General

Progress with a "Social Phobic"

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Hi Everyone,

Rod Sherwin, an EFT'er from Australia, does some solid detective work and discovers an important reason behind his client's social reluctance. Note (1) how important rapport is in this case and (2) that this is likely to be a several-session case.

Hugs, Gary


By Rod Sherwin

I have been working with a client, "James", for several sessions with halting progress and only an occasional breakthrough. James had been in mainstream and group therapies for many years and had been labeled with all sorts of things such as "social phobias". When I asked questions, James took a long time to answer and when he did answer, he did so only reluctantly.

Because of the unorthodox structure of my sessions as compared to mainstream therapy, James had come to feel comfortable with me and the first real breakthrough came when I gave him permission to tap on something without having to explain it to me. We tapped together as he cried for a good 15 minutes without words and then he exclaimed, "It feels like you just saved my life!" He mentioned his mother was involved but I did not press for more details at the time.

In our most recent session, James was still reluctant to answer questions. What he did share was that he really had not expected anything to change or work because he really didn't want it to. (Psychological Reversal anyone?). The only reason he had been turning up to the sessions was because he had paid for them. This was even after he had experienced the previous significant release.

I had James lead me through several rounds of tapping with him making up the phrases which included things like:

"This won't work"
"Nothing ever changes"
"Nothing will work"
"Nothing ever does"
"I don't want things to change"

and then a subtle shift occurred...

"I don't have to change"
"I'm fine the way I am"
"There's nothing wrong with me"

This is a huge cognitive shift after years of being told that something was wrong with him.

After this round of tapping, I asked James some questions about "How will you notice a small improvement in your interaction with others?"

Again, he was reluctant to answer and explained that he felt trapped behind a barrier with part of him wanting to get out from the barrier and invest himself in a conversation and part of him feeling safe there. We tapped around the desire to stay within the barrier and the desire to interact with others and accepting the conflict within.

After some time exploring the barrier, a light came on in James' eyes and he shared that he always kept barriers up against questions because his mother had always asked him lots of intrusive, shaming and frustrating question. His whole way of interacting with others was based around avoiding having to answer questions. It was the fear of having to answer questions that kept his defences up. My previous questioning to get to the deeper issues only triggered this defensive pattern.

With this insight, I tapped along with James as he explored all the feelings of his mother asking him "impossible, shaming" questions. I reminded him that he had permission to tap without explanation. He would only say words out loud if he wanted to, otherwise I just kept following him along as he tapped. It took several rounds with an occasional "this is not going to change anything" thrown in.

At the end of the session, James had a look of real peace on his face and was grateful to feel the changes in himself. He was hopeful and optimistic about how things would be different.

Rod Sherwin

 

 

 

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