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Using EFT For ...

EFT for Child’s Inability to Sleep in Her Own Bed

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Dear EFT Community,

EFT has been and can be used effectively with children for various issues. EFT trainer Sherrie Rice Smith, R.N. Certified EFT Practitioner, demonstrates this when she helps a colleague’s daughter, “Amie,” overcome a fear she had from age 3 onwards that kept her from staying the night in her own bed.


By Sherrie Rice Smith, R.N., B.A., Certified EFT Practitioner

“Amie’s” mom and I met a year or so ago when I needed a substitute Reiki practitioner. At that appointment, she told me about her 10-year-old daughter who has slept in her and her husband’s bed for what, “Seems like forever.”

Amie starts out in her own bed, but within an hour or so comes into her parents’ bedroom and crawls into bed with them. Her mom has tried every technique, trick, and bribe she could think up to motivate Amie to stay in her own bedroom without success.

Now that Amie is 10 a bigger issue is arising. Amie’s friends want her to sleep-over and Amie has yet to completely spend a night away from home, but instead calls her mom to come get her, interrupting the sleep of all adults involved. Worse yet, the teasing at school over the issue has begun with all the accompanying embarrassment.

I was called to see what EFT could do to help with this issue.

Since Amie is 10, getting her to talk at all was an issue in itself! She, of course, saw little reason to be doing anything about her sleeping in Mom’s bed every night. I explained to her where to tap, why to tap, and simply asked her if she really wanted to get over this–not that it matters to EFT!

I was hoping to get her to buy into the process, so she would tune in more completely. She indicated what she really wanted was to be able to do sleepovers with her friends. We had our starting point.

Amie is mature enough to understand the SUDS level, thus she indicated her SUDS on not being able to do sleepovers a 5 on a scale of 0-10.

I had Amie begin tapping on the middle of her chest while we continued to talk.  I was hoping to find an underlying issue that was contributing to this inability to sleep in her bed. I asked everything I could think up.

I asked Amie to describe her bedroom arrangement. Did the closet bother her? Did a noise bother her? Was there something under the bed that was bothersome? On and on I went, trying to dig out of my own childhood “freak-out” memories to assist me in questioning her.

Had someone told her a scary story? Did a horror movie upset her? Finally, after about 10 minutes, I hit something!

I brought up nightmares.

Amie perked up, looking me right in the eye, after she had danced around in her chair, bored half to death, for the past minutes. “Yes, when I was 3, someone touched me on the shoulder!” she told me.

And out it came, “and I haven’t slept in my own bed since then.”

Wow!  I had the bigger issue plain and simple!  I asked more questions to get to the heart of the details, so I could tap meaningfully for her.

Amie had a scared look in her eye, so I inquired what her SUDS was with “the someone touched me” memory.  It was an 8.  I had already given her permission to add in anything or any details she wanted as we tapped.

Set-up:  Even though something touched me on my shoulder when I was 3 and it freaked me out, I know Mom loves me.

Even though I think it was a person and there was no one else in the bathroom, but me, I jumped. I thought it was Dad goofing around with me, but he wasn’t in there, and I was scared. I know Mom loves me.

Even though I was scared half to death by whatever it was that touched me, I know it was there, as I felt it. No one is talking me out of this.  I know Mom loves me.

TH: I’m freaked out.

EB: Someone touched me on the shoulder.

SE: No one was there, but me and my doll.

UE: I was so scared. Who could that have been?

UN: I was freaked out and I’m still freaked out when I think about it.

CH:  I feel safe in Mom & Dad’s bed. I don’t want to be alone.

CB:  Maybe that something will touch me again.

UA: I can’t even go upstairs alone. Someone has to go with me.

We did a few more rounds on this theme:  Maybe my doll touched me. I’ve not gone upstairs since I was 3 alone. I’m freaked out. Someone touched my shoulder. No one was there, but someone touched me.

Then Amie began a bit of a reframe on her own. “Maybe it was my guardian angel that touched me. I believe in them, you know.” We tapped a few times on the benefit of her guardian angel, and once again she mentioned that maybe the doll bumped her. We tapped a bit on that.

Amie mentioned being alone bothered her, particularly at night.  We continued tapping on the “scared & nervous” part of the memory.

Amie’s SUDS dropped to 0.5. She indicated that she was done with the session, as she was hungryand wanted to go home.

A week later I contacted Amie’s Mom and I was told, “It’s better, but I think we need more work.”  Apparently Amie started out in her own bed, but would come into her parents’ room, wanting to crawl into bed with them, but her Dad would take her back to her room and, if he stayed until she fell asleep, she would finish the night in her own bed.

This was a definite improvement in her Mom’s opinion.

By the following appointment a week after that conversation, I was told Amie was now sleeping in her own bed through the night!  At that session, I reinforced the reframes again of the “guardian angel”, then we tapped on some school learning issues Amie has.

It’s now 10 weeks after clearing that early 3-year-old memory and I received an email from Amie’s Mom telling me “all is well” with Amie and she is still sleeping in her own bed with the only disturbance being the “cat” waking her up.

I had told Amie on the second visit that the cat was her problem!

At that, she grinned at me, acknowledging she knew that, but the cat stayed on her bed at night anyway because that was her choice!

I’m pleased EFT could clear this youngster of her inability to sleep in her own bed. Kids can be difficult to work with when they either don’t want to tell us practitioners the issue, or can’t ID the issue.  I find pestering them with questions usually will trigger something for them.

I know we practitioners don’t need to know the issues in order for EFT to be effective, but getting the child to tune into the discomfort is important.  For Amie, she was paying nearly zero attention to what we were doing until I hit the “freaked out” issue – and she tuned right into that problem. EFT cleared it quite effectively.