- Emotional Freedom Techniques - Ridgewood, NJ
Panic Attacks &
Getting to the core of "Mark's" anxiety.
Seasoned practitioners are aware that anxiety is often a generalized state. That is, the client feels anxious but is unable to pinpoint the exact reason. EFT can often be effective in giving some relief to this generalized state but often does its job most elegantly when the true cause can be found.
Dr. Carol Look provides us with an insightful look at this process as she applies it to "Mark," a seasoned EFT practitioner who reported an uncomfortable level of anxiety since the September 11, 2001 tragedies. As usual, Carol's quality languaging is worth studying.
Last week I taught two EFT classes to therapists, many of whom were overwrought and distressed from their own feelings about the September 11th trauma. Their distress of course was amplified by their clients' feelings about September 11th and the future. This case shows how using exact language is needed to hit the spot.
During the second class a seasoned EFT practitioner, Mark, reported an uncomfortable level of anxiety since September 11th. He had been persistent with his tapping, but hadnt been able to reduce the anxiety enough yet for his comfort. I asked him to describe what he was going through, and we began tapping for the simple anxiety that he rated at about a 6.
These two rounds reduced his anxiety dramatically (he reported feeling considerably calmer even though he did not scale the difference). The class participants noticed that the muscle tone and expression on his face had softened.
We continued to pursue the source of Marks anxiety beyond the obvious feelings he had of waiting for the other shoe to drop. We kept tapping...
Even though I dont feel safe anymore, I deeply and completely accept myself. This round was off the mark. We moved to...
Even though Im afraid for my family, I deeply and completely accept myself and my feelings
Finally, we hit the bullseye when I had him say...
Even though I feel powerless because I cant protect my family anymore I accept myself and my feelings.
This was a critical piece of Marks anxiety. Being a father and now a grandfather, Mark had always felt a sense of responsibility to protect his immediate family. The rules had essentially changed with the magnitude of the September attacks. Mark described this anxiety as part of his need to be in control. He felt enormously relieved when these words resonated deeply with his feelings. He said he had been unable to clearly identify the exact words to alleviate his anxiety.
Again, this was a 5-10 minute demonstration. At the end Mark reported feeling much better, and looked more relaxed and peaceful, *even though* he had no more control over his familys safety than he had when we began. He looked greatly relieved and told me he had planned to walk down to Ground Zero after the class to help with emotional closure for the incident. In a follow-up email one week later, Mark said he continues to feel free of the pre-workshop anxiety.
Dr. Carol Look
Anxiety and the fear of being alone.
With some frequency, we see clients with a blend of anxiety, trauma, physical pain and other issues. These problems are often so intertwined and "inter-causal" (new word?) that's it hard to know which causes what. However, there are usually some common core issues underlying them.
In the case below, Gwenn Bonnell's anxious client comes in complaining of a physical issue (pain in her side). After that subsides, several traumas and anxiety prone issues come to the surface. As you will see, Gwenn takes these apart and EFT's them individually throughout a long session. The client exhibits impressive relief even after Gwenn tests the results by running mental "movies" of the events. Despite these tests, the old emotional reactions are nowhere to be found.
I think you will find this case widely applicable to many people.
I had a woman, in her 50's, come to me because she had developed a sharp pain in her right side, under her ribs, that she felt with every breath. She came to me (I advertise as specializing in alleviating pain) because she was getting ready to go to Colorado with her husband and she was concerned over this breathing pain. Not only did she have to fly, but she was going skiing, so she would be in high altitudes where it was more difficult to breath anyway.
During the previous two weeks, she had been to various doctors and had some tests run to find out what was causing this pain, with no definitive answers. It only took a few rounds of EFT to get rid of this breathing pain in her right side; then she relaxed, opened up and started telling me her story.
She was going through menopause, with a lot of up and down emotions, during the past five or six months. She had lost a lot of weight, being so anxious that she couldn't eat or sleep; she basically just cried a lot. And she suspected her husband (this is her second, only married a few years) of cheating on her. If not physically, he was at least emotionally involved with another woman. She was very insecure over this because her first husband began cheating on her very early into their marriage, in fact she was pregnant with their second child at the time (she has three grown children from her first marriage).
She had been placed on Prozac by a therapist she had been seeing; however, this therapist didn't seem to be helping her. She had discontinued the Prozac after a few months. At one point in her therapy sessions with the previous therapist, she mentioned suicide, so there was a big hullabaloo over that, and she sort of clammed up with that therapist after that. And she said she was actually dreading this trip with her husband, and had even been thinking of ways to back out of it.
So we began treating "Even though I am afraid my husband is cheating on me..." and she became a lot calmer. Said she could look at it without her insides getting tied up in knots. After a few more rounds, the anxiety was gone.
Then we began treating the feeling of sadness she had when she thought of the time she discovered her first husband was cheating on her. This uncovered instances of abuse from her childhood. Her mother died very young, and her father tried to raise her. But by age 5, he gave her up for adoption. That is when she emigrated to America. She was adopted by a couple with no other children. And, her stepfather began sexually abusing her.
When she told her stepmother about it, she totally dismissed it (I guess this is common?) So she grew up always in fear of her stepfather coming into her room at night. And with the thought pattern that if men abuse her and she stands up for herself they will leave her (words from her stepfather). Her terrible fear was of being alone. And although she has worked her entire adult life, and has a good job, and had been through a divorce and managed to support herself and raise her son, she still had a fear of being on her own.
So we talked about how she has been able to handle life on her own, and how she deserves a man that will treat her decently, and that when she loves herself enough to demand that, she will get it. We used EFT to treat her fear of being alone, that she doesn't have to take any kind of abuse (mental, emotional or physical) from men anymore, and how she deserves love, from herself and others.
This turned into a rather long session. Thankfully it was on a weekend and I had no other clients scheduled. I will never forget her reaction after our session was over - she was asking God to bless me a thousand times over! Not only was her physical pain gone, but emotionally and mentally she was so at peace.
She kept looking all over for the emotions we had released, we played a lot of "movies" over and over again to get reactions, but she said she felt so free like a great weight was lifted from her. She ended up going to Colorado with her husband and related that it was like a second honeymoon! I could tell such a difference in her voice when she called me after the vacation - life was fun again for her, and she had me laughing telling me stories about her trip.
This is a great example of how I get people in with physical pains that are really just symptoms of anxieties and traumas - and how treating the physical pain relaxes them enough to open up about the real underlying issue! Most of the time we can trace it back to their childhoods.
Love & light,
Current "in your face" anxiety and stress case.
A thank you to Robyn Wood for this anxiety/stress ridden case. I think it is particularly useful because it depicts a client undergoing CURRENTLY stressful inputs (severe enough to cause a complete mental breakdown). I stress the term CURRENTLY here because, in my experience, such a case often unfolds a bit differently than one involving a PAST issue such as a war trauma, death of a loved one, guilt over a past action and so on.
While this case is about "Susie's" reaction to her husband's illness (and many related financial, family and other issues) it has some parallels with the plight of a battered wife. In both cases, the client is faced daily with anxiety and stress ridden inputs. This is not the type of thing that we just "tap away" in a session or two. That's because the problems are current, "in your face," major events that are here today and will still be here tomorrow.
However, great progress can be made with EFT in bringing stability to the client's emotional responses. With remarkable frequency, we can "take the edge off" the intense emotional reactions and thus generate a better level of peace and understanding. This gives the client a sounder, more rational base from which to make decisions.
As Robyn shares this story with us, you will see how she pulls the problem apart into several related aspects. This is meritorious, of course, and I'm sure contributed substantially to the client's increased stability. You will also note that the client's reaction was delayed. I comment on that within Robyn's report.
Susie (name change) had a major crisis, diagnosed as a complete mental breakdown, and was hospitalised for stress and depression. This was triggered by multiple stressors all related to her husband of 35 years having Huntingtons - a debilitating progressive disease which effects the brain and nervous system.
She has been his primary caregiver and slowly watched him deteriorate over 20 years. This was a tremendous burden that she carried without sharing it with her children--until it became obvious about 20 years ago. It has only been in recent years that she has also shared with them that they too are possible candidates for the same progressive disease--as are their children.
After a relapse at home, her husband was placed in a rehab. centre and became incontinent. The rehab centre was insistent on him returning home and Susie felt she could no longer cope. Not just because he was incontinent but because of the increasing burden and responsibilities involved. The 4 adult children were extremely upset at the thought of their father not returning home (none remain living at home) and became angry with their mother.
A crisis team came to her aid and prescribed Paraxotine and complete rest. The family was called together for joint counselling. This has likely opened a pandora's box for the children because of their own multiple issues related to their potentiality towards contracting Huntingtons.
At a home visit where Susie was bed ridden (no energy and sobbed constantly), she was unable to even tap for herself. So I began tapping for her.
GC RESPONSE: Doing the tapping for someone else is often even more effective than the clients tapping themselves. There appears to be something useful about the human interaction (love) in some cases.
Please note below the many aspects that Robyn addressed. In my opinion, the more the better. You are dealing with a festering emotional boil here and the more drainage you can provide, the less painful the boil. Also note that most of the aspects are somewhat global in nature (e.g. failure as a mother/wife). While it can be effective at this early stage to be global like this, I suggest that getting behind each of them to address specific contributors may take the client to an even better level.
ROBYN CONTINUES: Below are some of the aspects so far...
In some cases I used Larry Nims' way of working with tapping the 3 areas with the accompanying 4 statements "I'm eliminating all of the (E.B. for sadnesses, UE for fear, LF for anger, and EB again for emotional traumas) and all of the roots and the deepest causes of all of this problem" (but added) "related to feeling a failure as a wife" etc.
I left a printout of the EFT Basic Recipe suggesting she tap daily on anything that created discomfort for her
Needless to say, the potential for EFT is enormous with this whole family.
Gary, what I have found interesting is that initially Susie was unable to give a SUDS [0-10 intensity] score and, on the few occasions she did, it had only reduced from a 10 to an 8. Intuitively I felt it had come down much lower. I suspected the APEX problem and so I gave up completely on the scoring and just did the tapping. Later Susie revealed that it was the next day when she felt so much better but only mildly improved shortly after the tapping. This has been my first experience of this (delayed effect) after working with maybe a 100 or more people. Have others experienced this?
GC COMMENT: Yes, this happens from time to time. Let me also suggest, however, that you give credit to your intuitive sense. On many occasions I intuited that a client was at a different level than they reported. Upon discussion with them we discovered that they were actually much improved but they didn't report it because some other aspect was coming up (of which they were unaware) OR they didn't believe the improvement would last. Thus it is possible that Susie didn't have a delayed reaction. She may have been improved at the moment but didn't report it.
ROBYN CONTINUES: Although the crisis team has been very supportive and visiting her at home daily, she asked me to come and do "the tapping" with her as she felt this was helping her more than anything. Still more to go but progress is outstanding compared to alternatives offered.
Thanks heaps for the ongoing input.
Blessings to you,
P.S. Just a further point I forgot to mention. With many of the issues we tapped on, we concluded with tapping on the KC point and saying "I forgive anyone else who's played a part in this including God, I forgive myself for attracting this, I now let it go completely" I really felt this was important given the complexity and longevity of the health problem.
Also, Susie reported in saying she drove the following day and managed to cook for herself. Progress continues.
- Emotional Freedom Techniques - Ridgewood, NJ