General

Rapid relief from accident flashbacks

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Hi Everyone,

Ann Adams gives us the details (including several sets of Set Up language) behind a relatively simple case involving accident flashbacks. This is a common problem and thus Ann's message should help many clients.

Hugs, Gary


by Ann Adams

Gary, This is one of those times where the process was so amazingly simple. I find it works really well for these types of fears. Ann

Last year one of our terrific cooks at our residential program, Brenda, had two traffic accidents in less than a six-week period. The real irony was that both accidents occurred at the same intersection on her way home from work.

She didn't break any bones but had whiplash and a variety of other physical problems. She had weeks of physical therapy and was out of work for four months. She returned to work last August. In November she shared with me that she was still having flashbacks of the accident and trouble sleeping. Since I was conducting another staff training on using EFT the next week, I suggested she attend.

I started the training session with a very brief explanation of the technique and led them right into an exercise (telling them, of course, that they did not have to believe this exercise would work). I asked them to pick a specific incident in their life that still upset them when they thought about it and then write down their current intensity on a scale of 0-10.

Then we did three group rounds starting with: "Even though I have this upset feeling, I deeply and completely accept myself." After two slow deep breaths, I asked them to think about their upset and write down the number again.

The inevitable surprised looks came on some faces. Several said the upset incident didn't bother them any more. Brenda said, "Oh my goodness!" and I asked if she'd like to elaborate on that statement. She was working on the second traffic accident and said, "I can still see it happen but I am calm now. It is over and I am ok." I asked for her number and she said it was a zero. She seemed so comfortable with talking about it that I asked if she would like to work on other aspects of the accident as a demonstration in front of the group.

She agreed but wanted to remain seated. I asked her to think of the worse part of the accident and she said she was so afraid of being hit again that she drove five extra miles both coming and going to work in a detour around the "accident intersection." Her fear of being hit again at that intersection was "at least a 9 on the 0 -10 scale."

We tapped several times for:

"Even though I am afraid to drive through the intersection..."

"Even though I am afraid I will be hit again... "

"Even though I feel helpless to prevent being hit by a car..."

until she said she felt she could drive through that intersection.

I asked her to picture herself passing that intersection on her way home but to stop at any point she felt herself getting upset again. She began by picturing herself getting in the car, starting it and then passing each landmark along the way until she got to the intersection where she had the two wrecks.

She closed her eyes and was quiet a few seconds. Then she said she was still a little apprehensive when she got close enough to actually see the intersection (it was a 6). So we tapped twice through the points for: "Even though I still have some apprehension (her word) about getting close to where the accident happened..."

When asked to take a deep breath and give me a number; she reported it was now a 2. I told the audience that I wanted to show them another step and for those who still had any level of upset to think about their problem and follow along. So Brenda and the audience through the 9 gamut procedure and another round of tapping. Brenda was smiling now and said she thought she could go home the shorter way.

I suggested to Brenda that she use the remaining time in the staff training to work on any other scenes of the accident that still affected her. And, as always, I gave the group a handout that describes the process and encouraged them to use it for everything.

That was in November.

About the middle of January I had an opportunity to ask Brenda about her feelings now about the accident. She said, "That stuff you did really helped" and told me she not only had been able to drive home the shorter way but that after the training she was able to sleep and that she no longer was having flashbacks about the cars ramming into her.

But she said that something about it still bothered her--it was a nagging kind of feeling that something was still wrong. Wrong with what? I asked. "Wrong with me", she said. She was meaning emotionally, so I took a guess and said that sometimes victims felt that in some way they were responsible for what had happened to them. She said, "Yes, I feel like I should have been able to do something to stop it. That I shouldn't have been driving by that intersection that day."

We started tapping for:

"Even though I ought to have been able to do something..."

"Even though I feel responsible..."

"Even though I feel guilty for the accident..."

Brenda then laughed and told me that she couldn't see now how she could have thought she was responsible. There was nothing she could have done to stop it. "It was not my fault."

I asked her to close her eyes again and pictured both accidents (including the police and hospital experiences) and to stop at any point there was any upset. About a minute passed and she opened her eyes and said no. "That's amazing."

Yeah, Brenda, it sure is!

Ann Adams

 

 

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