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Where only the pros should tread.

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Lori Lorenz gives us the details of an intense case of trauma where "only the pros should tread" (my term). Experienced healing practitioners have all had cases where clients protect themselves by repressing or "not remembering" childhood events that involve torture, maiming, murder, sexual abuse and other unspeakable atrocities. Sometimes these clients appear to lead a normal life until, eventually, these memories show up and cause severe disorientation.

Lori's case with "Trish" should be very helpful--especially for the pros who deal with this category of clients. Please note her use of the Tearless Trauma Technique. Also note that a many-aspected case like this does not lend itself to being a "one minute wonder". There is much to unravel here and multiple sessions are typically necessary--perhaps spanning many months.

Also, for privacy reasons, the actual atrocities are not described.

Hugs, Gary

by Lori Lorenz, MA

Dear Gary and EFT Friends,

"Trish" was referred to me by a caring family member because, despite her outwardly beautiful, active, loving family life, she seemed to be falling apart. Within the past few weeks, terrifying dreams and intrusive waking images from her childhood began appearing out of "nowhere". Even though she knew her childhood was not pleasant and that her family was pretty dysfunctional, these "memories" were outside the realm of anything she thought actually occurred in ANY family--much less hers. She was terrified of both the "memories" (if they were true) and the possibility that she was "going insane" (if they weren't).

When Trish entered my office, she was barely holding herself together. Within minutes she was relating the extreme content of these new "memories" and entering into gripping states of flashback and immobilizing terror, eyes glazed and unfocused, body shaking.

Even with an established relationship and well known history, most practitioners find such a client state to be pretty unnerving. In the "old days", there was little one could do during this ordeal but provide comfort, keep the person oriented and introduce some countering thoughts. However, with our EFT tools, we have much more with which to help.

Using a strong voice, I kept asking and reminding Trish where she was and asking her to keep looking into my eyes when she couldn't orient. It seemed a strong and directive voice was needed to help her focus as she moved in and out of being present. I briefly explained this "weird stuff" of tapping on the meridians to process the emotions and, despite her strong skepticism, she was willing to try (even though she was quite sure nothing could help her).

I often use the TAB (Touch and Breathe) method for EFT (which can be very soothing and introspective) but, in this case, strong tapping seemed the best way to get body sensations going to counter the body memories and dissociation (feeling disconnected from the body) which seemed to be overwhelming her. So we started tapping on "this emotion", "this terror" and "this overwhelm". At times I had to tap and speak for her (with her permission) when she was immobilized. After several rounds she was able to achieve some orientation and a sense of calm. I'll never forget the look of disbelief on her face when she sat back, looked at me with clearly present eyes, and said she couldn't believe it but, whatever this stuff was, it was working.

As Trish calmed somewhat, she expressed greater fear that she was going crazy, that this couldn't be true, and that people just didn't do these things to children. I let her know that unfortunately people do, but we didn't have to decide anything about the truth of her images and feelings at that point, we just wanted her out of this terror and overwhelm.

So we started Gary's "Tearless Trauma Technique" by simply referring to "these memories", "these images", "this terror", "this confusion", while frequently reminding her not to go into the memories in detail. She was to intentionally distance herself from them (without dissociating) and just guess at what she might feel if she were to touch into them. I kept reminding her that our intent was not to go into the experience (yet) and this helped her discover that she had some control over the intrusiveness and the feeling of overwhelm.

Once Trish had a sense that she could use EFT to counter the intensity of the memories, she began to describe them. We worked carefully with the details and tapped often when the intensity rose. There was little hope of coming to a zero (on a 0-10 scale) on any of these far reaching, many aspected events and there was little time to keep track of these 0-10 measurements anyway. Nonetheless, we did some general monitoring of the intensity and her sense of whether or not she could handle it. For Trish, at least at the moment, having a place to describe these horrific events seemed more important for her sense of sanity than trying to level a "forest" of unknown extent in one 2- hour session.

By the end of our first session, Trish was absolutely convinced of the efficacy of EFT. She was determined to use it as much as was needed to take back her ability to live her own life while working through whatever was needed to discover the truth and heal it. We met again the next day and she had used the EFT extensively for the memories and nightmares with impressive relief.

In the past 8 months, Trish has discovered the truth of these memories, had several validations from external sources, and has courageously faced layer after layer of experience which would not be believed by most people--even in a horror film or documentary. Her experience of calculated abuse over more than a decade ranks among the most intense I've encountered or read about. And that's saying a lot because my work has included the type of intense trauma that has resulted in Multiple Personality Disorder and severely repressed memories. Through this healing, in which her primary tool has been EFT, Trish has grown and deepened in her capacity to love, experience joy, and to connect with her husband and children in ways that amaze her and bring tears to her eyes.

The fact that she has reached this point in only 8 months is almost unheard of--even for less extensive mind controlling abuse than she suffered. At one point in our work, Trish considered having a local therapist to work with in person (I travel to her city only every 4-8 weeks and we work by phone between trips).

She interviewed 5 or 6 professionals who specialized in abuse, each of which gave a dismal prognosis, predicted years of painful, traumatizing work to get through the experiences she outlined or declined to work with her. Wisely, Trish opted to stay with EFT. She now only occasionally has a session or two when some new aspect or layer of experience surfaces. The rest she handles with EFT and her (by now) excellent skills - and those issues are getting easier and quicker to clear.

Love to you all,

Lori Lorenz, MA


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