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EFT assists 8 year old in giving up thumb sucking

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Hi Everyone,

Thumb sucking is like an addiction in that it helps to soothe one's emotional issues. After awhile, of course, it becomes socially inappropriate and this tends to put social pressure on both the child and the parents. Linzi Westoby from the UK recognized this and skillfully applied EFT for both. Note how EFT was aimed at both the when and where of thumb sucking as well as for specific emotions.

Hugs, Gary


By Linzi Westoby

Hi Gary

I recently worked with an eight year old boy "Martin" whose parents contacted me to help with his thumb sucking problem.  They had tried "everything", and as I am a hypnotherapist, they wondered if hypnosis would help.  However, as I am using EFT much more than hypnosis now because of the wonderful, fast results, I suggested they check out emofree.com and if they liked what they saw, to contact me again, which they did the next day.

I met "Martin" with both his parents and he asked if I was going to stop him sucking his thumb - I replied that I would if he helped me - did he want to stop?  He said "yes"!  He has had problems with school friends and his teacher who gave him a hard time about it, so much so that Mum had taken him out of school and found a new one, which he was due to start in a couple of days (I noted this would therefore be an anxious week for "M").

I asked him to think about a computer game and when you first get a new one you play it over and over for days, or weeks, and then one day it feels babyish and you want to move on.  I then said it's like that with thumb sucking, time to move on "thanks thumb, but no thanks!"

I explained to mum and dad that we may have to tap for their issues around "M"s thumb sucking.  Then we all started tapping for

"Even though I want to suck my thumb, I'm a great kid (he liked that!)..." so I threw in "I'm cool...I'm awesome" (which is really liked!)

After a few rounds, "M" was telling his parents when they missed a point ... he really was responding very well.

When asked when he sucked his thumb (meaning what times of day), he said "when I'm bored, when I'm angry, when I'm sleepy, when I'm "up to no good." This was not what I meant, but was brilliant information.  His mum was surprised he had said he did it when he was angry, and asked him about that - he replied "yes, when you send me to my room!"  We tapped for all these emotions.  We also tapped for "thanks thumb, but no thanks!"

When asked if anyone had ever said anything bad about his habit, he replied yes, some of his school friends had been mean and his teacher had called him a baby.  

We used Deborah Miller's balloon technique for releasing negative emotions, and "M" filled his pink balloon with all the mean things people had said to him.  That balloon grew from the size of the room, to the size of the house, the street, and finally the whole city before he released it (during which an aeorplane passed by!).  I left a print out of this technique with mum for future use, with suggestion to change the colour of the balloon each time.

We then tapped for where he sucked his thumb; the main ones where in school and in the car.  I invited Mum to do a couple of rounds of tapping on him (with his permission) as she may need to do it in the future with him.  He started to yawn (it was 10.00 in the morning, so yawning was a sign), so we finished up and he went off to play, with a promise to tap every night at bedtime with his mum on the good things that had happened during his day and then the bad things.

I then did a couple of rounds just with Mum and Dad; "Even though I am anxious about "M"'s anxiety" and both felt a bit more chilled about the situation.  They reported that they had been very frustrated about it, and it had created anxiety as a family, which "M" would perhaps be influenced by. Dad said he would find himself watching "M" out of the corner of his eye, just waiting for him to put his thumb in his mouth.  Huge tensions in the air!

Dad said it sounded quieter upstairs, "M" would normally be fighting with his sister by now.

Both parents were very enthusiastic about continuing the process with "M" and promised to tap every night, and if "M" did put his thumb in his mouth, to tap on "Even though I want to suck my thumb right now."

We finished up the session, and I promised to call back in a week to check progress.  "M" waved me off on the doorstep.  The three of them had been wonderfully co-operative and so willing to try this strange technique.

When I called a week later, Mum reported much improvement.  He had started at his new school, and Mum had been very creative with the balloon technique the night before about his "sadness" at having to make new friends in the morning.  He reported he felt happier after it.  When asked, his new teacher wasn't aware of him sucking his thumb.  Mum and Dad also felt better about the whole situation and promised to keep in touch. 

"M" then asked to speak to me and said he had been tapping on his head and face and when I asked what he was tapping for he said "I'm a great kid - I'm awesome!"  They continue to tap each evening.  He still sucks his thumb a little, mainly when watching TV, but hopefully its the tail end of the habit and will die off over time.

I have been a hypnotherapist for ten years and an EFT practitioner for three, but EFT wins every time!!!!

Best wishes

Linzi Westoby

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