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Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Deborah Mitnick follows up on her recent "WATER IS DANGEROUS" article with another water phobia case. In this one she emphasizes the value of having the client tell the story while tapping. This has the advantage of automatically "tuning in" the client to the issue--including all the details (aspects) as they ebb and flow within the story.

Properly done, this approach can add thoroughness to your EFT sessions.

Hugs, Gary

by Deborah Mitnick

Hello, EFT.

After writing "Water is Dangerous" (about my almost three-year old grandson Avi's total resolution of a water phobia using a few hours of EFT), I realized that I had another water story to share with you.

A couple of years ago, a nine-year-old girl, "Rebecca", came to see me. After nearly drowning in a pool, Rebecca developed a strong fear of water, especially being in a swimming pool. This very bright little girl hated having this obstacle in her life! She prided herself on her independence and her many successes. She was an accomplished musician and a math wiz and her vocabulary probably matched mine! She'd already read many books that I had first learned about when I was in college!

The new fear of swimming annoyed her. She didn't want it to stop her from living her life to the fullest.

Because Rebecca was so articulate and intelligent, I decided to start the tapping immediately, even before she began her narrative. I asked her to watch me and tap herself on all of the places that I was tapping on myself.

I didn't bother with set up phrases at all but we did tap the karate chop spot at the beginning of each round. I didn't think that any more was necessary because she was so "tuned in" to the trauma right from the start of the session.

As she told the story, I silently tapped each point on myself and she imitated me, moving from one meridian to the next. I'll add the points in parentheses to show you what I mean. The following is as near a transcript as I can recall.

"Anne" [Rebecca's older sister] (EB) jokingly grabbed me (SE) while I was just floating around the shallow end of the pool. (UE) Anne picked me up (UN) and swung me around (CH) so I went flying out to the deep end (CB). I almost made it to the side of the pool (UA), but not quite (SH). I fell under the water (EB) When I came up (SE), Anne had a glimmer in her eye that scared me (UE). I was certain that she purposely tried to drown me (UN). But then Anne grabbed my hand (CH) and dragged me back to the shallow end (CB). I was scared, shaking, sputtering, and coughing (UA)."

Instead of using reminder phrases, re-frames, forgiveness statements, "deeply and completely" statements, or any other fancy language, I just asked Rebecca to tell me the story of what happened. While she talked, we both tapped. I never interrupted, interpreted, or judged anything that she said. By telling the story, she was continually "tuned into" it. By my "staying out of her way," she had the opportunity to continuously monitor how the incident felt to her, how it evolved, what its current meaning was to her.

I never asked for an assessment of her intensity level.

We continued the tapping as she repeated the incident four times and, with each repetition, her story became more detailed and her mood lightened.

She loved the physical action of doing the tapping and began to relax. She was more and more able to vividly imagine the scene and we just kept replaying it while we watched each other and tapped.

You already know the outcome.

In the session that lasted just over an hour, Rebecca became totally comfortable with water, including the idea of swimming in a pool and the thought of going in deep water! She said, "I can now picture myself going in deep water without being scared."

Two days later, she called me and told me that she had joined a swim club!

So much for trauma!

Deborah Mitnick, LCSW-C


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