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Creating a new emotional state for trauma sufferers

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Pamela Bruner discusses how some trauma clients have some confusion with their newly found emotional freedom from traumatic events. Note how she remedies the problem.

Hugs, Gary

By Pamela Bruner

Hi, Gary,

When using EFT in the Tell the Story Technique to clear a trauma, clients will often report getting confused about their story.  You have said, I believe, that this is due to the fact that the memory has been stored with an emotional 'tag' attached to it.  The tag may be fear, anger, grief, guilt, or any combination of similar emotions.  As the negative emotions are cleared, the story becomes harder to remember or access, because the 'tags' have been removed.

GC COMMENT: I don't remember using this 'tag' term, but the idea has merit here. Thanks for the idea.

Because this can be disconcerting to the client, and also because they aren't quite sure what to do with the memory which now feels so odd, I've found the use of a repeating Choice statement to be a great way to put a new emotional tag on the story.

Introducing these new emotional states has to be done carefully.  Introducing a powerful reframe when the client is still in the grip of negative emotion will tend to create resistance, and interfere with the clearing.  I never try to suggest this type of reframe until the client's level of intensity is below a 5 on a scale of 0 to 10 on a particular aspect, and I suggest using identical words for the Choice statement each time.  For example:

Even though I still have some anger at my mother for her treatment of me on my graduation day … It was a long time ago, I choose calm and peace now.

Even though I have some remaining sadness about what I said on graduation day … It was a long time ago, I choose calm and peace now.

Even though I feel guilty about what I said on graduation day … It was a long time ago, I choose calm and peace now.

At each sentence of the story, when the level of intensity drops below 5 out of 10, instead of using I deeply and completely accept myself, I substitute the Choice statement.  As we walk through Telling the Story, I have found that clients begin to welcome the Choice statement (I choose calm and peace now) as a way of wrapping up each element, each sentence of the story.  Powerful possibilities come out of this, such as:

The client may begin to see the trauma as an event which has made them more powerful or capable, having lived through it. (Note: this is entirely the client's interpretation - I would not make this for them.)

The client may be more able to step into forgiveness of themselves, or others, if the new emotional tag for the story is calm and peace.  Compassion is another good word for a new emotional tag.

When using the Choice statement, I will do either two shortcut rounds (one negative and one positive) or three shortcut rounds (one negative, one positive, and one round alternating the negative and the positive) depending on intuition.  At the end of the session, when the client thinks of the traumatic event, the emotional reaction is now calm and peace.  This is also a good addition to the testing process, because those emotions won't tend to stick if these are any aspects left to clear out.

Thanks, Gary, for such a powerful healing tool!

Pamela Bruner, CLC


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