By S. Wood
Working with clients who suffer from depression is immensely rewarding. Supporting someone in ‘getting their life back’ is a joy to me, and I thought I’d share a brief overview of my approach.
In my practice, I’ve found four areas that are important to working with this issue.
4 Most Important Areas for Working with EFT and Depression:
1. Understanding the Process
The speed of healing depends on a number of factors such as: the desire and readiness to heal, the cause of the depression, and how long the person has experienced the problem. Working with a lifelong chronic depression that may have genetic links is often quite different from working with a depressive episode that was brought on by an event like some kind of a loss or post-partum problems. As a result, healing times will vary widely.
In specific event-induced episodes, the healing may be surprisingly swift.
Usually there will be periods of time of feeling great followed by some dips back into depressive episodes. Over time, the dips become shorter and less intense, while the periods of wellness grow higher and longer. It’s so important for the depressed client to comprehend this so that they do not get discouraged when the old moods strike.
At these points, continuing to do the work is vital, since it will facilitate more rapid shifts into feeling well.
Something worthwhile mentioning here is that I have found, through my personal work and experience, that for some clients, there is a great lag between intensive work and the full release of the depression. Many people experience freedom from depression within a very brief time.
I have found with others that they make some progress with ups and downs, and then perhaps 3 to 6 months later they just kind of wake up and notice that it’s gone. It’s as though their energy systems and bodies needed time to let all the collective work integrate, percolate through their systems and completely release.
Since this sometimes happens after the course of EFT sessions has ended, clients don’t always make the connection due to the long gap between cause and effect!
2. Key Components of Healing
I have had clients move from severe depression to feeling wonderful within a short time when they have engaged in regular tapping at home. The importance of this cannot be underestimated, and for someone who is motivated to be well, this is often the key to a quick recovery.
• Taking the edge off
EFT is generally most effective by treating the specific. For the first session, however, I have found that working with the more general feelings of overwhelm, heaviness and sadness really helps to clear some of the giant dark cloud that feels like it’s there. Often clients come in because they’ve tried everything else, and are seeking help because of immediate intense feelings.
Clearing the clouds, even if just a bit to show a spark of light can often jettison a client into enough relief and hope that they will start to do EFT on themselves in order to maintain that feeling.
That being said, if specific memories pop up during the session, they need to be addressed.
• Clearing the neurotransmitters
While this may be done by using EFT, I tend to use Tapas Acupressure Technique or an Allergy Antidote protocol for “clearing” the neurotransmitters alone as well as in conjunction with the client’s blood and genetic history. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, you can contact someone who specializes in Allergy Antidotes. I have found this step to be crucial in clearing depression. Brain fog often lifts after doing this clearing, and the healing process deepens after this clearing.
• Core beliefs
After clearing old traumas, painful memories, and other energetic glue holding the depressive pattern in place, it’s a great time to go for clearing some core beliefs. I’m not enough. I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough. I’m not lovable. I can’t accept myself as I am. I don’t love myself, or in the case of depressed clients, the statement is more often about underlying self-hatred.
When the acceptance and self-love beliefs pop, transformative things start to happen! It’s hard to remain depressed when you actually love yourself.
3. Managing the Dips
Since these may be a natural part of the healing process for some forms of depression, it’s important to work together to create an emergency kit for the client. EFT may be the main tool, but it may include other therapies or modalities. The kit should include creating channels to ask for support, as well as a game plan for what to do when and if the dark feelings are overwhelming. This should also include connecting with an appropriate mental health professional, especially if there are suicidal feelings.
4. Continuing the Process While Feeling Well
I call the moodiness of depression a series of amnesia: when you feel awful, you can’t for the life of you remember feeling happy. When you feel great, it seems like another person who felt so depressed. When feeling well, this is a super time to continue using EFT. Noticing and journaling about the positive emotional states is useful and can create a resource for increasing those happy states.
Tapping for small triggers that come up while feeling well begins to build confidence in dealing with difficult emotional states, and may clear them so that they don’t build up into something larger that may catapult a mood into darkness. Those small shifts in your mood throughout the day not only can create momentary joy, but usually are creating the beautiful habit of choosing joy.
Having these tools literally at your fingertips can be so incredibly empowering!