The technique of Resource Tapping, or Tapping In, evolved from EMDR but has some important differences. While EMDR needs to be conducted by a trained therapist, resource tapping is a simple, easily learned, and can be done by almost anyone. It can be an effective way to activate your own inner healing resources through bilateral stimulation. It’s a tool that can be helpful for stress, anxiety, depression, or just improving your overall sense of well-being.
When using resource tapping you are imagining or remembering good qualities and experiences, real or imagined, and then adding bilateral stimulation through left-right tapping to strngthen your associations with these qualities or memories. You can do this for yourself, or you can do it for someone else by guiding them through the exercises and then doing the tapping for them. When using this technique it’s important to remember or imagine good things with enough sensory detail to get a felt sense in your body and/or your emotions. Details can include how it feels in your body, what you see, hear, smell, taste, etc.
The Basic Technique for Resource Tapping
- Find a comfortable place to sit or lie, where you will not be disturbed. Close your eyes. Take several long, slow breaths, fill the belly, and exhale slowly. Let yourself relax.
- Bring up the imagined resource or positive memory. Bring it up with as much sensory detail as possible: sights, sounds, smells, sensations, and the emotional feeling that goes along with it.
- When you have a sense of the resource, begin to tap on your knees or shoulders right-left, right-left. The taps can be quick or slow, just find a speed that feels best to you. Do this 6 to 12 times (tapping both right and left equals one time). If you’re tapping your knees, tap with the left fingers on the left knee and with the right fingers on the right knee. If you’re tapping your shoulders, cross your arms over each other in front of your body as though you’re hugging yourself. Then tap with the left fingers on the right shoulder and the right fingers on the left shoulder.
- Pause and check in with yourself and see how you’re feeling.You may keep tapping as long as it feels good and positive, but usually not more than 15 taps on each side.
The whole process may take only a few minutes. Repeat as often as you like. You can find demonstrations of this technique on YouTube. Just search for: “Laurel Parnell, Resource Tapping.”
Using Resource Tapping for Anxiety. You can use this technique to reduce anxiety by “tapping in” memories, images, places, or people that that bring you an inner sense of comfort peace and calm. As you bring up these memories or images, be sure to imagine them in as much detail as you can, including what it feels like in your body. Here are some examples of memories and images you might use to help reduce anxiety:
• Imagine those you you love and who love you. Imagine them one by one or all together in a “circle of love.”
• Recall times when you felt really strong, powerful, or in control. Remember times when you felt your own inner strength and courage. Remember times when you were able to set boundaries. Imagine figures or people that symbolize strength and confidence to you.
• Imagine spiritual resources, a spiritual figure, or a wise being.
•Imagine something that gives you a feeling of inspiration, expansion or uplift. It might be an inspirational person or place. For example, I remember hiking deep into the Grand Canyon and the feeling of awe I felt in that environment.
•Make a list of things you feel grateful for in your life and use resource tapping as you review your list.
•”Tapping In” by Laurel Parnell
•”Awakening Joy” by James Baraz