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Fears And Phobias


Lifelong fear of "Screaming Sirens" fades after attention to many aspects

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Nancy Gnecco details this important session for us.

Hugs, Gary

By Nancy Gnecco, M.Ed., LPC, EFT Master

Dear Gary,

I wanted to share with you one of the many success stories from the Atlanta retreat. We’ll call our client Pat.

Pat is a 59 year old woman with a lifelong phobia of the “the screaming sirens and flashing lights of ambulances and fire trucks.” She described it as “an extreme emotional reaction” in which she would get tears in her eyes and hastily “suppress the intensity” in any way she could.

About 7 years ago she became aware of repressed body memories of her life being in danger during infancy. During a Borrowing Benefits session on the first day of the retreat she had focused on a movie of one of her siblings attempting to kill her when she was an infant. She had cleared this trauma, and knew that the significance of her reaction to rescue vehicles was based in her “infant self in pain and danger needing to summon help.” Regardless of the known core issue she “felt resigned and clueless about how to heal these old feelings and this association.” She had tried many other therapeutic modalities with little or no success.

The day before our session she had come to my afternoon “Free-For-All” in which she had tried to Borrow Benefits for “The Siren Thing” but had not achieved significant reduction in intensity. I offered to have her be the demonstration person for the Borrowing Benefits session I was doing the next day. It may be that the reason she didn’t get significant benefit in the group work was that she was unable to focus on a specific event (“movie”), and was trying to clear the entire “Siren Thing” all at one time.

Because of that possibility, when we started the session the next day I had her focus on the most recent time she had been distressed by the sound and flashing lights of an ambulance, an event that had happened a few days prior to the retreat. We had discussed this before the session, and the importance of collapsing the specific “table leg”, the specific event.

Before starting on her “movie” we reduced what she called her “overall habitual anxiety” to a zero. With the anxiety lowered she said she “slammed right into the movie”, and described it in this way. “It had happened just a few days ago when I was driving to work and an ambulance came bearing down on me from the rear. Fear and sadness seemed indistinguishable. The second I ‘saw’ the ambulance I was at at an intensity of 8 and climbing. The tears came in the session just as they had when it actually happened.”

We tapped for a bit on “This Ambulance Movie”. Pat breathed easier. Her intensity began to come down and then shot up again. It became clear that she had switched aspects. She was reliving her childhood trauma as well as the one the other day. This is her account of her experience, “I was saying -- both to the person at the end of the ambulance run and to my infant self and the part of me still hurting -- some phrases. “Hang in there” was the first phrase and we tapped down the intensity from a 10. Then came the second phrase-- “Help is on the way” which brought me back to a 10.”

Pat dissociated at this point, and I asked her, “Where did you go?” She reported that she had “left the building” so we tapped on:

Even though I need to leave the building...
Even though it doesn’t feel safe to be in this room...
Even though it doesn’t feel safe to be with these people...
Even though it doesn’t feel safe to be in my body...

Pat quieted, but her eyes were still closed and she appeared to be processing the work we were doing so I asked her to squeeze my hand when she was back in her body. We then rechecked the safety of being in her body, in the room with the group of people. The intensity was zero on all statements.

We then went back to test the statement, “Help is on the way.” and a third phrase came to her mind. Out loud she said, “Stay alive.” Her body became rigid, and she reported tension (intensity: 8) in her neck, then “thumbprints” in her neck. We chased the pain around her body with it getting lower and lower until it was in her “sitter”. It seemed to get stuck there so I suggested that, while tapping, she visualize the pain traveling down her legs and out her feet into the Earth. She was able to tap herself to zero.

We retested the three statements and the original movie. All were at a zero. At the end of the session Pat decided that when she next saw a screaming ambulance or fire truck, she could recite the three phrases as a blessing both for the person or persons at the vehicle destination and for the inner child, a blessing ending with, “I chose life; I choose life. And so it is.”

I was delighted to get an e-mail from Pat the other day saying, “I heard a siren a couple of days ago—nine days after the BB session. Although it was not directly in front of my car as it was in my movie, I could see and hear it. I felt no intensity at all. I simply began the blessing— Hang in there, sweetheart; help is on the way ! When I got to the final phrase— stay alive! I felt soft tears pricking the back of my eyes.” She started tapping the karate chop point on the steering wheel of her car, was able to bring her intensity down and acknowledge the new writing on her walls.

Had she not worked on the infant trauma with her sibling in a prior session at the retreat, and made the connection with her response to emergency vehicles it is unlikely that we would have been able to make such dramatic progress in one session.

Nancy Gnecco


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