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Calming down a suicidal client

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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,

The suicidal client is clearly in crisis and in big need of calming down. Before EFT and the other energy procedures, this meant hospitalization, drugs and other expensive/severe measures. I am not suggesting here that conventional measures be abandoned, but those familiar with EFT can clearly see the immediate use of it to calm the client down. Relaxation or "taking the edge off" is one of its most reliable features and, since it is so easily (and inexpensively) performed it is a candidate for the "treatment of first choice."

Sharon O'Hara was faced with a suicidal client recently and exhausted conventional means before resorting to EFT. As it turns out, much consternation could have been avoided if EFT has been used first. Here's how Sharon tells it.

Hugs, Gary

P.S. This "calming down" feature of EFT would be very useful for crisis phone line operators throughout the country. I expect the success rate would climb dramatically if the operators were skilled in walking the person in crisis through the tapping.

by Sharon O'hara, LMFT


Just a quick note to follow up on our phone conversation about using EFT on a suicidal patient. Feel free to put this one out to the list. After a session with a relatively new client last week (I'll call him John), he called me up to say that he needed to go to a hospital because he felt suicidal. This client had only been out of the hospital for about a month, and he had a history of multiple drug use and 7 suicide attempts, not to mention a horrible history of sexual and physical abuse as a child. He is currently living in a halfway house for chemical dependency.

Because of how I've been trained to handle suicide, I tried everything to get this fellow back into the private hospital where he had been for 60 days, but since it was a Friday night, they wanted $2200 up front for a weekend stay alone. (The client had exhausted a $50,000 trust fund to stay for 60 days at this hospital, but no more money was available).

Anyway, I couldn't get family members to help, and no one at the halfway house had a car to even drive this fellow to the county (free) hospital. So I drove out to the halfway house and did EFT for 40 minutes and John calmed down and said that he didn't feel suicidal any more. I was ready to call 911 and get the medics to take him to the hospital if it came to that, but he no longer felt that he needed to go.

Meanwhile, I got the halfway house folks to do a buddy system with him, and I had him agree to page me if he needed to, and I had him sign a no self harm contract, but he was fine, just had been overwhelmed with a severe shame attack. He also stated that he had never felt that bad in the past and stayed sober. Ever.

So the moral is that 40 minutes of EFT saved him and/or the state several thousand dollars. And if he had gone to the hospital, they would just have given him drugs, not much treatment, especially on the weekend in a county psych ward. I used EFT as a last resort, but it turned out to be the best thing to do

Sharon O'hara, LMFT


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