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Fears And Phobias


A bridge-over-water phobic crosses the Golden Gate Bridge

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

by Gary Craig

Hi Everyone,

This case details the succesful handling of a lifelong (34 years) phobia and contains 3 useful EFT concepts for your study:

1. How using EFT while just thinking about the fear can collapse all or most of the problem.

2. How testing the phobia in a real situation can bring up remnants (untreated aspects).

3. How to apply EFT to an aspect when the underlying cause cannot be found.

Here's the story.....

"Steven," a friend of my family, was exposed to EFT two years ago at a Colorado workshop. At that time, he volunteered to have EFT applied to him for his lifelong fear of "bridges over water." This was an intense phobia that occupied his thoughts and dictated where he could and could not drive. It also influenced who he could see (depending on where they lived) and was a frequent source of embarrassment.

In the Colorado workshop, of course, there was neither a bridge nor a body of water--just a room inside a building with nothing but walls, chairs and an audience. Thus, EFT could only be applied while Steven "thought about" the problem. As seasoned EFT'ers can attest, however, this is often sufficient. As long as thinking about the problem brings up all the aspects for tapping, then the relief is likely to be complete and hold up in the real situation.

In Steven's case, EFT allowed him to vividly imagine his "bridge over water" fear with no intensity whatsoever--something he had never been able to do previously. This was progress--big progress as far as Steven was concerned. However, there is always a lingering doubt until the fear is tested in the real situation.

Interestingly, Steven did not test his fear in the real circumstances. Was it because he moved to an area where there were very few bridges and very little water? Or....did he just not believe that the EFT relief would hold up in the real circumstances (and thus was hesitant to test it)? There's no way to know for sure.

However, two days ago Steven showed up at my family gathering and, of course, our conversation centered on his "former phobia." Even though he still had some doubts, he asked me to put his phobia relief to the ultimate test by DRIVING ACROSS THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE. What greater test could there be? The bridge is over a mile long and passes several hundred feet over very deep water.

Of particular interest here is that HE ASKED ME for the test. This was a classical sign that significant relief had occurred in Colorado. If he really had the fear, and not just a doubt, he would have avoided that request at all costs. He would have preferred to spend the day kicking a stack of bricks with his bare feet.

So, as we approached the bridge the conversation went like this....

GC: We are about 30 seconds away, how are you feeling?

STEVEN: Mildly nervous but I think I'll be OK.

GC: You can tap if you want.

STEVEN: I don't think I need to. We'll see.

45 seconds later....

GC: OK, we're on the bridge. How do you feel?

STEVEN: (smiling) Fine!

GC: Let me get in the right lane so you'll be closer to the edge. Now look out at the water. How are you doing?

STEVEN: I'm still OK. This is marvelous!

GC: How else can we test this?

STEVEN: By walking out to the middle of the bridge and looking straight down over the railing.

GC: Let's do it!

I parked the car on the other side and we began our walk to the middle of the bridge. On the way, however, we needed to go through an underpass that was about 50 feet long and very high above the ground. About 3 or 4 steps into the underpass Steven became "queasy" (his term) and ranked it at a 4. This, of course, was an untreated aspect. So.....we stopped right there to tap. The mini-session went like this...

GC: (Looking for an underlying issue) What does this remind you of?

STEVEN: I haven't a clue. I've had this feeling before but there is no past memory I can link it to.

GC: Well, take a guess.

STEVEN: I draw a complete blank.

GC: OK, tap the Karate Chop point and repeat after me. "Even though there may be an underlying issue here,"

STEVEN: Even though there may be an underlying issue here,

GC: And I don't know what it is.

STEVEN: And I don't know what it is.

GC: I deeply and completely accept myself.

STEVEN: I deeply and completely accept myself.

We then proceeded to tap the EFT shortcut points (using "this underlying issue" as the reminder phrase) and, after repeating the process two more times, the queasiness went to zero.

Please note that just tapping on "this queasiness" instead of "this underlying issue" would likely have gotten the job done in fine fashion (for a good example of how well just tapping on the symptom can result in complete relief, please see the segment on "Dave's fear of water" in the EFT Course). However, I took aim at any possible underlying issues because, to do so, gives us a better chance at complete relief. Which method you choose to pursue, of course, is up to you. I only provide this alternative to expand your possibilities.

After this brief episode, all fear vanished and Steven and I walked out to the middle of the Golden Gate Bridge where 30 mile an hour winds were churning the water below. Steven and I stood there for several minutes while looking straight down over the railing. He had no fear--no queasiness--no apprehension--and, this time, no doubts.

Hugs, Gary


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