By G. Wightman
I was invited to a mental health support team group meeting to introduce and demonstrate emotional freedom techniques. The team leader was anxious to seek funding for EFT training for the staff to support mentally ill service users and each other.
After the introduction and initial demonstration of EFT for tightness in their breathing, which relaxed them all, I asked the group of 16 people, how they could see EFT helping them in their work. A common theme for them was a fear of public speaking. I explained the concept of Borrowing Benefits and asked for a volunteer to work with me while the others tapped along.
The volunteer described the feeling of panic in her body at the thought of giving a presentation. We tapped on the feeling, where it was and how it felt and the fear of humiliation and she easily accessed a memory of humiliation at school when invited to do so. She easily made this into a movie called ‘Humiliation at school’ and although she said the movie was ok after tapping she found she could not repeat what the teacher had said and she was very upset at this point. She said she had never told anyone and never could.
We did silent tapping to calm her down and then started tapping:
Even though I can’t tell anyone what she said, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Within a few minutes she felt she could talk about it and told us the story, whilst continuously tapping. Her story was about how she had taken part in a test and had been desperate to find out how she had done so asked the teacher who dragged her in front of the class and told them all ‘this outrageous child has dared to ask for her results, I will tell you she has done very badly.’
We tapped on this specific part of the memory.
This was not a simple childhood memory, she was very, very distressed. She realized she had been ‘shut up’ permanently. I asked her what she wanted to say to the teacher and one of the group shouted out ‘Shut up yourself you stupid cow.’ (a very British insult!)
The whole group had been tapping along and I was aware of sighs and shifts all around the group (who hasn’t had an experience similar to this?) and soon they were all enthusiastically tapping on their first finger shouting ‘Shut up you stupid cow’ along with everything else she would have liked to have said and everyone was laughing and thoroughly enjoying themselves.
By the end the volunteer looked so relaxed and when I asked her to think about a presentation, instead of panicking and thinking ‘I can’t do that’, her mind went immediately to thinking about how to prepare for it. She experienced a real difference because she could now look at the practical things she needed to do to achieve this goal. The others reported much less stress around their own issue. What was great about this volunteer was that someone told me later she was the one who thought the whole idea was a waste of time.
She has changed her mind!
I then tapped for a physical issue with someone who a back pain since she was 12-years-old and told me that she felt nothing could work because she had already tried everything. I agreed that it might not because of course this was obviously a ‘real’ pain, but then again, I was willing to try if she was, just in case we could do something. After all wouldn’t something be better than nothing. (I did feel that if all these guys hadn’t fixed it there was a pretty high chance EFT could!)
We started tapping with:
Even though I have tried everything so this silly tapping is never going to work!
If a chiropractor, osteopath and all those physiotherapists can’t fix it then tapping on my face won’t fix it!
I got her to imagine the pain and we tapped on the imagery until it came down from two big rocks to a small golf ball. I asked her if she wanted to leave it there or maybe try looking at what memory she was holding on to, and she opted to go for it. I told her I would demonstrate the gentle trauma techniques which they would need to use for mentally disturbed clients who have usually been heavily traumatized at some point, and they were all keen to see it.
As it happens, it was appropriate as her distress when being asked to remember what was going on for her at age 12 was way off the SUD level of Intensity scale of 0 to 10, so she imagined putting the memory in a glass jar which she covered with a cloth.
Eventually she could look in the jar and she made the memory a movie called ‘Chaos’. I knew she wouldn’t want to talk in front of the group so I asked her to give me code words and she used’ CAR’ and then ‘BOOK’ for tapping purposes. The entire memory fell to 0 and so did her back pain!
By the end all of them agreed EFT was something that could help them privately and professionally. They were all relaxed and everyone felt better than they had at the beginning of the day. They had all tapped enthusiastically along with this demonstration as well. It was like ducks to water!
They were also shocked to realize their own memories had bubbled up and felt so real and still so painful, and could then understand how very hard it would be for mentally ill and traumatized people to share their stories through their traditional talking therapies, which they knew often made people worse.