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Alan--a mentally retarded 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Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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,

Tom Altaffer shares this story about Alan, who had fallen down some stairs and then refused to walk. His mental challenges made the process more difficult, but Tom had enough history with Alan to maintain good rapport. After only 20 minutes of tapping, Alan was showing noticeable improvement. As Tom recalls, "He stood up, dashed upstairs, came down and stood ready to leave. There was a long silence in the room."

Hugs, Gary

By Tom Altaffer

Let me tell you about Alan.

He is a 28 year old man. He has fairly good receptive language, but his expressive language is almost completely indecipherable. He is also very unstable on his feet, and has a tendency to get angry and hit people without much provocation.

I have known him for several years. I met him when his mother was hospitalized and on the brink of death. He was very sad about this, crying a great deal. I did not know EFT at the time so I found him very hard to work with. I could understand almost nothing he said, and what speech he had only got worse when he cried. And boy could he cry! Snot and saliva everywhere. I worked with him for several months, and he would cry all over me. It seemed to help him and he eventually got over his grief about his mother. I would not say I did anything other than give him permission to be sad, but perhaps sometimes that is enough.

On Thursday I got a call. Alan had been living in a Supervised Apartment. He had fallen down the stairs and as a result he refused to walk. He would not go upstairs. He would not even get up to go to the bathroom, so he would just pee on himself. He had been checked out medically and the doctors felt there was nothing wrong with him. For this first session I was only given 20 minutes with him because he was being moved to a temporary placement in a group home with no stairs.

When I saw him he was sitting on a couch. The smell of urine was in the air. As soon as he saw me he started crying and talking at the same time. I could not understand a word. I asked him if he wanted to feel better. He nodded his head. I explained about EFT and started tapping. I asked him to repeat the Setup along with me, and there was an almost instantaneous change.

When I asked him to say "I like myself and think I am a good person" he started to smile. We did a round or two of tapping and he was ok. I asked him if he was afraid to walk. He indicated yes, so we tapped for that. He stood up, and holding a walker walked around his apartment. I asked if his leg hurt. He said yes. We tapped for his leg pain. He said it was better. I asked if he was afraid to walk without his walker. He said yes. We tapped for this and he started walking while holding my arm. We walked over to the stairs. I asked him if he was afraid to go upstairs. He said a big yes. I tapped him a few times for this. He went right up stairs. Then he was afraid to come down. We tapped for that too. Down he came.

At this point he went to the front door and said he was afraid to go in and out of it. We started to work on that, but our 20 minutes were up and the staff returned. As soon as the staff came in he fell down on the floor. The staff went to pick him up and put him on the couch. He peed himself. The staff person moved him to a chair and went to get new clothes for him. I spoke with the supervisor and told her what we had accomplished. She obviously did not believe a word.

After he was all cleaned up and they were taking him away, I asked him if he wanted to show his staff person how well he could go up and down stairs. He stood up, dashed upstairs, came down and stood ready to leave. There was a long silence in the room.

Thomas A. Altaffer


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