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Fears And Phobias


Challenging needle phobia is eliminated

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

A thank you to Margaret Munoz from Australia for giving us a detailed account of her use of EFT to collapse a very intense needle phobia. Notice the many aspects involved and how she gradually sneaks up on the problem. This is a quality article for professionals and lay people alike.

Hugs, Gary

By Margaret Munoz

I’m writing this case because it illustrates that no matter how intense a phobia is, no matter how deeply it is embedded and no matter how long it has been suffered, EFT can bring about complete resolution.

I received an urgent sounding phone call from Susan – she’d been referred to me because of a severe needle phobia, was pregnant and needed to have a blood test done that was scheduled for the following day.  The only way we could connect in the time frame was by phone.  

It became apparent that the phobia was indeed severe and had been there since she was three and a half - she had a vivid memory of herself screaming as her mother held her down while the family doctor put an injection in her bottom.  She was also held down when she had her appendix out at 7 and mentioned difficulties when she had thyroid surgery. 

Now 38 she had managed to avoid needles and blood tests for a long time until this need arose. She had made one attempt to have the blood taken and had fled.  She was terrified she would ‘freak out’ again, panic, want to run and start crying, be hysterical or faint (as she had in the past).    

Talking about it made her feel sick, with tightness in her chest and difficulty breathing so I started with some tapping on the physical symptoms and she reported that her shoulders were less hunched, the tightness had lifted and her breathing was easier. 

Once she was stabilised I decided to deal with the memories first and I did that with Gary’s Tell the Story Technique, getting her to keep tapping around as she told the story in as much detail as possible.  The memory that truly bothered her was the first one as a little girl and she could even remember what the doctor was wearing and exactly what the room looked like, though interestingly there wasn’t much emotion attached to it and we didn’t have to stop. 

Because she was expressing so much fear as to what she thought was going to happen on the following day, I decided to pursue that path and tap the event out.  I asked her to imagine every step of the procedure starting from walking in the door and going up to the counter.  We were already in trouble with her anxiety levels rising as she sat feigning reading a magazine in the waiting room.  So we tapped on that and then went back to her imagining walking in the door and sitting down – this time she could sit there calmly and look around the room. 

This is the way we worked through the whole event - tapping out the reaction at each stage and then returning to imagining the event before the anxiety arose and running through to make sure it was clear. I also put in a lot of choice statements about being safe. 

Her reactions were quite severe and there were a lot of events – e.g. when the person called her name, walking down the corridor, entering the room with the place where she was to sit and all the equipment, the tourniquet and the tightness of it that she so hated, the bulging of the vein, (I reframed this for her saying how wonderful it was that her vein bulged so the nurse didn’t have to prod around for a long time!), the ache in her arm, putting in the needle, feeling sick and wanting to pull the needle out and run, having the nurse say she needed another vial, seeing the blood.  Needless to say it took us a long time to diligently work through all of this. 

After she could make her way through the whole event without anxiety she became aware of the fear of letting go of the phobia that she’d had all her life so we tapped on that.  We finished after two hours of tapping but I wasn’t totally convinced that we’d nailed it.  As I planned to spend the next morning writing I told her to phone me from the medical centre if necessary. 

She called me from the medical centre saying that she had just walked out – not nearly so fearful as previously but she still couldn’t go through with it.  First of all I tapped on the current anxiety that had arisen and then, when she told me she still had the fear of being without the phobia I went through a lot of setup statements that I use for resistance to change. E.g.

Even though I’m afraid to get over this phobia, I choose to get over it completely.

Even though this phobia is absolutely too hard to get over, I choose to find it easy.

Even though I’ve had this phobia for so long, I choose to be able to change.

Even though it isn’t safe to be totally free of my fear, I choose to know I’m always safe.

Even if I never get over this problem, I choose to deeply and completely accept myself.

I then thought about the possibility that if the phobia wasn’t there, then she would have to go through with the blood test, and maybe she thought that she would die during the blood test - so maybe the phobia was there to protect her from dying.  I therefore did several rounds of tapping on fear of dying and more choices around being safe. 

I’ve discovered that tapping on fear of dying, even when unexpressed, has a profound effect in cases of fear and anxiety and it certainly did the trick in this instance because she was then able to go straight in and have the blood test.  I stayed on the phone with her just in case and when she said “it’s done”, I don’t know who was more triumphant – her or me!

She was incredibly grateful for that but even more excited when it became apparent that the phobia was totally gone and she could now go for a blood test on her own.  I received emails from time to time – one said she had managed to endure a doctor who couldn’t find the vein and another one said she had just succeeded in having 9 vials of blood taken. 

Margaret Munoz


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