General

Cell phone phobia

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Hi Everyone,

When a phobia is delimited (not connected to other issues) it can often be eliminated with one or two rounds of EFT. In such cases we experience our "one minute wonders" wherein a lifelong emotional stressor is gone in moments.

In other cases, however, the phobia serves as a metaphor for many unresolved issues. It appears because the phobic circumstance reminds the client of past angers, fears, etc. Thus it is a symptom, rather than a core problem.

Dr. Carol Look brings to us just such a complicated phobia and displays the detective work necessary to dig up and resolve the underlying issues. In this case the client ("Lisa") associates her cell phone with many negative events in her life. It is not until these negative associations are collapsed with EFT that the phobia fades.

It occurred to me that the phobia in this case would be true for all phones....not just cell phones. So I asked Carol Look about this and, indeed, this is true. However, the negative associations involved for "Lisa" all happened with cell phones, not regular phones. This is a useful distinction.

Hugs, Gary


By Dr. Carol Look

"Lisa" came in to her session upset because a number of her friends had confronted her about never returning their phone calls. They were disappointed in her and said she wasn't being a good enough friend. I asked Lisa why she didn't return calls, and she started telling me about her "emotional" history with cell phones.

Lisa described herself as essentially phobic about her cell phone. She reported having nothing but negative associations with it. "I associate it with death. It always brings bad news." She reported that whenever it rang, she winced, her heart raced and she had to fight a feeling of dread.

Lisa had been called on her cell phone when her mother was rushed to the hospital last year. She had found six messages on her cell phone when she turned it on after being at work. When she arrived at the hospital, her mother had died. It was totally unexpected and a shock to everyone. (We had already done extensive tapping for her grief, so she wanted to stay focused on her phone issue.) We tapped as follows:

"Even though my cell phone reminds me of death...and of my mother, I deeply and completely accept myself."

"Even though I avoid answering my phone because I don't want any more bad news, I deeply and completely accept my behavior."

"Even though my friends are mad at me because I don't return their calls, I'm OK."

"Even though I feel dread and panic when my phone rings, I choose to feel calm."

I asked Lisa what other negative reminders were associated with her phone. She told me that when her boyfriend's parents died in a tragic accident two years ago, he couldn't reach her because she did NOT have a cell phone. She said it was just another association with phone calls and death.

"Even though I expect to get bad news when my cell phone rings, I deeply and completely love and accept myself."

"Even though I'm afraid to answer my cell phone, I completely accept myself anyway."

Lisa remembered more bad news linked to her phone. Last month the brother of a good friend was killed in a car accident, and she found out "by answering my phone." She continued searching for other negative links and found another obvious one: 6 months after her mother died, her father was diagnosed with lung cancer, and she heard the news "by answering my cell phone." We tapped to clear these connections.

I asked Lisa why else she avoided her phone. Her response provided more tapping opportunities:

"I feel so invaded. People just bother me and they can get to me whenever they want. And I feel the pressure to have answers for them right away when they ask me to join them for a social occasion." We tapped again:

"Even though I don't have any privacy anymore, I deeply and completely accept myself."

"Even though I don't feel safe because I have a cell phone, I deeply accept my feelings."

"Even though the calls feel intrusive, I choose to feel free and safe."

"Even though I hide by not answering my phone, I accept my feelings and behavior."

Lisa jumped at the word "free." She said she didn't feel free anymore, and never felt free to say "no" to people when they put her "on the spot."

We tapped a few more rounds on safety and freedom.

"Even though I want them to leave me alone, I choose to feel safe and to love myself."

"Even though I want to be in control, I choose to feel confident about saying 'no.' "

"Even though I don't want to be forced to say "no", I accept my behavior and feelings."

"Even though I'm afraid they won't like me, I deeply and completely accept my fears."

I tested Lisa by calling her cell phone number from my office phone. She said she felt much more comfortable looking at the phone, hearing it ring, and picking it up.

Throughout the session, Lisa was amazed at how powerful her negative associations had been. "It's just a little dumb phone." She felt better about her fears, the associations, the expectation of bad news, and felt confident she would be open to answering her phone on a regular basis. She did not feel the need to tap for any grief work, as we had already worked on that successfully since her mother's death.

Two weeks later, Lisa came back for a session and reported that her cell phone "problem" was "a million per cent better!" She couldn't believe what the tapping had changed for her. She was answering all her calls, returning messages, and being direct when people asked her questions. She felt proud of herself because she answered a call on her way to my office and was able to tell the person she couldn't talk because she had an appointment. "No more hiding and lying anymore...and I feel free." Her final words were, "Can we work on my problem with driving next time??"

Dr. Carol Look

 

 

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