Sunday, October 04, 2009

EFT-1a Training in Groningen

Entry for 4 Oct 2009:

In and out of the bright Sunday morning sun, dozing after an intense two days of EFT training in Groningen, the brightness surprising me, after the autumn rains, just as the sudden moon shining between the clouds startled and pleased me last night as I walked back from Renate and Andries’ flat after a full evening of conversation and food. (The moon shone in on my bed all night, keeping me company far from home.)

Last May, after I did a 1-day EFT taster course near Utrecht, we decided to move toward creating ongoing EFT training in the Netherlands; we started the process by restructuring the October 2-day Introductory EFT workshop into the first part of a Level 1 training. Subsequently, one of the people involved in this, Juliet, came over to Glasgow in July for the annual EFT-1 that Jeanne and I have been running.

This weekend was the first step in this process, and I think was quite successful, fully booked, with 25 enthusiastic participants. It took place in a music studio, a bit north of the city centre of Groningen, a university town in the northern part of the Netherlands. The participants were Dutch psychotherapists from varying professions, with a predominance of psychologists, most of them highly experienced. Some were researchers or trainers, and a couple were already teaching EFT. This made it a highly knowledgeable but genuinely curious audience, with many useful questions.

To bring this off, the main thing I did was to move the Research Summary from the end of Day 4 to the end of Day 2. Jeanne and I had already added Focusing-based exercises to go with the emotion theory input and moved Empty Chair Work in front of Two Chair. This meant that Focusing got prominent play the first day and Two Chair Work was pushed into the second part of EFT-1, making it the main task there. All of these changes worked very well.

What didn’t work as well as doing yet another Focusing exercise at the end of the first day, as an illustration of work intended to help clients access or heighten their emotions. So when we started running behind schedule at the end of the first day and I proposed to deal with this by dropping Clearing a Space, a couple of people questioned this. Fortunately, a break intervened, and thirty seconds’ reflection on my hasty decision led me to the conclusion that they were right. Therefore, I proposed going back to Clearing a Space and dropping the additional Focusing exercise. This was greeted with appreciation, and the final exercise of Day 1 came out really well. After all, Day 2 was going to be entirely devoted to Evocating Unfolding and Empty Chair Work, two key tasks for helping clients access their emotions.

Language localization also turned out to be an issue. Many EFT terms don’t have ready translations into Dutch. How do you say “emotion scheme” in Dutch? “Meaning Protest”? Or even, it turns out, “marker”? To date, the favoured solution turns out to be import the English directly into Dutch, on the grounds that Dutch has a limited wordstock that needs to be supplemented from other languages. This is very similar to the English-language practice of creating new technical jargon by importing Greek or Latin-based words, such as “empathy”, “schema” or even “ego”. This means that the Dutch jargon term is more removed from its metaphoric, bodily-based roots than if native Dutch words were used or even modified. I tried to propose “emotionale smedling” (from the verb “smeden”, meaning to form a plan, cognate with English “to smith”, i.e., forge) for “emotion scheme”, but so far have had no takers. No wonder; I don’t really understand the rules for Dutch-language word construction well enough to go around forging new terms!

Perhaps a more critical language issue is whether participants should do their skills practice in Dutch or in English. Actually, it’s clear that their work in the client and therapist roles needs to take place primarily in Dutch; however, this makes it impossible for me to follow their work well enough to be able to make suggestions when I float between small skills practice groups. As a result, I proposed that if skills practice groups wanted me to be able to intervene when I was in the room observing them, they could switch into English when I came into the room, and that if this was too difficult for the person in the client role, for the person in the therapist role to translate for me. This worked pretty well; I recommend it as a general procedure in non-English training situations.

Day 2 also went quite well, but as the intensity built, it became clear to me that one trainer is not really enough for 25 participants. The result was that I dropped a couple of balls in the last exercise, and the schedule went slightly awry. I missed working with Jeanne and other helpers, with some of them at least native speakers of the participants’ language. I’m strongly recommending having a Dutch-speaking helper for the next sessions I run in the Netherlands.

We have now scheduled EFT-1, part b, for March 5-6, 2010, and are exploring running a second EFT-1a in the south part of the Netherlands (probably Eindhoven) for January 2010. We also need to develop a curriculum for training Dutch-speaking trainers!


EFT Practitioner said...

Hi Robert
I'm Julie-Anne and I lived in the Netherlands for nine years before moving home to the Mourne Mountains in N. Ireland. I'm fairly fluent in Dutch ; did my introductory Hypnosis training near Utrecht in 1993 courtesy of the IEP in Nijmegen. I am EFT Trainer and Advanced level EFT Practitioner (trained at EFT Centre, London with Masters Sue Beer and Emma Roberts). Only a few weeks ago I did a session with my husband's nephew who was here on holiday. It was EFT: I spoke English and he spoke Dutch. It went very well and he says he has been busy with his EFT thuiswerk (homework). If there is anything I could do to help you out, please say so.... I came across your work last year already and this is my third visit to your blog - willingly, I might add, to 'hear' what you are doing..
kind regards
Julie-Anne Mullan (AAMET)
028 43767972

Robert Elliott said...

Dear Julie-Anne,

Thank you for providing this anecdote of cross-language training. Unfortunately, my Dutch isn't good enough to understand clients.

However, this is not the same EFT as you practice: This is Emotion-Focused Therapy, not the Emotional Freedom Technique. Emotion-Focused Therapy, also known as Process-Experiential Therapy, comes out of the Person-Centred-Experiential therapy tradition, and is a form of humanistic psychotherapy based on deeply listening to and empathizing with the person, in order to help them access and change core maladaptive emotions. It is based on extensive scientific outcome and process research. It is not an energy or thought field or meridian therapy, and is not related to EMDR or acupuncture.

I realize that it is very confusing to have two different therapies with the same abbreviation, but our use of EFT goes back to Greenberg & Johnson's research on Emotionally-Focused Therapy for couples in the mid-1980's (see their 1988 book). I appreciate that the Emotional Freedom Technique has a body of practitioners and has become in fact more popular than the EFT that I research and teach. I am also aware that many stuffy psychologist-types has said very unkind things about your EFT, and I hope that EFT practitioners of your persuasion will begin to do systematic scientific research on their work, in order to defend it from these attacks.

All the best,

EFT Practitioner said...

Dawson Church is the main person on the forefront of promoting the kind of research we in this particular EFT community of practice really do need and giving us the knowledge required for setting up valuable research projects and programmes.
kind regards