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Fears And Phobias


Elevator phobia and the feeling of being trapped

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Joe Bavonese, a newcomer to EFT, separates an elevator phobia into several aspects and, in the process, finds a core issue (feeling of being trapped) that generalizes over other fears. Total time was 40 minutes.

Hugs, Gary

by Jon Bavonese

Hi Gary,

I'm a psychologist who has only been using EFT for ten days after viewing the home study course, and getting fabulous results. So good that I felt prompted to call up some old clients of mine that I had treated in the past (only partially successfully) for phobic/anxiety disorders, and offered to do one free session to teach them EFT.

One such person was a 48 year old man who suffered from numerous phobias. I mentioned that I had learned a new technique which was very effective for resolving phobias. He said he would be interested in trying it for his elevator phobia, which inconveniences and occasionally restricts him on his job, as well as on vacations. He rarely goes on elevators unless he is forced to.

It turned out to be a good case for understanding different aspects of an issue and the generalization phenomenon.

We have a 3 floor elevator in our building. When he arrived in my office, we walked to the elevator and he said that just looking at it from a distance caused him to be an eight or nine. He also said just walking down the hallways caused him to feel confined and closed in. He rated that a five. We went back to my office and tapped for..

"Even though I fear this elevator..."

After one round of tapping, he could not come up with a number, but said it was "not an issue" anymore. I explored it further and he said he could "almost" ride the elevator. We explored further and found out that the issue he was now focusing on was the speed of this elevator: too slow (even though he'd never been on it). Slow meant more time for mechanical problems. So we tapped on...

"Even though this elevator is slow..."

And that went away completely. Then we went to the elevator and rode it up one floor with no problem. We came back to the office and I asked him to describe all the other elevators he's ever used that have caused anxiety. We then isolated another issue which he called "can't get out". So we tapped on...

"Even though I can't get out..."

That went to zero and then he said that crowded elevators were a problem. He also thought of a recent rock concert where he felt crowded by too many people. So we tapped on...

"Even though crowds are unsafe..."

He then mentally reviewed every elevator he has ever had a problem with, and reported a zero for them all. He also said the memory of the concert was a zero. Suddenly he said, "I now realize why I'm afraid of tunnels and airplanes. It's all because of 'I can't get out'. It has nothing to do with the tunnel or flying, but just that I feel trapped and can't get out."

So we tapped one more time on...

"Even though I can't get out..."

And I had him think of two tunnels he has occasion to go through, and he said they were both zero. I had him think of being on an airplane and he said it was zero.

We left, got two other people, and tested the elevator again by going up and down two times, all three floors. No problem whatsoever. He walked out very grateful. Total time was 40 minutes.

Postscript: I got a call from his wife a few hours later. They were with friends they go on vacation with. They always drive because he's afraid to fly (which always limits how far they can go). They had been talking about an upcoming vacation and, unprompted, he matter of factly said to the three of them, "We can fly, that's okay." They all looked at him incredulously, because none of them had ever brought up flying with him in over five years. He always got so mad when they did. They are now planning a trip to Europe where his wife has begged him to go for over twenty years. GC: The real proof, of course, is when he gets on the airplane. If any there are any remaining aspects, that's when they will show up. Tap, tap.

Joe Bavonese, PhD


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