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Teenage trauma from the Columbine incident & swimming performance.

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By Jim Sharon

Here are three solid examples of my EFT successes with children:

For a few days after the Columbine High School shootings last April, my 10-year-old son, Michael, denied that he was traumatized by the incident. I clearly felt he was numbing his feelings, but suspected I'd hear from him sooner than later (knowing his pattern) if I didn't force the issue. Sure enough, as I was completing putting my son to bed three nights after the shootings, Michael requested that I administer EFT to him to help him with haunting images of the killers dressed in black and carrying guns.

I had previously used EFT with Michael on several occasions, with mixed results, to alleviate various minor physical ailments/illnesses. Michael required only two rounds of tapping,7-8 minutes total time, to totally eliminate anxiety that he initially rated with a SUDs level of 10. He fell asleep quickly, unlike the night before, when he later confessed laying awake awhile with similar distressing images. Subsequently, Michael was able to watch live memorial coverage for students that died at Columbine and to accompany me to pay respects and tour the Columbine memorial cite at an adjacent park. We had ensuing, involved discussions about the Columbine massacre. My distinct sense was that the single, simple use of EFT served to neutralize all of my son's traumatic reactions concerning Columbine and enable him to deal appropriately with the aftermath.

Similarly, I applied EFT with a 14-year-old high school freshman who was a close acquaintance with one of the girls who was murdered at Columbine. Susan (name changed) was unable to read newspaper/magazine accounts of the massacre nor view any TV reporting of it. She was besieged by persistent, frightening images of the killers for weeks before I began working with her in counseling.

I worked with several emotional aspects, mainly fear, but also grief/profound sadness and rage as well as Susan's haunting imagery for at least half of four counseling sessions with the client. Initially, I opted to fractionate the disturbing imagery: e.g. just focus on less threatening parts of the killers' bodies--not their faces or guns. After two sessions, Susan began using a short-cut version of EFT that I provided her to work with some of her anxiety between sessions.

After a month of counseling Susan, all of her emotional reactions dissipated considerably, but she continues to have some residual upset, which we both feel is appropriate. I used Susan's Columbine trauma as a segue to resolving reactivated early-childhood traumas involving two dead relatives. Three 1/2-hour EFT sessions cut through the confusion, fear and guilt that Susan had suppressed over a ten-year period.

A very different kind of success, that I will briefly note, involved EFT with a 15-year-old freshman swimmer, "Tom," on one of the perenially top high school swim teams in the U.S. We worked for three hour-long sessions in my office and Tom, who had immediately warmed up to EFT, did a number of rounds on his own within a 3-week period. During that time frame, Tom realized the following notable gains: complete release of chest tightness and pain, markedly increased leg strength, greater confidence and the real big one: being moved from the junior varsity team to first string on the varsity!

Hope this helps!!

Warmly,

Jim Sharon

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