Clients themselves are not always aware of their own hidden issues (sometimes called core issues). There are several processes within EFT that can help uncover these – see technique such as sneaking up on a problem, or daisy chaining which is a method to see what the current situation reminds you of – see http://www.eftuniverse.com/tutorial/the-daisy-chain-opportunity
Sometimes what happens is that there is a good reason to actually keep a problem going in life (often called a secondary gain or in EFT terms, psychological reversal). This means a client has a reason to stay the same, rather than change, and they are not often aware of it. An example might be that a client was abused as a young teen, and promptly gained weight as a way of becoming less attractive and to reduce the chances of it happening again. Later in life as an adult they attempt to lose weight, wanting to be healthy, but weight loss triggers a cascade of emotions related to safety (usually unconsciously), and they keep returning to their overweight state not matter what they do. Have a read here for how this works – http://www.eftuniverse.com/refinements-to-eft/how-to-identify-and-correct-psychological-reversals
The side of the hand point used in EFT with the setup statement is often associated with psychological reversal so it is important to use that with clients. It just might help with any secondary gain.
There are several questions that can be asked while doing any of the above too. Dr Dawson Church suggests to ask:
1. Does the problem that’s bothering you remind you of any events in your childhood?
2. Can you tune into your body and feel your feelings? Now, travel back in time to the first time in your life you ever felt this same sensation.
3. What’s the worst similar experience you ever had?
4. If you were writing your autobiography, what chapter would you prefer to delete, as though it had never happened to you?
He says – if you can’t remember a specific childhood event, simply make up a fictional event in your mind. This kind of guessing usually turns out to be right on target. You are assembling the imagined event out of components of real events, and the imaginary event usually leads you back to actual events you can tap on.
Even if it doesn’t, and you tap on that fictional event, you will eventually experience an obvious release of tension.
Another great article written by a practitioner on getting to the core belief is here http://www.eftuniverse.com/refinements-to-eft/the-6-eft-whys-getting-to-core-issues