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Fears And Phobias


A client gives a detailed account of what agoraphobia relief is like

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Here is a marvelous example of what it is like to be agoraphobic and to have the problem lift with tapping. This detailed account comes from Jill Phillips, who was blockbound with agoraphobia for 22 years. She graphically portrays the severity of her former panic reaction and takes us inside the mental and emotional experience of having the problem vanish.

This story is particularly important for current agoraphobia sufferers who might find tapping to be "too weird to be true." It gives a road map to relief.

Hugs, Gary

by Jill Phillips

Dear Gary,

I am not a great writer or a therapist, just a person who had a very bad phobia.

I was blockbound for 22 years. I could only go on half of my block because I had Agoraphobia. I would get overwhelming panic if I went past my safety spot which was four houses up my block on the south side of me. I could go to the corner with some anxiety to the North. I am in the fourth house from the corner on the North side. So, in total I could only walk eight houses

I also had a great deal of panic while in my house but I found out about 6 years ago that I had a lot of food allergies and they were causing a lot of my panic. But even after I found out about the food allergies and the panic was greatly reduced, I still couldn't leave my safety zone.

A friend of mine knew a therapist that did both EMDR and TFT [the forerunner to EFT]. I didn't know anything about either of them so I read some materials that the therapist gave me. I thought TFT sounded ridiculous but I was interested in EMDR.

Gary, before I go any farther I want you to know that I had extreme panic when I would try to leave my safety zone, I mean really bad. I never knew how I was ever going to get out because I just could not do it. The panic was very, very overwhelming. I would pray and tell the Lord, that I just could not go with the amount of panic I felt unless he took it away.

The panic I felt was like if you were in a plane thirty thousand feet up and jumped out and realized your parachute was not going to open, That is how bad it was. And I have never taken medications of any kind because (1) I was afraid of them and (2) I did not have a shrink that lived on my block. So anyway here I was sitting on my couch with a therapist that came to my home and who was going to show me how to "tap" my panic away. How dumb!!!!

I thought I would play along with her and do the tapping so she would see that it wasn't going to work and then get get to work with EMDR. She asked me to think about going for a walk and asked me on a scale of one to ten where would my anxiety level be. I thought about it and told her probably a nine. Then she had me tap on the beginning of my eyebrow, under my eye, under my arm and my collar bone and then do some really weird stuff which included tapping on the back of my hand while moving my eyes around and humming and counting.

After I did it I thought "what a nut," and I am going to pay money for this? So she had me bring up the thought about going for a walk again and on a scale of one to ten where was my anxiety level. I couldn't think It was like the thought was gone or something. I just sat there and tried to get the thought but the thought seemed far away. I told her I didn't know, the thought was kinda gone and she said to use the first number that comes into my head. I said, "Ummm. maybe a three."

Then she said, "What else are you afraid of." I told her "being alone." She said, "On a scale of one to ten where is your anxiety level?" I thought and then I told her, "Well I really don't have anxiety when I think about things, I really don't feel anything. I am just guessing where I think it might be." So she said, "Lets go for a walk." I thought ok, here it comes. We will go out the door and come to the fourth house. Then I will do this dumb tapping thing and tell her it doesn't work, duh, and then we will go back and we will do the EMDR--which seemed to me much more believable than this tapping thing.

So we walked out the door and started walking up the street. I was wondering if she was going to be really upset with me when I tell her it doesn't work. I thought she would probably get mad and get in her car and leave and that would be the end of it. I thought she might think that I was not even trying. So we get to the fourth house, and no anxiety. We go to the fifth house and still no anxiety. We go past the seventh and up to the eighth and I stopped dead in my traces, turned and looked at her and said, "What is going on. I have no anxiety and no panic. I don't understand. We haven't done anything yet." (I thought, did this lady put a spell on me or something?)

She said, "Yes we did. We tapped in the house." I said, "I thought you were just showing me how. I didn't know that it DID something." So we walked all the way up to the end of the block. I had no panic, no anxiety and I didn't have to fight anxious thoughts and talk to myself to try to keep myself calm.

The last time I was at the end of that side of my block it was with a group of people who tried to get me to see if I could do it, and I felt like I was going to die. I had dry mouth, pounding heart, a feeling of unreality, and a huge feeling of doom. Now here I was seven years later with no panic and all I felt was excitement and feelings of joy and freedom. I was amazed !!! About all I could say was, "This is amazing." How does tapping do this? I couldn't believe it.

We went back home and I told my husband. Then I wanted to walk up again, to make sure it was real, that it wasn't going to disappear. So we walked up again. Then I wanted to go by myself with the therapist and my husband standing on the sidewalk by my house. I walked up the block, nine houses from mine, alone. The only time I had any anxiety is when I looked down at the sidewalk and saw some pornography written there. I tapped and the anxiety left.

I walked up the block seven times that day. After the therapist left, all I could think of was WOW, am I glad she showed me this tapping thing. Me and my husband walked to the other end of my block and around the corner to the end of the other block. Then we walked up the alley, to the end of the block and around the corner to that end. I must say, that I was amazed but I didn't go hog wild, I went slow.

The next week my therapist came out again and this time we went in the car. It had been years since I had ridden in a car and I had to get used to the feel of it. I had forgotten what it felt like and I had forgotten how fast they go. Before we left, I tapped for riding in a car and going farther. We went three blocks. At about two blocks I started to get really panicky. I was at a ten and my mouth was all dry. So we stopped and I tapped and it went away and the spit started to come back in my mouth in seconds.

About three months after I started the TFT, I ordered Dr. Callahan's TFT manual, The Rapid Treatment of Panic, Agoraphobia, and Anxiety. The TFT is good and that is how I started my first steps, but I have been using the EFT since. I have been using EFT since my fourth month of getting out because I found that the TFT wasn't working as well any more and I couldn't afford three thousand dollars for the Voice Technology. So I use the EFT now and it works all the time. I really don't do the short cuts because it really doesn't take that long to do the long form. And I do not want to risk having a really bad panic.

I have only used the EFT for getting out and I know that I still have a lot of work to do. I have not tapped for abuse in my childhood or for being raped twice when I was in my early twenties because I do not really know how to go about it. I have only seen the therapist three times. One time in March of 99 and two times in April of 99.

Being housebound for 22 years and my husband being the only one bringing in money, we do not have a lot. I have downloaded and printed out your manual and I have downloaded the advanced transcript. I still have a lot of work to do. I haven't tapped for the fear of being alone yet. I don't know how to go about it. I have gone about two miles N, E, S and W of my house which is a lot for me. I have eaten in a restaurant and I go shopping with my husband once a week. I love grocery shopping !!!! I have been to Church and I go in various stores.

But even with this success I am still cautious, I still have fear that the EFT is not going to work. I even have fear of getting rid of the fear and of being afraid that the EFT is not going to work. Like if I got rid of the fear that maybe at some point it won't work and it would leave me open to making mistakes and having a really big panic attack. So it is like I have to be careful and not take my freedom too lightly. Does that make sense?

GC COMMENT: This is normal. While tapping for the fear of the fear will likely take you still farther in your recovery, it is probably best that you take gradual steps. Go 2.5 miles and see what happens. Tap if you need to. Then repeat for 3 miles. Then 5, 10 and 20 on. Chances are, you are already over the problem. But why risk it when you can ease into going longer distances?

Anyway, I am really happy with where I can go and what I am doing. 22 years is a long time. But I would like to get to the place where I can jump in a car and travel across America if I want. Do you think that is possible ? I hope my story helps someone. EFT does work, and if I hadn't been stuck for so many years I would be more at ease with just going for it, just letting loose. Thank you for listening,

Jill Phillips


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