Animals

A dog phobia case that required persistence

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Hi Everyone,

Some phobias, to our delight, vanish within one or two rounds of tapping. Others have several aspects to them and take 2 or 3 sessions. A few take ongoing persistence. We're not sure why this variance, of course, because we are still in the beginning stages of exploring these remarkable procedures.

A thank you to Dr. Marilyn Deak, my dear friend from Delaware, for giving us a dog phobia case that required persistence. As you will see, she was not only persistent but she also injected the creative use of lists, photographs and scrapbooks for her mentally challenged client. These are the types of cases that require love and caring as well as skill and patience. They represent the type of challenges that help us perfect our art of delivery.

Hugs, Gary


by Dr. Marilyn Deak

Hi Gary,

I thought that you might be interested in a phobia case I treated, which was not a one session wonder.

A teenage boy was referred to me because of morbid fear of dogs. He was so afraid of dogs that he had broken his arm twice, running away from dogs he saw. He had never been attacked by a dog.

When I met 'Johnny', I learned that he was limited intellectually, with an IQ below 80. A favorite activity of his was mowing lawns, and his dog phobia seriously interfered with that activity since he tended to work in neighborhoods where there were many dogs, some restrained and some not.

'Johnny' understood why he had been brought to see me and was very motivated to be less afraid of dogs so that he could be outside more comfortably. I introduced EFT to him, and to his mother, and we did it several sessions in the office, with some progress outside of the office (in the presence of dogs). I had the impression that, as with many other youngsters, it was difficult for him to maintain the focus when we worked on the fear in the office. So we added several other activities:

1) Johnny started keeping a list of dogs that he could pet without being afraid . He would write out the list and any additions, each time he came in. At this point, we are up to eleven, and I just received a postcard from him on his vacation, telling me about a new dog he could pet.

2) I had him take photographs of dogs he had contact with so he could have a visual stimuli when he talked about his dog encounters. His parents were very cooperative with this project.

3) and we started cutting out pictures of dogs from magazines, making a scrapbook of dog pictures, and tapping for the fear as he held the pictures.

At this point, a number of months into treatment, 'Johnny' still has some fear of dogs but no longer panics around them. He can go up to neighbors and ask to take their dogs for walks; he can calmly ask people to restrain dogs that frighten him; he can distinguish between fearsome and friendly dogs, and he's aware of his progress, and extremely proud of himself, and the very thick picture folder that we have amassed.

I keep in mind Gary's stress on persistence, and recognize that many of our successes require it.

Thanking you,

Marilyn R. Deak, Ph.D.

 

 

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