Picture Tapping Technique: A useful and versatile therapeutic tool

Picture Tapping Technique: A useful and versatile therapuetic tool

There are many different holistic methods available and more are being explored all of the time. Picture Tapping Technique is one of the newer developments from EFT and meridian tapping and it is showing a great deal of promise in therapeutic practice. It is now used by therapists all over the world to enhance their practice.

Picture Tapping Technique was developed by Christine Sutton and Philip Davis and arose from a simple question:

 'What would happen if the power of meridian tapping was added to the power of art based therapy work?'

We tried it out informally, first on our own issues and then on other people`s issues and were surprised and delighted by the initial results, enough to encourage us to continue. The technique was refined and tested and then refined again over a period of 3-4 years to produce the form that is now in widespread use. It is fundamentally very simple - clients are asked to draw sequential pictures which represent an issue and then tap around the standard EFT points while describing the content of the pictures in simple, clean terms.

As more people began to experiment with using PTT for client work more data came in. The empirical evidence suggested that something very interesting was happening when PTT was used. Clients seemed to be able to access and resolve very deep levels of issues easily and calmly, even issues that had been resistant to normal EFT processing or which stemmed from very early life events such as in utero time, the birth process and the infant and toddler years. Sometimes 'Past life' events are also accessed. These can be viewed as metaphors for current issues by people who do not accept past-life work.

We also observed that PTT was extremely powerful when used with clients presenting with global issues such as low self-esteem, feeling low, chronic anxieties and fear. PTT is particularly useful for work with children, teens and some adults with hearing or  language difficulties or those who might struggle to express complex emotional states in words.

Something magical seems to happen when meridian tapping, creative art work and the power of metaphor and symbolism are combined in the simple and clean format provided by PTT. There seems to be a synergy at work and the hybrid produces results that extend and exceed those gained when working with either of the parent modalities.

It is our belief, based upon our own observations and experience and those of many other therapists that PTT connects very strongly and rapidly with the unconscious levels of mind. It has been demonstrated at a live 'Brainwaves' event  that the brain wave patterns expressed when a client is drawing and processing with PTT reflect the patterns normally associated with unconscious activity (Alpha and Theta patterns).

This strong, deep level connection seems to aid facilitation of subtle and not so subtle changes in the fundamental perceptions and belief systems of the client. The resolutions expressed in the final pictures of the PTT sequences can be profound and the pictures themselves sometimes have an odd and haunting quality despite their simplicity. The effects of these resolutions are seen as positive changes in symptoms at both the physical and emotional levels of being and also extend to the belief and behavioural levels. These, of course, then affect every area of life and so life changes..for the better!

PTT can, when applied correctly:

  •          Provide a safe and nurturing environment for exploration of emotions, issues and blocks to development. Clients (and therapists) are frequently amazed at how easily issues can resolve.
  •          Clarify issues and concerns, no matter how deeply they are rooted or buried.
  •          Enhance ability to express and explore feelings or topics which are difficult to put into words, difficult to discuss or are taboo for some reason. Personal privacy can be maintained as it is not necessary even to name or discuss the issue which is being handled.
  •          Stimulate imagination and creativity-even clients who begin a session by saying that they cannot draw get hooked into the process, begin to reach for the pens or crayons before the instruction has been given and then begin to enjoy drawing their pictures. They are frequently amazed at what appears on the paper!
  •          Increase self esteem and confidence in the ability to self-express.
  •          Be entirely client driven and client centered. Interpretation of the pictures for or by the client is not needed and not attempted (though study of the pictures can provide very useful insights into a client'™s issues for the therapist). Insights, cognitive shifts and reframes come directly from the client and these shifts tend to 'stick' very strongly.
  •          Be very easy for both client and therapist to use as the technique is very simple.
  •          Be powerful but gentle -the combination of EFT with the power of metaphor and the imagination expressed in artistic form gives a very powerful, and yet painless way to reach and release problems, even those stored at a very deep or hidden level.
  •          Enable access to the deep, protected sub-conscious levels of mind very easily.
  •          Minimize interference from the conscious, critical levels of the mind. Clients frequently report that it feels as if something deeper (and wiser) is overriding any conscious intent to draw a particular image.
  •          Be dissociative -it can separate the person from their problem and so provides a relatively painless way of getting to painful issues.
  •          Allows expression and rapid healing of multiple issues and aspects simultaneously and easily. The drawing process can allow simultaneous expression of the entire range of human experience - From joy and love, to hate and despair, all in one picture.
  •          Be quite rapid. On average issues resolve in 3-10 pictures though we have also seen extended sequences where it is very clear that successive levels of a problem are emerging and resolving quickly and sequentially.

PTT sessions are usually 1 to 1.5 hours long but the technique is also used by many therapists in combination with other modalities such as EFT, Matrix Reimprinting, counselling and psychotherapy, mixing and matching as required. We are also seeing it used by some therapists who work within the educational and social care systems and in addictions work. The potential of this technique is still being explored and we welcome input and data from anyone who is interested in trying it out in their own practice.

 To anyone who might be interested:

Welcome to the magical world of stick people and abstract forms, black holes and shooting stars,
raindrops and rainbows, monsters and angels, sunshine, colour, metaphor and flow.

                                                                 Welcome to Picture Tapping Technique!

About the author:
Christine Sutton is an experienced complementary therapist and therapy trainer. She works in partnership with her husband, Philip Davis, from their practice in Solihull, West Midlands, Phoenix EFT. 

Website: http://www.phoenixeft.co.uk

Author: Christine Sutton
Copyright © 2023 Christine Sutton. All rights reserved

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