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PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

Rape by a "friend"--PTSD and suicidal thoughts

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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

I recently had a woman come to me for serious symptoms related to a rape by a "friend" that had occurred 5 years ago. She had PTSD symptoms with suicidal thoughts and inability to be sexual with her husband of 4 years.

In the first session, I did an evaluation and told her about EFT. I asked her to make a movie (video tape) of the experience, name it and put it on my shelf. She named it "hell". I asked how she felt having this movie on my shelf and she felt scared but relieved. I use this as a containment procedure. We did several EFT rounds on the feelings of the movie being on the shelf. I asked her to leave the movie on my shelf and return in a week. I also told her that we would probably be able to complete treatment in 2-4 sessions. She seemed skeptical.

Next session, I had her begin the movie and progress 1 frame at a time and processed the feelings along the way. We got through the entire scene and she was able to say she realized she didn't do anything wrong.

As it was apparent there were no other negatives, I asked her if she could change the name of the movie. She said yes and changed it to "Hope". I asked her to return in 2 weeks for a check, but told her she was probably over this.

Third session, she said her husband had commented on how "nice" she had been lately and she reported she had no further symptoms of the rape. I reviewed her beginning symptoms and she marveled at how she had progressed. I went back and tested with the statement "Even though I was raped..." and no reaction. I tested "even though I was raped by someone I thought was my friend" and she had hurt at a SUDS 3-processed this in 2 rounds and she was fine. I told her I had promised 2-4 sessions and it was 3 and she was finished. She reported that she thought I was crazy when I told her that in the beginning because she was sure it would take lots more therapy. She left my office bubbly. BTW, she was 5 months pregnant and no negative side effects.

I find these cases so rewarding--people just don't have to suffer the way they used to. I know relieving their pain can change the course of their lives. What a privilege we have!!

Laura Campbell, BCSW


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