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Bringing Bev out of a semi-catatonic state

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

Dr. Alexander Lees (from Canada) shares this important case about his client, "Bev", who arrived at his office in a semi-catatonic state.

Bev, as it turns out, had given birth to a still-born baby and was so traumatized by the event that she went deeply inward with little or no communication efforts. This, of course, is among the most difficult cases a therapist can face. No matter what the therapist does, the client just sits there without responding.

Alex, being an experienced EFT'er, commenced tapping for Bev (since she was unable to tap for herself). He also said the EFT statements for her. He did this in order to "take the edge off" (my term) the intensity of the problem. It worked...and Bev came out of her semi-catatonic state. This is a critical element because, without it, Bev would have remained in her shell ....unreachable.

As you will see, Bev's emotional health improved substantially after Alex's initial session with her and she has been attending more EFT sessions to gradually restore her normal functioning in the world.

An interesting side note in Alex's story involves Bev's friend, "Gwen", who is a psyche nurse. Gwen becomes enthralled with EFT and, even as a newcomer, has been able to apply it in Bev's behalf with good results.

Hugs, Gary

By Dr. Alexander Lees

"Bev" had been weeping as she entered the reception room, and was still weeping some ten minutes after she sat down in my office. Offers of tea, and other attempts to reach her had failed miserably, so I called her friend, "Gwen" (who had driven her to the session) in from the reception room into my office for assistance.

"I'm a psyche nurse," Gwen explained, and then said very compassionately, "Bev has suffered a grievous loss. We both work at the hospital, and we have excellent counselling support there. Bev is not responding to grief counselling very well, and we are now concerned she is suicidal."

As I began to digest the implications, Gwen, after looking over at Bev, and apparently responding to some silent communication good friends have, continued. "Everything was going well with Bev's pregnancy. All the staff were excited, and bent over backwards to sneak in a visit with Bev. Someone was with her all the time. All the tests indicated a perfectly healthy birth, and would probably be an easy one." Then even Gwen became silent, and that inner voice told me we were nearing the crux of Gwen's narration. "Anyway," she continued in a softer voice, "Something went terribly wrong. Her baby was still born."

I glanced over at Bev, who still was crying softly, head down, cradled in her hands, and, if she was listening, there was no indication that I could read.

"Has she responded at all?" I asked.

"Not really, we seem to reach her for a second or so, then she goes inside again," Gwen responded, now taking her friend's hand gently.

Gwen continued, "You worked with 'Harry,' a good friend of mine. He said you had used a hands on technique, and he felt it might reach Bev. Do you think it will?"

I mustered up as much confidence as I could, steadied my voice, and said, "Let's find out." After Gwen conferred with Bev, and once again reading the non verbal response between them that still eluded me, Gwen said, "She's okay with you trying."

We began the first round with my doing the tapping on Bev (she couldn't tap herself). I first tapped the P.R. point on the side of her hand and I must have tapped it for at least twenty seconds or so before the words came to me. "Even though I have been through a terrible shock, and have left my body, because it's far too painful to be in there, and it will take time to get past this, now, and begin to heal, I completely and deeply accept myself." Bev did not respond, so I said this for her, three times.

I then tapped the other points using the reminder phrase, "This terrible tragedy." No apparent change in physiology.

I then did the 9 Gamut, and when I asked Bev to hum, there was no response. "Just think you re humming," I said gently, and continued on. We did the same with the counting, and the follow-up humming. Without even consciously thinking about it, I then tapped the sequence for Neurological Disorganization, and then, tapping the 9 Gamut point again, asked Bev to follow Gwen's hand as it moved up from Bev's knee in such a way that Bev's eyes finished looking up at the ceiling.

Her eyes were now open, and this was the first time I'd been able to see them since the session began. "Let's do another round," I suggested, and as I broke eye contact to take her hand, a small voice said, "I can't accept myself, and I can't accept what happened."


Both Gwen and I stared at Bev. Then we looked at each other. The look on Gwen's face told me she was running a full gamut of different emotions, and was rendered practically speechless.

"My mistake," I said, turning my attention back to Bev. "Let's change some of those words." I then tapped Bev's P.R. point again, and this time we used the words, "Even though I have suffered a terrible loss, and it will take time to get past this, now, and begin to heal, I can at least accept that, now."

Perhaps it was my imagination, but I thought I could see some colour returning to Bev's blanched cheeks. We then did another round for "This terrible loss," and as I reached over to lift Bev's arm to tap the under-the-arm point, she raised it herself, without assistance. After this round, Bev struggled to find her voice, and haltingly, she began to speak of the loss, the guilt (which we immediately tapped for, using the phrase "This guilt"), the deep pain (then a round on "This deep pain"), the nightmares, (again, a round on the nightmares, using "These nightmares" as a reminder phrase).

Near the end of the session, Gwen asked if she could also use EFT to help Bev. When I replied "Yes," she immediately responded with, "Gee, I don't know if I can." I walked to her chair and said, smiling, "Your turn."

We did one round, using the phrase "This concern I can't do it right." We did not use the P.R. point. "That's amazing," she said after a few moments. "I don't know why I thought that," obviously much relieved. "Does it work when a person does it for themselves?"

"Think of a problem, something that bothers you," I suggested.

After a few moments of thought, Gwen said, "Well, I have this one patient that..." The look on her face told me we were there. "Now, tap," I said, "And repeat the phrase 'This patient.'" Thirty seconds later, Gwen was shaking her head, and said, "I'm looking forward to next week." Then, as an afterthought, added "Oh, is it okay if I also come with Bev to her next session?" After assuring her it would be my pleasure, we concluded the session.

I have seen Bev four times now. She has returned to work part-time, and we have cleared many of the 'triggers' a hospital environment provides -- a baby's cry, mother's embracing their newborns, snippits of conversations overheard during rounds, just to name a few. Gwen has proven to be a quick study, and as she puts it "learning to think about problems differently." "Now, instead of slipping into analyze mode," she said, "I just say, 'Focus on the feeling, or this upset, or this reminder' -- however Bev describes it, and then I tap her for it. It's wonderful to be able to help a friend so easily. By the way, when you used yourself to demonstrate the points on our first visit, you were really settling yourself down, weren't you?" Gwen asked, with a twinkle in her eyes.

She really is a quick study indeed.

Dr. Alexander R. Lees


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