"I have a fear of spiders you can't begin to touch!!"

EFt Tapping Outdated ImageNote: This is one of 3,000 articles written prior to the updated Gold Standard (Official) EFT Tapping Tutorial™.  It provides practical uses for EFT Tapping and most EFT'ers should find it very helpful.  However, if your benefits are temporary or a more in-depth approach is needed, you are urged to explore our newest advancement, Optimal EFT, by reading our free e-book, The Unseen Therapist, and/or (3) get help from a Certified EFT Practitioner.  

by Gary Craig

Hi Everyone,

This case is important because it explores a situation where a client is actually making good progress even though his/her response would suggest otherwise. This happens more often than you might think and centers around the "Fear of the Fear" which means the fear of the fear returning. This, of course, is a separate issue but when it happens the tendency is to conclude that EFT "doesn't work."

A few months ago I gave an EFT introductory session to several hundred people in Northern California and, during the break, 20 or 30 people gathered around me for more info. One lady from this group challenged me with the statement....

"I have a fear of spiders that you can't even begin to touch!" This was said with a body quiver that emphasized her fear.

I took her bait and, in front of all those onlookers, proceeded to apply EFT. But because I was in front of so many people and because I only had a few minutes, I started with a preframe that went like this....

"Well, there are no spiders here in this meeting room so we will not be able to ultimately test our results. But perhaps in the limited time available we can take the edge off of your intense emotional response to the mere thought of spiders [she quivered again]. That would be a great result under these circumstances."

I knew more was possible (likely) but I didn't want to set the bar too high. Admittedly, this was a "save your hiney" preframe...but it was necessary in this environment. I had very little time, a challenging client, an intense issue and an audience that was expecting magic (they had already experienced magic during my presentation). Any sane presenter would have handled this case in a private session after the workshop. However, I've never been accused of being either sane or overly intelligent. Besides, my intuition gave me a strong "go ahead" signal.

As an initial test I wiggled my fingers about two feet in front of her face to emulate a spider. In, response, she nearly jumped out of her shorts. She put her hand over her heart in an attempt to slow down its pace and looked at me with disbelief for being so insensitive to her problem. Bad start.

So, we started tapping in a general, global manner with an aim toward taking the edge off of this extreme intensity.

"Even though I have this reaction....."

"Even though I don't like those things...."

"Even though I startle easily...."

Then, to test it, I wiggled my fingers again from two feet away and she said that was OK. Progress. I brought the fingers about 6 inches closer and she began to react again, although less intensely.

We tapped in more detail.

"Even though spiders scare me..."

"Even though those 'spider fingers' are too close..."

"Even though I'm afraid a spider will crawl on me...."

I tested it again by wiggling my fingers 6 inches closer and she was fine, although she seemed apprehensive. At this point I recognized her apprehension as a form of what I call "The Fear of the Fear." This means that the real fear had subsided but she was now worried about "getting too far into this" because she knew how terrified she became around the spider subject. She was now into an area which, for her, was the unknown. Since the spider phobia first came upon her she has not been without this fear and, for her, to have it disappear was impossible. Thus she had a Fear of the Fear.

I then asked about her most intense spider memory and she said she was fine with spiders until, about 5 years ago, some wind blew a spider into her mouth. She said, "I swallowed that crawly thing" and began to quiver again as she said it. Note, however, that it was not the intense reaction that the untapped problem might have brought up.

We continued.

"Even though I swallowed that crawly thing...."

"Even though I can still feel it wiggling in my throat..."

"Even though it is laying eggs in my stomach..."

She had quivers around these statements, which subsided as we tapped.

I then moved my wiggling fingers closer and closer to her face. She was OK with it, although it was clear that she was apprehensive about what MIGHT happen (the fear of the fear returning). I even ran my fingers over her face as though it was a spider. No adverse reaction. Since we were running out of time, I asked her to vividly imagine that "spider swallowing" incident. She did so with no emotional response whatsoever.

Despite all this (it took about 8 minutes) she remained unconvinced--although the audience was quite impressed. To her, the real test was a REAL spider--not just my fingers. She is right, of course. It must be tested under the real circumstances. In my experience, however, there is a reasonable possibility that a REAL spider would be no more terrifying than a pair of socks. If I'm wrong, we could simply resume tapping for any new aspects that came up.

Hugs, Gary




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