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The EFT New Client Consultation and Discovery Session

Over time and experience we have revised the process of how we recommend working with a new client. The process ALWAYS begins with a brief free consultation to have an initial contact with the new person, whether they found me through my website or were referred by a colleague or other client. On my website the free consultation is easy to find and allows the potential client to schedule a 15 minute consultation by listing their name, contact information and a brief description of the purpose of the appointment which provides me an brief notice of why they are contacting me for assistance. The limit of 15 – 20 minutes provides a boundary and expectation that tapping is not to be expected and that it is not meant to be a lengthy detailed personal session.

My consultation is made up of several parts:

  1. What is their problem/concern/desired outcome? I ask them right off why they are contacting me and what they would hope to get out of working with me? This is my first level of screening to see if their concerns are within my scope of practice and expertise. Usually they spend the first 5 minutes explaining what they are feeling challenged about and why they think EFT/Matrix Reimprinting?META Health etc. could be of help.
  2. Inquiry: I make sure to ask them a question or two about their concern that is personalized to have a deeper understanding of what they are challenged by and what their expectations are or how else they have tried to solve their problem and then I just listen.
  3. If its a good fit: If it feels like a right fit for both people, I ask if they want to know my process for working together, and clarify my scope, my preferences for scheduling frequency, my fees, my expectations and boundaries for taking on a new client, which includes cancellation and refund policy and the requirement to committing to several sessions beginning with a Discovery Session that helps us create a roadmap with specific goal for working together and a much deeper inquiry into their concerns and more about what from their past appears to be stopping them from having achieved their desired outcome.
  4. If they wish to proceed, I clarify where they will find my Client Agreement form to review and sign, where to pay for their sessions and how to schedule their Discovery Session. I also provide them with just a few questions for them to begin considering regarding specific desired and prioritized outcomes for our work together and ways for them to collect some ideas about where our work will focus on. I recommend that you send them any resources they may require, ie a personalized Tapping Diagram or any EFT science supported links, ie www.scienceoftapping.org (or sending them a link to the 12 minute Science of Tapping film link if you are a subscriber) in a welcome email that may offer suggestions for their first session clarifying the importance of privacy, recommendations regarding online work together, having resources ie pen, paper, water, tissues etc.

The Discovery Session is often scheduled for the following week after the initial consultation. Here are the key elements of my Discovery Session. The cost of the discovery session is embedded within the cost of the working together package price. I explain that the discovery session generally lasts 30-45 minutes but varies with each person. I book an hour in my calendar so I have the extra 15 minutes if needed.

  1. Exploration of what the client wants/hopes to get out of the work together? (Often begins at a global level)…opportunity to explore  more carefully the reality of their expectations.
  2. Inquiry into their questions/knowledge about EFT and offering explanations needed. Usually I keep this brief
  3. Review agreements re: things like confidentiality, re: session recording, emphasizing the importance of safety and pre-framing anything I may wish to about the style of the session ( i.e. pausing the client etc.), preparation of their sessions (comfortable clothes, water, tissues, complete privacy, computer etiquette i.e. turning off other programs and devices, etc.), emphasizing that they are in charge of the direction of our work together and the importance of working as a team which includes an emphasis on their participation in self-care and doing their own tapping homework.
  4. Review of policies i.e. informed consent and clarity of my scope of practice, methods of communication, cancellation policy etc.
  5. Clarify the issue they want help with. Asking questions about their relationship to this conflict and exploring some history of i.e. is this a long-term problem with recurrent episodes or just a current concern? Asking them questions about what they think is stopping them from achieving their desired outcome will elicit important client-focused information.
  6. Collaborate to create at least 1 clear objective Working Together SMART Real Life Goal broken down into at least one First Step Goal that that really resonates for the client that is possible and exciting to consider achieving. SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timed).
  7. Exploring their past/scope of practice issues Inquiring into what from their past might show up in your work together that they may have experienced that might prevent them from being successful in achieving their desired outcome? Have they sought help and support for this before? If so what kind of help? This would be the natural place for a discussion and inquiry into possible therapeutic interventions success/failures, given diagnoses, current other physical/mental care providers and exploration of making sure it’s a fit for your scope of practice/comfort and skill zone. This is also where you may choose to verbally ask the ACEs questions (without having them go into details) to get their ACEs score. This information should be used to help you evaluate whether you can work with this client on a solo basis or you need to work in a collaborative or referral effort ie with their therapist and create any necessary steps/communications that you need to have happen before feeling safe working with this client.
  8. Is there anything else they might like me to know, or think I should know that might be relevant to why you have this issue that you may wish to bring up in our session?
  9. Asking about their current work and family support (or not) status ie working/not working, relationship status, children?
  10. Discussion and review of personal resources. Finding out what aspects, persons, activities are part of their life that make them feel calm, resourced and nurtured can be a very valuable inquiry to use at later times when working together when a client can become dysregulated.
  11. Anything else that the client needs to ask about the process…
  12. Parting words of inspiration, excitement, clarifying and confirming first tapping appointment and any suggestions I may wish to give in preparation for the first session.

*Note:  I do not recommend that tapping should not be a part of this session. The exception would be if during the exploration of their goals or history the client becomes dysregulated. Should that occur, any regulating resourcing activities including brief self-regulating tapping or containing the issue/event may be warranted to regulate the client but not with the intent of processing the issue/event.

By using these steps I find that safety is ensured as much as possible. This process allows for the creation of safety and rapport and allows a full exploration with the client of their concerns without it taking up too much of a typical initial session in which tapping may begin prematurely and the practitioner feels rushed to have a successful initial session.

Since adopting this process several years ago I have never looked back and find it works very well for me and for our mentees and graduates at the EFT Tapping Training Institute. I hope you find this helpful.

Craig Weiner, DC

EFT International Master Trainer of Trainers

Co-director of the EFT Tapping Training Institute