& Abuse Case History File
Rape trauma: "It just doesn't seem to bother me like it did."
Gratitude to Alan Batchelder for sharing with us a rape trauma case of his from two years ago. Please read his message with care and note how it exemplifies the following EFT principles.
Just now getting to read mail that has backed up for several weeks. I want to share my own similar experience with you.
"Sandy" and her partner came in for pre-marriage counseling. Among the issues they were concerned about was their sexual relationship. Most often, she found herself reacting with uncontrollable negative feelings when he initiated sexual play. He was willing to be patient, kind and understanding, and seemed genuinely interested in sex as a shared experience, which she freely acknowledged. Still, she got upset and turned off. They asked whether I could help. I suggested a session with her alone.
When she came in I asked the gentle question, "Is there something in your earlier years that you could talk about?" She immediately burst into tears, her SUDS shot to a ten, and she began to relate her story, punctuated with heavy sobbing and gasping. I sat, quiet and attentive, as she told this cryptic story: "When I was seven years old we lived in [a small town in Southern Oregon]. One day my step-father took me for a walk down a country road. It was in the summer. We hiked up the side of a hill. Then we stopped. Then he took off all my clothes. Then he took off all his clothes."
At this point she was scarcely able to breath. I stopped her and said that it was not necessary to go any further, but to follow my lead and do what I showed her. We went through the first EFT tapping procedure without even clearing for PR. Her 0-10 intensity dropped to 6. We then cleared with "Even though I still have some of this " and tapped again. 0-10 intensity fell to 2. One more clearing with "Even if I never get completely over this " and a last round of tapping.
By this time she was breathing quietly. Her skin was free of blotches, her eyes were clear, and she was looking at her hands, lying folded in her lap. I said, "Sandy, as you sit there now, think back to that hot summer day when your step-father took you for that walk down that country road. Think about how you hiked up the side of that hill until you stopped. Think about how he took off all your clothes. Think of how he took off all his clothes. (pause) Now, what do you get?"
She sat there without moving for maybe five seconds, then looked calmly at me and said, without undue emotion. "Well, I still hate him." I agreed that hating him was a pretty reasonable response and possibly a useful one to keep, then asked, "But what about the distress you were feeling?"
Again she paused before answering. This time she laughed as she said, "I don't know. I just can't get there. Well, that was 20 years ago. I was just a little girl. I couldn't protect myself then the way I can now. What's the point in getting upset about something like that. I never let that man touch me again, and my kids have never been allowed to be near him. I don't know, it just doesn't seem to bother me like it did."
That was over two years ago. I asked her a couple of months ago whether "that problem" we had worked on had ever come back. She laughed and told me that it was "good and gone." Her partner, now her husband, whom I saw last week, confirmed that there was no sign of the former difficulties. They have the usual "things", he said, but nothing they could not handle.
Thanks for letting me share, Gary. And, more than anything, for teaching me what has become central to my practice.
Peeling away the layers of sexual abuse.
Betty Moore-Hafter gets to a core issue regarding sexual abuse. I include my own comments to augment her message.
I continue to be amazed at how EFT often 'peels the layers' and gets to the heart of the matter where deep healing can occur. In a recent session, my client, a young woman, told me she had worked through her childhood sexual abuse issue in therapy, but still felt that fears and other emotions got in the way of intimate relationships. She said she 'keeps people at bay' and 'loses her center' when she gets involved, so relationships have always backfired.
GC COMMENT: I learned something very important early on with these procedures. That is, when a new client (who hasn't done tapping before) says something like, "I worked through my childhood sexual abuse issue in therapy" THEY ARE ALMOST INVARIABLY WRONG!!!!! They're not lying, mind you. What they mean is, they have learned to cope with it, to repress it, to change subjects when the item comes up. But they haven't resolved it.
"Working through it," to most non-tapping clients, means they have talked about it repeatedly in therapeutic sessions to hopefully gain "insights" and thus "feel better about it." But ask them a pointed question that gets to the heart of the matter and you will often get cringing, tears, physical upsets and other symptoms of a still unresolved issue (in which they have invested years of effort and a wad of money). Betty's client came in the door with sexual abuse issues unresolved, as is indicated by her difficulty with intimacy.
BETTY CONTINUES: I asked how she felt talking about all that, and she said it affected her stomach. "My stomach feels gurgly and gassy, it's holding onto something, not letting go. Something is not being processed the way it should be." So we started tapping on "Although there's something I can't digest and process..."
GC COMMENT: Superb! The creative turning of a physical symptom toward an emotional issue. This pays dividends as you will see below.
BETTY CONTINUES: Her stomach calmed down with the tapping and I asked, "If your digestive system could say what it is that it can't digest and process, what would that be?" The answer she got was "Too much excitement. I just can't process it. I get overwhelmed." We then tapped on "Although I get overwhelmed" and she said, "yes, part of me hates that feeling... but another part of me craves it, it's like teen energy, I love the excitement."
I asked her to just close her eyes and be aware of what that does inside: "It must set up a tension, an anxiety, to have these two opposing parts." She said she wanted to learn to contain it all, to enjoy excitement without being over stimulated. So we tapped for "although I tend to get over stimulated"... and she began to get images of herself as a child.
GC COMMENT: This is a perfect example of how tapping for broader issues such as "overwhelmed" and "over stimulated" often uncovers more specific items. EFT has a way of unearthing more important issues by "clearing away the protective debris."
BETTY CONTINUES: She became aware that as a child, if she felt good about anything, she couldn't contain it, had to 'go out and burn it off.' This had been true in adulthood too. Feeling good made her 'want to go out and party.'
Gary, I thought of what you say about addictions - that there's always underlying anxiety driving the compulsive behavior. I suggested that she close her eyes and think about feeling good. "And what does that do? Does it give you a calm feeling? Or does feeling good give you anxiety?" It was as if a light went on in her head. She realized that this was the core of her inability to have successful relationships -- whenever she would get close to someone and begin to enjoy the pleasure of that, the anxiety would be so strong that she would have to sabotage things.
GC COMMENT: Sabotage things??? Why? There's an experience, an event, a core issue behind this which, if you can find it (or them), you can achieve true resolution. Read on.
BETTY CONTINUES: So we tapped for "Although feeling good makes me anxious..." And tears welled up. She realized that, as a child, at times "the sexual abuse felt good but it was bad." And so she was still carrying that strong inner message that it wasn't ok to feel good. We tapped for "Although I learned that feeling good was bad..." and "Although my child believed that feeling good was bad, I deeply & completely love and accept my child and I know she was a good girl and it wasn't her fault." This was all very moving, the first time she had truly felt compassion for how confused that part of her had been. We tapped on "releasing this belief that feeling good is bad".
GC COMMENT: Sexual abuse is among the leading issues that drive people into therapist's offices. While I'm not a therapist, I have certainly had my share of consultations with this segment of the population. When I ask them what emotions they have about it, I almost always hear fear and anger. That's understandable. But do you know what term I have RARELY heard them use (at least at first)? Guilt. The sexual abusee rarely brings up guilt until I prod them about it as the session unfolds.
Of course there's guilt. Of course. Of course. Sexual abuse involves our pleasure zones. Sex is nature's greatest feelie and it is very likely that at least part of the sexual abuse feels good to the abusee. This is not always the case, of course. I certainly recognize that. But if you ask probing questions and have the proper rapport, you will find a majority of such cases have GUILT as the primary issue--not fear or anger. "It feels good but it's not supposed to. I liked some of it but I shouldn't have." All this shows up in Betty's client as "feeling good is bad" and it is affecting her everyday behavior--especially intimacy.
Guilt and sex often go hand in hand but yet our social pressures are such that abusees would rather work on their fear and anger rather than their guilt. They don't even want to face the guilt. Who would? Fear and anger are directed outwardly. With fear and anger we get to blame someone else. It's easy to do. Guilt, however, can only be an "inside job." People resist working on their own guilt. However, with many sexual abuse cases it is THE issue to address and complete resolution will not come about it is handled.
BETTY CONTINUES: There was more to the session as we tapped on the pain of how there was no one to tell (about the abuse) and no one to help her... grief for all she had lost by not being able to bond in relationship with others during adulthood. Then, at a certain point, she got in touch with some very positive childhood memories, feeling great about her body while excelling at a certain sport, really in the flow, 'feeling good and calm at the same time.' We 'rubbed in the positive' using the EFT points, rubbing in 'the feeling of being fully alive and not over stimulated, just calm and in the flow.'
When I spoke with her a few days later, she said she really felt different. "Connections with people feel different. I feel an easiness being with people. I just feel closer. It's like the anxiety all went away. There's a part of me that feels really peaceful now. And I've been really energetic!" It's so wonderful how the positive life energy flows when the negative that has been weighing it down is removed.
I can't tell you how grateful I am for EFT. Over and over, I have clients who say, "Therapy helped but..." And then EFT takes them to a new level. This work does accomplish breakthroughs and profound healing - quantum leaps!
Love & hugs,
About 3 weeks ago I worked with several clients of local therapists to "hone my skills" prior to our advanced seminars. One of these clients, call her Andrea, came in to her session complaining of nausea and a pelvic pain. We did a round or two of EFT for each of these ailments and both subsided, but not to zero. Suspicioning that there was an emotional contributor to these discomforts I then asked her one of my favorite questions, namely,
"If there was an emotional contributor to your nausea and pelvic pain, what would it be?"
Andrea then offered that she had some remorse over a recent miscarriage and it was clear to me by her body language that we had located an important target. I then asked her to say, "I had a miscarriage" and strong emotions ensued. We used EFT (actually, the advanced intuitional version--it takes less time) for several aspects and, after about 20 minutes, she could say "I had a miscarriage" with ease. No charge left. I then asked her to check out the nausea and the pelvic pain. They had both vanished. In my experience this is typical and is confirmation that the emotional issue has become history. It is also glowing evidence that many of our physical ailments are emotionally caused.
About 10 days later I followed up by phone and, as expected, the nausea and pelvic pain were non-existent (even though she had lived with both of them for months--ever since the miscarriage). Further, she could say "I had a miscarriage" with no charge whatsoever. She was also much more philosophical about it, indicating a cognitive change as well. This, too, is typical.
Andrea is a dance therapist and is quite interested in this procedure. She may even be attending our next seminar to work on more issues with me. It's not for sure yet but, if she is able to make it, I think our next seminar attendees will find her quite open and enjoyable--AND--free of this issue. A delightful lady.
Trauma relief allows crippled man to walk.
Geez! That title sounds almost Biblical, eh? Nonetheless, that's what happened recently in David Peppiatt's New Zealand office. Major childhood trauma to David's client put him on crutches (although it was blamed on a car accident) and the relief of the core trauma(s) allowed the client to walk crutches-free. This is not necessarily rare, by the way. Many people have had similar experiences. One such instance is on the audio tapes in the EFT Course where Bruce, an MS sufferer, gets out of his wheelchair and walks while his wife proclaims, "This is a miracle!"
David tells the story below in his engaging way. Please notice the artistry and the detective work as he discovers the bulls eye in this case.
I've seen some really quite amazing results from EFT, but today I witnessed something utterly extraordinary.....I watched a cripple get up from his chair and hobble diagonally across my 8ft X 6ft office without using his crutches!!!!! He would have made it back to his chair but the event caused him to collapse in gales of tears of joy.
PROFILE. The client (we'll call him John) is 52 years-old. He is carrying a terrible emotional burden and has, for the last seven years, been forced to move only with the aid of crutches. To get from here to there he stands flat-footed, places his crutch-tips ahead of him then swings his entire body through a short arc, then repeats this process till he arrives.
His childhood, from start to eighteen, was a whirlwind of some of the most appalling physical and emotional abuse I have witnessed in practice. So bad was it that he triggers to tears at almost any mention of his mother or sister.
At age twenty he had a modestly severe motor accident but managed to walk away and carried on walking for many years. (Subsequently, he has blamed the accident for his condition) At the time, he was in a disastrous (abusive) relationship with a woman who alienated John's son from him. Subsequently, John has tried several relationships, all of which have been disasters. He now lives alone and avoids any circumstance where a relationship may be created.
Including tonight, I have spent six hours with John, over three sessions. I've dug and prodded and prodded and dug and sure, many of his anxieties have been set to rest, but he still moved on crutches.
Tonight, we took a bit of a coffee break during the session (I'd been in constant session for the previous eight hours without a break, and he was getting a little exhausted, so a break was okay to take) and we sat and chatted about everything which wasn't connected to his condition; mainly flying since we both share a passion for the sport. Suddenly, he started to talk about a friend who had been quite severely assaulted the week before. He talked about it then said, quite casually, "At least that's one good thing about being a cripple, nobody wants to hit you."
For some seconds I sat there as a giant thrill started in my nether regions then quickly filled my entire body. Had I just heard the words which will crack this code? Once again, Davey-Boy let his intuition take executive control and we went for it. I chose, for reasons I cannot explain, to move away from the standard set-up.
GC COMMENT: Your creative set-up below parallels the type of set-up used frequently in our advanced tapes.
DAVID CONTINUES: "If I had been a cripple when I was little my mother would never have beaten me, and I utterly and completely forgive myself for being a cripple now." John made it to 'when I was little' and hit a massive catharsis.
"Jesus George and little onions!" I thought. I've got it! This is the cause! If he was a cripple she wouldn't have beaten him!
I went through about seven full rounds...With each tapping I'd work the first seven points with, "I don't need this protection now. She's dead. She can't hurt me. I don't need this anymore. I'm safe. I don't need this protection. It's safe for me to not be a cripple." Then I used variations on that theme on the KC point, then locked it all home with the 9G, and went right back into another set-up using similar phraseology.
This man's brain had arranged for him to become a cripple to protect himself from memories which, in fact, are/were as real today as the day they happened.
When I'd finally run out of ideas I asked John how he felt. He frowned and said, "I dunno. I feel a bit weird. Like I feel sort've empty and full at the same time, and I have this terrible need to laugh."
"Do you have any idea what is making you want to laugh?" I asked.
"Yeah, I do. It's you. I've spent tens of thousands of dollars with all manner of therapist and psychologist but here I am, sitting in a room with some guy who makes me say stupid things, taps on me like some American Indian shaman and.........." And then he lost it to tears for about five minutes. Lordy but I go through so many boxes of tissues on a daily basis. I'm begining to feel like the tear-king of Auckland. If I wrung out all the tissues I could replace the national water supply.
Finally, he settled and said, "You're the only person who has ever actually bothered to listen to me. And you're sure as hell the only person who has understood me....How come you can do that when all the rest can't?"
"Well, my man, I've done fifty years of living; the first twelve of which were almost as bad as yours, so I kinda know where you're coming from. Beyond that, I don't really know, but I feel as if I've kinda been given something...Er that sounds a bit icky so let's not go any further down that track. Now then, just to humour me....I have a terrible sense of humour, John.... Would you be so kind as to get up and stagger across here? If you fall, that's cool. You fall, I laugh, I pick you up, you pay my bill and we're happy. Okay?"
Gary. I saw the anger well in his eyes, then he said, "You bastard!" Then he hauled himself from the chair, and in the space of two minutes, made it across the room, without his crutches! Emotional or physical.
I'm going to have this man ballroom dancing within six weeks, you watch!
May I add, its all your fault that this man can now start to walk. :--))
GC COMMENT: Guilt gladly accepted. I won't even tap for it.
DAVID CONTINUES: You see, the keys to the holy grail are so often so well camouflaged that you just have to keep digging till you find them but, oh my, when the digging is done..........
I had another client today, with whom I have danced for some hours and cleared out some surface stuff. Today we got talking about an abortion she had, and I thought that might have been the key, but no, the abortion, as an event, wasn't the key. As the session evolved she asked me if I thought the soul entered a body at conception or at some other time along the gestation path. Intuition clicked in again and I realised what was her bete noir.
"Although I denied my baby life...." Boom, that was as far as she could get, so I did the rest for three rounds. By the time we'd finished her Distonia (Parkinson-like shakes) had gone, her fear of darkness had gone, her neck could move without pain, the pain in her chest had gone, and her skin went from serious prune to smooth and she, like John, said "Nobody else has ever understood me, yet you do this bizarre shit and you understand me. Why? How come only you know I murdered my baby?"
And so we went at it again. This time it was, "Although I believe I murdered my baby," etc.
By the end of the session the client nearly floated out of my offices, free of her dreadful burden.
Find the real target and EFT will kill the pain every time. The trick is finding the real target.
GC COMMENT: Yes!!! That has been my experience too. Being a detective like this is what separates the masters from the pack.
DAVID CONTINUES: Gary, I'm in session seven days a week, and upwards of ten hours a day, yet I never feel tired, (well, maybe a bit) I never feel burdened, I'm just so over the moon that each and every client will, I know, walk away a whole human being by the time I'm finished.
And where does it all start? Child abuse, child abuse, child abuse! We have to break this cycle.