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Fears And Phobias

Water / Swimming

A stubborn fear -- The importance of persistence and 'seemingly unrelated issues'

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Note: This article assumes you have a working knowledge of EFT. Newcomers can still learn from it but are advised to peruse our Free Gold Standard (Official) EFT Tutorial™ for a more complete understanding.

Hi Everyone,

Here's a glowing example of the usefulness of my favorite question, "What does that remind you of?" It is by Linda Anderson of the UK and highlights the fact that the client's real issue is sometimes hidden beneath the surface. Linda says, "Yes EFT is wonderful and yes at times it can work miraculously quickly - but don't give up if it doesn't work in the manner and timescale you're expecting.  Your client has all the answers - clear a space for their answers to emerge and be patient. The rewards are incalculable."

Hugs, Gary

By Linda Anderson

Hi Gary,

A recent post on the height phobia that wouldn't move until a 'seemingly unrelated issue' was cleared reminded me of my very first experience of using EFT with a volunteer during my EFT workshop.

Looking over my notes and with the benefit of 4 more years' experience using EFT with a lot of people, I see clearly that all the clues we needed to achieve our goal were actually there in the first session - I just didn't have the necessary experience to spot them at that time!

In brief, Barbara (not her real name) had had a fear of being underwater, particularly strong-tasting water, since she was a child.  This was now limiting her ability to join in the fun with her family and friends on their annual snorkeling holiday - she just had to sit on the boat and watch!

Over the course of 5 sessions we had cleared all the memories she could raise of being pushed in the water, being held under water, feeling she was drowning, having her fears dismissed and her feelings denied, hating the strong taste in her mouth, etc.

From the very start I had asked her to keep a question at the back of her mind: 'What does this feeling remind me of, when have I felt this way before?'.  This had led us to tap on the feeling that she had been 'ducked as a witch' in a previous life, and also on the immense rage and anger she had felt at having her feelings denied as a child, which resulted in her being labeled 'the naughty one' amongst her siblings and peers.  We cleared several highly charged specific events in that area and she felt much lighter.

But the fear of water had not diminished and I was ready to give up, thinking 'I just can't make this stuff work, maybe I'm not cut out for it'. Happily for me, Barbara was a good friend who wanted to support me in my efforts and who also had a great determination to finally free herself up from the phobia!

The fear of water was still high but it had become much more specifically about the strong taste of salt water and the rubbery feel of a snorkel in her mouth making her gag and panic. This became evident when her husband encouraged her to give it a try once.  We were out of time at that point but decided that at the next session we would use a bucket of salty water and a snorkel mask as triggers.

After just a few minutes of working with these props, we had a 'bingo' moment (what a relief - I was so ready to give up!).  That wonderful question 'What does this feeling remind me of' triggered a vivid and highly charged memory of being 5 years old, having just started school, hearing all her classmates outside having fun on the playground, whilst she was kept indoors with a huge plate of liver and onions (definitely NOT her favorite food!) and an even more enormous dinner-lady towering over her, insisting that she eat the lot before being allowed out to play.

Suffice to say that we eagerly applied EFT to that memory and all those aspects and by the end of the session Barbara was able put the mask on, taste the salt water, feel the rubbery feel in her mouth and still feel completely relaxed and at ease.

Now the strong salty taste and rubbery-in-the-mouth aspects made complete sense!  But who could have made that connection at a logical level with the fear of water?

I learned a lot from this early experience and am so grateful to Barbara for her courage and persistence in pursuing her goal.  Yes EFT is wonderful and yes at times it can work miraculously quickly - but don't give up if it doesn't work in the manner and timescale you're expecting.  Your client has all the answers - clear a space for their answers to emerge and be patient. The rewards are incalculable.

Thank you Gary for sharing this amazing tool with the world.  And thanks from Barbara too - she now enjoys swimming alone and is a keen snorkeler.


Linda Anderson


Explore our newest advancement, Optimal EFT™, by reading my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™. More efficient. More powerful.