By Andrea Withers, Certified EFT Practitioner in training
Michael Rebman (his real name used with his permission because he said that he is very proud of this trauma breakthrough!), a massage therapist in his late 50s who is also studying to become a certified EFT practitioner, came to me with feelings of shock at his close friends’ changing political views that eventually brought up serious past traumas he worked through in an amazing fashion with some incredible symbolism and many beautiful cognitive shifts!
Michael recently went on a trip with his old friends, and during their talk about politics, he was shocked to discover that his old friends had turned against their own political belief system in many ways. I asked him to rate his shock, which he said was a SUD 9 that he felt as “a heavy weight over his shoulders, neck, head, and prefrontal cortex that appeared like an evil Sith lord cape” to him. We used Talk and Tap at the side of the hand point at first to describe his feelings and so I could understand what the various aspects of his problem were. He tapped and told me about the shocking moments when he realized his friends had changed so much in their belief systems.
I then had Michael start tapping his side of the hand (SH) point while using his descriptive words and phrases for Setup Statements:
Even though I was surprised that my friends were going against their own political party’s beliefs, I love, honor, and accept myself completely.
Even though my friends were “pussies,” I love, honor, and accept myself completely.
Even though my friends had “no balls,” I love, honor, and accept myself completely.
He noted that just tapping on the SH point with those Setups dropped his SUD level to a 6, and his emotion of “shocked” shifted to “surprised.” His quick cognitive shift surprised even him! He said that he understood his friends now, and it made sense why they had changed. He explained to me why it made sense to him now, which, for brevity’s sake, I will not include.
I then had Michael tap using EFT’s Full Basic Recipe, including the 9 Gamut, for his “surprise” using his words and a few that came to me for Reminder Phrases, some of which were:
“They are pussies!”
“They have no balls!”
“They aren’t even following their OWN political party’s views!”
“They need to grow a pair!”
“They aren’t even following their own beliefs!”
“This really pisses me off!”
His SUD level dropped to a 5 now and his “surprised” shifted to “disappointed and hurt,” and then almost immediately, while still tapping, he said that it shifted again to a SUD 4 and “helpless.”
I then told Michael to Talk and Tap while he told me why he felt helpless, which he did, going into a lot of reasons why he feels his friends have changed politically, which I will also not include for brevity’s sake. Talking about these reasons that made him feel helpless caused his SUD to jump to a 7 with a feeling of “doomed…a doomed world with an evil Sith lord cape over it.” As he kept using Basic EFT to keep Talking and Tapping about all of the evils he perceived going on in the world that were influencing his friends and how overwhelmed he felt by it all because he couldn’t fix it, he quickly dropped to a 0 SUD when he had a cognitive shift/realization: “I’m not supposed to fix this. I’m only one man.”
I asked Michael a pointed question next: “When was the first time or most memorable time that you felt like you should fix something?”
It came to him quickly and with a great deal of emotion. He told me to prepare because he was going to cry, which he did on more than one occasion because he went into a very old and very deep trauma from his childhood. I asked him if he needed to put it in a box or distance it from himself in some way (Tearless Trauma), but he said he was okay going right to it, despite his tears. I had him tap his collarbone point while he shared an early memory (age 7 or 8) of being woken up by his much older brothers (teenagers), who were listening to their parents have a heated fight in the other room and wanting to flee with the car because one brother had just received his driver license. They invited Michael to come too, but he was too scared because when he asked them where they were going, they didn’t have a destination, they just wanted to get out of there to get away from their fighting parents. Michael felt more unsafe leaving to an unknown destination than staying where his parents were fighting, so he stayed there alone, but felt scared and abandoned by his brothers. We checked his SUD rate. It was a 10, but just by continuing talking and tapping using Basic EFT, he said that it quickly dropped to SUD 6 or 7.
At this point, we decided to try the Silent Movie Technique with the movie title: “The Night of the Fight.” After using just Basic EFT tapping on just the title, he had a quick cognitive shift, and he wanted to talk about it, so we discontinued the Silent Movie, and he told me that he didn’t understand why he had to know where his brothers were going. He realized that they were actually trying to help him and that he had missed a great opportunity for an “adventure” with his brothers, who had never treated him as a friend to this point, just as a little kid. He said, “They invited ME to come along! To do something with THEM!” (He laughed out loud at this point saying that it might have been drugs, so he was glad he was at least spared that by not going with them.)
He realized now that his “movie” had two aspects: 1) Feeling abandoned by his brothers leaving him, and 2) The fight itself. After breaking his movie into two parts, he suddenly realized that his mother never really understood that he needed her rocking (closeness) as a child. He was such a content and happy baby that she would often put him down or in his swing, but he had really wanted that connection and closeness with his mother. He had felt a little abandoned by her because of that. This thought may have come up at this point because of his realization that he felt abandoned by his brothers when they left during the fight.
I asked him if he felt like there was anything left to work on about his brothers leaving/abandoning him that night. He decided he was actually happy about that now because of his new cognition that they were treating him as more grown up than they had in the past. He kind of wished he had gone on that adventure with them now. Since he felt okay about that (0 SUD), we moved on to the second aspect in his movie.
I knew this one was probably more traumatic, so I asked him if he was ready for it, and he said he wanted to move forward. He named this movie, “The Night of the Fight…Another Fight.” I had him use Talk and Tap to get his story out. He was 12 during this fight between his parents. He started to sob quite hard here and said, “It was the first time mom yelled for ME!” (during the abuse; and he was home without his siblings this time). He continued talking and tapping, “Mom was crouched on the couch guarding her face and Dad had his fist raised over her when I walked in.”
Michael’s dad had never hit him, so he couldn’t understand how he could hit her. Then Michael yelled and sobbed loudly while raising his arms and covering his face (during our session), “DAD! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” He decided to change the name of his movie rather suddenly to “The Scream!” and told me it had a level 10 SUD rating. He started to Tell the Story quickly while sobbing for about four EFT points or so when I realized he was speaking as if he were reliving the event, rather than retelling the event. I also saw that he was squeezing his eyes closed tightly. At that point, I said, “MICHAEL! OPEN YOUR EYES!” firmly but kindly, in order to ground him and bring him back to the present, which he did (thankfully!).
It was like night and day what happened next. He said, “You made the right call!” (in telling him to open his eyes). He had a complete cognitive shift just by opening his eyes and continuing to Talk and Tap (showing the importance of noticing when your clients have shifted into reliving by closing their eyes and speaking as if they were IN the trauma again, rather than retelling it).
Michael was shocked (and so was I!) by the dramatic change in him when he went from sobbing to his father as if he were that little boy again to him coming back to reality so quickly with the cognitive shifts that happened next. He said that the “evil Sith lord cape” had become a wedding veil, and then it quickly shifted to a tangled wedding veil and again quickly shifted to electrical wire. This all happened within seconds in his mind’s eye, and he told me as each change happened.
He then smiled broadly and excitedly said, “IT IS REWIRING MY BRAIN!…It’s a divine white veil encompassing my whole body, programming me with divine light and love! I need to release my own programming. I’m so grateful for this tool (EFT), and the shifts that it allows me to make!”
“The Scream” movie title now had 0 SUD! I checked this by having him recount the entire movie, which he did while smiling and laughing. He said, “I feel like SUPERMAN! I ran into the room and stopped him with my superpowers! I stopped him with a freeze ray of love! His love for ME made him realize he was doing something wrong…by my mere presence alone, healing took place and he stopped hitting her!”
(Notice the cape shift from an “evil Sith lord cape” to a character known for his goodness who also wears a cape–Superman.)
Michael then had a complete cognitive shift about this event in his childhood. He finished by saying, “This fight is now one of the HIGHLIGHTS of my childhood!” He was now so happy that his mother had turned to him in her time of need (possibly the connection he had longed for as an infant/toddler). He said that the dark cloak was completely gone now. It was now a veil that he felt was the rewiring of his brain, and he said that his whole body was enveloped in love and light.
When I asked him again what his final SUD rating was for “The Scream” before ending our session (because I was trying to make sure he was really at 0), he said that it was BETTER than a 0! He said, “I’m a superhero!” He also felt his father’s presence in the room with him, and he felt like his dad was happy about the healing taking place in his son. He did not seem to hold hard feelings toward his dad at all, but thought of him fondly.
Later that day, Michael wrote the following to me:
“I’ve told two movies (the movies we worked on above) to two people without crying. For the first time in my life!!! The second still has a 1 or 2 SUD, but no crying!!…Life changing! Seriously.”
The next day I asked him via text how he was doing since he had such a big shift during our session.
He wrote back and said, “Floating on air. I keep picturing my 12-year-old self running down the hallway with my Superman cape on when my mom called for help. I run around the corner and shoot a beam of love at my dad, freezing him on the spot, keeping everyone safe. There’s nothing I can’t do!!!”
I responded with, “That’s awesome! You said it was still a 1 or 2. Have you thought of what that is about?” (I asked this since he had told me at the end of the session that it was better than a 0.)
He replied, “I ended up taking an hour nap after our session. I was mentally tapping on that as I fell asleep. I don’t think it’s anything now. I’ll keep checking.” Later that evening he wrote, “I just figured it out. The remainder. I stopped the fight but I couldn’t save the marriage. Sadness. I’ll look at that tomorrow. Thanks for prompting me.”
I told him we could work on it next time if he didn’t get it figured out, and then he wrote this to me later:
“I experienced the generalization effect yesterday. One of the memories from high school went from embarrassed/cowardly memory to one where once again I saved the day with my stealth ninja love ray. I’m in awe! I think this is what heaven feels like.”
It has been over two weeks now, and as I have continued to work with Michael, he is still feeling great. He has released trust issues he had with his brother through the generalization effect, and family members have questioned him about why he seems so happy now.