Geo-Specific Approach in EFT: Role of Culture

Geo- Specific EFT is not a new method in EFT. It is a NEW APPROACH to EFT application that is sensitive to cross-cultural variables that influence individual behavior.

Role of Culture

Culture must not be confused with race, ethnicity and socio-economic status. Subjective culture includes a wide range of factors like communication styles, parenting styles, family roles, values, spiritual and religious orientations, and a lot more.

Cultures differ in how they perceive happiness, productiveness and many other ‘Labels’ and ‘Categories’ that we use. Despite similarities among cultures, a lot of variability exists.

Let me give a few examples to illustrate the role of culture in individual differences.

1. I have found, while working with clients, that Co-dependence is perceived as a bigger problem by American & Irish cultures than Indian cultures. Therefore, the perception of problem differs from culture to culture.

2. The emphasis placed on individualism as opposed to collectivism across cultures differs. Countries like US, Canada, UK place more importance on individualistic self as opposed to Asian countries like India that stress on collective self.

In a study conducted by Cousins & Ross & Nisbett, they found that in Japanese culture that emphasizes collective self, they define themselves in terms “meeting the expectations of others rather than of fullfilling their own private needs.” If they are asked to answer  “Who Am I”, they would say “I’m an employee in this X company…. “In contrast, Americans are more likely to emphasize the content of the individual (private) self, defining themselves with such statements as “I am strong-willed.” Japanese define themselves in a social context whereas Americans are less dependent on social context. (Bordens, 2008)

3. English language has a word called “Accept” used in EFT, which has no exact translation in Hindi or Tamil. We say “sveekar karna” (hindi) but it still doesn’t have the same emotional intensity as the English word “accept”. Similarly  Japanese language has a word “itoshii” (longing for an absent loved one) which has no exact English translation.

I have outlined various cultural concepts that affect a person’s behavior: I believe that a clear understanding of these, central to Geo-Specific Approach, will make the EFT process more effective.

Self concept– what the person thinks about his own self.

Body image and Beauty – E.g. The western concept of beauty differ from the Asian concept.

Collective self
(Self in a social Context)-  E.g. the influence of social groups may be more predominant in certain cultures.

Personal Space
– The invisible space that we protect and defend around us will differ from culture to culture.

Familial relationships – Family ties and bonding differs from culture to culture. In Asian cultures, young adults often stay with their parent which is not so prevalent in Western cultures.

Moral beliefs – There are inherent differences in moral values and beliefs; therefore right and wrong internal judgments cannot be passed in cross cultural EFT applications.

Accomplishment – Cultures play a vital role in developing the concept of accomplishment. E.g. Material accomplishment (measured in terms of money), social accomplishment (measured in terms of social status), family accomplishment (measured in terms of achieving what your parents want) etc, will differ across cultures.

Conformity and Obedience – Conformity is the ability to comply with social norms and this varies from culture to culture.

Perception of Forgiveness – Forgiveness cannot be forced on an individual, it’s ultimately a choice, also dependent on cultural and religious orientation.

Language – There are linguistic differences in cultures in understanding universal terms like happiness, productiveness, loneliness etc as well.

Parenting Practices – Child rearing practices and parenting styles differ across culture.

Coping Mechanisms
– How the individuals cope with problems differs.

Aggression – Violence and aggressive behavior are linked with cultural background.

Religious and Spiritual concepts – are intertwined with culture.

Superstitions– Intrinsic to each culture is a belief in certain superstitions.

Even though EFT already is client-centric, (Cross –Cultural) Geo-Specific Approach to EFT Application that takes into account all the above factors in customizing affirmations/EFT statements will hasten the healing process.

Reference –
Bordens, K. S., &Horowitz, I. A. (2008) Social Psychology. U.S.A: Freeload Press.

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About Puja

I am a Counseling Psychologist, Certified EFT Practitioner & Accredited Trainer with AAMET. In my 12+ years of experience, I have effectively used EFT and Counseling to help clients heal their emotional and physical problems.
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