Choosing a Facilitator (And How I Just Did)

by | Mar 2, 2020 | Inner Work | 6 comments

Working one-on-one with a facilitator is one of, if not the most powerful things you can do in regards to your inner work. That is my experience at least, which comes from working with a wide range of individuals and situations.

Online courses, live courses, live retreats, workshops, you name it, I’ve probably done it, and for me there is nothing quite like personalized, focused attention with a skilled individual.

Since I believe this, and offer this as a service myself, it is only fitting that I also seek out the best people to facilitate me that I can.

I recently signed up for a few sessions with EFT facilitator Brad Yates, one of my favorite people in this space. I’ve been familiar with his work for a number of years now, and have taken part in some different programs, but this is the first time I will be working with him one on one. I’m definitely excited about it.

After taking a moment to examine the factors that made me want to work with Brad, I noticed they can serve as more general guidelines that others might find valuable.

Hopefully, these will help you in choosing the right person to work with, and avoid some common missteps many of us experience on our journey with this process.

The Gut-Check

The first step tends to be automatic, which is that gut-level sense of reacting positively to whomever is presenting themselves to you. That feeling like they are a “match,” even if that is just on a first impression level.

These days, we often won’t hear much of what anyone has to say without a certain amount of that gut-level resonance. It’s just so easy to simply click away to the next YouTube video, email or blog, that we won’t last long with someone that doesn’t immediately speak to us.

There are some exceptions however, and I do think checking in with that internal response to someone is extremely valuable and important.

Many of these exceptions and disconnects happen when we are feeling desperate for a solution and we want to believe in something badly enough that it will override that voice, or when something is particularly well-hyped and advertised.

Other times we are told by the right person, or enough people, that a particular teacher or technique is supposed to be great, and we will allow our minds to take that word over our own gut-reaction that says “this doesn’t really resonate.”

I recommend always paying close attention to what your inner voice is telling you.

In this case with Brad, I just got a good ‘vibe’ about him before I was familiar with his work, which validated itself quite quickly.

I’ve had this work the other way, as well.

I can think of another instance, and this warrants a separate discussion, where I got a strong impulse to participate in a program led by someone I was not the biggest fan of based on previous experience.

I ended up being glad I followed that intuition, as it was very good for me at the time, and the quality of the program completely superceded my own previously formed opinions which had plenty of my own projections built into them.

What Are You Looking For?

Are you looking to dive right into processing, going deep into inner work on a particular subject?

Are you looking to have more of a dialogue where you get questions answered, and if so, what about? Is it clarity on more esoteric, spiritual subjects? Is it to get an action plan related to your practice?

You would be surprised at how often there is a mismatch in what people approach different teachers or facilitators for, in terms of issues or questions.

For example, I would not use my time with Brad to chat about spiritual concepts, or look to have a lot of intellectual questions answered. I’m sure he could do a great job with those, but I am essentially losing time on deep dive processing that I can only get in this unique one on one time in his particular way.

This one is worth spending some time to get clarity about. In my view, whom we hire for what job is our responsibility, and something worth researching. If you hire a rock drummer for your big band, multi-page music reading jazz gig, it’s on you when it doesn’t go well!

Have you experienced lasting positive benefits from their material?

These days, many facilitators have YouTube videos, recorded live calls and/or some free e-books and classes.

There is a lot of good information out there, and a lot of tried-and-true techniques.

This means it is relatively easy for someone to put out content that sounds solid, logical, and do some type of process that creates a temporary high or relaxation. It may not have much substance beyond that.

I feel you owe it yourself to explore beyond the surface. After it passes your gut check, look to see if they have some substantive material, such as free courses or longer processes, so that you can know from first hand experience that it can have a positive effect for you.

Give it a few days at minimum. Did going through it cause you to experience positive benefits from it that sustained more than a temporary moment? If so, there is likely more there worth exploring further.

Watch Them Work

Have you heard and experienced this individual working live with others, and effectively delivering what you are looking for?

If there’s Q&A, are they giving more than stock answers you could get from a book or the course of a particular technique?

If it’s process-oriented, are they adept at handling a variety of different topics and personal issues, or at least the one you are most interested in?

Brad does a lot of live calls where he works with individuals who, in real-time, present their issue or subject matter, and he must work with them on the spot.

For me, it’s important to see that a facilitator can really connect to what the person they are working with is saying, process it, and present something relevant and effective. Brad definitely does this. There are a lot of others who definitely do not — not that what they do is not effective at all, but it can be generic, follow-the-script-of-the-technique that you could pretty much get from a recording or book.

Having some nuance and adaptability in order to specifically meet someone where they are at as part of the art form of being a good facilitator. If everyone on every call gets the same response, the same process, the same tone – you are not dealing with one.

Why It Matters

When we are involved in something like inner work, we are dealing with many of our deepest emotions, fears, and questions, as well as our most meaningful goals and aspirations.

Being led down the wrong road, sold on false promises, or accepting someone as an authority that is not right for you can have a big cost, far beyond money. I have seen this happen, and I’ve experienced it in my past, though fortunately not on a very deep level.

In contrast, working with a good facilitator or coach can skyrocket your growth and results. I am always reminded by this when I work with someone skilled, and this reminder is important to me, especially as someone who can easily fall into “doing it by myself” and having my own training and skillset in this area.

In fact, the more growth and experience you have, the better I find working with others to be!

I hope you find this valuable, and if you are interested in seeing any of my own approach, you can:
click here to see me working with various people on free calls.

If you are interested in Brad’s material, he can easily be found on YouTube, online, or you can
Join Brad’s weekly EFT calls, where I participate as a fellow student / member, by clicking here



  1. Jill

    So I too thought about Brad but i chose Angela Treat Lyon. Only had one session so far. This article is very important because there are just so many people out there. So many choices but which one is right for us. Plus we have to feel safe with the person to get the best results. I did take the 3 levels of IR courses but still found i am resisting and finding it a challenge to love and accept myself and my circumstances. I have loved EFT for about 20 years now. Am still trying to process trauma from my past but i had buried all those feelings so deep. Thank you for all you share with us. And speedy recovery!

    • Evan

      Hi Jill, excellent point about feeling safe with the person, that really is critical, and something we can only really check in with for ourselves. Thanks for mentioning that. Congrats on finding a good facilitator! I hope she makes all the difference in getting to those buried areas.

      One thing I will share about how I interpret IR, I never think of it, or any technique really, as trying to love or accept myself. For me, that phrase always presents a type of ideal or concept that isn’t particularly useful, although that is personal to me and for some it really works great. There was also always that separation of – “so here’s me, and there’s myself, and I have an opinion about it? I love it and accept it or I don’t? So what part of this process am I calling me, and what’s the self it likes or doesn’t like?”

      The *experience* of self-love and acceptance is amazing and powerful, but approaching it as something I try to ‘do’ never worked well for me.

      My best progress has usually arisen from really welcoming up those parts that were saying horrible, nasty things about me, the world, or anything else. Anytime I would “try to love myself” I was basically trying to suppress those ‘negative’ voices and feelings instead of really letting them come up, or trying to disown those things that didn’t fall into the love/accept line when they in fact were just as much a part of me as anything else. I have found that a place of no-resistance to them is very peaceful, and often very powerful, even if it goes down what you might call a very dark road. I know these terms have very different meanings for people but I thought I would share. Thanks for the kind words!

  2. Cyrus

    The timing of this post is good because I had wondered who you go to when you need facilitation. A variation of “who doctors the doctor?” in my mind lol

    I enjoy our work together and appreciate it very much. I’m glad I picked you 😊

    • Evan

      Likewise, Cyrus! Thanks again.

  3. ildiko

    Interesting, Evan. I was just thinking a bit about this myself. I tend to work with more than one person. It feels like I need and prefer more than one perspective. 🙂

    • Evan

      Excellent. Always great if you find more than one person, or different angles to work with. I know I benefit from many different approaches and people as well.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Calming Negative Self-Talk

Calming Negative Self-Talk

Isn't it interesting how we use the phrase "self-talk?" If it's mySELF that is talking, shouldn't I have control over this voice? When it comes to speaking out loud, you can simply stop talking, you...

Your Thought System Affects Everything

Your Thought System Affects Everything

Did you know you have a thought system that deeply affects your emotional work, results and overall happiness? What do I mean by "thought system," and how could it be so important? Well, imagine I...