Dear EFT Community,
Here, a social worker helps a client with many traumatic past experiences deal with the terror of a dream in which her father is trying to drown her.
By Stephanie Drieze, LICSW
My patient “Cindy” has been in individual therapy for several years to deal with childhood abuse issues. Although Cindy had made progress in her recovery, the really big changes came after I was trained in EFT and taught emotional freedom techniques to her.
After Cindy learned and frequently utilized EFT, she completely stopped cutting herself (a common problem for survivors of incest), was able to significantly control flashbacks, manage anxiety and have some control over physical pain related to the abuse.
In addition, Cindy was able to make significant strides in her career, including getting a Ph.D.
One of the final hurdles for Cindy to conquer is her interpersonal relationships.
Due to many additional betrayals Cindy endured, she has tremendous difficulty trusting people and has few social friendships. In the last year she has joined a trauma group that is helping her face these issues, however, the intensity of the group as well as her growing career has again triggered her nightmares of her childhood abuse.
Cindy is an avid tapper and believes EFT has changed her life, and given her more hope than she ever imagined. Recently, this belief was further validated when on two separate occasions she was having her reoccurring dream of her father trying to drown her.
In the dream, she tapped, in the water saying:
“Even though I’m afraid, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.” and
“Even though I think I’m going to die, I love and accept myself.”
In the dream, her fear dropped and her father’s control was taken away. In the second instance, Cindy was having another reoccurring nightmare where her father was coming at her to sexually abuse her.
Again, in the dream, she began tapping, saying:
“Even though I know this will be painful, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
Cindy reported to me that she was even more clear about this tapping in the dream than the previous experience.
She reported tapping on all the points, saying:
“This pain, This pain.”
In the therapy session Cindy was excited to report that in this dream, the abuse stopped, and her father disappeared, she believes the nightmare ended shortly after the tapping.
Cindy and I believe that this experience was possible because she uses EFT on a daily basis and it has become so much a part of her coping skills and daily life.
Several of us know that tapping before bed can potentially help with getting a better night’s sleep and can reduce the occurrence of nightmares.
Here are some tapping statement examples:
“Even though I have nightmares, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I’m afraid I’ll have nightmares, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I have trouble sleeping through the night, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
What is new, at least in my experience, is the idea that EFT can become a part of you in your actual dreams. Cindy has felt that although these nightmares surface when she’s under stress, she now has a powerful belief that somehow she will incorporate EFT to change the outcome of these repetitive nightmares. Cindy and I believe that this occurred naturally by using EFT on a frequent basis.
I recently suggested she add a choices protocol before bed.
Cindy taps on the following:
“Even though I’ve had these nightmares for a long time, I chose to use EFT to help me through the dream.”
“Even though these nightmares can terrify me, I chose to let a part of me bring in EFT to help me.”
This vignette demonstrates the power of the unconscious mind and how EFT can play a role in healing painful memories that reoccur during sleep.