February 22, 2024

Resource Tapping Into Love Using Bilateral Stimulation

Love is one of the most powerful resource reservoirs you can draw from to help you face life’s challenges. Resource Tapping into love can help you make better use of the gift of love received from others and strengthen self-love. 

You can use Resource Tapping in EMDR and Attachment-Focused EMDR sessions with your clients to activate their love resources, promote healing and restoration, and allow them to apply them to a past traumatic situation or to help calm anxiety.

Resource Tapping into love resources is also a powerful way to help yourself! In this article, we’ll give you step-by-step instructions on successfully implementing the bilateral stimulation tapping technique developed by Dr. Laurel Parnell, founder of the Parnell Institute. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of how Resource Tapping into love can help you and your clients tap into love’s healing power.

These resources, along with many others, can be found in two of Dr. Parnell’s books:

About Dr. Parnell

Resource Tapping Briefly Explained

You can tap your legs or wrap yourself in a butterfly hug and tap your shoulders during resource tapping.

Resource Tapping is a powerful healing technique that can help clients (and you) regulate emotions by focusing on positive internal resources you or your client already possess. 

As the book Tapping In teaches, Resource Tapping helps release emotional and physical distress, build resilience, aid in healing, and calm the body on a deep physiological level.

Dr. Parnell explains Resource Tapping in EMDR and AF-EMDR as “tapping in imaginary nurturing, wise, and protective figures and experiences.” To effectively use Resource Tapping, you pair positive imagery of your selected resource with short amounts of bilateral stimulation (BLS), typically between 6 and 12 times. This strengthens that resource, in this case, love, and allows you to apply it to whatever situation you are experiencing. 

The physical act of tapping typically involves alternately tapping right-left, right-left on your legs or shoulders, as if giving yourself a hug, often called the “butterfly hug.” Resource Tapping can help you or your clients feel cared for and nurtured, which is especially crucial when treating clients dealing with attachment deficits. 

Resource Tapping in EMDR and AF-EMDR sessions calls on four primary real or imagined resources:

  1. A calm or peaceful place
  2. Wise figures
  3. Nurturing figures
  4.  Protector figures

During client sessions, you can help them tap into the resource that can most serve them at the time. When you use Resource Tapping on yourself, if you feel you need to feel more loved and nurtured, it’s always a good idea to tap into your love resource. 

Resource Tapping in EMDR sessions and With Yourself is powerful.

How to Tap Into Your Love Resources

When you access memories and images of people in your life that you love and who love you, you contact your soft, open heart, which can help you when you feel anxious, unsupported, sad, lonely, and needing comfort. There are four ways you can tap into your powerful love resource:

  1. Tapping Into Those You Love
  2. Tapping Into Those Who Love You
  3. Tapping Into Your Circle of Love
  4. Tapping Into Your Heart Refuge

Here are some step-by-step instructions to help you tap into your love resource and give you a better understanding of what this looks like. 

Steps to Tapping Into Those You Love

Step 1: Quiet Your Mind

Take a few moments to go inside and ensure your mind is quiet. Find that still place without yourself and rest there for a few moments until you feel still.

Step 2: Think of People and/or Animals You Have Loved

Begin to list in your mind the people and animals you have loved from your past or present. It’s okay to go back to your childhood. Consider friends, parents, grandparents, nannies, teachers, and pets with whom you shared a special bond as a child.

Then, focus on those who are alive and special to you today: your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, close friends, and your dog, cat, or horse.

Step 3: Put Feelings of Sadness for Passed Loved Ones Aside

If you feel sad when you think of people or animals who have passed, do your best to put those feelings aside and focus only on your love for them. Remember: this love never dies. Instead, the love they gave you continues to be a valuable resource you can tap into throughout your life.

Step 4: Imagine a Strong Container for Your Grief and Sadness

To help you focus on the love from past loved ones and animals, consider imagining a container made of a strong material where you can place your grief, sadness, and other painful thoughts and feelings while focusing on the love. If you’d like, it can be a treasure box you can open whenever you’d like.

When resource tapping, it's important to find a quiet, distraction-free space.

Step 5: Picture a Loved Person or Animal

Choose someone or an animal from your past or present and bring them to mind as strongly as you can. This image should evoke only positive feelings. For example, you can picture your daughter as a little girl, sitting in your lap as you read her a story. As you bring this image to mind, let the love you feel fill your heart as much as possible. 

Step 6: Begin Tapping

When you are able to hold that image and feel those feelings of love, begin to tap. Tap 6-12 times or longer if the feelings strengthen or remain positive. Continue tapping until it feels strong, integrated, and complete.

Step 7: Stop Tapping If Negative Emotions Arise

While Resource Tapping, stop tapping if negative feelings like sad memories and regret arise. Try bringing up the image you began with again to find the feelings of love. If you find them, start tapping again, but only briefly. 

If you cannot find the positive, loving feelings, picture another being you love, evoke their image, feel the love, and begin Resource Tapping again. This time, only tap for a short time.

Step 8: Repeat the Process As Many Times As You’d Like

You can repeat this Resource Tapping process as many times as you have people or animals in your mind for whom you have loving feelings. Bring each one to mind, feel love and affection, then tap to strengthen them.

Steps to Tapping Into Those Who Love You

Step 1: Find a Quiet Place and Breath

Make sure you are in a distraction-free environment where you can close your eyes and go inside, bringing your attention to your breath. Take a few deep breaths through your nose and slowly out through your mouth. When you exhale, relax and let go. Do this for a few minutes until you feel present.

Step 2: Think of People Who Love You

Bring someone to mind who loves you, whether they are in your life now or someone from your past. They can be alive or passed on. Consider parents, children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, friends, teachers, caretakers, counselors, etc. 

Step 3: Increase Your Memory of Your Selected Person By Activating Your Senses

Take in your selected individual’s loving presence and think about what you see, smell, hear, and feel as you picture them in your mind. Feel the love in your body and remember what it feels like to be loved and seen. Only focus on positive imagery and feelings, putting aside any memories or feelings of disappointment or loss.

Step 4: Begin Tapping

Once you have a strong sense of your selected resource person’s love for you, begin tapping on your legs or shoulders using the butterfly hug. Tap 6-12 tips right-left, right-left, strengthening the feeling of being loved. 

Allow yourself to feel loved and cared for, letting it permeate your cells, bringing warmth and well-being. If the feeling continues to get stronger, you can tap longer.

Step 5: Stop Tapping With Negative Feelings

Stop and return to the positive image if negative feelings arise while tapping. Do your best to stay only with positive feelings. If this is too challenging, bring another memory to mind of being loved by that same resource person, or think of another individual and tap to strengthen that one. 

Step 6: Repeat This Process for Additional People Who Love You

When you feel you’ve completed tapping in the first person, move on to another friend, child, partner, or other individual. When you have a strong image of being loved by that person, tap them in to strengthen that feeling.

When resource tapping in EMDR sessions or on yourself, you can tap into your circle of love.

Steps to Tapping Into Your Circle of Love

To tap into your love resources even more, you can tap into your circle of love using the resources you have tapped to provide you with even more comfort and support. Imagine these loving resources encircling you, sending you love. Use this resource when you feel low, alone, and need support. For example, you can use it before a medical procedure, when undertaking something challenging, or to enhance performance.

Step 1: Imagine Your Loving Resources Surrounding You

In your mind, look around at these people who love you. Feel their love and support as they encircle you.

Step 2: Focus On Each Person and Imagine a Ray of Warm Light Coming From Them

One at a time, focus on each person and imagine a ray of warm light of the color you associate with love coming directly from them into your heart center. Feel how each person’s love light radiates into your heart.

Open your heart to each one until you receive love light emanating from multiple sources.

Step 3: Begin Tapping

When you feel the love, begin tapping right-left right-left for as long as the feelings are positive. Picture yourself at the center of a wheel of love, with your resource people and their love as the spokes. Take this love light into your heart and let it permeate and radiate throughout your body until you are filled with love light.

Step 4: Radiate Love Light Back to Each Loving Resource

Bring your attention back to your loving resourcing, looking at each of them individually, feeling your love for them. See and feel your heart radiate love and light back to them. Imagine this love light circulating from them to you and you to them as a continuous circuit of blissful energy. 

Stay with this image and these feelings as long as possible, soaking them in, supporting and nurturing you. Continue tapping for as long as it feels positive.

Step 5: Feel the Connection to Those You Love And Who Love You

Let this love light connection support you and bring you comfort when you need it, understanding that this love is in you and always available. 

Step 6: Take This Love and Support With You

If you’d like, you can imagine taking the love and support you feel from your circle of love with you into a future situation, tapping as you imagine it.

Steps to Tapping Into Your Heart Refuge

When Resource Tapping in EMDR and AF-EMDR sessions with clients or yourself, you can use your heart center as a place of refuge. You can focus on your heart center and evoke and tap each resource, one at a time. 

Learn how to tap into your heart refuge with resource tapping from the Parnell Institute.

Imagine your resources within your heart or just the feeling of them there. By focusing on your heart center and tapping into loving resources, you create a resource you can return to during difficult times.

Step 1: Bring Your Attention to Your Heart Center

Let your heart become soft and warm in a quiet, distraction-free space. Breathe easily, in and out of this center, becoming very relaxed.

Step 2: Imagine Your Heart As a Refuge

Imagine your heart as a sanctuary and a place of safety and repose. 

Step 3: Bring Someone you Love to Mind

As you think of this person, feel the love in your heart. If it feels right to you, you can imagine holding them in your heart center. Or, experience in your heart the feeling of love that person evokes for you. 

Step 4: Begin Tapping

Once you have that image firmly in your mind and feel the love, begin tapping your knees or shoulders right-left, right-left 6-12 times. Tap longer only if it strengthens or remains positive.

Step 5: Continue Tapping While Thinking of Others You Love

Think of another person you love and begin tapping in the same manner. Feel your heart center radiate love and warmth. You may experience positive memories or associations, which is okay. Continue tapping to strengthen the positive feelings. 

Learn More About Resource Tapping Through Attachment-Focused EMDR Training With the Parnell Institute

Resource Tapping is a powerful tool for anyone’s toolbox—both your own and your clients. It’s especially powerful in client sessions where the individual suffers from attachment issues stemming from trauma. 

However, Resource Tapping is only one of the many valuable tools you can use when helping clients heal from deep trauma. One of the most powerful tools in your therapist toolbox is Attachment-Focused EMDR, which incorporates Resource Tapping, among other tools. 

At the Parnell Institute, we are passionate about helping therapists just like you develop a deeper understanding of how to help clients from various backgrounds, ethnicities, and experiences heal from traumas on a deeper level than what traditional EMDR can do. 

Becoming certified in Attachment-Focused EMDR can take your practice to the next level, allowing you to reach clients in ways you never thought possible. We offer several in-person and online Attachment-Focused EMDR training opportunities throughout the year. 

For more information, click on the “Get Trained in AF-EMDR” button and register for the Attachment-Focused EMDR training event that is most convenient for you!

Get Trained in AF-EMDR

Parnell Institute
Author: Parnell Institute

The Parnell Institute for EMDR is dedicated to quality education, service and research in the treatment of trauma. We recognizes the importance of treating the whole person—body, mind, heart and spirit—within his or her cultural context.

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