Don A. Blackerby, Ph.D.


Several years ago, after I started working with students who had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), I discovered that many of the students had massive trauma in their background and pervasive rage.  I needed some way of helping them clear the emotions that were locked in their bodies so I could have access to their minds.  I went to a Thought Field Therapy (TFT) workshop and found what I needed--a quick and efficient way to clear stuck emotions.  For those of you who haven’t discovered it yet, TFT is the brilliant development of Roger J. Callahan, Ph.D. (see Callahan).  TFT requires learning several protocols or sequences and of  tapping on points of the energy meridians of the body.  Different problems require different protocols.  The results are swift and lasting. 

Towards the end of the TFT workshop, the workshop leader reported that there was one protocol that would cover practically all the problems.  This protocol was called Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and had been developed by Gary Craig (see Craig), one of Dr. Callahan’s students.  The workshop leader taught us EFT and I have been using it with clients blocked by heavy emotion as well as students with ADD.  I have used it with rage, symptoms of ADD, confusion, depression, overwhelming feelings of all kinds, frustration and abuse to name just a few. 

For example, a year ago I was working with a teenage tennis player who had trouble maintaining his composure during tennis matches.  This would occur when he would be playing a match without a linesman.  The linesman’s job is to officiate whether or not a ball is in bounds or out of bounds. When my client thought his opponent was cheating, he would get mad and lose his concentration and focus.  His anger measured a 10.  We tapped EFT on his anger and it dropped to a 5.  We did the “set up” on the remaining anger, tapped again and it dropped to a 1.  As he sat there contemplating the change he remarked “You know, it’s not just that I get angry.  When it really gets to me is when I am playing a friend and he cheats—I feel so betrayed!”  This is an example of another aspect or issue that is sometimes revealed when the emotion of the first aspect is released.  We repeated the EFT procedure on betrayal until those emotions were gone.

A critical skill for the EFT Practitioner is to be able to assist the client in uncovering the evolving new aspects.  Many EFT Practitioners are highly skilled, gifted, and intuitive and do an exceptional job in assisting their clients.  One of the ways I use to assist my clients is to use the template of the Logical Levels of Experience to search for possible new aspects.  This not only allows me to utilize my intuitiveness but to also have a guide to assist me in making sure I have given my client access to all the remaining aspects.  So, before we go any farther, let’s review the Logical Levels of Experience.


Spiritual/Greater System - Attempts to change at this level affects our experience of being a part of a much vaster system.  Answers the question of WHO ELSE DOES THIS CHANGE SERVE?  Or, WHAT IS THE GREATER VISION FOR THIS CHANGE?

Identity - Attempts to change at this level affects self-image and overall purpose.  Answers the question of WHO AM I THAT I WOULD PURSUE THIS CHANGE and/or WHAT KIND OF PERSON AM I THAT I WOULD PURSUE THIS CHANGE and/or WHAT IS MY PURPOSE FOR PURSUING THIS CHANGE?

Beliefs and Values - Attempts to change at this level affects the motivation and permission by affecting the reasons that we do it.  Answers the question of WHY DO I PURSUE THIS CHANGE?

Capabilities - Attempts to change at this level affects behavioral actions through a mental map, skill or strategy.  Answers the question of  MENTALLY, HOW DO I ACCOMPLISH THIS CHANGE?

Behavior - Attempts to change at this level affects specific actions taken within the environment.  Answers the question of WHAT DO I DO OR WHAT ACTIONS DO I TAKE TO ACCOMPLISH THIS CHANGE?

Environmental - Attempts to change at this level affects the external constraints a person has to live within and react to.  Answers the questions of WHERE and/or WHEN and/or WITH WHOM DO I PRACTICE THIS CHANGE ?

When I first started using Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) to model the subjective experience of those with the symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), I used the Logical Levels extensively.  The published symptoms of ADD like hyperactivity, distractibility, forgetfulness, impulsiveness, lack of organization, and procrastination are diagnosed at the Logical Level of Behavior.  What I found were symptoms at all the Logical Levels.  So, when I work with somebody with ADD, I systematically work with them through all the Logical Levels.  I have found that using EFT to do this greatly speeds up the process. 

Once the process is complete, I find that the integration solidifies the new belief(s) and sets it into their future with specific changes they can look forward to. I usually do this physically by having the client write each of the six levels on a piece of paper and line them up on the floor about a foot or two apart. As the tennis player above, for example, stepped on each level, I asked him the following questions and let him elaborate on his answers:

Environment Level—“Where, when and with whom will you choose for the energy to be focused?”
Behavior Level—“What behaviors or actions will you engage in when you choose for the energy to be focused?”
Capability Level—“What mental states or strategies will you engage when you choose for the energy to be focused?”
Beliefs/Values Level—“What values and beliefs will you need and use when you choose for the energy to be focused?”
Identity Level—“What kind of person are you that you choose for the energy to be focused?”
Spiritual/Greater System Level—“Who else does this serve or what greater mission or vision does it serve when you choose for the energy to be focused?”

As a client walks the logical levels from environment to spiritual/greater system, the answers become more general and can even become metaphorical. After they complete the walk, I have them turn around and walk back through the Logical Levels with their focus on their expanded identity and sense of mission or vision. This double walk through the Logical Levels not only grounds the new belief in reality and actions but also gives it a higher sense of meaning and purpose. It also assures that all the logical levels have been connected and that there are not any voids at any level. When the tennis player left my office he felt powerfully empowered and confident that he would not have any more problems with anger on the tennis court.

In my experience in working with students that struggle in school (particularly those with ADD symptoms), it is incredibly important to ferret out all the limiting beliefs regarding school and learning and replace them with more empowering beliefs. In the past, it has sometimes been a tough sale to get a student, especially a young one, to allow it to be done. Using EFT to facilitate the belief change makes it quick and fun. And, it can be done with very young children too.

Roger J.Callahan, Ph.D., WWW.TFTRX.COM
Gary H. Craig, 

About the Author
Don A. Blackerby
, Ph.D. is founder of SUCCESS SKILLS in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA. He is a former math teacher and college dean and founded SUCCESS SKILLS in 1981 in order to focus on using NLP in helping struggling students in school. In 1996, he wrote a book “Rediscover the Joy of Learning” in which he describes his NLP based strategies and processes on how he helps struggling students including those with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Don is not a psychologist, psychiatrist, or medical doctor, he is an educator who is certified in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and practices as a Personal Development Coach. On a spiritual path he is an ordained minister and registered in the State of Oklahoma. He may be contacted in various ways. His address and phone numbers are: SUCCESS SKILLS, PO Box 42631, Oklahoma City, OK 73123, USA. His phone number is 1-405-773-8820. His fax is 1-405-773-5427. His E-mail is He also has a web site:


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