Using EFT for Rage & Anger Management
From Gary Craig's EFT Email Support List

Anger case--the urge to explode.

Hi Everyone,

Lori Lorenz gives us an in depth look at an extreme anger case wherein her client was given to "explosions." During stressful situations he was afraid he would "rip his shirt or clothing off in a rage or start throwing things and scream uncontrollably."

This message is particularly valuable because Lori displays her wording and other details of the process. You will also note her advanced use of creative Setup phrasing (demonstrated in detail in our advanced tapes--Steps toward becoming The Ultimate Therapist).

Also, please note that the entire session was done over the phone.

Hugs, Gary

Dear Gary and List Members,

I was recently referred a client ("Tim") for a phone session who had been unable to work for the past 5 years due to extreme panic attacks (though probably more accurately they were anger attacks). Innumerable sessions with therapists of various persuasions, including some meridian/energy type therapies, had not budged his problem.

Now in his early 40's, Tim had had a blooming career cut short by the fear that he would "explode" either when left alone or out in public. The company of a friend or his partner was all that kept him calm. Tim was terrified that during stressful situations, he would rip his shirt or clothing off in a rage or start throwing things and scream uncontrollably. As insurance, he always carried spare clothing. It was a question for him as to whether it was the rage itself or the fear of making a fool of himself which kept him always in the company of his partner or with a "babysitter" friend for security.

We had one session two months earlier when we worked on EFT coping strategies for his beginning a new job. With those working well, Tim now felt ready to tackle the underlying issues in his continuing urge to explode. In our talking together, Tim realized that in his "explosions" he was acting the way his raging, unpredictable, abusive mother had acted only now it was his own behavior which he could neither predict nor control. In one session, Tim was able to work through (1) his fear and rage at his mother, (2) the horror of watching his father beat his mother to ostensibly stop her screaming and (3) finally laugh with relief at what had formerly been so traumatic.

The following is the essence of our work with the wording for the setup phrasing as close as possible to what we covered. Sometimes this phrasing ran very quick and free, changing with each line, which made it lively and also very triggering to get at the aspects quickly. We generally did full single rounds including the liver point at the bottom front of the rib cage but with no 9-gamut.

LORI: Try picturing your mother and see what you feel.

TIM: I feel the pit of my stomach - a pressure, an anger.

EFT: Even though I have this mother anger in my stomach... (tap: this mother anger)

LORI: What do you feel now?

TIM: I feel sorrow for me because I had to watch all this... and sorrow for her. I have forgiven her before, why do I still have this feeling in my stomach?

LORI: I don't know, but let's try a round.

EFT: Even though I've forgiven her, I can still have this anger that needs to be looked at... (tapping on "this mother anger").

TIM: The feeling in the pit of my stomach is gone. But I feel it now just below my throat - there's still some anger.

(I remembered now to pick up some SUDs intensity readings (0-10 scale) and asked Tim how strong the anger had been at the start vs. now. He's started at a 7 or 8 in the stomach which was now gone. Now it was a 5 at the throat. We repeated the same phrasing for another round and the throat anger was gone.

TIM: I still feel the anger but now it's in my head - in front of my forehead - like my head wants to burst, to get rid of this negativity. I want to take it out on whoever is around me. I could scream. I feel a pressure inside, an anger.

LORI: ...all these years of stuffing this mother anger? Is it like it wants to explode just like hers did?

TIM: Yes!

EFT: Even though I feel this anger pressure in my head...

Even though I've stuffed this anger and it wants to explode...

Even though I could scream...

All these phrases were used during the one setup tapping the karate chop point.

TIM: I guess I feel more relaxed - and also uptight for bringing up the past. I haven't done this for a long time. It bothers me in a sad way. If we weren't brought up this way, I'd be a different person. I feel sorry for her and mostly for me - I've lost 5 years of my life.

EFT: Even though I'm grieving for the loss of this time and the loss of my childhood to my mother's illness and rage...

TIM: I feel lighter. The pressure in the head is gone. There's no pressure anywhere.

LORI: OK. Let's test our work. Picture her pulling your hair, her verbal put downs, her telling you she hoped you'd be hit by a car or choke on your food.

TIM: I feel this hatred when I remember how she did those things. (It was difficult for Tim to feel these feelings before - they appeared to be judged out of awareness. Now it was possible to access them and so clear them.)

EFT: Even though I feel this hatred when I remember how she... (We went through the list during the setup and tapped on "this mother hatred".)

TIM: Tears are rolling down my cheeks - such sorrow - we all went through this including my grandmother. It was a tragedy. Everyone suffered a living hell. Dad hit mom with his fists, bruising her. She'd go to the floor still foaming at the mouth, still screaming - nothing made her stop. We kids would shout "Please, mom, shut up! Shut up!" There were 18 years of this.

LORI: (Very gently said) OK, Tim, just picture the beating, the foaming, the bruising.

TIM: I want to scream - like I did then.

EFT: Even though all we could do was scream "shut up, mom", and dad would hit her, and she'd foam and bruise, and we'd cry and feel angry both... (tapping with "shut up, mom, shut up").

There was noticeable calming even during the setup and then progressively through the round. It seemed that finally speaking the unspeakable was a tremendous relief and it seemed important to speak all of it while tapping.

TIM: I'm happy it's over and I will never, ever have to listen to that again. The memories are there, but I'll never have to live through it again. There's a sense of relief... and I'm a little nervous. I just brought this up and I'm relieved that I did - and it didn't have much impact on me now as it would have in the past.

LORI: What has you nervous?

TIM: I'm a little scared because I brought it up.

LORI: Is it like you're betraying the family secret? Like you might be punished for that?

TIM: Yeah.

EFT: Even though I might be punished for betraying the family secrets - how crazy mom was...

Even though I'm telling all the family secrets... (tap: I'm telling all the secrets.)

TIM: I feel very relaxed! (laughter, sigh) It feels like all this negative stuff is dissolving.

LORI: Take a couple of deep breaths and enjoy the relaxation.

TIM: I feel drowsy, comfortable, floating if I close my eyes, drifting. Feels great!

We discuss continuing to check our work or stopping here. Tim wants to continue.

LORI: So picture mom again. Let's check our work. See her throwing things.

TIM: I had an 8-track stereo/turntable on my dresser and I loved to play 70's music. I'd earned the money for it and I loved my music - it calmed me. She would come into my room and bounce it on the table until it began to come apart. Then she'd turn it off and order me to do tasks. She'd destroy my pleasure, something of mine.

LORI: How do you feel now thinking of this?

TIM: It bothers me just a little - she's ruining something of mine. I feel it in my chest and arms - the muscles used to destroy things, to rip shirts and throw things.

LORI: The same muscles she used to ruin your things?

TIM: Yeah.

EFT: Even though she broke my things and I feel this pressure in my muscles to do the same thing... (tap with "break things just like she did")

LORI: So picture this incident again.

TIM: It bothers me just in the sense she's ruining something of mine. I worked hard to buy that stereo.

LORI: What do you feel now?

TIM: Anger and frustration - I wanted to bounce HER head on the table. I had to stuff it. I loved that stereo.

EFT: Even though I feel anger and frustration that she bounced my stereo and I just wanted to bounce her head instead - I loved that stereo... (tap: she bounced my stereo)

TIM: It doesn't bother me to think about it. There are no physical sensations. It feels good to have said these words.

LORI: So try picturing dad hitting mom.

TIM: It doesn't bother me. There are no physical signals from my body except what one might expect.

LORI: What is that?

TIM: Well, when I picture dad hitting her, she's on the kitchen floor and foaming, well, there's really no reaction.

LORI: What would you give it on a scale of 0 to 10?

TIM: A zero.

We ran through a number of other violent or abusive memories from Tim's childhood and each was coming up with a SUDs of zero, much to Tim's surprise. One in which mom had hit the kids with a wooden spoon when they couldn't quote the Bible perfectly actually looked hilarious in its hypocrisy. He could finally laugh at it.

LORI: So let's do a little more checking here. Think of tearing your shirt off.

TIM: It's so easy to do. I'm afraid I will, I can.

LORI: Try picturing mom with the stereo.

TIM: I feel a slight urge to do it too.

LORI: What's the SUDS?

TIM: 3 or 4.

EFT: Even though she got to do it, my muscles want to bounce on something too - she got away with it, my muscles want to... (tap: my muscles)

TIM: There's still some tendency to DESTROY things.

EFT: Even though I feel an urge to destroy things to discharge this anger pressure that builds up in me... (tap: destroy things)

TIM: (Laughter) Damn, that's good! I can laugh at it. I can look around the room and it doesnt' bother me! It's gone! Wow, that's amazing! This is the same reaction people get on the EFT tapes! With the laughter it clicked! I feel so good!

This is what I love about this work!

By the way, I just followed up with Tim (two weeks later) and discovered that he did not have any of his former explosion reactions. However, he did have some concern over having those reactions again and he wanted another appointment. This suggests that either there is more work to do on the original problem OR his concern is simply a fear of the fear returning. In either case, it is likely a tappable issue.

Love to you all,

Lori Lorenz, MA


A client talks about her abusive childhood and her relief via EFT.

Hi Everyone,

We owe major appreciation to Pat Gurnick for sharing with us her recent experience as an EFT client. She lived through a childhood so abusive that most of us would avoid discussing it, let alone experiencing it. It approached ritual abuse in its severity.

The key word in this leg of Pat's healing journey is forgiveness. As you will see, she has every reason to hold within herself mountains of anger and other hateful emotions. This is normal--par for the course--we all do it. It is an "inside job" which harms us until we can truly let it go--until we can be free of it and forgive.

Hugs, Gary

My older sister, Judy, is mentally ill (Borderline Personality with Psychotic features) and has been in and out of mental hospitals. She badly abused me from the time I was a baby until age 10. I was told she put alcohol down my throat as a baby, and dropped me from the crib--besides other things unmentionable. As I grew older she physically abused me by trying to put me in scalding hot showers, in hot ovens, and on top of the oven burners - I fought for my life. Stepping on broken glass was her favorite torture. Included, of course, was non-stop emotional abuse.

I had many emotional and physical problems as a result of the abuse as well as my parents' lack of protection/abandonment. Two months ago, I was privileged to start working with Dr. Marilynn Snow Jones, my chiropractor, who applied EFT on my behalf. I have used EFT for physical ailments such as headaches and neck pain and it eliminated the symptoms. As for the emotional trauma, I am proud to say I can now actually stand to be in the same room with my sister Judy, hug her, and listen to her, just from the brief work we recently did.

Before 2 months ago, I went into terror and panic when I thought of Judy. I never wanted to speak to her again nor acknowledge that I even had her as a sister. I hated her from the bottom of my heart. Now, since my EFT treatments with Dr. Jones, I can talk to Judy on the phone and give her sisterly advice. Recently (she lives in Colorado and I live in Los Angeles) I saw her at my nephew's wedding and gave her a warm greeting. It was amazing.

Dr. Jones performed the setup and sequence (didn't use the 9 gamut) with me while, among other things, I stated, "I forgive her for abusing me and forgive myself for not being able to protect myself and I forgive all those who did not protect me." It took about 3 sessions--an hour or so--with aspects abound, to finally get to this point. I was yawning when releasing which gave Dr. Jones the cue that the issues were being processed and that the energy disruptions were corrected on that particular issue.

We found working on 'specific' incidences of the abuse helpful when performing EFT. For example, we worked on emotions that included: HATE, RAGE, TERROR, GRIEF FOR THE ABUSED LITTLE GIRL THAT I WAS, ANGER AND ABANDONMENT--to name a few. At points I felt nausea, numbness (stated "even though I feel numb..."), lump in my throat and a sensation that a hand was around my throat or that my arms/legs were being held down. All these aspects came up as we did EFT, and we moved through them!

I never in my wildest dreams thought I could ever be civil to my sister, let alone hug her! I feel it has not taken away what has happened, but it has taken away the unbearable emotions and made my life more peaceful!

I'm still not done with it. There are still some past memories and grievances that "get to me." But the distance traveled so far is very freeing. It's remarkable.

Best wishes to all,

Pat Gurnick, B.A., C.A.C.


EFT resolves long term resentment

Dave Rourke successfully used EFT to help a man get beyond a long held, intense anger.  At the end the client said, “For the last 10 and a half years I couldn’t forgive the man who murdered my sister. I’ve been in 3 treatment centers and have lost several jobs because of my anger. I’m telling you Dave, it’s gone!”   This is an important article because it points so clearly to EFT's ability to handle even the most intense of emotional issues.

By David Rourke


I have to share an experience I had while presenting EFT to a group of people who work in the addictions field. The audience was comprised of 73 people, 24 of these people were actually clients in a local residential treatment program for substance abuse. 

I wanted to make a point to the audience that with EFT the client doesn’t even have to disclose what the problem is. As long as he or she is thinking about the issue, EFT can work effectively. 

I asked the audience if there is anyone who has a resentment that they’d like to get rid of but is not willing to share it with the rest of the people in the room. A voice from the back said “I have a resentment!!” Up stepped one of the residents of the treatment centre. He was a hard looking fellow (shaved head, goatee, tattoos and very hard, chiseled facial features). 

We sat face to face with the audience to our side. He reported that on a scale of 0-10 his emotional intensity was a thousand. We started with the sore spot (“I want to be completely free of this resentment”) followed by the set up statements “Even though I have this resentment…. I deeply and completely accept myself…I love and forgive myself…I choose to let it go”.  

Our first round was an EFT sandwich which he reported brought his intensity down to a 6. I could see him starting to think to himself “Hmmm, what’s happening here?” The next round brought an audible gasp from the audience. You could actually see this man’s facial features melt and become ‘soft’ looking. He said “It’s gone!”. Members of the audience said, “We can tell! You look different!” 

Of course I had to test the work so I started trying to get him aggravated again. I had limited information on what the issue was so I just let my intuition say whatever came out of my mouth. He still reported no rise, he just said that he felt so much lighter. 

Over lunch I asked him if he would mind telling me the issue in confidence so that I would be in a better position to help him really clear the issue. He said to me “For the last 10 and a half years I couldn’t forgive the man who murdered my sister. I’ve been in 3 treatment centers and have lost several jobs because of my anger. I’m telling you Dave, it’s gone!” 

At the end of the day he came to me, tears rolling down his cheeks, and said “You have absolutely no idea about how much you have helped me today. I know I have a chance to make it at recovery now.” Of course we talked about serendipitous moments and how his Higher Power brought us together at the right time. 

He called me the other day (which prompted this letter) saying that he has been clean now for over 4 months, a record for him!  Wow!!!

In Loving Service,

Dave Rourke


Employee overcomes anger at supervisor

Hi Everyone,

Steve Wells demonstrates how easily intense anger can be defused. While the setting here is in the corporate workplace, the same result can be applied in marriages and other interpersonal relationships.

The bottom line is that EFT can be used effectively to generate personal peace where none existed before. Isn't that our ultimate goal?

Peace, Gary

In applying EFT in the corporate field, I am continually impressed at how easily conflict can be resolved, harmony can be restored, and productivity can be improved in the workplace using these techniques. The case below is just one example of many.

Employee overcomes anger at supervisor.

In one group I worked with, I asked the employees to list situations at work that provoked them emotionally. One worker described a recent misunderstanding between himself and his supervisor. As he spoke, his face became red as he described how he wanted to “kill the guy”. He planned to confront the supervisor, who had changed his roster without consultation, and it was clear that this confrontation would become physical.

Rather than having this man tap on his anger – which was substantial – I made a distinction with him that I credit to Dr Larry Nims. That is that anger typically covers an underlying fear, sadness or hurt. When I discussed this with the man, he acknowledged that he was feeling hurt and upset by the supervisor’s actions and agreed to try tapping on “this supervisor hurt”. After just one round his face became softer and he said “Well I don’t feel so much like I have to sort him out now.” After just one more round he was able to see the event in perspective and “from the other side”. He then said that he realised the supervisor probably hadn’t meant any malice towards him and probably didn’t even realise he was upset by the decision that had been made.

Several weeks later in another program, this employee was able to relate that he had spoken to the supervisor and explained his position “without getting angry at all – I was able to calmly state my case.” The supervisor had listened, taken his ideas on board, made the changes, and they were now enjoying an excellent working relationship. I wondered aloud what would have happened if we hadn’t used EFT and he assured me the results “would not have been pretty”. He was still incredulous that EFT had so effectively dealt with his anger and hurt, as he recalled how intense he had been at the time.

How many situations like this are happening every day that could be resolved if every worker were empowered to use EFT? What could this do for the morale and productivity of the average workplace?

I believe there are significant advantages available for those businesses that are early adopters of new change technologies such as EFT, which are even more significant than the mechanistic advances being touted as the future for business. As John Naisbett recognised 2 decades ago in his book Megatrends, advances in technology (high tech) bring a corresponding need for the human connection (high touch). These needs are everywhere you look in the average workplace. They cry out for skilled practitioners to get in there and help people to iron out the hurts. And their adoption creates positive shifts in productivity and morale for those businesses that embrace these technologies and use them to build their people.

Steve Wells


EFT Transforms "hopping-mad" anger

Angela Treat Lyon was asked to apply EFT to a "hopping-mad" lady in an impromptu session.  Immediate anger issues often respond quickly to EFT, but such was not the case here.  As it turns out, Angela had to think on her feet as the client was walking away in anger part way through the session.  Using excellent rapport skills Angela offered to "transform the client's anger" into something more positive.  The client accepted and the session ended in success.

By Angela Treat Lyon

I recently went to a trade show at the invitation of a friend ("Sandi") whose company had a booth there. It was Saturday afternoon, long lines of people at each booth, kids running around untended, and the folks at Sandi's booth looked as if they'd been worn down to the last threads of sanity. She took me aside and asked me if I'd do an impromptu session behind the scenes with her manager. I said sure.

She introduced me to "Karen," a short, dynamic looking woman of about 50 who was so angry that she looked as if she'd have apoplexy in about three seconds if she wasn't defused. We went behind the screen that separated the back end of the booth from the customer side, and she asked me what it was I was going to do. I told her that I would like to know in general what was up before I did anything, just to see if it was appropriate for me to help, or if she needed something else. Karen smiled and appreciated that, and simply said that she was hopping mad and couldn't stand it one more minute.

I told her that I could help her soften the intensity of the feelings she had at the moment by using a little meridian therapy, since Sandi had told me Karen was familiar with acupressure. And I said what we were going to do was a little like that, combined with specific phrases and using only a few points.

Her face was flushed with that right-at-surface red color that you get when you're about to pop, so I wanted to get to it right off. I showed her the karate chop point and had her just strike that as we both made grrrrrrrrrr sounds, and saying (without the even though), "I'm so mad! I'm so furious! I can hardly stand it!" We did that for about one or two minutes. She took a big breath and stood a little straighter. Phase One complete. Her face lost the blotchy look.

Then we started tapping the face points, saying, "I'm so MAD! I'm so p--- off at xxxxxx Those -------s! I'm furious! I can't stand it!"

We did about two rounds, very quietly - but with great intent - so others couldn't hear, and she relaxed a bit more.

I asked her where on a scale of zero to ten she might rate her feelings. She blew up! "I can't stand that! It makes me madder than I already am! I don't want to do this if that's what I have to do!" And she started to walk off.

Whoa! That was a surprise. So instead of running after her, I just quietly said, "OK, that's fine, I can understand that. I wonder what would happen if we concentrated on transforming the energy and intensity to creative energy instead of focusing on the anger?" Which, of course, was what we were doing anyway, but I wanted to reframe it without making her wrong or trying to convince her to do anything she didn't want to do.

She liked that. She moved back next to me again. "Yeah! That's exactly what I'd like to do!," she said. So I asked her what she was so angry about, and if we could incorporate it into the tapping.

Karen was upset about having had to not only organize the booth for the company, and that they had told her only ten days before the show that they had chosen her to do it. It was an international show with some pretty big big-wigs, radio coverage, and all the hoopla to go along. The pressure was enormous.

Karen had not only had to organize and publicize it, but they had told her that "it would be a good idea if you were there," after she had told them she'd prepared the people running the booth to run it and then close it down by themselves. She'd been looking forward to a couple well-deserved days off, and now she had to be there from 8am to 9pm, with no breaks.

I'd be mad, too! But - she said she didn't want to talk about any of her bosses or managers, or that she didn't stand up for herself in taking her time off, or the fact that she was afraid she'd lose her job if she objected. She just wanted to focus on the energy.

Fine! That's what it's about anyway, right? I asked her if she was tight or knotted up or in any way strained or in pain in her body - as if it wasn't obvious how her shoulders were up to her ears, and her belly was all tight!

She said she had a huge ball of energy in her belly. Since she didn't want to talk about the "negative," we just tapped like this: I'm letting go now. I'm letting go of my negative energy now. I'm choosing to transform this energy into creative power I'm choosing to focus on my abilities and intentions I'm choosing to transform anything I don't like into creative energy I'm choosing to be alive and awake and to have fun even when it looks hard

We did that for about five or six rounds. Her shoulders relaxed and came down out of her ears, her belly looked relaxed, her feet looked like they were grounded instead of wanting to run away, she'd stopped trembling and her color was great. She gave a huge sigh twice, and her voice became full and soft instead of strained and hysterical.

She told me the knot in her belly was now warm and felt like a "supportive sun," and that her headache was gone (I hadn't even known know she had one!), and that she wasn't angry anymore. And that she knew that what she was experiencing was because of her own choices and that she'd go over them again later and see what she could do to prevent this from happening again.

All in all, it took us less than ten minutes to do this little relief session, and yet if we hadn't, she was so physically undone that I wouldn't have been surprised to hear that she'd had either a stroke or a heart attack by day's end.

It was a surprise to not go into the so-called negative phrases, but it was easy to see that if I tried to keep going the way we ordinarily do sessions, she'd have bolted. It was more important to defuse the intensity before she imploded and hurt herself, so I just followed her lead. We got results that pleased her and worked for her and her mind/body. That's what we want, no?