The Movie Technique

The Movie Technique is a powerful EFT technique because it provides a systematic way to notice and tap on specific aspects of an upsetting memory. EFT is most effective at reducing the emotional intensity when used on specific events. The Movie Technique guides you through tapping on each piece of a memory and thus being very specific.

In The Movie Technique you picture the event in your mind’s eye, starting at the beginning and going through the incident scene by scene. Each time you come to a part of the movie that carries an emotional charge, you stop and do the EFT sequence. As you go through the memory tapping on the intense parts, you systematically reduce the intensity to zero.

The Movie Technique is typically done silently. So, you can use it when you have a difficult memory and you don’t want to share all the details. There is a related EFT technique called Tell the Story which is similar except that you go through the memory out loud.

A key piece of doing The Movie Technique on a memory is that the memory should be very short, two minutes at most. If the intense part of the memory is longer than two minutes, simply break it down into multiple chunks and work with each part separately.


  1. Work with a Title
  • Choose a title for your short two-minute movie. The title should invoke the memory, but not be very intense.
  • Rate the intensity of the title on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is no distress and 10 is very distressing.
  • Write down the movie title and the intensity.
  • Put the title into the EFT sequence and do several rounds on the title to reduce the intensity before going through the memory.
  • Find Tapping Outline here.
  • For the setup this might sound like, “Even though I have this title [insert your title here], I deeply and completely accept myself.” Tap on the side of hand saying this statement – repeat three times. Then tapping on the tapping points, say your reminder phrase “This title [insert your title here]” as you tap on each point.
  • Once the intensity of the title is below a 3, you can move to the actual memory.
  1. Work with the Short Memory
  • Begin at a neutral point before anything upsetting has happened.
  • Start running the movie through your mind until you reach the first point where there is emotional intensity.
  • Stop and rate the intensity of this part on a scale of 0 to 10.
  • Perform a round of EFT on this intense memory.
  • That might be, “Even though [description of intense moment], I deeply and completely accept myself.”
  • And on the tapping points, “this [description of intense moment],” working on this detail until it has subsided to a 1 or 2.
  • Now rewind the movie a little and go through this part again. If it feels truly neutral, you know that you have resolved this aspect of the memory. If not, do more rounds of tapping for any remaining intensity.
  • Now proceed with narrating the movie until you get to the next point of emotional intensity.
  • Repeat the process: assess the intensity of this part of the memory (0-10 rating) and do EFT until this next piece feels completely neutral.
  • Allow yourself the time to tap thoroughly on each intense moment in your movie.
  • When you have gone through the entire movie thoroughly, rewind and narrate the movie again. Notice any remaining intensity. Sometimes as you do this process, you will remember additional details that you didn’t think of initially.
  • Continue to tap for any upsetting details until you can go through the memory without feeling any negative emotional charge.
  1. Testing
  • Notice how neutral you feel about this memory now. How does it feel in your body?
  • To be very thorough, consider the title again. Does the title have any intensity now? Has the title changed?
  • You can also thoroughly check by running the movie and exaggerating your senses. Imagine the sounds, smells, sights and tastes of the memory as vividly as you can.
  • If you have been silently running the movie in your mind, try narrating it out loud.
  • If you notice any remaining intensity, do the tapping sequence on what you notice.

The movie technique is so powerful because it provides an outline to systematically go through a memory slowly and notice what parts were actually the most upsetting. It’s a gentle technique. It allows you to go through the memory slowly, release intensity and then go back through and test the result of your tapping.

* Photo by Nathan Engel from Pexels