lifted one negative tree out of their extensive negative forest (jungle?). Give any proficient practitioner some more "digging time" with the client and I'll bet you big money they will find other stuff that is related--a left over grievance perhaps or maybe a fear that points in another direction. This, of course, leads into a labyrinth of issues.
Who among us, despite doing years of work on our "emotional stuff," is without some unresolved grievances, fears or self doubt? And when those are resolved will we not find still more? I guess the effort at knowing "when the healing is done" revolves around the definition of healing. If we have eliminated the phobic response to heights, for example, should we stop there and say "the healing is done" or should we keep going into the other fears and traumas that have come about due to the former fear of heights? And from there shouldn't we tackle the other emotional limits that keep us from freely roaming within our own Palace of Possibilities?
I don't think the healing is ever done UNTIL we finally "get" the Oneness that links us all (and is the source of absolute personal peace). I think we merely "get better" as we shed the fears, guilts, grievances, traumas, etc. on the way to absolute personal peace. To say "the healing is done" is to stop our pursuits toward perfection. To say "the healing is done" is to be complacent with our remaining emotional baggage. To say "the healing is done" is to deny our glorious birthright.
Peace, Gary Craig