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Cleaning up a rape trauma

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Last Saturday, Stephanie Rothman, CHT, hosted an EFT workshop which I conducted in San Diego, CA. It was 3 hours long and was attended by 40 people, many of them therapists.

Kathleen, an attendee, told me at the break that she had been raped many years ago. She also told me that "It was okay now." She had dealt with it through many therapies over the years and it "really didn't bother her much." I've listened to like stories many times, of course, and become quite skeptical when I hear them. What is usually meant is, "I've learned to live with manage the sweep it under the rug so I don't have to look at it." Rarely, I find, is the issue truly behind them. It usually needs to be cleaned up.

To test it, I had Kathleen say, "I was raped." Instantly she shot up to a SUDs level of 7 and then agreed to work with me in front of the group. In 10 or 12 minutes of using EFT (for several aspects) the problem vanished. She was able to talk about the incident in great detail and reported that she was free of it. You could see the change in her posture and face. She was relaxed about it. This is typical of these procedures.

Will it last? Probably. At least that's the case with the vast majority of such healings. In the few instances when it does come back (or at least appears to) it is either because of an energy toxin (which must be identified and eliminated) or some other aspect of the problem shows up which was not identified in the original session. Another aspect, if present, is handled routinely with another round or two of EFT.

I'm a great one for testing results to see how well they stand up later. Many therapists, I find, prefer to lightly touch the problem with a mild test such as, "How are you feeling now?" That's sort of a "safe" way (for the therapist's ego) to test but it doesn't tell you much, in my opinion. My test is purposely more blunt because I genuinely want to know if the client is truly free of the problem. So, to test the result with Kathleen, I called her yesterday and discussed it with her in more detail. No problem. I then got down to the real core of it and asked her to say, "He got on top of me and humped me for 20 minutes." She said it rather easily but reported a momentary rise to a SUDs of "1 or 2." It subsided quickly. That was all. Easily tapped away. By the way, I would never ask a client to say such a thing unless I had plenty of evidence that they could do so without causing significant pain. I am rarely wrong as I have hundreds of experiences in these situations (as do many readers of this).

Peace, Gary

Hi Everyone,

I'm taking major gas in cyberspace for asking Kathleen (the rape trauma victim) to say, "He got on top of me and humped me for 20 minutes." Just thought you should know. Many lessons here for all of us. Listen in.

I'm being kicked all over the traumatic-stress list and FTN list for such "crass" and "unprofessional" use of language. Therapists around the world (none of whom were present in the actual session) dipped into their conventional belief systems (and their imaginations) to raise red flags about re-traumatizing the client, unethical conduct by a male practitioner, innuendoes of sexual misconduct, blah, blah, blah, ad nauseum. It seems like every time I tune into cyberspace I read about my villainous exploits as strangers play ego ping-pong with me and EFT. To my knowledge, not one of the cyber-detractors ever mentioned the fact that Kathleen got completely over a major rape trauma in 10 or 12 minutes and that she was so free of it that she was perfectly willing to discuss her EFT experience with any validly interested party by phone. Somehow, that fact escaped them. It is an amazing spectacle of ignorance and one you need to be aware of.

By ignorance, I don't mean lack of intelligence. I mean lack of information. A few supporters emailed me with some perspective about all this and I wish to thank them for their insights. Think about it! The vast majority of the therapists in the world are relatively ineffective (compared to EFT) with trauma victims (sorry, but it is true). Sure, they try. Their intentions are in place. They savor what little headway they make and are indeed making loving attempts toward healing. But when push comes to shove EFT is unbelievable to them. So is TFT(tm). They don't "get" that true healing of even the most debilitating of traumatic events is possible in minutes. Why? Because they've never seen it done consistently. They call EFT "promotion", "a magic trick" or "deceit against unsuspecting clients." They consider it dangerous. It is a threat to them because this ability is unknown to them and is totally beyond their belief system. It wasn't taught in school so it can't be done. They defend their position by attacking the unknown. This is natural. Every profession does it. It is part of being in "the club." People want to be right. They don't like their beliefs threatened.

Yet, consistent results with traumatic healing is routine for EFT. Not every case runs smoothly, of course, but the vast majority of them are handled quite easily in one session. This is perfectly evident on the EFT tapes and many of you have experienced it already. The process is relatively painless and the result is usually long lasting. The client is simply free of the issue. That is why I can test my work creatively and thoroughly with great confidence.

When I had Kathleen say, "...he humped me for 20 minutes", I was testing my work in the most useful of ways. I did not and cannot give a twit for the opinions of others who weren't there and know nothing about EFT. I wanted her to relive the event in graphic terms and see if any emotional intensity emerged upon her saying these words. I've done this hundreds of times. As a practitioner I have a duty to test my work. I owe it to the client. I am being incompetent if I don't. The terms "humped", "fucked" or anything else are just words. But in this case they are excellent choices because, if there is anything left to the trauma, they are likely to trigger it and, if something does come up, I want to know it. In Kathleen's case, she is free of both these words and the rape event.

Interestingly enough, the only people offended by my choice of testing were those who were not there. Kathleen was not offended at all and, in fact, appreciated the test. She wanted to be free of her trauma and recognized instantly my caring attempt at being thorough. While the particular words were crass to those who choose to speculate on a session they didn't see, they were ideal for Kathleen.

As healing practitioners, we have an obligation to do everything possible for those who seek our help. It would be easy, I suppose, to bend here and there and compromise my methods in the interest of appeasing those who are ignorant about the power of EFT. But I would be doing so at the expense of my client. No thanks.

Peace, Gary

Testing Our Work - Kathleen Revisited

Hi Everyone,

The table pounding I did yesterday on being "kicked around in cyberspace" over Kathleen's rape trauma created a heavy reaction from you. Good! A little controversy is good once in awhile. Many of you wrote supportive letters saying Bravo! Some, however, thought I might have been riding a little too high on my horse. I re-read my memo and plead guilty to the horse thing. Basically, I got a little too heated over the opinions of those who don't have enough background to properly evaluate EFT and/or my methods. I'm okay now. Pinky swear.

That notwithstanding, I'm going to revisit the Kathleen case because it gives us the opportunity to dissect the important subject of testing our work. There are a few background details about how this case was handled that merit our attention. I discuss them below:

1. The first thing I had Kathleen do was a round of EFT for "this event." Notice that the wording was purposely broad and relatively easy for her to say. More pointed words like "rape", "sex", "attack", "assault", etc. were nowhere in sight. I didn't expect this first round to solve the problem but I did expect it to "take the edge off." It did. This is a good tool to use when you are dealing with a potentially explosive problem.

2. After that I asked her to tell the story as though she were narrating a movie. She was to start at a point before the event that was easy to discuss. As the story progressed, she was to stop any time she began feeling emotional intensity. We would then tap for the particular part of the story that was bothering her and would not go further until she was perfectly ok with it.

3. She stopped on 3 or 4 occasions as she recalled various events. At one point in the story she woke up and "saw a naked man standing there." At another point she could smell his breath which reeked like "he had smoked 100 cigarettes." Finally she recounted him "getting on top of me and doing his thing."

4. Each time she stopped we used EFT for less than a minute to get it down to zero. After 10 or 12 minutes she couldn't get any charge on the rape trauma. She was zero across the board. She spoke of it as though it was a walk around the block.

5. While I felt she had made great headway and was probably done with it, I then began to probe a little deeper and asked her about the "penetration." This is a test, of course, and she was fine with it.

6. Over the next day or two, I remembered her phrase, "getting on top of me and doing his thing." To me, "doing his thing" was descriptive but it could have been a defense mechanism to avoid having to emotionally confront the crescendo of the trauma in vivid terms. That's when I chose to have her say, "...he humped me for 20 minutes." Much more on point and a strong test of the previous work.

Many therapists have asked whether the term "humped" was from her vocabulary or mine--the implication being that I shouldn't go any farther than her phraseology. If she had previously used the term "humped" then, presumably, it was okay to use. Otherwise, I should stay away from it.

I don't know what school that is taught in but the notion strikes me as absurd. If I use her language then all I'm doing is testing something she has already managed to say. No, no, nooooo! I must use more vivid language if I am going to perform an adequate test. Thus the word "humped." The only reason I didn't have her say "fucked" was because I felt that was too far out of her normal vocabulary and the term itself would be offensive beyond the boundaries of the rape trauma. As it turns out, I was right. When she said, "...humped me for 20 minutes" on the phone, she went temporarily to a "1 or 2". She called me back 5 minutes later to tell me that the "1 or 2" had nothing to do with the rape. It was the word "humped" she was reacting to. The word, mind you, not the rape.

If you want to observe another trauma using this method watch the session with Rich, the first Vietnam Vet on the "6 Days at the VA" videotape. The same process is used with Robert later on in the tape.

Hope this helps, Gary

P.S. I still don't know why all those therapists in cyberspace jumped on the word "humped" and completely ignored the healing of a rape trauma in 10 or 12 minutes.


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