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Jan 03, 2017

Addressing Internal Blocks

As we prepare for 2017, many of us start to think about creating New Year’s resolutions. It’s not uncommon to stumble and give up after a few weeks. It can be challenging to establish new habits, even for the most dedicated of us! Below is a list of common internal blocks that can sabotage the best efforts toward reaching goals.

There’s help and hope, though!

Sometimes simply identifying the block can help to shift it. Other times you might try disputing them with more rational thoughts, a cognitive-behavioral approach.

One approach I frequently teach my clients is Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). You can find more information at these sites:, and

EFT is an Energy Psychology approach. It starts with the understanding that the body is made of energy and from the wisdom of thousands-year-old Eastern or Traditional Chinese medicine. Modern science tells us that the body is electromagnetic because we have EEG, EKG and MRI machines that measure the electrical and magnetic output of the body.  

From the standpoint of Energy Psychology, all of our levels of functioning – thoughts, emotions, biochemical, neurological, and genetics – are essentially driven energetically. Our brains and our bodies operate electromagnetically, just as an audiotape or computer hard drive contains information in electromagnetic fields. The theory behind this work is, "The cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body's energy system, pathways or centers."  

The Energy Psychology-oriented set of techniques that comprises EFT is based on the ancient practice of acupuncture and acupressure. EFT is gaining in recognition and use by practitioners and is both a clinical and self-help modality. It combines cognitive and emotional statements that describe our present state with physical procedures for effecting therapeutic change. In addition to its foundations in well-established psychological theories and techniques, this approach includes principles and practices from non-Western healing modalities.

EFT uses a protocol combining CBT strategies with stimulation of acupuncture points by gently tapping, holding or massaging them. Energy Psychology as a general practice deals with the connection among the body’s energy systems: including the emotions, cognitions or how we think, behaviors and health. These systems are comprised of electrical activity within the nervous system as well as heart, meridians, chakras, and biofields.

Energy psychology (EP) is applicable to a wide range of areas including psychotherapy, counseling, education, vocational guidance, physical health, pain management, sports and peak performance. 

If you’re stuck and don’t know what to do next, consider trying Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) tapping on any one or all of these internal blocks possible blocks: 

  • Part of me fears it could be unsafe for one or more people if I succeed…
  • If I succeed, then “they” have won.
  • If I get better, maybe “someone” won’t love/accept me.
  • I can’t be/do better than “someone” else.
  • I’m not allowed to grow or succeed.
  • Part of me believes that if I succeed, one or more people who have hurt me will have gotten away with what they did…
  • There may be risks in BOTH succeeding and failing and I’m not sure I can accept them.
  • Maybe I could forgive myself for having this challenge.
  • I honor and accept myself with all my problems and limitations, with all my gifts and blessings.

Notice any shifts in energy, thoughts or feelings and what happens when you think about your next steps.


YouTube has hundreds of examples of EFT/tapping. Look for ones by

  • Gary Craig (founder of EFT;
  • Carol Look (
  • Brad Yates
  • Margaret Lynch (focuses on money & success)
  • Pat Carrington, Ph.D. (


Your own intrapersonal “Toolkit”!

Spend just a few minutes making a list of the strategies you typically use when you feel stuck or stressed or overwhelmed.  Writing them down will help you remember them in times of trouble. AND, if you practice when you’re NOT under stress, it becomes easier to remember when you ARE!

Each week, this blog presents a simple-to-use tool for you to use. My post will highlight a tool or strategy from a variety of psychological, spiritual, energy-based, complementary, and integrative approaches.

Try them, then add to your own list.

The strategies this blog describes could help you change your negative energy into positive or shift your self-defeating thoughts into ones that support you better. The tools have been tested by many of my clients – as well as myself – helping them to manage and transform difficult the feelings, concerns, and situations that you may also be facing. 


Know that it may take several tries – practice – before you feel a huge shift, but keep at it! You might find changing just one thing in how you approach a challenge in your life brings at least some relief.

Suzan K. Thompson, Ph.D. is a licensed professional counselor with over 30 years experience. She helps adults learn practical tools and strategies to manage anxiety, depression and trauma. For more tools please visit:

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