- Emotional Freedom Techniques - Ridgewood, NJ
Depression Case History File
30+ years of depression gone in 2 minutes!
Acupuncturist Lee Beymer provides us with an example of a "now you see it, now you don't" cessation of depression. Even though we don't always get these rapid results, EFT'ers who deal with depression see this happen with some frequency. It's a real heart warmer every time it happens.
.......This particular case was interesting because it was both extreme in its affects and yet core to the integrity of being human.
M. is 50ish, single mom with two teenage daughters - one of whom was terribly scarred in an auto accident a year ago. At about that same time she had broken up from a negative relationship and was feeling depressed. She had gone in for help and was put on Paxil - which did indeed give her the support she needed to cope. About two months ago M. came to see me in my practice wanting to get off the drug because she said that she could feel it hurting her liver and knew it wasn't good for her in the long run. As an acupuncturist I am not allowed to speak at all about prescription drugs but I agreed to help her deal with the "underlying" factors.
In talking with M. it became quickly clear that the underlying factor to her depression was a deep sense of worthlessness.
GC RESPONSE: Small point here. Some might argue that a sense of worthlessness is so close to depression as to be the same thing.
LEE CONTINUES: At the time, she stated that she had felt this for at least some 30+ years and gave it an intensity rating of 10 out of 10. We applied the modified EFT [including a form of BSFF] and cleared it to 0 in two minutes! Much to her amazement, she felt it leave her energy field during the process. Afterwards upon asking how she felt, she reported that she felt "empty and bereft from the source". It seemed that she had lost an old friend, one who had accompanied her and consoled her for so many years, leaving such a big hole in her energy field that she felt loss.
So we then tapped again (I always tap along with my patients) for these issues. During which we both felt a shedding of a veil, followed with a warmth that filled us with Light and a deep sense of peace. It was truly profound with the shift occurring virtually instantly and stayed with us for the remainder of the session (and the rest of the day for me).
GC RESPONSE: Thank you for mentioning this "old friend" feature. Some people have lived with depression and other emotional negativity for so long that they have adjusted to it. They are so used to it being there that they have embraced it as an integral part of their self image. When it is gone, they aren't quite sure how to cope.
This need not be a problem, however, because this hole or empty feeling is usually just another tappable issue. You picked up on this beautifully. I don't know precisely how you handled it but I might suggest these examples for EFT'ers to use.....
LEE CONTINUES: Since then she has, of her own accord, quit the drugs cold-turkey without any side-affects nor any sign of the depression returning. This experience was truly remarkable and life transforming for both of us! Much more than I had bargained for.
Depression, low self esteem and childhood traumas.
Mair Llewellyn from the UK gives us substantial detail on a case involving numerous issues. The depression, in this case, was most likely the result of the influence of all the other factors. At least that's the way it played out. Interestingly, the various problems were seething under the surface even though, to outside observers, she appeared very successful and together.
Mair, like so many others, blends EFT with other techniques and she was thoughtful enough to give us a professional look behind the scenes.
(Gary in the case history below names and personal details have been changed to maintain confidentiality)
Marie came to me in January wanting to stop biting her nails. Although on the surface this may seem a simple habit, early on in our first session together we discovered that her nail biting was just a symptom of many underlying childhood traumas. The first session with a client usually involves some cognitive thinking strategies. I have been in practise as a psychotherapist for over 20 years and I have found that for lasting change to occur, (whatever the methodology used) frequently a genuine cognitive rebalancing needs to happen. This also seems to enhance the total healing effects when using EFT too.
GC COMMENT: I also find this cognitive restructuring happens within the EFT process. It's as though the release of burdensome negative emotions permits healthier attitudes to surface.
MAIR CONTINUES: Gary discusses the idea of the writing on our walls [from The Palace of Possibilities]. Marie's walls were covered with writing about her inadequacies as a person, what she wasnt and couldnt do. Yet, it became so clear to me that she was a very accomplished person. Professionally, she managed people and major contracts. Her bosses and the organization that she works for have a deep respect for her. It appeared that all her positive energy was directed into her professional competencies and her desire to achieve as a loving Mother. Little consideration was being given to herself.
Yet despite all of her obvious successes she had suffered profoundly from depression and low self esteem, from the age of 10 or 11. As a child she had always felt inferior as a girl because her dad told her from an early age that he wanted a boy. When she was three and her younger brother arrived she felt her little brother seemed to command all of her father's attention which she so craved. From a very early age she suffered from being overweight and children laughed at her. For as long as she could remember she had bitten her nails as had her father. Her Father also ate heavily and the fact that he did so really disgusted her because he seemed so greedy. Within her mind she had many very significant incidents that saddened her and left her feeling wanting.
GC COMMENT: Here are some suggested phrases that might prove helpful with issues like these....
MAIR CONTINUES: On her second session after using her journal (a cognitive therapy technique) we discovered many problems to tap on. What came across very strongly was her feeling of being second best to her brother. We began tapping on this and she suddenly stopped, saying she had recalled being weighed and measured in school as a child and lining up with everyone laughing at her. Up until this point she had not discussed her weight problem in much detail, however it had been of prime importance when she had been writing in her journal (in between session one and two) This ridicule from her classmates was obviously a very upsetting issue and further compounded her already low self esteem. Whatever she had tried up until now in the way of diets had failed. Had the writing on her walls maintained this continuing programme?
For very many years she had attempted to lose weight but had found the process so demeaning it was almost like she was rejoining that queue at school again. Instead of adding to her confidence, it was very destructive. It became obvious that this was a core issue for her and we spent some time rubbing her sore spot and tapping whilst she released without her discussing any particular set up statement. During this time of tapping I talked through the process of reflecting the feelings she had described to me about her dad, about her not being a boy, and about her brother, as well as the upsetting image of her queuing to be weighed at school. As we rubbed the sore spot and did some facial tapping she became more peaceful.
GC COMMENT: This is a technique that I have found quite helpful. When a client is talking about a bothersome issue s/he is clearly tuned into it. Just start tapping on the meridians while they tell the story.
MAIR CONTINUES: At her collarbone point I asked her to wait a while so that she may take her time to re-orientate herself . She begun to laugh and said how silly it all was that she was frightened to this day to go to the nurse who was dispensing her slimming pills so begrudgingly.
For some months the local surgery [medical facility] had been working with her and prescribing these very expensive pills. They are supposed to jettison the fat from her body as she ate to assist in her weight loss programme. Despite this supposed benefit only one pound in weight had been lost over the 9 months of using them. All she got from taking the pills was severe stomach-ache and diarrhea. The nurses attitude towards her was very hard and uncaring. Only a couple of weeks ago this person had given her a good talking to saying she wasnt trying and that it was costing the National Health Service [in the UK] so many pounds each week. This awful experience only compounded her already low self esteem and her need to be protected in some way.
After tapping she decided that she would not continue to be humiliated by this process, it wasnt doing any good anyway and she knew that she needed to address the underlying issues. On the third visit she proudly showed me her nails, which had begun to grow. She surprised me when she said that she had that morning visited her doctor to ask if she could have her anti depressant drugs reduced because she was feeling much more in control of what was happening to her. Her doctor was reluctant to do this until she felt stronger. They both agreed to work together alongside the therapy she was receiving from me.
Marie reported vast improvements in her moods on a day to day basis. During the month I had been seeing her, she found she was eating more healthily without being aware or choosing to. A fact which had had to be pointed out to her by her husband as she had not even noticed. She was thrilled about all the things that were happening, but I still sensed there were some issues to work on. It was as if much of the writing on the walls had cleared yet some of it indelibly remained. During this session we did some tapping on Even though I dont feel totally free and I dont quite know why . As she begun to tap through this she suddenly said I just cannot forgive myself for hanging onto all these bad feelings for so long. We tapped on I respect myself even though I cannot forgive myself for hanging onto this for so long Towards the end of two rounds of tapping Marie said I feel trapped by my own history. We tapped on being trapped and forgiving herself and others until her SUDs level reached a 1.
At this point in the session, I felt that further help would come by doing what I call a type of time trail therapy. When I do this with clients I ask their unconscious mind to activate the way they were meant to be. I usually say something like unconscious mind would you please release Marie from her past traumas through her breathing out and on her in breath recapture her rightful heritage. I have found over the last fifteen years that asking the subconscious mind to regain someones birthright and to activate that process again, is readily accepted. (This does not eliminate lessons and learning or the memories, it just releases the debilitating trauma)
I discussed with Marie that this process would happen even though she may not believe it or be consciously aware of it occurring. The example of unconscious assimilation I gave her was of how after a meal she naturally digests her minerals, nutrients and proteins out of her conscious awareness. Time trail therapy can be naturally implemented in exactly the same way by the other part of her mind. Even though she was not aware consciously of the assimilation of this instruction to recapture her birthright the process is still there ready to run again.
Affirmations and future pacing also help tremendously in these instances to etch the clients desired intentions within their mind. When Marie left I held her in my mind positively sensing that maybe she would not need to come for a further visit. A month later when her next appointment was due she rang to say she did not need to come as she was very happy and still enjoyed using her friend EFT for day to day stresses and as a positive maintenance programme.
You can imagine how very thrilled I was to meet her quite by accident in a local supermarket, two months later. When I saw her she rushed across and said thank you Mary for giving me back my life.
A textbook depression case--a "one minute wonder" complete with belief changes.
This creative use of EFT by Mair Llewellyn deserves our attention. It is one of our "one minute wonders" complete with belief changes. A textbook case.
This release of depression was so short it is difficult to know what really happened. Time will tell whether or not the freedom this client felt will be lasting over time or not. In my experience with previous clients when this happens it appears to be a totally liberating experience. A bit like letting a caged bird go.
Graham's mum rang me to ask if I could help her son with the depression he was feeling. When he arrived his voice was flat and his face was expressionless. I asked him whether this was the first experience he had had feeling this way. He said he had been depressed a couple of years ago when a relationship broke up. He also said that his mum commented on the fact that when he had a photo taken at university six years ago he did not look happy. He was now very unhappy because his current girlfriend and he had split up and his job was on the line.
When I asked him about his family and childhood, emotions quickly came to the surface. So I asked if we could do EFT together to help while these emotions were on the surface. He nodded sadly so we begun tapping together. After rubbing the sore spot, (I did this for him) and tapping the points on his face, he began to calm.
When he was able, he continued to talk while tapping about his feeling of powerlessness as a child and about Mum and Dad arguing all the while. Then he went onto describing a time when Mum had left and of how frightened he felt. He thought that somehow it was his fault that this had happened to his family, that he was unlovable and so on. This process of tapping and talking was a bit like narrating the story and the tapping continuing all in one go--clearing as it went. A bit like an emotional vacuum cleaner clearing the sadness.
GC COMMENT: This is a highly effective method. Those interested might review the "6 Days at the VA" tape included with the EFT Course. In that tape, I used a version of this tapping & talking technique with two of those Veterans with obvious success. I call it the "movie technique" because I ask the client to tell the story of the negative event and stop for tapping whenever they feel intense. It is very effective because the client is obviously "tuned in" to the problem while the tapping is being done.
MAIR CONTINUES: After the clearing of the sadness occurred, Graham continued talking and tapping. However, from here on in he was talking from a very different perspective. Talking from real insight, with obvious understanding, a very different stance but fascinating to observe.
GC COMMENT: This cognition shift is one of the most fascinating features of the tapping procedures. Literal belief changes happen behind the scenes and clients see the whole scenario through a different set of glasses (beliefs). It often takes years (sometimes decades) of talk therapy or other conventional procedures to arrive at this enviable healing place. With EFT, it is often instantaneous. This feature is so important that I often use it as evidence that EFT has been successful. In a way, it is the ultimate evidence.
MAIR CONTINUES: The most interesting part of the process was that he said, "It wasn't my fault about Dad and Mum arguing, as I was only a little kid, too young to be responsible. No wonder I felt insecure throughout my relationships, and devastated when they failed. All my life I have been frightened and sad about life. Now, for the very first time I feel as if the clouds have lifted and the sun is shining". Then after pausing he said. "That's a strange feeling given that the girl I love has left me and my job is coming to an end, but that is actually how I feel." Then he said something that was even more telling, "I won't need to feel those sad feelings ever again".
On reflection it seemed to me that EFT had given this young man access to his own needed insights and the healing process happened spontaneously. No SUD's [0-10 intensity] were taken. (None of this was done as conventional EFT is done yet it worked absolutely brilliantly. What a wonderful, wonderful way to end a grey life ! :-)) [GC: EFT is a tool to be used in whatever creative ways seem appropriate. Mair's "unconventional" use of EFT is, to me, very creative and well within our wide "boundaries."]
An intimate look at Depression
Loretta Sparks provides us with this important article by her husband, Rob George--a sufferer of severe depression for many years. Here is a first hand account of the inner thoughts behind depression and some creative uses of EFT for its relief.
Among other things, Rob confides that..."One of my problems is depression. I think I love it.........Depression can even become delicious, in a delirious and deleterious sort of way."
Thus, Rob gives us an open door into the intimacies of his depressed thinking. Professionals should find this of great interest. I met Rob in person, a couple of years ago, and admire his forthrightness...not to mention the sense of humor that pervades his article.
Other items worthy of note in Rob's message are....
1. His use of "imagining the tapping."
2. Tapping on Depression in a generalized way. Please note that this method gives him consistent "current relief" for his Depression. I comment on this within his message.
Below is a detailed description of a powerful EFT intervention for chronic depression. The writer is my husband, Rob George. His courage, honesty and humor are reflected in his words as well as his desire to share them with you.
Loretta Sparks, MA
TAPPING ON DEPRESSION -- Rob George
While somewhat familiar with Roger Callahan's extensive set of powerful Thought Field Therapy (TFT) tapping algorithms for specific situations, and a frequent user of the simple but effective Tapas Acupressure Technique (TAT) offered by Tapas Fleming, in this particular situation I employed Gary Craig's "one-algorithm-fits-all" Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) procedure.
Gary's straightforward and easily remembered technique and sequence of tapping points has become my basic workhorse to accomplish necessary miracles.
It is also noteworthy that rather than actually tapping out the sequence, I merely visualized the process and still seemed to get desirable results. As Gary emphasizes, we are indeed on the ground floor of a revolutionary psychotherapeutic high rise. I have conjectured (and would like to hear of other's thoughts on this matter) that (firmly) imagining the tapping sequence seems to work often in part simply because most of the same neurons and neural networks involved in the brain are exercised similarly whether or not physical tapping takes place.
Though Gary, and others, emphasize the importance of attempting to get down to and consider single specific issues rather than a general malaise, in this case I did the exact opposite. After all, doesn't Gary also emphasize trying new things? And it can't hurt, as we all know.
GC COMMENT: On many occasions we get impressive results by using EFT on the "general malaise" (or global problem, as I call it). People often tap in this manner and "feel much better now". Later when it "comes back" they tap again for relief.
I don't pretend to know all the inner workings of this process. However, in my experience, consistently EFT'ing the specific events in one's life that underlie the more global problem often leads to a more permanent resolution.
To each his/her own here. Please understand the principles of EFT and apply it in whatever manner works for you.
ROB CONTINUES: One of my problems is depression. I think I love it. At least sometimes. Depression can, of course, be living hell; I have experienced, off and on, that debilitating and petrifying psychological state for, evidently, a number of years. While recognizing depression to be unhealthy and perhaps even unnecessary (when I'm up), when I'm down, I'm submerged in that old familiar feeling of hopelessness. Depression can even become delicious, in a delirious and deleterious sort of way.
Anyway, having recently been unable to fall asleep and instead remaining awake in bed essentially all night long, becoming ever more depressed and deeply submerged in terrifying thoughts and futile struggles with insurmountable obstacles, the idea occurred that since I was evidently destined to stay awake that night, I might as well try tapping on some of those insurmountable issues. Anything to pass time. Not wishing to wake my wife Loretta, I decided to just imagine, as firmly as I could, the tapping sequence. I had done this before with what I considered to be frequent success.
So then I began. I processed one problem/malady/issue after another, but there were always more and deeper issues. It sure was a good thing EFT allows/requires one to concentrate on the problem, I thought. I was so down I only wanted to descend down further to visit my old friends, those frightening thoughts. I seemed to be getting nowhere, except that I now had more bad things to think about while I was awake.
Then, another thought occurred: why not try tapping on "Depression?" Sure, general depression was usually the result of a complex conglomerate of unpleasant issues and stressors, but maybe depression was also a single issue. Lord knows, I loved it at times for just what it was and actually could get depressed thinking about not being depressed. So, depression was treated as a single-issue problem. Below is roughly the wordage I used. I didn't get to sleep, as dawn broke, but I did eventually get up seemingly refreshed and not depressed -- damn it.
Setup: (Standard, accompanying Karate Chops and Sore Spot rubbing)
"Even though I'm sometimes depressed, I accept myself deeply and profoundly."
"Even though I'm depressed most of the time, I accept myself deeply and profoundly."
"Even though it seems I'm depressed all the time, I accept myself deeply and profoundly."
Algorithm: (With following morphing reminders)
EB: "I'm depressed."
SE: "I'm damned depressed!"
UE: "I've never been so depressed!"
UN: "I'm so depressed I can't get depressed enough."
CH: "Life's worthless without depression."
CB: "Depression's the only thing worth living for."
UA: "Why isn't everybody depressed?"
TH: "Everybody should be depressed; I'm depressed."
IF: "With this world, how could I not be depressed?"
MF: "Depression's the only hope."
LF: "This night's been miserable because of this depression."
KC: "Damn this depression."
9-Gamut: (Standard, accompanying Gamut Point tapping)
#7	: Sing: "Wish I had a drink right now" to the tune of "Mary had a little lamb."
EB: "Am I depressed."
SE: "God, depression's fun!"
UE: "Sure feels good to feel bad."
UU: "Depression's delicious!
CH: "It's really good when it's really bad."
CB: "Wouldn't have it any other way."
UA: "It's been too long since I've been depressed."
TH: "Think I'll go down deeper into this delicious depression."
IF: "What's the point of anything?"
MF: "What's the point of being depressed?"
LF: "Actually, depression's becoming a bore."
KC: "Depression lets everyone know I'm just thinking about myself."
It is the case that at the start of this "imagined" tapping, as with all "real" and "imagined" tapping I do now, I started off with a multifingered tapping on the top of my skull, the Crown Chakra. Don't ask where I got that; I just do it. It's a simple procedure that I like to think "wakes up" my whole brain, nervous system, and body, as in: "Wake up, me; we're going to try to communicate with the rest of the universe now." It amuses me.
Catherine O'Driscoll is a proficient user of EFT in Scotland (a non-therapist) and is particularly fond of using it on pets. I've had many correspondences with her over the past two years and find her quite creative. She recently applied EFT to herself while in a depressive state and enjoyed immediate shifts in both her demeanor and her personal insights. I think we all have had our moments like this and Catherine, in her honest message below, holds up a constructive mirror for us to look at.
Two weeks ago, things were going particularly wrong for me. I had organised two EFT workshops and publicised them amongst the members of Canine Health Concern, but the response was so poor I had to cancel one of them, in England. The other, in Dundee, would have to be cancelled if I couldn't get ten people there. This really upset me - I'm a marketing and PR consultant, so with a great therapy like EFT, I should be able to communicate its benefits. "Why don't people want to heal?" I asked myself. I was depressed - really depressed.
The evening I realised it wasn't going as I had hoped, I found myself being really angry with my husband - everything he did was wrong. In the end, I stomped off into the garden and sat with my dogs, feeling as depressed as hell.
I sat there, complaining bitterly to myself about everything my husband did wrong. And then the thought: "I am such a failure, I fail at everything I do." came into my head.
Do you know how sometimes these thoughts are so deeply ingrained that we often don't see them? But I caught it! I saw myself having this thought! So I tapped: "even though I'm a total failure". Instantly, I "forgave my husband" (who was innocent in the first place). I wasn't angry with him, I was angry with myself - the root of depression, perhaps. In fact, the more I use EFT, the more I realise that the negative thoughts I have towards other people, are rooted in negative thoughts I have about myself. I guess anger and depression are very closely related.
Then I went indoors and hugged my husband, and explained how I wasn't angry with him, I was angry with myself and I felt much better now. He was relieved!
There's a happy ending to the story, too. The EFT seminar near where I live in Dundee, Scotland, now has double the number of attendees I had hoped for. They have all come through word of mouth - and all are already healers of one type or another. I did virtually nothing, and yet all these people are coming - a miracle, perhaps? I feel strong guidance. Apart from spreading EFT, which is a dearly cherished goal, I have already met some wonderful new friends, and will meet more at the workshop this Sunday (9th July). And I am NOT a failure!
As an aside, my husband and I visited friends we hadn't seen for a year, although we keep in close contact. My friend Simon said, "Catherine, you have changed. You are still thinking of the needs of other people, but now you think of your own needs, too." This is a breakthrough for me, and I thank EFT for it. Having myself on the list of people who matter has been a long time coming, Gary. Maybe this is something I can share with the other healers I meet on Sunday.
As all my 'doing' to publicise the workshops proved, sometimes we don't need to DO it, but to trust in a Higher Power.
With love and BIG thanks,
- Emotional Freedom Techniques - Ridgewood, NJ