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A self administered approach to addictions

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated. Please use my newest advancement, Optimal EFT. It is more efficient, more powerful and clearly explained in my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™.  Best wishes, Gary

Hi Everyone,

For Joan, "lifelong addiction" meant jumping from addiction to addiction in much the same way as an alcoholic quits alcohol but then overdoes cigarettes, coffee or both. In her case, tapping "daily chain" style on each craving, thought or feeling as they occurred shows promise and worked nicely for Joan. However, being more specific with her events may have produced faster results, so I include my suggestions within her story.

Hugs, Gary


By Joan Hitlin

Dear Gary,

Since meeting you at the Holiday Inn in Emeryville just before Xmas I have been using EFT on myself for everything with impressive results.

I seem to have gotten over a lifelong addiction (not just the craving) by dealing with every thought that came up while tapping (aspects and sub-aspects).

GC COMMENT: When she talks of a "lifelong addiction" she means the jumping from addiction to addiction in much the same way as an alcoholic quits alcohol but then overdoes cigarettes, coffee or both. You will see evidence of that in her next paragraph (below). She indicates that she got over various addictions but what she really means is that she shifted from one addictive behavior to another...

JOAN CONTINUES: Here's my story: I was bulimic in my late teens. Got over it. I was a pack and a half smoker from 16 to 28. Got over it. I was a binge eater. Got over it. I was a carbohydrate junky. Got over it. I was an overeater at meals. Got over it.

GC COMMENT: As we see with some regularity, an underlying cause of addictive behaviors is the need to tranquilize a form of anxiety or unrest that comes about from unresolved emotional issues. Until we get down to the underlying emotional drivers, the addictive behaviors merely shift from one form to another.

JOAN CONTINUES: What remained was grazing or nibbling, mainly at night; chewing sugarless gum (a pack a day habit); and, most annoying, intense lip biting.

GC COMMENT: While chewing gum and lip biting are certainly milder than bulimia, it is still a "nervous habit," a form of tranquilizer like fingernail biting, skin picking and the like. I always assume such addictive behaviors are symptoms of underlying emotional causes.

JOAN CONTINUES: The lip biting was hardest to work with because I never became aware of it until I'd already been at it for a while.

Solution: I tapped on: night time eating, gum chewing, lip biting, the feeling of chewing in general, anxiety, boredom, fear, sadness, and whatever else came up while I was tapping (I don't remember it all).

GC COMMENT: While this appears to have worked nicely for Joan, I would suggest including, as tapping targets, some specific emotional events from her past that may be contributing to her ongoing unrest (anxiety). She may have done this in her tapping for "whatever else came up" but, as she says, she doesn't remember this specifically. I wish to emphasize, though, her method of tapping in daisy chain style on whatever issues come up. It shows promise. I think others (you?) may find success with it. It's certainly worth a try.

JOAN CONTINUES: It's been 2 weeks and without trying I've stopped chewing or buying gum (or wanting to); I've stopped nibbling, except when hungry; I've stopped lip biting!!!

Once in a while (rarely) I feel an urge to bite my lip and I tap, but mostly I'm not doing anything except noticing that I've stopped doing those behaviors. (If nothing else I'll save the $365. a year that I was spending on chewing gum. Hopefully it will keep me from getting lip cancer!)

GC COMMENT: Is she done with her addictive behaviors? Hopefully so--but we'll have to let time go by to know for sure. If they re-appear, I would take that as evidence of more issues to address.

JOAN CONTINUES: I have -- ta-da -- located one side effect of doing a self-directed EFT intensive. (I did have the week off). For a few days I felt over stimulated, jumpy and had a few nights of insomnia (not a usual problem). My solution was to do more EFT (I think aspects were coming up fast and furious) as well as to journal, and to be nice to myself in general, and it subsided.

Blessings and gratitude,


PS. I'm also using EFT successfully with my clients, but I won't write any more today.

More articles on Addictions and Substance Abuse


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